Book Review: My Fair Lazy – Jen Lancaster

Title: My Fair Lazy: One Reality Television Addict’s Attempt to Discover If Not Being A Dumb Ass Is the New Black, or, a Culture-Up Manifesto
Author: Jen Lancaster
ISBN: 9780451229861
Pages: 384
Release Date: May 4, 2010
Publisher: NAL Hardcover
Genre: Memoir, Non-Fiction
Source: Publisher
Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Summary:

In her fifth memoir, Jen Lancaster attempts to amend her steady diet of reality TV shows with some elements of culture.  She attends the theatre, watches opera (on the TV, but it still counts!), dines at new restaurants, and goes to dance recitals in what she terms her “Jenaissance.”

Review:

I’ve read and enjoyed all of Jen Lancaster’s books (reviews of Such a Pretty Fat and Pretty in Plaid), so I was very excited to read her new memoir, My Fair Lazy.  I was looking forward to the subject matter – I think culture is important, and was looking forward to Jen’s snarky thoughts on it.

Well, I have to admit, I had some trouble with the first part of the memoir.  At the beginning, Jen has the unenviable task of making the reader understand why the “Jenaissance” was so crucial and why she needed it so badly.  As a result, she comes across as a bit unappealing.  Please note, I’m not saying she actually is that way – it’s just that it was necessary in order to help readers see how she feels sometimes, and why she wanted to inject culture into her life.  Additionally, Jen is a reality TV addict, and I don’t watch much reality TV, so her constant penchant for talking about reality TV in social situations didn’t really sit well with me (as it didn’t with her either – hence the “Jenaissance.”)

I have to say, though, I absolutely loved where Jen took her quest.  She went to the theatre and ended up becoming something of an expert, made herself eat things that seemed unpalatable in the name of culture (stinky cheese, anyone?), and was even complimented by a sommelier on her knowledge of Italian wines.  She was determined to bring some culture into her life, at almost any cost.  It is that spiritedness that I really admired in Such a Pretty Fat and was thrilled to see emerge again.

I also adored Jen’s comments on culture.  It doesn’t have to be snobby or pretentious – you can go to the theatre one night and sit at home on the couch watching trashy TV the next.  It’s all about exposing yourself to new things and figuring out what you enjoy, on your own terms.  At the same time, just because someone says something is supposed to be high culture doesn’t necessarily mean you have to (or will) enjoy it!

I really enjoyed My Fair Lazy – the main quest was really interesting, and her asides were, as always, fun and amusing (although her story about her pets broke my heart more than a little.)  Jen Lancaster has a great wit, and proves with this book that she is as smart as she is funny.  I definitely recommend this one for both her fans, as well as new readers!

Comments

  1. I have been meaning to read Lancaster’s books for some time. They seem like they’d be hysterical.

  2. I have been meaning to read Lancaster’s books for some time. They seem like they’d be hysterical.

  3. As a fellow Jen, I find the idea of “Jenaissance” absolutely hysterical!

  4. As a fellow Jen, I find the idea of “Jenaissance” absolutely hysterical!

  5. I really want to read one of Lancaster’s books – they sound like so much fun!

  6. I really want to read one of Lancaster’s books – they sound like so much fun!

  7. I have been hearing great things about some of Lancaster’s books, and this one sounds like it would be really fun. Great review! Do you recommend starting with this one, or one of the earlier books?

  8. I have been hearing great things about some of Lancaster’s books, and this one sounds like it would be really fun. Great review! Do you recommend starting with this one, or one of the earlier books?

  9. I have yet to pick up a Lancaster book but I love the titles. I began to wonder how anyone could write 5 memoirs–I mean, really, who has that much of interest in their lives to discuss? Sounds like Lancaster does!

  10. I have yet to pick up a Lancaster book but I love the titles. I began to wonder how anyone could write 5 memoirs–I mean, really, who has that much of interest in their lives to discuss? Sounds like Lancaster does!

  11. i read her first book and loved it.
    intend to get through the remainder in the near future.

    she is a very funny woman 🙂

  12. i read her first book and loved it.
    intend to get through the remainder in the near future.

    she is a very funny woman 🙂

  13. I’ve read a couple of her books now and thought they were all laugh out loud funny – glad to see her latest it too!

  14. I’ve read a couple of her books now and thought they were all laugh out loud funny – glad to see her latest it too!

  15. I saw this on the bestseller shelf at the bookstore the other day and had no idea what it was about. I had seen Lancaster’s books around before, but didn’t really know much about her or her writing. I’m definitely intrigued after your review and am adding her as an author to look into over the summer. Thanks for the great review.

  16. I saw this on the bestseller shelf at the bookstore the other day and had no idea what it was about. I had seen Lancaster’s books around before, but didn’t really know much about her or her writing. I’m definitely intrigued after your review and am adding her as an author to look into over the summer. Thanks for the great review.

Leave a Reply

Comment Policy:  I welcome comments and read each one I receive. If your comment needs a response, I will provide it in a timely manner, as I read every comment I receive. Please keep your comments civil and polite! I reserve the right to delete any comments that are rude or inappropriate. Because of spam, I have to moderate comments on old posts. Please be patient - I will approve your comment quickly.

Before the tag in the Genesis footer: !-- Quantcast Tag -->