That’s what she read: Bright Lights, Big Ass by Jen Lancaster

Photo+courtesy+of+amazon.com

Photo courtesy of amazon.com

C. Jayne Trent

I admit it, I’m a sucker for a great title.

When I was a buyer, I filled shelves with “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies” and “Jane Austen and Sea Monsters”. I treasure my old copy of “Thank You for the Giant Sea Tortoise”, and I’m looking forward to delving into “Zombies and Calculus” over break.

So, “Bright Lights, Big Ass” was an easy sell, especially since I’d read and enjoyed another of Lancaster’s memoirs, “Such a Pretty Fat”.

Jen Lancaster is a self-described raging narcissist with a wicked wit and absolutely no patience whatsoever for public transportation, crazy neighbors, surly salesclerks, Rachel Ray and a host of other annoyances.

She is forthright, loud, often obnoxious, judgmental and hilarious. Her essay on the “sixty-four step process” that ended with her (hours later) finally checking out the library book she wanted left me in tears.

There was another memorable story about a losing battle with a too-small, flimsy paper hospital gown involving a stapler, scotch tape and exploding body parts.

Lancaster struggles and loses the battle “to stop saying out loud everything I think.” This is great for her readers, because what she says is wildly entertaining and always amusing.

As she says, “I try not to judge, but God, I do it so well.” Lancaster says out loud the things I don’t dare allow myself to think, let alone express.

She is smart-mouthed and sassy, patently honest and rips into her own foibles and self-deceptions as enthusiastically as she eviscerates everything else. This collection of essays is a fast, funny, light read, sprinkled liberally with f-bombs and laced with Lancaster’s trademark candor and irreverence.

And really, it needs to be said: Rachel Ray is way too perky. You’re welcome.