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Broken (in the best possible way)

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From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Furiously Happy and Let’s Pretend This Never Happened comes a deeply relatable book filled with humor and honesty about depression and anxiety. As Jenny Lawson’s hundreds of thousands of fans know, she suffers from depression. In Broken, Jenny brings readers along on her mental and physical health journey, offering heartbreak From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Furiously Happy and Let’s Pretend This Never Happened comes a deeply relatable book filled with humor and honesty about depression and anxiety. As Jenny Lawson’s hundreds of thousands of fans know, she suffers from depression. In Broken, Jenny brings readers along on her mental and physical health journey, offering heartbreaking and hilarious anecdotes along the way. With people experiencing anxiety and depression now more than ever, Jenny humanizes what we all face in an all-too-real way, reassuring us that we’re not alone and making us laugh while doing it. From the business ideas that she wants to pitch to Shark Tank to the reason why Jenny can never go back to the post office, Broken leaves nothing to the imagination in the most satisfying way. And of course, Jenny’s long-suffering husband Victor―the Ricky to Jenny’s Lucille Ball―is present throughout. A treat for Jenny Lawson’s already existing fans, and destined to convert new ones, Broken is a beacon of hope and a wellspring of laughter when we all need it most.


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From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Furiously Happy and Let’s Pretend This Never Happened comes a deeply relatable book filled with humor and honesty about depression and anxiety. As Jenny Lawson’s hundreds of thousands of fans know, she suffers from depression. In Broken, Jenny brings readers along on her mental and physical health journey, offering heartbreak From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Furiously Happy and Let’s Pretend This Never Happened comes a deeply relatable book filled with humor and honesty about depression and anxiety. As Jenny Lawson’s hundreds of thousands of fans know, she suffers from depression. In Broken, Jenny brings readers along on her mental and physical health journey, offering heartbreaking and hilarious anecdotes along the way. With people experiencing anxiety and depression now more than ever, Jenny humanizes what we all face in an all-too-real way, reassuring us that we’re not alone and making us laugh while doing it. From the business ideas that she wants to pitch to Shark Tank to the reason why Jenny can never go back to the post office, Broken leaves nothing to the imagination in the most satisfying way. And of course, Jenny’s long-suffering husband Victor―the Ricky to Jenny’s Lucille Ball―is present throughout. A treat for Jenny Lawson’s already existing fans, and destined to convert new ones, Broken is a beacon of hope and a wellspring of laughter when we all need it most.

30 review for Broken (in the best possible way)

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jenny Lawson

    Am I allowed to rate my own book? Because *technically* I have read it so I think it still counts. I'm giving it one star for every year I thought I'd never finish it and if you are reading this and struggling with your own story, know that you are not alone. We all have stories inside of us that grow and change and inspire and mortify and serve as warning sign or guideposts. Thank you for listening to mine. Am I allowed to rate my own book? Because *technically* I have read it so I think it still counts. I'm giving it one star for every year I thought I'd never finish it and if you are reading this and struggling with your own story, know that you are not alone. We all have stories inside of us that grow and change and inspire and mortify and serve as warning sign or guideposts. Thank you for listening to mine.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Emily (Books with Emily Fox)

    Just started it and I'm already laughing! Just started it and I'm already laughing!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Regina

    In the last two pages of “Broken (In the Best Possible Way),” Jenny Lawson explains that the cover illustration was done by an artist named Omar Rayyan. His collection contains “whimsical paintings of people carrying their own baffling little monsters.” To her, this embodies how she feels about her battles with depression and anxiety. “I take mine out in the sun and try to appreciate that the flowers it rips up from the garden can sometimes be just as lovely when stuck in the teeth of its terrib In the last two pages of “Broken (In the Best Possible Way),” Jenny Lawson explains that the cover illustration was done by an artist named Omar Rayyan. His collection contains “whimsical paintings of people carrying their own baffling little monsters.” To her, this embodies how she feels about her battles with depression and anxiety. “I take mine out in the sun and try to appreciate that the flowers it rips up from the garden can sometimes be just as lovely when stuck in the teeth of its terrible mouth.” As fans of Jenny AKA The Bloggess know from either her previous two books or social media accounts, she suffers from not only mental illness but ailments such as rheumatoid arthritis, pre-diabetes, and anemias. In “Broken,” she really takes those monsters by their horns. One chapter is a painfully-relatable letter to her insurance company, another details her many months going through experimental treatments. While her wit can be found in these sections, they’re just not… funny. And that’s OK, it doesn’t appear they’re supposed to be. The unique thing about this book is that intermixed with these more stoic chapters are laugh-out-loud ones. That is, if your brand of humor includes things like toddler-sized tiny condoms for your dog to use as boots, buttworms, and bearcat hot buttered pee. (Yes, you read that right.) There are lists of mortifying things she’s said, mortifying things strangers have done and tweeted to her, and mortifying corrections she’s received from her editors. It’s been a few years since I read her other books, but I don’t recall their ranges of emotion being so vast. As a whole, reading “Broken” is a bit like doing laps in a pool. Start in the deep end with illness, swim to the shallow end to LOL, flip turn and head back to the deep. Seems fitting, since I think she’d agree that to deal with the depths of life, you have to just keep swimming. My thanks to Ms. Lawson and Henry Holt & Co. for the opportunity to read an advanced review copy via NetGalley. “Broken” is now available. Blog: www.confettibookshelf.com IG: @confettibookshelf

  4. 5 out of 5

    karen

    NOW AVAILABLE!! this might be my favorite one yet, but i am too broken to review it RN. go get it, though - you will not be disappointed! ************************************************* apparently, because jenny lawson is the vaccine that will protect me against anything 2021 has in store is an acceptable response to the question "why are you requesting this book?" over on edelweiss. WHOLEHEART THANK YOUS TO J-LAW AND E-WEISS!!! NOW AVAILABLE!! this might be my favorite one yet, but i am too broken to review it RN. go get it, though - you will not be disappointed! ************************************************* apparently, because jenny lawson is the vaccine that will protect me against anything 2021 has in store is an acceptable response to the question "why are you requesting this book?" over on edelweiss. WHOLEHEART THANK YOUS TO J-LAW AND E-WEISS!!!

  5. 5 out of 5

    jv poore

    Broken: In the Best Way Possible is the third collection of comical, every-day-life essays by Jenny Lawson (also known as The Bloggess). Ms. Lawson is one of the few people on this planet willing to share self-deprecating stories, not just for a laugh; but to show those who feel alone that they really aren’t. Most of us have felt the frustration of our own forgetfulness. Ms. Lawson’s recollection issues provide perspective. Her open letter to her health insurance company highlights contradiction Broken: In the Best Way Possible is the third collection of comical, every-day-life essays by Jenny Lawson (also known as The Bloggess). Ms. Lawson is one of the few people on this planet willing to share self-deprecating stories, not just for a laugh; but to show those who feel alone that they really aren’t. Most of us have felt the frustration of our own forgetfulness. Ms. Lawson’s recollection issues provide perspective. Her open letter to her health insurance company highlights contradictions in their policies along with procedures that are almost nonsensical. Relatable, if you’ve ever been baffled by insurance. Some chapters surprised me with anxieties and odd decisions so very similar to mine. Finally, someone else who waffles between answering the door when the mail-carrier requires a signature or just ignoring it and driving to the post office on another day. Hoping to feel up to face-to-face communication in the future. To me, one of the most challenging aspects of clinical depression is not being to explain how it feels. I cannot emphasize enough how validating and exactly-what-I-needed-right-now this book is. It isn’t written to a specific, clinically-depressed audience, though. Ms. Lawson bravely speaks to absolutely everyone. Even those with brilliantly-balanced chemistry will be amused by these anecdotes. Oh! And I learned what kintsugi is. When Ms. Lawson’s husband suggested it, he was so spot-on that he must have felt like a rock-star for a moment. Reading Broken is like receiving a desperately needed hug from the person who knows you best and loves you anyway. And, I absolutely adore the new name she gives to the Acknowledgements section. This review was written by jv poore for Buried Under Books, with huge “Thank You!” to Henry Holt & Company and Goodreads for the Advance Review Copy.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jeanette (Ms. Feisty)

    Completed second reading. Review to come... Jenny Jenny, you're the girl for me, You don't know me but you make me so happy... We could all use a little Jenny Lawson right this very minute. I finished reading this four months ago. It has been sitting on my currently reading shelf ever since, because I kept meaning to go back and read it a second time when my life had settled down a bit. Finally starting the re-read today. Completed second reading. Review to come... Jenny Jenny, you're the girl for me, You don't know me but you make me so happy... We could all use a little Jenny Lawson right this very minute. I finished reading this four months ago. It has been sitting on my currently reading shelf ever since, because I kept meaning to go back and read it a second time when my life had settled down a bit. Finally starting the re-read today.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Tucker (TuckerTheReader)

    Many thanks to Henry Holt & Co for the ARC!! um yes i need | Goodreads | Blog | Pinterest | LinkedIn | YouTube | Instagram Many thanks to Henry Holt & Co for the ARC!! um yes i need | Goodreads | Blog | Pinterest | LinkedIn | YouTube | Instagram

  8. 4 out of 5

    Barbara

    Jenny Lawson Jenny Lawson - born and raised in Texas - is a journalist, blogger, author, and humorist who suffers from mental illness, attention deficit disorder, clinical depression, anxiety attacks, rheumatoid arthritis, autoimmune problems, and more. This makes Lawson's life challenging, but her medication - as well as her husband and daughter - help Jenny cope. Jenny tries to see the 'funny' in life, and shares her observations with her readers. I'll give some examples of Jenny's anecdotes, t Jenny Lawson Jenny Lawson - born and raised in Texas - is a journalist, blogger, author, and humorist who suffers from mental illness, attention deficit disorder, clinical depression, anxiety attacks, rheumatoid arthritis, autoimmune problems, and more. This makes Lawson's life challenging, but her medication - as well as her husband and daughter - help Jenny cope. Jenny tries to see the 'funny' in life, and shares her observations with her readers. I'll give some examples of Jenny's anecdotes, to provide a feel for her humor. Jenny tells a story about constantly losing a shoe, because one foot is slightly larger than the other. So Jenny walked out of a shoe in a hotel elevator, waited for the elevator to return.....and no shoe! Turns out someone reported it to security. Jenny vowed to stop losing a shoe, but proceeded to do it again and again. Thus Jenny once had to pretend wearing one shoe was an Avant-garde fashion choice, once lost a shoe in a public toilet, once lost a shoe in a storm drain, and so on. (I'd advise fashionable sneakers. 😃) *** Jenny writes about being so uncomfortable at parties that she gets verbal diarrhea and makes terrible small talk, like comparing dog poop and human poop. Ick!! ***** After repeatedly mentioning genitals in a chapter about a cockchafer maggot, Jenny looked to Twitter for gender-neutral words for private parts. Hundreds of responses poured in, some of Jenny's favorites being niblets, no-no zone, Area 51, the south 40, the Department of the Interior, my hoopty, my chamber of secrets, my bidness, fandanglies, and the good china. ***** In a chapter about editing her books - which Jenny does with a gallery of professionals - Jenny acknowledges that the process is awful and painful and hilarious and mortifying...but not boring. For fun, Jenny describes conversations she had about her books with a variety of editors. Some examples: ◙ Jenny confuses the pirates Blackbeard and Bluebeard because they have the same last name. Editor: I don't think "Beard" was their last name. ◙ Jenny: Let's change "butt" to "buttonhole." Editor: Are you sure you want to do that? Jenny: Oops, that was autocorrect. I meant let's change "butt" to "butthole." ◙ Jenny: Can I just leave a poop emoticon to say sorry for being shitty at words. Editor: The poop image is an "emoji." An emoticon is a typographical display of facial representation using text only. Jenny: Jesus, I can't even use poop correctly. ***** Jenny has a knack for fun animal names. Her dog is called Dorothy Barker; her suggested monikers for a neighborhood owl are Owl Roker and Owlexander Hamilton; a yard rat is dubbed Boo Ratley; and a squirrel who steals peanut butter crackers is named Squirrelly Temple. Dorothy Barker ***** Jenny also tells stories about her husband Victor, her daughter Hailey, and her parents and grandparents. Much of this is amusing, though stories about pulling off chicken heads, eating goats roasted in ground pits, and snacking on gerbil jerky can be stomach-churning. Ground Pit Oven ***** In a serious vein, Jenny excoriates her insurance company, which avoids paying for her medication and treatments....a phenomenon that's probably familiar to much of the general public. Jenny also talks about contracting tuberculosis because she takes immunosuppressant drugs for her rheumatoid arthritis; getting panic attacks; having childhood anxiety attacks that were so frequent her mother had to change jobs to work in her school; having regular suicidal thoughts; and experiencing extended periods of depression. Jenny goes on to describe the transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) she received to relieve her psychiatric symptoms - treatments that are extensive and painful, but which helped. Jenny getting TMS treatment Jenny's books do good by helping others who suffer from mental illness. Jenny writes about being on a book tour and meeting wonderful people who dealt with some of the same issues she had. Many folks shakily told her that it was the first time they'd left their house in weeks. Jenny was proud to be able to talk to each person, though it was VERY draining for HER, because she gets anxious being around people. A difficult conundrum indeed. Jenny signing books I like Jenny's humor, and there are some REALLY amusing chapters in the book. However, many sections feel forced, like the author was trying too hard to be funny. Still, the book demonstrates that mentally ill individuals can have good times and enjoy life, which is a lesson worth learning. Thanks to Netgalley, the author (Jenny Lawson), and the publisher (Henry Holt and Company) for a copy of the book. You can follow my reviews at http://reviewsbybarbsaffer.blogspot.com/

  9. 4 out of 5

    Maxwell

    Jenny Lawson never fails to deliver—both laughter and tears. She balances humor and sincerity so well and seems like such a darn good person that I'd love to be friends with. If you have read and enjoyed her two previous memoirs, you'll love this one just as much. She is consistent, if not a bit repetitive, but honestly I can't fault her for that because her voice is so strong and she always has the most ridiculously amazing stories to tell. How does she have so many mishaps in her life?! Also t Jenny Lawson never fails to deliver—both laughter and tears. She balances humor and sincerity so well and seems like such a darn good person that I'd love to be friends with. If you have read and enjoyed her two previous memoirs, you'll love this one just as much. She is consistent, if not a bit repetitive, but honestly I can't fault her for that because her voice is so strong and she always has the most ridiculously amazing stories to tell. How does she have so many mishaps in her life?! Also the animal encounters never end. I loved it. I'd highly recommend reading all of her books, in order preferably, but you definitely can just dive into this one if you're interested!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Jessica | JustReadingJess

    I loved Broken (in the best possible way). This book is real and unfiltered. Broken is similar to her other books where she says what she thinks. It is very honest and comes out like a stream of conscience. Lawson does a great job bringing the reader inside her head and explaining what she is thinking. Sometimes this results in long tangents. I found Broken to be refreshingly honest. Lawson talks very openly about her depression and anxiety. She even describes how difficult book signings are for I loved Broken (in the best possible way). This book is real and unfiltered. Broken is similar to her other books where she says what she thinks. It is very honest and comes out like a stream of conscience. Lawson does a great job bringing the reader inside her head and explaining what she is thinking. Sometimes this results in long tangents. I found Broken to be refreshingly honest. Lawson talks very openly about her depression and anxiety. She even describes how difficult book signings are for her but how worthwhile she finds meeting her fans. Broken is a mix of funny and serious. Lawson will make you laugh with a hilarious story and then talk openly about her loneliness and depression. I think the world needs more people with Lawson’s honesty. I recommend Broken (in the best possible way) to fans of Jenny Lawson and anyone that thinks the idea of a mix of funny stories and serious discussions of depression would be interesting. Thank you Libro.fm, Macmillan Audio, Henry Holt & Company and NetGalley for Broken (in the best possible way). Full Review: https://justreadingjess.wordpress.com...

  11. 5 out of 5

    Blaine

    Basically the secret to a long-lasting marriage is memory loss and well-meaning lies and beach margaritas. ... I decide to keep the broken dove even though I can already hear Victor in my head telling me that she’s too broken to save. I will nod and agree but I still won’t part with her. She will tell a story to people who will wonder what magic she must have if she’s still treasured even in this state. She is shattered but she is special. And if you don’t look too closely you can hardly tell she’s Basically the secret to a long-lasting marriage is memory loss and well-meaning lies and beach margaritas. ... I decide to keep the broken dove even though I can already hear Victor in my head telling me that she’s too broken to save. I will nod and agree but I still won’t part with her. She will tell a story to people who will wonder what magic she must have if she’s still treasured even in this state. She is shattered but she is special. And if you don’t look too closely you can hardly tell she’s broken.I read Jenny Lawson’s first book, Lets’s Pretend This Never Happened, on my wife’s recommendation. Of course, by the time I read it she had probably already read a third of it to me a little bit at a time when I asked what she was laughing about now. Ms. Lawson had a bizarre childhood, and that memoir is hilariously bonkers. Broken is more like Ms. Lawson’s middle book, Furiously Happy. It’s not really a memoir, more a collection of essays. The majority are quite funny, and sometimes completely absurd, such as the one with her e-mails with Master Paul of the Vampire Brotherhood and the chapter where she details the six times she lost her shoes while wearing them. The single funniest essay is probably “Awkwarding Brought Us Together,” in which discusses dozens of responses she got on Twitter after she shared an awkward encounter she’d had at an airport. And as always, the chapters involving her conversations with her husband Victor are a highlight. But a fair number of the stories are more serious, even sad, with the best being the excellent-but-frustrating “An Open Letter to My Health Insurance Company.” Ms. Lawson shares a great deal about her ongoing struggles with mental health, depression, and autoimmune disorders. These essays may not be funny (though they usually have their moments too), but they are human and poignant and moving. Broken is about accepting yourself for who you are, and finding the beauty in your broken parts. It’ll make you laugh, and feel, and think. Recommended, especially the audiobook, read once again with gusto by Ms. Lawson.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan K

    A salad of depression, hilarity and insights Having read all her others, this one is a mixed bag and I was tempted to rate it 3 stars. She goes to great lengths to discuss her battle with anxiety and depression, while adding stories of her dysfunctional family and odd adventures in town and abroad. While her depression tends to dampen the humor, its difficult not to like. Chapters range from hilarious to depressing and a few that are just plain dull. The book gets off to a roaring start, stalls, A salad of depression, hilarity and insights Having read all her others, this one is a mixed bag and I was tempted to rate it 3 stars. She goes to great lengths to discuss her battle with anxiety and depression, while adding stories of her dysfunctional family and odd adventures in town and abroad. While her depression tends to dampen the humor, its difficult not to like. Chapters range from hilarious to depressing and a few that are just plain dull. The book gets off to a roaring start, stalls, picks up again and ends with insights worth considering. "I'm pretty sure.." is one of several overused phrases but work nonetheless. What's always funny is the quirky names Jenny creates for creatures and pets; example: 'Dorothy Barker', her dog and 'Hunter S Tomcat'. From an interview I learned it took 4 years to write which comes as little surprise given her depression, sad that it is. For those familiar with her writing, its recommended and for those who want a good laugh, skip the chapters about anxiety.

  13. 4 out of 5

    ScrappyMags

    Made me laugh at my depression. #winning Shortest Summary Ever: Jenny Lawson battles many things - depression, anxiety, cock chafers... say whaaaa? Life is tough, yo. Yup, welcome to Lawson’s world where she combats mental illness, conquers her fears (um... ok maybe one), and engages is a war of words with her hubby Victor (spoiler: Lawson always wins). Strange and hilarious thoughts are discussed in her irreverent, hysterical way. Thoughts: Jenny (I pretend we cool like that in my mind) is my be Made me laugh at my depression. #winning Shortest Summary Ever: Jenny Lawson battles many things - depression, anxiety, cock chafers... say whaaaa? Life is tough, yo. Yup, welcome to Lawson’s world where she combats mental illness, conquers her fears (um... ok maybe one), and engages is a war of words with her hubby Victor (spoiler: Lawson always wins). Strange and hilarious thoughts are discussed in her irreverent, hysterical way. Thoughts: Jenny (I pretend we cool like that in my mind) is my bestie... she just doesn’t know it. Now she’ll read that and think a) psycho who is “my biggest fan” and hide the sledgehammer or b)she hears this A LOT and smiles. I assure her it’s B (FYI I don’t own a sledgehammer. And I have 2 beagle rescues so ya’ know I’m trusty). I think many people FEEL Jenny Lawson - particularly those who suffer the same afflictions. Those who don’t - I’m gonna’ guess you haven’t traveled this path and pray you never do. I am sadly one of those path people. I spent 7 years of my life homebound with panic disorder w/agoraphobia and Major Depressive Disorder, but then found out along the path I had some serious physical medical issues, namely - Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency, GSID - a sucrose intolerance. Anemia, Gastroparesis, Diabetes, and Hashimoto’s. And in the middle of all this? Pre-cancer of my vulva known as VIN III. Yep I had to have a piece of my vagina - removed. Thankfully not the crucial bits. I battled insurance, a doctor who told me to “push through “ my issues... all of it. Yeah, Jenny and I are simpatico. And my hope is that she’s reading this and going “OMG well I never lost a lady part, so that’s SOMETHING.” And I hope the loss of that lady bit makes her feel better about her problems. If they had let me save that lady bit I’d give it to her as a medal and pin it on her so she could wear it and tell people how much her new bestie appreciates her. I mean what did you give YOUR bestie? Bet those flowers are looking lame right now. All Because she made me feel better about my problems. And damn that feels good. I think we’d sit down and agree that the true hope is that neither of us has to have the loss of lady bits or excruciating procedures anymore. That’s some truth. This book spoke to me in ways that left me laughing out loud or crying. But most of all Ms. Lawson (because I’m nasty) has inspired me to document my own battles. She lays out her life in a raw, unfiltered way. She’s fearless though she talks of her fears. She’s brave while explaining how she’s feeling anything BUT brave. She’s human in every sense of the word. It’s true for me that if I lose my laughter I’ve lost everything. That’s when I know It’s all over for me. Thank God for my bestie Jenny. All my reviews available at scrappymags.com around time of publication. Genre: Non-fiction Humor Recommend to: all my chronic illness peeps and those who love a good bawdy joke. Bette Midler fans. Not recommended to: angry people with no souls or tolerance for swear words. Thank you to the author, NetGalley and Henry Holt and Co for my advanced copy in exchange for my always-honest review and making it almost worth losing the lady bit so I could laugh over this book (no, not really... that really hurt, but you have my love).

  14. 5 out of 5

    Catherine Woodward

    **Many thanks to NetGalley, Henry Holt & Co., and Jenny Lawson for an ARC of this book! Now available as of 4.6!** You ever had that friend that who not only can make you laugh, not only can make you cry, but can make you laugh from crying AND cry from laughing? Jenny Lawson is JUST that wizard. This is Jenny's third book, and those familiar with her humor realize she will be discussing everything from some 'interesting' (and not G rated) product pitches for Shark Tank to embarrassing and ridiculou **Many thanks to NetGalley, Henry Holt & Co., and Jenny Lawson for an ARC of this book! Now available as of 4.6!** You ever had that friend that who not only can make you laugh, not only can make you cry, but can make you laugh from crying AND cry from laughing? Jenny Lawson is JUST that wizard. This is Jenny's third book, and those familiar with her humor realize she will be discussing everything from some 'interesting' (and not G rated) product pitches for Shark Tank to embarrassing and ridiculous anecdotes from some of her blog and Twitter followers that will have you have you snickering, if not full-out belly laughing. Jenny loves taxidermy and tangents, and her frick-and-frack banter with husband Victor is always a treat. What I love most about her comedic essays (and this is just in their written form) is that they are the weirdest stories where the beginning of the chapter can leave you saying "Huh? How exactly is she going to circle back to receiving a bag of dicks at the post office?" But lo and behold. She always does, and once you've actually heard the story, you think "Well of course. Why WOULDN'T she have received a bag of dicks? Perfectly logical." The juxtaposition to the wild and wacky, however, is Jenny's discussion of her mental health struggles, which are heartbreaking in a sense, but also so relatable at times she takes my breath away. The essays in this book were particular poignant and interesting, since Jenny also discusses her experience with TMS (transcranial magnetic stimulation) therapy, which I had only heard of prior to reading this book. Other than Matt Haig, there is nobody who discusses depression and anxiety with such acuity as Jenny Lawson. The few essays on these topics alone provide enough advice (including a top ten list of what techniques work best for Jenny), empathy, and insight to put her alongside some of the best self-help writers I've read, like Brene Brown. There are so many passages I wanted to go back and highlight in this book, and as an avid fan of her blog and all other social media, I can say some of the email newsletters she sends are just the right words you need to hear on a particularly bad day. I am so proud to call myself a Jenny Lawson fan, because she is one of the most unflinchingly authentic, unique, intelligent, and real bloggers I've ever come across, and her essay about being Broken is one of the best of the bunch here. If you need a cry-laugh, a laugh-cry (and let's face it, you could probably use at least one of those!), PLEASE pick up this fantastic book! She is quirky, gifted, funny, and empathetic...in all the best possible ways! 4.5 ⭐

  15. 4 out of 5

    Heather K (dentist in my spare time)

    *3.5 stars* Broken by Jenny Lawson oscillates between a real heart-wrenching picture of what it's like to live with depression and anxiety and an uproariously funny collection of observational and awkward humor. I loved both parts of the book equally, though the writing style and some of the chapters felt repetitive towards the end of the book. I enjoyed Broken much more than Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things, which I read years ago and considered too one-note. Broken had some o *3.5 stars* Broken by Jenny Lawson oscillates between a real heart-wrenching picture of what it's like to live with depression and anxiety and an uproariously funny collection of observational and awkward humor. I loved both parts of the book equally, though the writing style and some of the chapters felt repetitive towards the end of the book. I enjoyed Broken much more than Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things, which I read years ago and considered too one-note. Broken had some of those elements and sections that felt draggy, and I'll admit that I even skimmed a few parts. However, the bright spots of the story overshadowed the less interesting sections. I couldn't stop laughing while reading a few sections. Like, fully-body laughter, which is rare for a book. The mix between these very funny sections and some really compelling, more serious sections was very effective and made for some moving reading. The parts of the book where Jenny Lawson talked about her struggle with depression and anxiety were very eye-opening for me, and I think it made me understand more about the struggles that people with different mental illnesses go through. Despite some repetitive sections, I think Broken was a successful and entertaining read. *Copy provided in exchange for an honest review* goodreads|instagram|twitter

  16. 4 out of 5

    Leslie

    "Usually I struggle with simple things. I make strange choices. The strength it takes to shower or the energy it takes to eat? You don’t get both, so choose wisely. Every action takes such work … as if living with mental illness is like waking to a different disability each day. Someone else could quickly do the simple tasks of the day, but I am hobbled. It can take hours for me to do what could be done on a good day in minutes. When I read a Jenny Lawson book or read one of her blog entrie "Usually I struggle with simple things. I make strange choices. The strength it takes to shower or the energy it takes to eat? You don’t get both, so choose wisely. Every action takes such work … as if living with mental illness is like waking to a different disability each day. Someone else could quickly do the simple tasks of the day, but I am hobbled. It can take hours for me to do what could be done on a good day in minutes. When I read a Jenny Lawson book or read one of her blog entries, I feel seen in a way I don't often feel. It's similar to the way books by Allie Brosh make me feel. She captures anxiety and depression in this way that is so real that it's as if she's pulling thoughts out of my head. I think I say that about every book I read by her. Basically when I read a book by her, I know I'm going to like it and relate to it. I also know that while she will inevitably emotionally destroy me, she will also make me laugh. A lot. That's one of her superpowers. She will go deep and dark with one story then lift you up with laughter in the next. This collection was no different. Her thoughts on being an introvert were spot on. "Someone once told me that the difference between introverts and extroverts is that introverts recharge by being alone (like any normal person) and extroverts recharge by being with others (like vampires). Jenny's husband Victor has been one of my favorite parts about all of her books and blog entries. I love how she drives him completely nuts and he often seems frustrated or grumpy but in a funny way. Then suddenly you get these moments of sweetness from him that make me melt. Before we walked back inside Victor hugged me and calmed me and made me laugh. “I am a bad risk,” I said, sighing with acceptance. He was silent for a minute. “You are a bad risk,” he agreed, nodding as he looked up at the stars. “But one I’m happy to take.” Her conversations with her child, Hailey, are another constant in both her books and blog and crack me up. Hailey would look at me in awe. “And you couldn’t afford YouTube?” she’d ask. And then I’d explain that there was a time before YouTube and then she’d start to doubt the veracity of my stories and I’d just say, “Yeah. We couldn’t afford YouTube.” And as always, like I wrote above, her musings on anxiety and depression made my heart hurt but also strangely soothed me because it's comforting to know other people struggle too as messed up as that sounds. "It’s a strange thing … to be tangled up in things no one else really cares about. To be so busy with worry that your constant back-and-forth looks like utter inaction. To be so afraid of doing something wrong that you end up doing something worse. To be exhausted by a marathon that looks like complete paralysis on the outside but feels like being on both sides of a violent tug-of-war on the inside." So there you have it. Another gem from Jenny Lawson. I did rate it four stars and not five because I didn't love it quite as much as Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things. But I still thoroughly enjoyed it. Just a note, her blog can be found @theblogess.com. "The world is shattered and we wander barefoot through one another’s broken shards and glittering slivers. And some of us bleed from the cuts. And some of us heal. And if you’re lucky, you do both. We are broken. We are healing. It never ends. And, if you look at it in just the right light, it is beautiful." **One day I will run out of David Tennant gifs. Today is not that day.**

  17. 5 out of 5

    Doug

    4.5, rounded up. Just what this horrible year needs right now is the return of Jenny Lawson, who is really the ONLY author ever to make me LOL so hard I cry, blow milk out my nose and pee my pants, all at the same time. I've now read all four of her books, and this is something of a return to the full power she exhibited in her first classic (Let's Pretend This Never Happened: A Mostly True Memoir). Along with the side-splitting, sometimes implausible, yet entirely true mishaps she relates, are a 4.5, rounded up. Just what this horrible year needs right now is the return of Jenny Lawson, who is really the ONLY author ever to make me LOL so hard I cry, blow milk out my nose and pee my pants, all at the same time. I've now read all four of her books, and this is something of a return to the full power she exhibited in her first classic (Let's Pretend This Never Happened: A Mostly True Memoir). Along with the side-splitting, sometimes implausible, yet entirely true mishaps she relates, are also some sobering chapters that deal more intimately with her issues with anxiety and other illnesses, both mental and physical; along with her battles with medical professionals and dastardly insurance companies to get the help she needs. Long-suffering husband Victor and sister Lisa are back, as well as a cameo from the taxidermied mice of the first book, and a full contingent of bewildered new encounters. Some chapters don't quite measure up - the Shark Tank ideas one goes on much too long and devolves into some sophomoric scatology, but those missteps are few and far between. It's just a real comfort to have Ms. Lawson back to remind us that no matter how bad things are - she's probably had it worse! Sincere thanks to Netgalley and Henry Holt & Company for the opportunity and privilege to preview and honestly review this book a full 5 months before it's available to the rest of you! :-)

  18. 5 out of 5

    Ashley

    I don’t know what happened with this one. I thought her last two books were really funny, but this one just didn’t hit at all with me. Probably just me, based on the other ratings. Oh well.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jessica Jeffers

    When I was about halfway through this book, I went back and read my review of Jenny Lawson’s last set of essays, Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things , in which I had noted, essentially, that she’s best when she’s writing about her mental health but that she seemed to only want to touch that stuff with a ten-foot pole. Well, she gets right up in it this time. This book is also at its best when she’s writing about mental health, but she’s much more willing to dive into it this t When I was about halfway through this book, I went back and read my review of Jenny Lawson’s last set of essays, Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things , in which I had noted, essentially, that she’s best when she’s writing about her mental health but that she seemed to only want to touch that stuff with a ten-foot pole. Well, she gets right up in it this time. This book is also at its best when she’s writing about mental health, but she’s much more willing to dive into it this time around and explore some real nitty-gritty shit. I also noted last time that I loved the Twitter thread in which she asked people to share their most embarrassing awkward encounters. As soon as I finished reading that part of my review, I turned the page in my copy of this book and discovered she had included an entire chapter here of some of her favorite responses to the thread. That chapter alone would almost be worth the price of this book if for no other reason than the Tweet in which one (presumably) woman referred to her gyno as a VAGINACOLOGIST. But once again, the chapters where she’s just writing about how weird she is – things like discovering a bug named a cock chafer or trying to buy condoms that she can use as booties for her dog – are fine, but they aren’t what I come to Jenny Lawson’s work for. It’s when she’s willing to be vulnerable and dig into her anxiety and depression that I really love reading her. “Over the years, I’d hide in bathrooms and closets and books. And in myself. It was a lonely place to be, but safe. Except when I got stuck.” Jesus Christ on a flying popsicle stick, is there anything that I could relate to more when thinking about what I now recognize as the intense social anxiety that I grew up with? In Broken (in the Best Possible Way), Jenny shares her experience with TMS treatment for depression, the agoraphobia she felt while on her last book tour, and the trauma that is trying to get your health insurance company to pay for medicine that will keep you from becoming suicidal. She talks about her various chronic health issues and the days that her marriage is particularly challenging. It's the most vulnerable collection of essays that I've read by her (though, to be fair, I don't follow her blog), but that's also what makes it her best.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    Free copy received through NetGalley for my honest review. Jenny Lawson has a gift for balancing humor and rawness in a way I've never seen done outside of her books. Broken (In the Best Possible Way) is a series of extremely readable chapters ranging from post-office catastrophes to transcranial magnetic stimulation. I want to be Jenny's friend, I want to tell her what she says makes a difference, and thank her for sharing her stories. I laughed out loud so many times. I thought to myself, yep, Free copy received through NetGalley for my honest review. Jenny Lawson has a gift for balancing humor and rawness in a way I've never seen done outside of her books. Broken (In the Best Possible Way) is a series of extremely readable chapters ranging from post-office catastrophes to transcranial magnetic stimulation. I want to be Jenny's friend, I want to tell her what she says makes a difference, and thank her for sharing her stories. I laughed out loud so many times. I thought to myself, yep, I feel that so many times too. I learned some new things too This is more than a humor book, a self help book, a memoir, and I'm already looking forward to whatever she writes next. If you loved her other books, you'll love this. If you're looking to read something that'll make you laugh and give you hope, you'll love this too. If you've ever done or said something embarrassing, you'll definitely love and relate to this book!

  21. 4 out of 5

    laurel [the suspected bibliophile]

    I love Jenny Lawson, and while this one definitely took me down darker paths than Furiously Happy did, I appreciated them for their truth, insight and the ever-present optimism that things might not be okay now, but the sun will come out soon and it will be okay for a little while. Also, the hilarious moments are fucking off the wall wild. From vagina lasers to cock chafers to dicks stuck in car holes to dick dazzlers to Victor's coworkers getting quite a bit of information on everything to losin I love Jenny Lawson, and while this one definitely took me down darker paths than Furiously Happy did, I appreciated them for their truth, insight and the ever-present optimism that things might not be okay now, but the sun will come out soon and it will be okay for a little while. Also, the hilarious moments are fucking off the wall wild. From vagina lasers to cock chafers to dicks stuck in car holes to dick dazzlers to Victor's coworkers getting quite a bit of information on everything to losing a shoe in the multiple (six) times to spider trees, there is proof that it's okay to be weird, awkward and anxious. It's okay to be broken, because that's what makes us human and how we learn to grow.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Kaethe Douglas

    There is so much to adore and cherish, but "Awkwarding Brings Us Together" is a gift to humanity greater than fire. Apparently we are most likely to mortify ourselves at funerals. It's a relief to know it's not just me. Which is the brilliance of Lawson: whether she's providing details of her worst moments of anxiety and depression or her best adventures (some are both at once) she is always reassuring the reader that we aren't alone. This is the most comforting message one human can give anothe There is so much to adore and cherish, but "Awkwarding Brings Us Together" is a gift to humanity greater than fire. Apparently we are most likely to mortify ourselves at funerals. It's a relief to know it's not just me. Which is the brilliance of Lawson: whether she's providing details of her worst moments of anxiety and depression or her best adventures (some are both at once) she is always reassuring the reader that we aren't alone. This is the most comforting message one human can give another. And also, American medical insurance is the privilege of paying someone to make everything worse for those who have it as well as those who don't. *** Lawson makes me laugh so hard I cry, and sometimes also, so sad for all the broken people (which is probably all people, but if not, a huge percentage of the population) that I almost cry but usually don't because she has something encouraging to say that also gives me hope. And that's pretty much life right there, isn't it? Shared laughter, shared pain, because we are social animals, even those of us who aren't quite. *** A question: how many people are there who see a black plastic bag on the side of the road and immediately think "body?" Besides me and Jenny Lawson? Anyone? Library copy

  23. 5 out of 5

    Scottsdale Public Library

    I feel like Jenny is my spirit animal. Thank you for writing about the embarrassing things you do like starting fires in your house and making me feel better about when I start fires in my house (the latest was a toaster fire because setting it sideways shoots the hash brown patties out onto a plate like it would be in the beginning of Pee Wee's Big Adventure but it also sets all the crumbs and grease on fire). And thank you for discussing your anxiety because it's good to have a buddy (an author I feel like Jenny is my spirit animal. Thank you for writing about the embarrassing things you do like starting fires in your house and making me feel better about when I start fires in my house (the latest was a toaster fire because setting it sideways shoots the hash brown patties out onto a plate like it would be in the beginning of Pee Wee's Big Adventure but it also sets all the crumbs and grease on fire). And thank you for discussing your anxiety because it's good to have a buddy (an author you've met once) who also involuntarily tightens or shakes their hands when anxiety or sensory overload takes over and you realize you are not as unusual as you feel you are, although being unusual is also how you like it and would never want to be "normal." Thank you for the laughs and the comforts and your vulnerability. -Sara S.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Kim

    Full disclosure: I adore #JennyLawson. I follow her on social media in addition to having read all of her books. So I was very excited to be able to read this ARC of #BrokenInTheBestPossibleWay. For those familiar with Lawson, this book will be exact as you hope: many stories she has shared in real time on Twitter or on her blog are made available here in more refined, equally amusing or heartbreaking storytelling as only she can do. She is candid about her life with mental and physical health c Full disclosure: I adore #JennyLawson. I follow her on social media in addition to having read all of her books. So I was very excited to be able to read this ARC of #BrokenInTheBestPossibleWay. For those familiar with Lawson, this book will be exact as you hope: many stories she has shared in real time on Twitter or on her blog are made available here in more refined, equally amusing or heartbreaking storytelling as only she can do. She is candid about her life with mental and physical health concerns, family loss, and more. Even in moments of sadness, she can turn a tale into a life lesson or a silver lining. There are also certainly those laugh-out-loud moments where I realized I shouldn't be reading this book in public because I was making a scene. The photographs were a nice touch to many of the stories. For those not familiar with Lawson, this may not be the book I'd recommend to you first. While you certainly will be able to pick up on who her family is or some of her back story, it may feel a bit like jumping into the middle of some inside jokes. I would recommend either of her other books and then moving on to this one. Thanks to the publisher and #NetGalley for this ARC!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Ellen Gail

    I literally can’t picture what my life would be if I had never read Jenny Lawson. Five stars.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Linda

    I got as far as page 59. I literally couldn’t read another word of this shit book. It was like listening to a crazy person ramble on and on about nothing. This author thinks she’s funny, but she is not. Who reads this kind of nonsense????

  27. 4 out of 5

    Alicia Bayer

    While I'm a fan of the Bloggess (Blogess?), I'm not a regular reader so I don't know if these essays were previously published on her blog. They felt quite a lot like a compilation of random blog posts, though, and many of them really didn't seem to have to do with the supposed topic, Lawson's lifelong battles with mental illness. Some were funny, some were serious. There was always a bit of funny with the serious and vice versa. I enjoyed some chapters much more than others. One chapter was com While I'm a fan of the Bloggess (Blogess?), I'm not a regular reader so I don't know if these essays were previously published on her blog. They felt quite a lot like a compilation of random blog posts, though, and many of them really didn't seem to have to do with the supposed topic, Lawson's lifelong battles with mental illness. Some were funny, some were serious. There was always a bit of funny with the serious and vice versa. I enjoyed some chapters much more than others. One chapter was composed of very NSFW product suggestions for Shark Tank or something like that, and those were kinda terrible even for me. I really enjoyed her sections that dealt with her anxiety and depression, but so much of the book felt like filler of just random silly stuff. I read in the blurb or the intro about the experimental procedures she's been going though and expected a lot more about that, but she just kind of describes it in one chapter and says that it seems to have helped a bit and she acknowledges that since insurance doesn't cover it and it's expensive, she knows how lucky she is to have been able to do it (and it may need to be repeated). I've read her first book and also have purchased two of her adult coloring books (one for me and one for my oldest child), and I enjoy everything she puts out. I certainly love her as a person and relate to many of her struggles. A few parts of this book did have me really laughing out loud, and a few were really touching and relatable. A lot of other parts just felt like skimming through old blog posts, some of which were more successful than others. This was a 3 star book for me -- liked it. I can't say I loved it but I love her and do recommend the book. I read a digital ARC of this book via Net Galley.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Molli

    I cannot wait for this!!! Jenny Lawson has helped me get through some tough times and I have listened to her audio books repeatedly. I can’t wait to add another one into the mix.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Tania

    “Forgive yourself. For being broken. For being you. For thinking those are things that you need forgiveness for.” I've listened to both the author's books, and really enjoyed her specific brand of humor. Some of the "funny" stories in Broken felt like she was trying too hard, and for the first time I enjoyed the more serious chapters on mental and physical issues more than the jokey chapters. I really like her as a person and loved her narration, so will be ordering whatever she does next. “Forgive yourself. For being broken. For being you. For thinking those are things that you need forgiveness for.” I've listened to both the author's books, and really enjoyed her specific brand of humor. Some of the "funny" stories in Broken felt like she was trying too hard, and for the first time I enjoyed the more serious chapters on mental and physical issues more than the jokey chapters. I really like her as a person and loved her narration, so will be ordering whatever she does next.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Kristina

    Jenny Lawson’s latest book, Broken (in the best possible way) is mostly typical Jenny. It’s very funny, then goes overboard and is ridiculous, then is a bit serious. If you’ve read Lawson before, you know what I mean. If you haven’t…well, try her out. If your sense of humor skews towards the seriously nutty and slightly (or more than slightly) raunchy, then Jenny’s your woman. This is a short book with short, zippy chapters. I found the first half of the book funnier and more interesting than th Jenny Lawson’s latest book, Broken (in the best possible way) is mostly typical Jenny. It’s very funny, then goes overboard and is ridiculous, then is a bit serious. If you’ve read Lawson before, you know what I mean. If you haven’t…well, try her out. If your sense of humor skews towards the seriously nutty and slightly (or more than slightly) raunchy, then Jenny’s your woman. This is a short book with short, zippy chapters. I found the first half of the book funnier and more interesting than the second half. By then, her screaming CAPS, her YELLS AT VICTOR, and her over-the-top humor had exhausted me. Broken is different from the other books in that she opens up more about her health issues. Not just physical ailments (although she has a lot of those), but her struggles with severe depression and anxiety. Because of her family’s long history of mental illness and dementia, she worries that she, too, will end up with it (like her maternal grandmother has now). Without making a big deal about it, Lawson writes about her episodes of mental illness in order to help others who struggle with it themselves. I exist in a more-or-less low-level constant state of anxiety, but that manifests itself as turning me into a worrier, a thorough planner and a very organized (aka: anal) person. It’s never stopped me from doing anything I really wanted to do and I certainly can’t compare it to the anxiety Lawson experiences. I’ve never experienced depression (other than I think the normal blahs everyone gets now and then) and reading about the darkness she falls into is eye-opening and sad. Her chapter, “The Things We Do to Quiet the Monsters” is about her fight against depression and thoughts of suicide. She’s very detailed about the darkness and sadness she feels (and the anger that she can’t just be a normal person) and the treatment she undergoes to treat it: repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS). In her trademark Jenny Lawson style, she talks about the fight to get insurance approval and the treatment itself. She is both funny, ridiculous and serious. Her chapter: “An Open Letter to My Health Insurance Company,” a letter she sent to her insurance company (I think I read that/heard that in an interview) details exactly why for-profit insurance companies suck. As she states boldly in the first sentence: “Sometimes I think you want me dead” (72). She goes on to say: “But the truth isn’t so absolute. You just don’t care for me to live. And why should you? It was a mistake to think that an insurance company claiming to want to help you in your sickest hours was anything other than a scam…after all, you are here to make money. And I am here to live. And it seems those things are sometimes mutually exclusive.” She calls her relationship with her insurance company “abusive and dysfunctional.” Even if you don’t care for Jenny’s sense of humor, her letter calling out the entire health insurance industry (via focusing on her own) is amazing and should be read. It should be printed on the front pages of all major newspapers. She spells out exactly why America’s health insurance is terrible: it’s run by corporations who care more about making money than keeping Americans happy, healthy and alive. She does this in prose that isn’t lawyerly or formal or objective. She writes as someone who managed to survive her insurance company’s best efforts to kill her by indifference, denial of claims, and inaction: You say you have my best interest at heart. You are not even a good liar. I’m embarrassed for us both…What I do know is that you are not helping. You are a hindrance—a barrier to treatment—and worse, you are part of the problem. If I were to kill myself today I would first blame my broken brain. And second, I would blame you. You are killing me. You are shaming me. You are standing in the way of health and happiness of so many of us and you are making money while standing on our backs and telling us how much we don’t need the things that keep us alive. But I am still alive. In spite of you. And I will use this breath to keep living and to remind myself that I am worthy of happiness and health and life and that you are a terrible liar. And I will stoke the anger you breed in me and use it to speak out to others so that they know that you cannot be trusted. Because someone has to look out for the sick people in the world. And you certainly aren’t doing it (77-78).Jenny is very open about how lucky she is that she has the financial resources to pay for the thousands of dollars in treatments and medicines that her insurance won’t cover or only partially covers (after fighting denial after denial). She recognizes this. I think this is why she’s so upset—she knows she is lucky where others aren’t and that other people who suffer from severe depression can’t get the treatment she has and end up killing themselves because of it. So when she says (of receiving constant rejections and denials of treatment): “I’m not the only one you’ve done this to. You’ve left thousands of people alone and desperate and untreated. You have killed people we love, with neglect or indifference. You deny mercy and pain and humanity (75),” she’s calling insurance companies murderers and I agree. Denying doctor-recommended treatments because it affects the profit-margin is cold-blooded murder. The question is: how long will we allow politicians (who pad their pockets with this blood money) to keep denying American citizens universal health care, even when they themselves have excellent, low-cost, federally-supported, health benefits? Who call government-paid health care communism or socialism but are quite happy to have it themselves? Not all of her chapters deal explicitly with her mental illness and are heavy. I enjoyed “Samuel L. Jackson is Trying to Kill Me” (spoiler: he’s not, it’s the autoimmune diseases attacking her body that yell at her in the voice of Samuel L. Jackson and she yells back at them: “CALM YOUR TITS!” which I find really funny). “Six Times I’ve Lost My Shoes While Wearing Them: A List that Shouldn’t Exist” is hilarious and I pretty much lost my shit reading “Awkwarding Brings Us Together” which isn’t even comprised of Jenny’s prose; it’s mostly tweets received by fans about the dumb things they’ve done/said. Don’t read this chapter while eating/drinking anything. If you do, prepare to laugh-spew. Also, if you read this chapter in public, make sure you are seated somewhere that allows you to comfortably collapse onto the ground in laughter. Ignore anyone glaring at you. People are very funny and when I say or do stupid things (which happens more often than I’d like), I’ll remember some of the horribly embarrassing situations these people voluntarily told Jenny Lawson about and think, well, at least I didn’t do/say that. Jenny Lawson’s Broken is pretty good. If you are familiar with her, then you know what to expect. My biggest complaint with her writing is the same one I always have one reviewing her books: she doesn’t know when to stop. The humor goes into overdrive, it’s amped way up, and when that happens it loses its charm for me and becomes ridiculous. Overall, though, I’m still enjoy her books and will continue to read her. I hope she continues to win in her battles with her insurance company and her mental illness. I recommend Broken or any of her earlier books if you think her zany humor is your cup of tea and/or you feel her struggles with mental illness will help you with yours or understand better the struggles of a loved one.

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