DISCLAIMER: I received this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for this review.
â€œFor the Depressosâ€ is how the reader is greeted within the first couple of pages of Jaqueline Novakâ€™s memoir, How to Weep in Public. Right away, weâ€™re told that her book isnâ€™t meant to help us get better and sheâ€™s not going to advise us to seek help. Instead, this tongue-in-cheek walk through depression encourages people who suffer from depression to embrace it; not only embrace it but to own it from the womb all the way through feeling like you might have a handle on the disease. Novak is constantly reminding us to give in to the side effects of depression while also causing us to laugh in public.
I chose to read this book because I heard great things, and besides, who doesnâ€™t like to have a laugh at depression? Without reading too much, other than the front cover, I automatically put Novak and her book into the Jenny Lawson category. Theyâ€™re both women, both suffer from depression, and theyâ€™re both funny. The comparisons end here. Instead of reading about Novakâ€™s experience with the disease, I found myself reading instructions on how to be depressed peppered with scenes from Novakâ€™s life. There were times when I wished I knew more about the author but I came to realize that I appreciated her focus. This book wasnâ€™t about her. It was about me. Itâ€™s about you. Itâ€™s about anyone who has ever felt sad. She really is trying to encourage us to lean in.
In one particularly funny part of the book, Novak talks about her obsession with self-help books, mainly Tony Robbins. Throughout the rest of my time with How To Weep In Public, I found myself thinking, â€œShe is the Tony Robbins of depression!â€ Honestly, it was refreshing to read a book that suggests you resign yourself to what youâ€™re going through. Hers is a self-help book but a self-help book of another breed. Does she have it all figured out? No, she readily admits. However, itâ€™s far better to read the thoughts of someone who has fought in the trenches rather than from someone who has overlooked the battle from their air conditioned comfy office.
If youâ€™re sad, if you know someone whoâ€™s battled depression, if youâ€™re just looking for a great memoir to readâ€¦pick up this book and allow yourself to weep in public.