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It's Okay to Laugh: (Crying Is Cool Too) Hardcover – May 24, 2016
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“This story will compel you to both laugh and cry, just as the title promises. May we all bring Nora’s honesty, passion and hope to our lives.” (Lena Dunham)
“An emotional rollercoaster of the highest order...It’s Okay to Laugh is that rare gem of a read, equal parts heartwarming and hysterical, that’ll make you laugh out loud, only to leave you tearing up a few pages later. I can’t recommend it highly enough.” (Lincoln Thompson, BuzzFeed)
“Deeply moving yet refreshingly funny” (PopSugar)
“This gorgeous and insightful memoir holds up the lens to mortality and leaves us with a reminder to make every moment count and value what is truly precious: time-and laughter.” (Refinery29)
“It’s Okay to Laugh is...an unapologetic tale of heartbreak and loss that is devoid of platitudes. I found myself laughing through my tears, but that’s the real experience of profound morning, and she nails it.” (Rebecca Soffer, writer, Modern Loss co-founder)
“Nora is Anne Lamott for the emoji generation...one of the best books you’ll read this year.” (MSP Magazine)
“A natural storyteller, Nora’s words will make you laugh and cry all in the same paragraph. She transforms what would be a heart-breaking memoir into a life-affirming anthem.” (David Gallaher, author of The Only Living Boy Series)
“It is funny, and it is sad, and it is real, and if you’ve ever been through anything in your life…you are going to love this book.” (Jennifer Weiner, New York Times Bestselling author of Who Do You Love)
From the Back Cover
comedy = tragedy + time/rosé
Twenty-seven-year-old Nora McInerny Purmort bounced from boyfriend to dopey “boyfriend” until she met Aaron—a charismatic art director and comic-book nerd who once made Nora laugh so hard she pulled a muscle. When Aaron was diagnosed with a rare form of brain cancer, they refused to let it limit their love. They got engaged on Aaron’s hospital bed and had a baby boy while he was on chemo. In the period that followed, Nora and Aaron packed fifty years of marriage into the three they got, spending their time on what really matters: Buffy the Vampire Slayer, each other, and Beyoncé. A few months later, Aaron died in Nora’s arms. The obituary they wrote during Aaron’s hospice care revealing his true identity as Spider-Man touched the nation. With It’s Okay to Laugh, Nora puts a young, fresh twist on the subjects of mortality and resilience. What does it actually mean to live your “one wild and precious life” to the fullest? How can a joyful marriage contain more sickness than health? How do you keep going when life kicks you in the junk? In this deeply felt and deeply funny memoir, Nora gives her readers a true gift—permission to struggle, permission to laugh, permission to tell the truth and know that everything will be okay. It’s Okay to Laugh is a love letter to life, in all its messy glory; it reads like a conversation with a close friend, and leaves a trail of glitter in its wake.
This book is for people who have been through some shit
This is for people who aren’t sure if they’re saying or doing the right thing (you’re not, but nobody is). This is for people who had their life turned upside down and just learned to live that way. For people who have laughed at a funeral or cried in a grocery store. This is for everyone who wondered what exactly they’re supposed to be doing with their one wild and precious life. I don’t actually have the answer, but if you find out, will you text me?
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I learned so much from Purmort. About what it means to do what you need to do. How to treat others in their time of need, as while I have been there, clearly not in her same situation, and now looking back, I am not proud of how I might have handled other’s grief before I truly understood it or experienced it myself. Maybe I was one of those friends who turned away for fear of hospitals or how to handle the dark times. There are things that we hear others say that are so inappropriate and just not comforting. She writes about the things people say in these dark times and when you read them, it is laughable, but if you were on the receiving end, not so much.
Chapter 37 is everything.
This is not a book about death. It is a book filled with love and great humor, keen observations, an openness that is refreshing.
To Nora, I say I am sorry for that you no longer have your kind father who loved you in the sweetest of ways. I know it hurts big time, that the love of your life was taken from you, there are no words. I am also sorry for the baby that you lost who never got to meet the incredible parents that he/she would have had.
If you don’t know the premise of the book, here it is in a nutshell: Nora experienced the loss of her unborn baby, her father, and her husband, all within weeks of each other. This book reads like a series of essays that jumps around a bit but all fits together perfectly in the end. I will say, however, when I read that last page I shouted “NOOO!” because I wasn’t ready to let go of the book.
One of my favorite parts came near the end:
“The world will keep spinning, and your life will get a little bit better every time you give up on the s*** that is taking you away from your one wild and precious life.”
Because THIS is what the book was about. Sure, it’s about grief and loss and pain but also love and hope and family and friendship. And not letting the little things drag us down. To remember that quitting is OK. In fact, quitting oftentimes IS the answer.
Read this book. You won't regret it. And if you're not liking it once you start? Just quit, because that's ok, too.