Sometimes you just need a book that feels like a silly hug, and Little Weirds by Jenny Slate provides just that.
Little Weirds is a book of essays that is not easily definable. Slate writes about love, being a woman, her parents, art & science, and her dreams. One essay breaks the fourth wall; a chapter titled “Introduction/Explanation/Guidelines for Consumption,” that is slightly autobiographical yet invites the reader to participate however they see fit. She writes little vignettes about her childhood, her mother, dog sitting, and growing up in a haunted house. She makes magic out of the everyday moments, and is singularly wacky about it.
I can’t wait to find the person who will come into the kitchen just to smell my neck and get behind me and hug me and breathe me in and make me turn around and make me kiss his face and put my hands in his hair even with my soapy dishwater drips. I am a lovely woman. Who will come into my kitchen and be hungry for me?Excerpt from Little Weirds by Jenny Slate
You may recognize Jenny Slate’s name from her other roles as an actor and comedian. There’s her excellent Netflix stand up special, Stage Fright, the incomparable Mona Lisa from Parks & Recreation, her lead role in the slightly unorthodox, but lovely romantic comedy Obvious Child, and many others.
Slate has a unique brand of emotive and expressive humour that can poke fun at the absurdity of the world while also reveling in it. She is also an unbelievably honest and lush writer.
I first read this book a few years ago upon its release in 2019, and I still think about this excerpt all the time: “I can’t wait to find the person who will come into the kitchen just to smell my neck and get behind me and hug me and breathe me in and make me turn around and make me kiss his face and put my hands in his hair even with my soapy dishwater drips. I am a lovely woman. Who will come into my kitchen and be hungry for me?”
You wouldn’t necessarily expect a person who has made a career of being funny to also be able to write devastatingly honest desires and dreams like this, but Slate really can do it all.
If you’re looking for a funny, light read that is easy to pick up and put down – and is a little different stylistically – I highly recommend Little Weirds. There’s a little something in here for everyone, and I assure you it will make you laugh and pull at your heartstrings in equal measure.
Photo credit: Design by Mollie Suss; Photo by Rich Polk via Getty Images