Words of comfort and giant squid attacking innocent people on dry land.

Amazon asked me to participate in their round-up of celebrity picks of the best books of 2016 and I suspect they confused me with Jennifer Lawrence but I still did it, although I picked way more than the 3 books that I was supposed to stick with and also I chose books that helped get me through 2016 even if they came out long ago so I broke all their rules and also I ended up not being Jennifer Lawrence.  I am very disappointing.  You can click here to read all about why I picked what I did.  If you’ve read anything that helped you find comfort in this year, feel free to share in the comments.  We could all do with some escape and comfort and magic.

(If you don’t want to go there, here they are: Unmentionable, Discworld, Stolen Things, Let Me Tell You, Akata Witch, Buffering, I’m Judging You, Shades of London, and everything by Jessie Burton and Rainbow Rowell.)

In unrelated news, Victor is in Japan this week and every year he goes there he’ll call on FaceTime and walk around a giant toystore and let Hailey pick out a stuffed animal, which is very surreal because basically I woke her up at midnight in Texas to let her visit a toy store existing in a sunny Japanese afternoon.  She picked a cat in a cloak, but I saw this awesome giant squid and I was all. “BUY THAT NOW” and Victor was like, “This is enormous.  I can’t fit that in my suitcase” and I was like, “Even better!  Because you’ll have to carry it with you on the plane and share a seat with it and you can use it as a pillow.  EVERYONE WINS.” And then he disagreed with me on the the meaning of the word “EVERYONE” but Amazon says I’m a “celebrity” so all bets are off on words and eventually he grumpily but with adorable resignation carried the giant squid and caped cat (and also a tiny slow loris) to the cash register.

I told him he should take Nicole Squidman everywhere and get pictures of her all over Japan and he totally balked but he did take one picture of Nicole Squidman climbing into his hotel window, except that most of the body was hanging out of the window and a breeze came and suddenly a giant squid plummeted nine stories down toward the polite screams of several confused pedestrians.  He considered just walking away from the whole thing but Victor is my personal hero so he went down to rescue Nicole Squidman and explained to the doorman who was holding her that his wife is insane and that she made this happen even though she’s in Texas right now.  I suspect that no matter how great Victor’s Japanese is the doorman suspected that he was using all of the wrong words, but regardless, Nicole Squidman is alive (ish) and well.

Technology is kind of amazing, y’all.

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175 thoughts on “Words of comfort and giant squid attacking innocent people on dry land.

Read comments below or add one.

  1. You need to plant a camera on victor so you can watch him doing all the things you ask him to do while he travels. I personally would have loved to watch the explanation/retrieval of Nicole Squidman, even if I don’t speak Japanese.

  2. OMG that is awesome!! I want something giant and huge to take to Vegas next week…then I can take pictures at the most awkward times and completely embarrass my soon to be husband! It’s a win win for everyone! Yeah Victor for being awesome!

  3. This made me legit LOL. Nicole Squidman is the only acceptable name for this beauty. Shame about her recent plummet, but hopefully she’s recovered.

  4. Okay, I’m sending this story to my husband and accusing him of losing to Victor in the Husband Olympics. Because that squid is freakin’ awesome, and dropping it on random passersby was hilarious (I will never believe that it was an accident, don’t even try to convince me.)

    Plus, last time my husband went overseas on business, he failed to get video of his boss accidentally lighting herself on fire while doing shots at the hotel bar. Compare that to Nicole Squidman and he’s reallybehind.

  5. I am laughing so hard, just imagining the people on the street, looking up to see a giant squid diving at them.

  6. I’m a little disappointed that Victor forgot to hook a Go Pro camera to Nicole Squidman before her unplanned descent. But, I concede, the descent was unplanned, and he probably left his crystal ball at home. Please. For the good of allkind, put it on his packing list for next time.

  7. Good Omens is what im reading (ish) right now. Because it hilarious and fuck and other need that level of hilarious to survive the soul crushing get going on at the moment.

  8. There’s someone in Japan telling the story of how they were walking down the street when they were suddenly attacked by a squid, & nobody believes them.

  9. “The Book: On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are” by Alan Watts; “Hyperbole and a Half ” by Ally Brosh; Neither of those were published this year, either, but they did give me comfort and laughs.

  10. Does Victor have a brother or male cousin living on the West coast? This guy is truly a keeper

  11. Victor is amazing and so is the squid…you are lucky to have them both…well you really don’t have the squid yet and almost didn’t, but once again Victor comes to the rescue…

  12. Books that inspired me-
    Yours. Which I have read. Re read. Sent to friends and listened to on audio. To clarify- I rarely re-read books. Especially not so soon after first reading them. But yours made me laugh until I cried and also cry until I laughed.

    The Flavia Deluce series.

    Truth and Beauty.

    Now, we need to talk about that squid.
    My husband can never just hug me. He has to half wrap himself around me so I feel like I am being suffocated and I rather dislike this. Mainly this happens in bed. So I can’t move or like breathe and he is half asleep and heavy and won’t move and then I have to start yelling and biting him. Hence, he is known. As the giant squid. So I found your squid story fantastic. However, her name. Her name is faboulous.

  13. This is probably a little off beat, but a great read. This is especially good for understanding yourself and your interactions with other people.The Road Back to You: An Enneagram Journey to Self-Discovery by Ian Morgan Cron and Suzanne Stabile

    It’s helped me through some rough spots and helped me reconnect with myself a bit. It’s a work in progress anyway.

  14. NICOLE SQUIDMAN. You should create a service where you’ll name people’s pets for them. Like we tell you about us and what the animal is and you do your word-y magic thing. I’d pay for that. I think a lot of people would.

  15. I saw a giant octopus on my work trip on Monday, and I didn’t buy it. I hate myself.

    I second “Unmentionable.” I bought it on release day on your recommendation, and it was so very good. And funny. Her sense of humor rings a bell with me.

  16. That is an extremely rad squid! I am jealous.

    I have a couple of books that are pretty much comfort food to me. This year, I’ve re-read a lot of my books on Tudor history (particularly the ones by Alison Weir). I’m currently re-reading The Witch of Portobello.

  17. This is seriously the best fucking thing I’ve read in a week. The name of the squid made me snort carbonated water out of my nose. Which hurt like crazy. But worth it. Also Victor is an amazing human being.

  18. Victor is wonderful. You should clone him. You could make billions.

    My comfort books tend towards the very British/Irish end. Rosemund Pilcher’s Coming Home, The Shell Seekeers, and September. Maeve Binchy’s Firefly Summer, Circle of Friends, and Light A Penny Candle. The Little Princess and The Secret Garden. They’re all like being wrapped in an eiderdown and I think I need to go read one again because life is stressing me out too much these days.

  19. I was honestly expecting something more the size of a small child. In light of this, I have to say that I admire your restraint. You are a more considerate wife than I.

  20. Nicole Squidman is the BEST SQUID NAME EVER. And I am so envious of you in knowing she is coming to stay with you.

    I have lots of comfort reads–mostly horse and dog books I read when I was a child (the ones where I know ALL THE ANIMALS LIVE). I’ve been re-reading them a lot lately.

  21. You should also consider reading The Rivers of London series by Ben Aaronovitch. Judging by your list, you might like it. (I’m not related to the author or anything, I just really like your reading list. Off to buy all the ones I don’t already have, and re-read the ones I do).

  22. The poor Japanese can’t get a break… Godzilla, Mothra, Gamara and now… Nicole Squidman raining down on them! And I sent the link to this to Mr.POSSLQ and he did the sort of sigh that I imagine Victor probably does frequently.

    And now I sortve want a giant stuffed squid.

  23. It’s the attack of the flying squid! (Sorry, I couldn’t resist.) I am a bit confused though. I thought tentacled things weirded you out.

  24. Omg omg omg amazing. Victor should thank you everyday because without you his life would be so boring. So glad Nicole is ok. The three books that go me through this year are both your books and the new Stephanie plumb and sofie kelly’s book. Ok so technically that’s four.

  25. I live in Japan, and I can assure you that the doorman would have completely understood. Weird stuff like that happens all the time.

  26. Liberal Redneck Manifesto: Draggin’ Dixie Out Of The Dark (Trae Crowder, Corey Ryan Forrester, Drew Morgan)

    Ok, technically I have only read the sample because I’m broke and afraid if I buy it something is going to bounce, so I’ve been reading the opening over and over to remind me that yes there is sanity and hope for the South, even though the authors left Texas off of their Southern Food Map, probably because they were afraid of Taco Trucks or The Revenge Of Beevo At The BBQ.

    Also, Trae has been added to my imaginary dinner party guest list, and I’m going to sit him next to you. I think you’ll get along famously.

  27. There are no words in any language to adequately describe the awesomeness of every aspect of this post. NONE.

  28. I have spent this year making my way through the Discworld series again. It is one of the few things that has kept me sane by allowing me to laugh at the absurdity of it all.

  29. Even though Victor is always wrong, he’s a great guy!

    I think Victor needs to stage a scene in which Nicole has Poky the Loris in her tentacles and then the Cloaked Kitty Crusader comes to the rescue! Can you please have Victor do that the next time you FaceTime? KThnxBai.

  30. You need to post another picture to show scale. Perhaps Victor holding the squid? Preferably someplace very public?

  31. Today’s my 38th wedding anniversary and this post is THE BEST ANNIVERSARY PRESENT EVER!!! Unless I could get a Nicole Squidman look-alike. That would be awesome!

  32. 2016 has been the worst year. A series of unfortunate personal events coupled with dreadful world events have left me shaken. My anxiety is so bad that I jangle.

    I read Let’s Pretend This Never Happened on a flight from London to Leeds. I was laughing so hard that people were staring. Reading this blog makes me laugh or feel reassured that I’m not alone with my anxiety or warped sense of humor

  33. “Nicole Squidman” OMG I just fell in love with you all over again!! The book that has helped me make it through 2016 is “Furiously Happy”. That is NO LIE! I have read it about 6 times and given it as a gift no less than 10 times. Thank you!!

  34. I love that you have Victor, Victor has you, and Hailey has you both 🙂 that makes me furiously happy 🙂

  35. It’s not new and not fiction, but Trauma and Recovery by Judith Herman has been the most important book I read so far this year. I learned a lot, but I would read it just for how deliciously crisp the writing is.

  36. My 3ish* books: Furiously Happy; Let’s Pretend This Never Happened; Mister God, This is Anna by Fynn (which is a compilation of 3 books: Anna and Mister God, Anna’s Book, and Anna and the Black Night); Big Magic by Liz Gilbert; and Rex the Boy King by Lisa DeLay…

    *I don’t follow rules either, but I’m not a celebrity yet so we’ll pretend I’m getting a head start on not having to.

    PS: I would also carry the ginormousest fake squid around the planet for the one I loved… if I were ever asked to.

  37. When Nicole Squidman gets home, we need some pictures that show her in perspective. She seems too small there in the window. I want to see her ginormosnous. (It is so a word, Spellcheck.)

    I wonder if someone in the (Tokyo?) airport will take a picture of him carrying it and it will get posted and go viral or something.

  38. I once had to tell a man his goat was running away. In French. To be far my French is ok. But I couldn’t remember the would for running and so I pulled out my best Eddie Izard and told him his goat had disappeared. So while school didn’t teach me useful French like how to ask for the bill I did know enough to communicate with a random French man in a tiny village in the south of France.

    Also my knowledge of animals in sigh language is coming in handy with my child. Although he will be stuck with giraffes, elephants, foxes, zebras, goats, and octopuses for toys. And a French monkey name Maurice le singe.

  39. Oh my goodness! I’ve had an especially rough day, and didn’t realize just how badly I needed that laugh until just now! Thank you for images of a giant squid plummeting onto the crowd below. Worthy of a “Knock, knock mother f***er” in my book! Now when I’m introducing people to your page, I will share the story of not only Beyoncé but Nicole Squidman as well!

  40. Victor is now my hero, too. Anyone who would rescue Nicole Squidman is a hero. He should get a medal. A giant, shiny, rhinestone-covered, dinner-plate-sized medal that he needs to wear at dressy events.

  41. Did he see the Trump float over there? My friend staying in Japan sent back a picture and story about it.

    (No, but he did see a 6 foot gremlin. ~ Jenny)

  42. Nicole Squidman is badass :-). Now I’m trying to come up with more celebrity animal pun names…um…Alanis Marmoset? Neil Gaiman’s “The View from the Cheap Seats” has been a huge comfort this year, and I never get tired of Jane Austen. I followed your recommendation to read Jon Ronson and Mary Roach’s books and I wasn’t disappointed. They’re awesome! I’m really looking forward to your next book.

  43. One of the things NOT getting me through 2016, is the fact I have read every Discworld book, and I won’t ever get another one.

  44. Too funny. Poor Victor. Apparently there’s a gojira (godzilla) slide/playground over there that I was sent a picture of, so maybe they’d take it as something like Mothra appearing? Too bad someone didn’t have a giant lizard near by.

    Also have to give him props if his Japanese is good enough to explain that incident….

  45. I would like to point out that while you may not see yourself as a celebrity, this strange little tribe certainly does. Keep being you Jenny.

  46. I tracked my husband down just to read him this. He remains Victor’s biggest fan and would happily buy him a drink at any point. Loved thus!

  47. That man is a legitimate hero for buying you a giant squid. My boyfriend approached this realm of awesomeness at one point (when he bought me all of the Pop! figures from Firefly!) But there were neither giant cephalopoids nor a trip to Japan, so I think Victor plays in a separate, higher league, LOL!

  48. Not to be a kiss as, but I discovered your writing this year and those two books (and some therapy!) have honestly kept me on the safe side (not harming myself!) of crazy. Also, I loved “The hotel at the corner of bitter and sweet”

  49. 5th grade, my sons homeroom class gets a goldfish & they have a contest to name it. My kid immediately came up with Splash Gordon for his entry. He fully expected his classmates to not get it, but he lost all faith in his young-ish teacher when she didn’t get it either. Winning entry? Bubbles. 🙄🙄 two years later & my kid is still irritable that “bubbles” beat out a genius name like Splash Gordon LMAO. he will love Nicole Squidman!

  50. I live for your posts. You are my hero but I am so jealous of your squid that I can hardly see straight. I console myself with the fact that you are a celebrity/goddess/lifesaver and probably deserve a squid more than I do.

  51. Oh Jenny, you are a blessing to all of us when our meds are not quite enough. Victor Rocks! The whole storyline would be the best Hallmark card commercial ever.

  52. Nicole Squidman makes me happy on so many levels., thank you. Also, have you read the Chronicles of St Marys books by Jodi Taylor? You will love them forever, and me for recommending them :- although that might not be forever because you celebrity types are notoriously fickle G.

  53. Oh, this is just wonderful. I’m in the middle of a depression episode right now and this is the first time I’ve smiled in weeks.

  54. I 💗 this post & Congrats to you on Nicole Squidman 🐙! Can’t wait until your pets meet her-
    Get well wishes to Hailey, home from the ER❣
    Jenny, my sweet little Yorkie just died…I was Not with him in CA. I am in Chicago with my Dad. I am heartbroken 💔 cause I didn’t get to say Goodbye. Am Grieving hard for my boy, Muffin 😇🐶
    He was my heart dog for 17 years. I can’t believe he is really gone.

  55. As I try to think of a Fish-name for Keith Urban, I must mention a must-read book which I would put as best of 2016. Sara Benincasa’s “Real Artists Have Day Jobs”. Its a wonderful collection of life reassurances.

    With Leonard Cohen’s passing, I’m suggesting anyone who has not read a book of his poetry do so, and for his novels, “Beautiful Losers”, which is an epic masterpiece of Canadian literature.

    Peace, Love, Wine and Calamari.

    @WriterDann

  56. You. Are. The. BEST! You make my day everyday in some little way! (Totally didn’t mean to go all Hallmark on you there.)

  57. Gosh, I have been having such a rough couple of weeks and this just totally made my day. Or week even. I need a new, fun stuffed animal to go on adventures with, obviously. Well, maybe I could just take my dog on adventures…maybe.

  58. YES. Books and a squid.

    The Outlander series pretty much keeps me alive. And I discovered your books this year at really the most perfect time possible. Not to gush or anything.

  59. The squid is darling. I see why you wanted it.

    The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson was my inspiration this year.

  60. My roller derby name is sLow Loris and my nickname is sLoLo. My number is s1010, which I actually squealed with delight about, when I thought of it.
    So, if your slow loris doesn’t have a name yet, might I humbly suggest sLoLo?
    Please also let me know if you do decide to do that, because I will have bragging rights for life.

    Thank you for continuing to share the life of your family and the struggles of yourself. I feel like you have a pretty clear idea of just how much you mean to people, but I also know that impostor syndrome and depression have a way of making people doubt themselves, even amongst a bajillion nice things being said.

    I appreciate you, for the part in my life that you don’t even know you play.

  61. As a person with long-term, treatment resistant depression and an abiding love of all things cephalopod, I need to know where to buy my own giant, snuggle-squid.

  62. A Series of Unfortunate Events (all of the books) is wonderful for many reasons, but especially because of its reminders of what is truly important and what should be celebrated.

    Also, if you have Nicole Squidman then you need a toy shark so he can be Teeth Urban.

  63. Hearing the news this morning of the Trump cabinet picks I thought of two songs from my youth that helped me think about it. Music hath power. . . Power to the People, power to the people, power to the people right on! We Shall Overcome, we shall overcome, we shall overcome someday! I miss you Martin and John.

  64. When I was newly out of college and living in northern California, I met up with my sister’s family when they were visiting family in San Diego. (All blessings on her inlaws who let me crash the visit!) We did a day trip to Tijuana and I fell for a Godzilla pinata. It was a lark coming home with him on my lap on the tram. It was a lark seeing all the smiles as people saw him. Commuters, airport people, you name it – he made them laugh. He sat on the checkin counter for a while.

    And then I found out he wouldn’t fit in the overhead compartment. He wouldn’t fit under the seats either. The flight attendant looked left & right and took him from my lap and said “Let’s see what I can do.” She came back and told me she’d found a place.

    At the end of the flight, she waved me over to the kitchen and we waited for people to clear out so we could get Godzilla out of the cockpit.

    Godzilla in the cockpit!

    I’m sure that’s not where he really spent the trip — even before 9/11 the FAA would have frowned — but sitting at the gate, he was looking out the front window like a big hound dog peering over the driver’s shoulder.

  65. Had a nasty cold hit up every member of my family this week starting with me, the family nurse. Its been a tough one. Thank you so much for this burst of laughter.

  66. Jenny, I have to write to you. I found “Furiously Happy” in a bookstore in Eureka, CA on the drive home from picking my daughter up from her sophomore year in college in June – a wonderful trip. When Rory and his jazz hands caught my eye, I instantly became a fan. This book was the first I’d heard your name, but the words written there, along with those in “Let’s Pretend This Never Happened” and your blog have been nothing short of a blessing to me. The raw honesty and sincerity with you which you communicate your challenges are both humbling and brilliant. Why we have all been made to feel mental health is something to keep to ourselves is beyond me – unfair, unhealthy – many “uns.” Thank you for your gracious, painfully honest expression of your very real life – may you be lifted up, when you need it most, by those in the trenches with you, as well as those who read your words and understand what the trenches are. Keep undoing the “uns,” Jenny – we are here with you!

  67. Also u could be Jenny Crusie, a magnificent love, murder, sex author I adore, next to u of course.
    or pH.D

  68. I have lived in Japan. It is not the weirdest thing to happen (raining calimari). Surprised it didn’t make a Japanese television show (not the news). There is a giant metal spider sculpture near Ropanggi (in Tokyo), don’t ask Victor to bring that home. 1) it really is too big, 2) it wouldn’t get past the metal detectors and 3) it is really creepy. If he is still there you might ask for a picture though, squid vs spider.

  69. Thank you for this post and for making me laugh so hard I cried. God fucking bless you, Jenny! I don’t remember my life before finding this blog, but I know that it must have been lame as shit!

  70. I have a stuffed squid. His name is “Newman”. Not nearly as cool as Nicole Squidman but we all must start somewhere. I can’t even begin to tell you how much I love your blog. And your books. And pretty much everything about you. OK, that sounded a bit weird.

  71. Nicole Squidman is awesome! Wow. To have a husband like Victor must be enormously wonderful. He not only got you the giant squid, he put it out the window for you to see! You are so very lucky.
    The best book I’ve read in 2016? Most definitely Furiously Happy. I finished reading it two days ago, and then immediately flipped to the first page and started reading it again. Everyone on my therapy team knows about your book and how much it has helped me these past couple months.

  72. can I just say props to victor? Only your true love will bring you a stuffed Cephalopod from halfway around the world…

  73. Watership Down. Reading it once again right now, in fact. Maybe my favorite old books will get me through this divorce. I ask the universe each night to never let me wake again.

  74. A Year of Marvellous Ways by Sarah Winman (there’s mermaids in the story) Know Thy Beholder by Adam Rapp (main character spends almost entire book in bathrobe).

  75. Just wanted to leave you a note to tell you that I just bought Let’s Pretend This Never Happened, and pre-ordered You Are Here. Spent all the Christmas money I had, but oh well. Merry Christmas to me! (And to you. Definitely to you.)

  76. My best book is Furiously Happy, Jenny. I saw it by accident ar Barnes and Noble and bought it. Best. Book. Ever. After I read it, I immediately read it again, bought another copy to share, and then downloaded the ebook that you so generously shared. You’ve helped me understand myself and my daughter better, and made me laugh till I cried. I then bought your first book, and loved it, too. Thank you so much!

  77. Really enjoying Furiously Happy. I am in 2 book groups and recommended it to both. Post election we need something to make us laugh. Both groups have selected it – which is a plus for me 😉 You are laugh out loud funny. Thank you!

  78. Cephalopods cuddle babies better – true story! So pretty sure Nicole Squidman is a therapy animal. (http://www.bournemouthecho.co.uk/news/14913656.The_crocheted_octopuses_that_help_tiniest_babies_feel_safe/)

    Incapable of facing new fiction books at the moment so happily re-reading Golden Era mysteries (Ngaio Marsh, Margery Allingham, Patricia Wentworth et al – Dorothy Sayers gets saved for genuine emergencies) and mentally designing info-graphics to illustrate trends in victims, murder methods, and love interests.

  79. Nicole Squidman is nothing short of resplendent. I also enjoy that it is orange and Nicole is a natural redhead – meant to be! Japan is pretty much the perfect place for that to happen what with Godzilla and their general love of seafood. It’s like the seafood was fighting back.

  80. Your ability to come up with amazing names for things is admirable.
    I so wish I could have been in a cafe across the street just so I could witness a giant squid falling from the sky onto a bunch of unsuspecting civilians. Why does stuff like this not happen more regularly?!?

  81. First thing – I second what commenter Chuck Baudelaire said – what about Victor Squidkeeper’s other two passengers?
    Second thing – it appears OUR younger generation isn’t the only one who’s disappointing. For a nation that gave us Mothra and Godzilla and their exploits, a giant (albeit plushy) squid falling from the sky should be a “hey, it’s just a day that ends in ‘y'” moment vs. a panic-inducing scenario for any Japanese doorman.

  82. My 9 year old daughter asked me to read Furiously Happy. She is more than animal lover; she speaks squirrel fluently. I am now adding racoons as well. I refuse to accept my reality but seeing you relish yours is empowering. Thanks!!

  83. You have the best husband ever! Also, gonna check out “Unmentionable: The Victorian Lady’s Guide…” This year in general has been difficult and the books I recommend that helped me out are “Milk & Honey” by Rupi Kaur and “Salt is for Curing” by Sonya Votomsky. Continue being your brave, beautiful ,hilarious self!

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