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Can't We Talk about Something More Pleasant?: A Memoir
Can't We Talk about Something More Pleasant?: A Memoir | Roz Chast
#1 "New York Times" Bestseller2014 NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALISTIn her first memoir, Roz Chast brings her signature wit to the topic of aging parents. Spanning the last several years of their lives and told through four-color cartoons, family photos, and documents, and a narrative as rife with laughs as it is with tears, Chast's memoir is both comfort and comic relief for anyone experiencing the life-altering loss of elderly parents.When it came to her elderly mother and father, Roz held to the practices of denial, avoidance, and distraction. But when Elizabeth Chast climbed a ladder to locate an old souvenir from the "crazy closet" with predictable results the tools that had served Roz well through her parents' seventies, eighties, and into their early nineties could no longer be deployed.While the particulars are Chast-ian in their idiosyncrasies an anxious father who had relied heavily on his wife for stability as he slipped into dementia and a former assistant principal mother whose overbearing personality had sidelined Roz for decades the themes are universal: adult children accepting a parental role; aging and unstable parents leaving a family home for an institution; dealing with uncomfortable physical intimacies; managing logistics; and hiring strangers to provide the most personal care.An amazing portrait of two lives at their end and an only child coping as best she can, "Can't We Talk about Something More Pleasant" will show the full range of Roz Chast's talent as cartoonist and storyteller."
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BkClubCare
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Pickpick

I‘m not ready! With this book, my city is planning wonderful opportunities to educate, prepare, and inspire people to have the necessary conversations on the topics of aging and death. Thankfully, my mom is reading this with me. But yikes 🫣
The backdrop in this picture is my bath remodel in progress … and stalled; because our hired help is deep in the caring frustrations with his elderly mother. Be careful out there, m‘friends. ❤️

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BkClubCare
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Mom and I attended the kickoff for the Wichita KS Big Read! Exciting and interesting events surrounding this year‘s book to inspire everyone to be prepared; to start and have important conversations about death. #BigReadWichita

TEArificbooks I love Watermark books. I ordered from them sometimes and just did last week. I like their new mugs. 3w
Ruthiella Is your mom a reader too? 🤔 3w
BkClubCare @TEArificbooks - soooo, not in Wichita? Are you KS? 3w
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BkClubCare @Ruthiella - oh yes. BIG BIG reader (while walking thru the library where the kickoff was held, I (of course) was showing off pointing at books on display that I‘ve read, and saw The Violin Conspiracy and told her she should read it. (Shocked it wasn‘t on someone‘s hold!!!/ that it was on a shelf, just waiting) (edited) 3w
TEArificbooks I used to live in Wichita, I was born and raised in Kansas and lived there for 25 years. I lived in Wichita for a few years. I used to go to the book clubs at Watermark. Still my favorite indie. 3w
BkClubCare @TEArificbooks - awesome. I returned to ICT after decade + in New England/ East Coast. Came back a few years ago 3w
Suet624 That sounds like such fun!! 2w
39 likes1 stack add7 comments
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jlhammar
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I love Roz Chast and this graphic memoir is fantastic. So honest and moving. Had me laughing aloud throughout. For me, finding humor in the darkness (aging parents in this case) is essential and Chast does it so well.

#LaughOutLoud #BookMoods
@Eggs @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks

Eggs 💙👏🏻😆 10mo
Suzze That sounds good, I just downloaded it on Libby! 10mo
52 likes1 stack add2 comments
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TheLudicReader
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Classroom bookhaul #2. 😂

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Beatlefan129
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Pickpick

As I read this book, I shared many pages with my husband as his parents are older than mine and not in the best health. Aging and death are really difficult to talk about, and I love how Chast explored these topics through her words and especially her illustrations. I particularly like her drawings of her father—you can feel his anxiety just by looking at him.

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cwarnier
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Hey all these are my thoughts for the graphic novel round 10 #lmpbc picks. What are your thoughts?
@LibrarianRyan @Buchbeeg @Littlewolf1

LibrarianRyan My vote is for sweet tooth because I‘ve read the other two. But I would read Maus again. I still need to finish book 2. 2y
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Littlewolf1 I‘m up for Sweet tooth 2y
Buchbeeg They all sound interesting to me 2y
cwarnier Sweet Tooth it is then. 2y
16 likes6 comments
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librarygoddess619
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The Kindle version of this graphic novel is on sale today for $1.99. I highly recommend it! ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

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librarygoddess619
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Pickpick

This was an at times funny, at times painful to read, but always a touching memoir of a daughter watching the downhill decline of both of her parents. Very well done, I highly recommend.
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

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amber_ldsmom
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Mehso-so

A #ParentChildMemoir about taking care of parents in their old age. It was so very depressing. I don‘t want to get old! 😭 #Booked2020

BarbaraTheBibliophage Taking care of my parents as they aged was one of the hardest things I‘ve ever done. Don‘t know how you‘d make it funny ... glad you got the prompt checked off! (edited) 3y
amber_ldsmom @BarbaraTheBibliophage There were a few attempts at humor, but she didn‘t try to hide the fact that it was all just very, very sad and draining. 3y
Cinfhen I‘m not sure I could read this now. Thank God my parents are well but they are getting to that age ☹️ 3y
22 likes3 comments
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Addison_Reads
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Pickpick

At some point we all have to face getting old. This book deals with all the difficult conversations one faces when dealing with an aging parent. It's funny in parts, sad in parts, but honest and necessary.

Great book for those who like graphic memoirs.

Smrloomis Completely agree. This is a really great graphic novel 👍🏽 3y
31 likes2 stack adds1 comment
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throwmeabook
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Pickpick

This one was featured in ‘1000 Books to Read Before You Die‘ and caught my eye. A memoir, told through comics interspersed with prose, of the author‘s last few years with her parents, their health decline and death. Honestly this one hit close to home as my husband and I care for his aging parents and aunt. There was a lot of head nodding on my part, lots of laughs and even a few tears.⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ #Booked2019 #Booked2019summer #comicorgraphicnovel

BarbaraTheBibliophage Aww sounds like a good pick! 📚♥️👊🏻 4y
BkClubCare Oh! It‘s on the 1000+ list? Cool 2w
36 likes1 stack add2 comments
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Tex2Flo
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Someth8ng rotten, cruel shoes, live flesh...
Can‘t we talk about something more pleasant?
As you wish.
An object of beauty—magical thinking
#bookspinepoetry

14 likes1 comment
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kaykay521
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Pickpick

I read this in about two sittings. Roz‘s account of her elderly parents decline and eventual deaths in their late 90s was both hilarious and absolutely heart wrenching. By the end I was in absolute tears I think anyone who‘s ever cared for a sick or elderly loved one will be able to relate

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Krisjericho
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Pickpick

An almost painfully honest graphic memoir about dealing with the aging and death of parents. Chast addresses the humor and the difficult relationships and the resentment unflinchingly, and it becomes a poignant and heartfelt story that made me remember that someday, most of us will have to deal with this for ourselves and our loved ones.

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sherri
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Birthday book haul

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Layali926
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Very interesting and funny graphic novel so far👍

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Hoopiefoot
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A heartwarming and heartbreaking book. I just finished it and now I‘m going to send a copy to my mom, who‘s doing the bulk of the caregiving to her parents.

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megnews
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Pickpick

“It felt surreal: I‘m eating pizza. My father just died. Do you want another slice?”
In this graphic novel, Chast is spot on with the many, varied feelings and experiences a loved one goes through as a parent ages and the surreal feeling when they‘re finally gone and you‘re left to grapple with unresolved issues and a home full of memories to clean out.

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BritanyA
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Pickpick

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️: This was excellent!! A memoir every person should pick up and gain some perspective. Heartwarming and hard at times, Chast deftly navigates telling her story. #Memoir #GraphicNovel

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candority
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Pickpick

This graphic novel memoir tackles the difficult subject of aging parents in an honest and insightful way. Roz Chast takes us through her experiences, never shying away from reality, which at times is equal parts confusing, humorous, and devastating. I'm sure that almost everyone will find something relatable and comforting in these pages.

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dariazeoli
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“It's no accident that most ads are pitched to people in their 20s and 30s...they are less likely to have gone through the transformative process of cleaning out their deceased parents' stuff. Once you go through that, you can never look at *your* stuff in the same way. You start to look at your stuff a little postmortemistically...I'm not saying I never buy stuff, because I absolutely do. Maybe I'm less naive about the joys of accumulation.”

Librariana I need to pick this one up. I read and enjoyed 5y
AlaMich Sooooo true!! 5y
CouronneDhiver Yes!!!! So true 5y
SandyW My 98 yo MIL is in Chast's Brooklyn. I can totally relate to this book. 😲 5y
46 likes1 stack add4 comments
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Adventures-of-a-French-Reader
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Pickpick

I went from amused to sad in reading this memoir by Roz Chast about the decline of her parents. A must read.

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ValerieAndBooks
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Pickpick

It may seem strange to say I loved this GN about the author's aging parents and their eventual deaths -- no one loves the idea of their parents aging, regardless of how well (or not) they get along. However, Chast's honesty is such that most readers (but maybe not anyone under the age of 25) can relate in some way & maybe not feel as alone. And seeing what my parents and also some of my friends had to deal with, this ☝️page I can understand.

Leftcoastzen Omg ! I am trying to downsize -organize my stuff , my mom really wants me to keep everything she treasures when she's gone, sheesh ,this is my life😂😳 (edited) 6y
Bookzombie I loved this GN too! I also related to bits of it. 6y
Aleida Just took mother in last week. It's been a difficult transition for everyone, but she's doing well. But I must be frank. I think once her bedroom/in-law suite is built, we will all breathe a little easier. Do I sound cunty? Sorry, just a bit overwhelmed. I do love her dearly. 6y
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ValerieAndBooks @Leftcoastzen it's hard to think about the stuff! I don't want my parents' collections. And I've been less and less inclined to buy stuff except for books of course 😊! 6y
ValerieAndBooks @Bookzombie yes, it's hard not to relate to at least some of it. 6y
ValerieAndBooks @Aleida hope the transition adjusts to a more comfortable level for you all. Don't feel bad for your thoughts -- the author here was quite frank about her conflicted feelings -- if you haven't read this yet, you might want to (but maybe not right in front of your mom!) 6y
Aleida Lol! Under my sheets with a flashlight, then. 6y
56 likes3 stack adds7 comments
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ValerieAndBooks
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Roz Chast's parents lived to be 95 and 97, but not without health (and other) struggles. Such a honest book, and I can't put it down!

Suet624 Loved this book. 6y
ValerieAndBooks @Suet624 I just finished and I loved it too. So much to ponder!! 6y
batsy I really want to read this! I think I might relate to it quite a bit, living with an aging mother whom I love dearly but who has her moments, shall we say. 6y
ValerieAndBooks @batsy Give it a try. The author had much more complicated feelings about her parents especially her mom, but you may still get something out of this. 6y
50 likes2 stack adds4 comments
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ValerieAndBooks
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Took 12 books in to donate, brought home 13 via their fill a bag sale ($17+tax). "Done into Dance", about Isadora Duncan, is going to my daughter. So I broke even, right ??!

The Pocket Poets is hard to see -- Baudelaire.

Gao Xingjian is because I desperately needed an X for #LitsyAtoZ.


LauraBrook You totally broke even. 😁 6y
BarbaraTheBibliophage Proud of you for giving books away! 👏🏻👏🏻 6y
vivastory This is what's known as the bibliophiles dozen 6y
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Leftcoastzen Wow! 6y
LeahBergen I bought A Separate Peace a few months ago. Have you read it before? 6y
batsy Savage Beauty is brilliant. 6y
ValerieAndBooks @LauraBrook I knew you'd understand this kind of reasoning 😊📚!! 6y
ValerieAndBooks @BarbaraTheBibliophage if I kept every book I read, there probably would be no room left in the house 😂!! 6y
ValerieAndBooks @vivastory bibliophiles dozen -- haha, perfect 👏🙌! 6y
ValerieAndBooks @LeahBergen I have not read that one before although I've heard of it. It was in the "local" section of the bookstore among travel guides and junior league cookbooks -- it does seem to take place locally ?‍♀️! 6y
ValerieAndBooks @batsy I can't wait to get to it -- it does look fascinating! 6y
80 likes1 stack add11 comments
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BooksForYears
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#AndItsAugust Day 21 - Senior Citizen

As Roz's senior citizen parents near the end of their lives, she must navigate the world of elder care while reconciling her contentious relationship with them.

She poignantly and honestly depicts their last years in her illustration style, and also includes copies of photographs so the reader can see what hoarding took place in their tiny, Brooklyn apartment.

Cinfhen I've heard great things about this GN 😊 6y
Hestapleton THIS. BOOK. IS. SO. GOOD. ❤️❤️❤️ 6y
Zelma When I read this, I remember coming down pretty hard on Chast for being so negative. However, after more time in the thick of caregiving and dealing with my mother-in-law's decline, I would probably have a very different reaction. 6y
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BooksForYears @Zelma You're so right. My family is currently struggling as caregivers for an elderly relative, and this book has been very helpful & supportive. 6y
Caryl This is a fantastic book. Great choice for today's prompt! 6y
Jinjer I'm taking care of my 90-yo mother. Maybe I will read this book. 6y
84 likes6 stack adds6 comments
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Betty_Bookworm
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Pickpick

This book is hitting close to home as I am dealing with my own parents aging and their need for more help from me. Sigh.

batsy Yes, I feel like elder care is not something that's talked about enough. Need to pick up this book. 6y
11 likes1 comment
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lycomayflower
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slategreyskies Somebody has way more space in their kitchen drawers than I do. I wish I had enough drawers to keep one full of jar lids! 😂 6y
DivineDiana Agree! @slategreyskies (edited) 6y
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Michael_Gee
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Pickpick

I want to live in the world Roz Chast creates. Her insight, wit, and brutal honesty combine with her inimitable and hilarious drawings to show a reality that must feel real and similar to many ppl caring for aging parents. She does not shy away from the uncomfortable, nor does she offer pat "revelations," but it offers a frank hand to those in a heartbreaking, frustrating situation, and shows the humor that can be found even there. ????

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Mindyrecycles
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Pickpick
Spiderfelt I felt extreme sympathy for the author as she moves through her relationship with her parents. 6y
Cinfhen This is meant to be really funny...was it??? 6y
Mindyrecycles @Cinfhen -- Very funny and very poignant. Beautiful! 6y
Cinfhen Thanks @Mindyrecycles 💛good to know! 6y
78 likes5 stack adds4 comments
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Night_Reader
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Pickpick

Another great graphic novel I read awhile ago. Highly recommend it.

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Bolson
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Pickpick

A wonderful mix of funny and sad. Perfect!

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LWagoner
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Day 10: comics. My favorite graphic novels #riotgrams

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kendra
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Pickpick

Loved this. It was recommended to me by a friend because I'm an only child who will one day have to deal with my aging parents. I've already watched my parents deal with their parents. And I frequently take care of patients and families dealing with these issues. A must read for anyone with parents 😉

6 likes1 stack add
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kendra
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Super exciting book haul, Graphic Memoir Edition

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BraveNewBooks
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More #bookmail! Big haul from #bookoutlet, including this graphic #autobiography or #memoir that I'm super excited to read. #readjanuary

Readingrobin What a fantastic book! I do love Roz Chast! 6y
BraveNewBooks @Readingrobin I'm really looking forward to reading it! And the title is a phrase I find myself thinking pretty often these days, unfortunately... 6y
Kimzey My favorite cartoonist! ❤️ I need to pick this back up! 6y
BraveNewBooks @Kimzey it was great! I picked it up to flip through it and next thing I knew, I'd read it straight through! 6y
kspenmoll It's a great book- love her work. 6y
35 likes4 stack adds5 comments
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Natasha.C.Barnes
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Pickpick

It's so much fun reading a book on a touchscreen laptop, it turns out! Wonderful book, too.

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BaBaBaBillyAndTheBooks
Pickpick

The graphic novel provides a fascinating picture of grief, one that cannot be conveyed within the neat lines of a journal. Death brings so many feelings; sometimes it's easiest to just draw what's in front of you. The illustrations suggest imperfections, that our lives have rough edges. When we finally break free from grief's moments of suspended animation, however, Chast reminds us that we can look back on the memories with fondness and love.

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jennicakes
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Pickpick

Just squeaking by! Thanks, comics!

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Godmotherx5
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"I don't want to be a PULSATING PIECE OF PROTOPLASM!" Humorous & heartbreaking at the same time.

89 likes8 stack adds
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Julsmarshall
Pickpick

Sad, funny, thoughtful. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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Julsmarshall
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At urgent care with my daughter. She got an infection in her ankle from a pre-Christmas pedicure 😜 at least I have a book while we wait!

moranadatter Yikes! I hope the rest of your week goes better. 6y
Zelma Ouch! Sorry to hear this! 6y
Smrloomis Oh man, sorry to hear that. Hope she feels better soon 😣 6y
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BookishMarginalia 😳😱🤦🏻‍♀️ The price of beauty was too steep there! Hope she feels better soon! 6y
Laura317 Hope she's soon on the mend. This is my constant refrain at any meal with the inlaws. They always discuss some funeral, operation or grisly murder. Bleh. 6y
asiriusreader Oh dear! Hope she is on the mend soon!! 6y
Cinfhen That's upsetting😟hope she's feeling better quick! 6y
Eyelit Hope her recovery is swift! 6y
Julsmarshall Thanks everyone. She had to have the abscess drained and is in antibiotics 😜 no more pedicures, maybe ever!!! Finished the book though 😉 6y
bookwrm526 Oh dear, hope she feels better soon! 6y
Godmotherx5 How is your daughter? 6y
Julsmarshall @Godmotherx5 Thank you do much for asking! She is better, draining it helped the pain and the swelling continues to go down. Still quite red though, keeping and eye on it but I really hope we don't have to go into the Dr again. Tomorrow is her 16th birthday 😬 6y
Godmotherx5 Aww, poor baby. What a memory created for her 16th. Happy Birthday anyway! 6y
55 likes1 stack add13 comments
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rachelm
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Pickpick

Huge #bookdeal on Amazon today for this awesome graphic memoir about parents and aging. Funny and touching, it is absolutely worth picking up.
Thanks for clueing us in, @bookriot !

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Mindyrecycles
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Pickpick

Oh wow, this was so good. Heartbreaking, honest, and hilarious. Not to be missed!

39 likes3 stack adds
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KilgoreTrout
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Couldn't readathon since I work on Saturdays, but I'm finally free and ready to read and relax! Someone would prefer I spend my time with them, however.

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CynCruz23
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Is the key to being sane parents (or maybe the secret joy is more appropriate) emotionally torturing your children? I'm just a couple pages in and I see spooky resemblances to my parents everywhere. I think I'm going to be simultaneously laughing and ugly crying in 3... 2.... 😭😂

KilgoreTrout I just picked this up from the library! 6y
15 likes1 comment
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Kimzey
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Poignant and funny memoir from my favorite cartoonist. Also qualifies for #longtitle, although I think I'm a few days late. Still trying to learn what I'm doing here! 😁

Lakesidemusing Such a good book! And welcome to Litsy😀 6y
Kimzey Thank you! 6y
25 likes1 stack add2 comments
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Bookzombie
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I believe this may have been the first graphic novel that I read. I think one of life's cruelest jokes is children having to take on a parenting role with your own parents. It's unbelievably hard for both the adult child and the parent. My experience wasn't exactly like hers, but I found comfort in Chast's memoir. #graphicnovels
#octphotochallenge

Gayan I understand this so much right now as my 87 year old Father broke his hip recently. 😔 6y
Bookzombie @Gayan I'm so sorry to hear that. Hugs. I know it's very hard. I will keep you in my thoughts. 6y
BarbaraTheBibliophage Been there. It's the most adult experience I've ever had! 6y
59 likes7 stack adds4 comments
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Pasaal
Pickpick

Very honest portrayal of taking care of the authors parents, both in their nineties. She doesn't cover up the many difficulties, including her own anger and resentment. However, parts were very funny. I'm recommending this as a selection to my (or any) book club. Lots to discuss!l

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Bookzombie
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I'm late on Day 14. Here are few non-fiction I have enjoyed. I just started Dead Wake (not pictured). 🤓 #nonfictionlove #septphotochallenge #somethingforsept#

ErickaS_Flyleafunfurled Dead Wake is 👍👍👌👏👏👏 7y
Reagan Dead Wake is fantastic. Ravensbruck is at the top of my TBR. 7y
writerlibrarian Hamilton love 💖 7y
48 likes3 comments