We Recommend… Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant? by Roz Chast

Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant?download (3)
Roz Chast
Bloomsbury, 2014.

This book has been passed around the Library District Office, and I am the third of my co-workers to read it. It has been greatly enjoyed by all of us! If you have never read a Graphic Novel as an adult, or wondered why an adult would read a ‘comic book,’ this book is an opportunity for you to try this genre.

The story is relatable for anyone who has worried about their aging parents or who may find themselves facing this situation in the future. While the subject is serious, it is balanced by hilarious drawings and conversations that often made me laugh out loud.

In this memoir, Roz Chast uses colorful sketches and humorous anecdotes to illustrate her relationship with her aging parents. She feels guilt over the fact that both of her parents can still drive her crazy even though she is now an adult with children of her own. She is particularly concerned that her parents, now in their 90s, continue to avoid discussions about death or what kind of arrangements they would prefer regarding nursing homes and funerals. As an only child, she is on her own as she navigates the confusing world of her parents’ insurance and mounting hospital bills. Her father’s dementia makes him an easy target for her mother’s overbearing nature, yet the relationship between the parents is one of the most amusing aspects of the book.

The graphic novel format adds lightness and humor to the challenges of family relationships. A nice addition is the photos revealing her parents’ pack-rat nature and the accumulation of items over decades, such as eye glasses and kitchenware from the 1950s.

*Bonus: If you are attempting the “2015 READING CHALLENGE”, this book fulfills the challenge to read “A Graphic Novel”, and I am also listing it under the challenge to read “A book that scares you”. I was scared that the topic would be depressing, but it really was funny, true, and fantastic.

On the Web:

Roz Chast’s Offical Website
Jewish Book Council Book Club Reader’s Guide

Post by Jodi Griffith, Pinal County Library District Cataloger

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