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Good Talk: A Memoir in Conversations
Good Talk: A Memoir in Conversations | Mira Jacob
155 posts | 129 read | 114 to read
A bold, wry, and intimate graphic memoir about American identity, interracial families, and the realities that divide us, from the acclaimed author of The Sleepwalker's Guide to Dancing."By turns hilarious and heart-rending, it's exactly the book America needs at this moment."--Celeste Ng "Who taught Michael Jackson to dance?" "Is that how people really walk on the moon?""Is it bad to be brown?" "Are white people afraid of brown people?" Like many six-year-olds, Mira Jacob's half-Jewish, half-Indian son, Z, has questions about everything. At first they are innocuous enough, but as tensions from the 2016 election spread from the media into his own family, they become much, much more complicated. Trying to answer him honestly, Mira has to think back to where she's gotten her own answers: her most formative conversations about race, color, sexuality, and, of course, love. "How brown is too brown?""Can Indians be racist?""What does real love between really different people look like?" Written with humor and vulnerability, this deeply relatable graphic memoir is a love letter to the art of conversation--and to the hope that hovers in our most difficult questions. Advance praise for Good Talk "Good Talk illuminates the increasingly fractured world we live in. By turns hilarious and heart-rending, it plunges fearlessly into the murky gray areas of race and family, of struggling to find common ground, of trying to talk to our children and help them make sense of it all."--Celeste Ng, New York Times bestselling author of Little Fires Everywhere "A beautiful and eye-opening account of what it means to mother a brown boy and what it means to live in this country post-9/11, as a person of color, as a woman, as an artist . . . In Jacob's brilliant hands, we are gifted with a narrative that is sometimes hysterical, always honest, and ultimately healing."--Jacqueline Woodson, National Book Award-winning author of Another Brooklyn "Mira Jacob just made me toss everything I thought was possible in a book-as-art-object into the garbage. Her new book changes everything." --Kiese Laymon, New York Times bestselling author of Heavy
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ReadingEnvy
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Pickpick

Mira Jacob writes about what it is like to be brown (for her, Indian with darker skin than her other family members) in the America post 9/11 up through Trump's election win. Not only that but married to a Jewish (white) man whose parents refuse to see the harm in voting for Trump, and mother of a young mixed race boy with Questions. ↘️

ReadingEnvy What I love is her very frank tone. In all the "talks" in the book she shows how she navigates difficult situations where people want her to make them feel better about racism, often their own, and what happens when she doesn't. This includes one very difficult conversation with her husband! The art is hand-drawn people often cut out and laid over stock photos, which adds a dimension of reality to what is happening. 2mo
vivastory I love this one. It kinda cemented my love for graphic memoirs when I read it the beginning of last year. 2mo
JenReadsAlot Great book! 2mo
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charl08 Such a good book. Time for a reread I think. 2mo
ReadingEnvy @vivastory any other recommendations? I keep finding my way to graphic non fiction this year. 2mo
vivastory Earlier this year I read, & loved, Radtke's Seek You. I think you might have read it? I liked her previous book, “Imagine Wanting Only This“ (a gn grief memoir also about urban exploration/ruins) even more! Another stand out volume was Thi Bui's The Best We Could Do. It reminded me a lot of Jacob's book in how it addressed the immigrant experience in America, but Bui delves into the Indochina War & is from the perspective of Vietnamese refugees. (edited) 2mo
vivastory The watercolor artwork is perfect & often astonishing. Derf Backderf is another favorite. I have now read 3 of his graphic works & would recommend any of them, but Kent State is esp. informative & memorable,. Finally, for one that is a bit more under the radar, I recommend Nicole Georges' Calling Dr. Laura. Georges is informed during a palm reading that that her bio. father, who she had been told was dead, is still alive. Messy family dynamic & (edited) 2mo
vivastory some humorous moments throughout. The artwork, while nto quite as impressive as the others I mentioned, works for Georges narrative & she adds some nice flourishes from time to time. I believe I left full reviews on Litsy for all of these titles. Hope it helps. 2mo
ReadingEnvy @vivastory thanks! I've read some of what you listed but not Backderf, will look for it! 2mo
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ReadingEnvy
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Library haul!

Two for foster son, one for April Sword and Laser, one I've been meaning to read forever, one for #readingenvyrussia non-fiction quarter, and one Booker International longlist title that followed me home.

sarahbarnes I‘m intrigued by the “leisure” sticker on the very long Books of Jacob. 😂 I‘m still working my way through that one. 2mo
ReadingEnvy @sarahbarnes at our academic library it's more like "this is a novel" 2mo
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sarahbellum
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A very strong start to the year!
5 were on my TBR
2 were my #roll100 reads
1 was my #bookspin
1 was #authoramonth

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squirrelbrain
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Pickpick

#nywd

This is only the second graphic novel I‘ve read. Once again I‘m amazed that the message is as strong, if not stronger, than a ‘written‘ book.

The author is the daughter of Indian immigrants to the US; the book is a series of conversations from the time of 9/11 to the Trump era, with friends, family and with her son as he tries to understand racism.

I can‘t help but wonder what her in-laws thought of their portrayal in the book!

Prairiegirl_reading I hope writes a sequel. 4mo
megnews I never read a graphic novel til I got in Litsy and I found I love them—certain ones. 4mo
LeeRHarry I read very few graphic novels but I thought this was fab - glad you did too 😊 4mo
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sarahbellum
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I‘m enjoying my current read, Pigs in Heaven, but I keep looking longingly at my #librarystack 😍

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brittanybooks
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Pickpick

I had chills when she described her experience on 9/11. She perfectly captured the hopeful feeling after the 2008 election and the terrified feeling after the 2016 election. #book4of2022

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Chelsea.Poole
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Pickpick

I think part of the reason this struck a cord with me is because I‘m raising two sons, one of which is about the age of the boy in this graphic novel about race.
#12Booksof2021

Cinfhen I did this on audio….BIG MISTAKE 😖 5mo
Andrew65 Looks a good choice. 5mo
jlhammar Such a good book! 5mo
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rjsthumbelina
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Pickpick

A solid meditation on racism and some of its daily effects. Interesting art style. #wgwordsearch 22 words found for 220 pts. #TBRread 15 pts #dashingDecember #adventathon #thefestivereadathon #averymerrybingo #averymerryreadathon #wintercosy #bookspinbingo #Christmasmyway 8 readathons*2 hrs*10=160 pts

396 pts #wintergames #teamgamesleighers @StayCurious

jlhammar Such a good book! 5mo
TheSpineView Excellant! 5mo
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Christine
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Pickpick

I loved this a lot. Really interesting art style, and such a powerful memoir and analysis of race, identity, family, politics and how they all intertwine, joyfully and painfully.

vivastory This really kicked off my love for graphic memoirs this yr 6mo
Christine @vivastory They‘re so good! I need to read more of them (and should browse through your feed for ideas!). 6mo
vivastory My favorites of the year (I've posted reviews for all of them) are 6mo
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Christine @vivastory Thank you for taking the time to share about these! I love Kristen Radtke. And I‘ve had the others from the library and returned unread (due to time, not disinterest) - must get them back! 6mo
vivastory I hope you enjoy! I can't wait to read Radtke's latest. I also recently checked out the following. I haven't read it, but I got a lot of positive comments when I posted about it 6mo
Christine @vivastory Ooh, that sounds great! Stacking. 6mo
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rsteve388
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#NFN Don't forget to get your points in for the last week! I'll be sending emails.out tomorrow tonight after work.
#NonFictionNovember #NonFicNov #NFN21

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rsteve388
Pickpick

This memoir was excellent, heartbreaking as the author learns about her self and our country as drastic changes occur around her as a person of color. Phenomenal! Excellent, Superb. Heartbreaking. #NFN #NonFictionNovember #NFN21

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rsteve388
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Started this book today. And just received my first Christmas swap #CreepyChristmas @teebe

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Sharpeipup
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My kind of kid…ask ALL the questions.

vivastory This is one of my favorite graphic memoirs of the year 6mo
Sharpeipup @vivastory It was quite good! 6mo
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mhillis
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Pickpick

Good Talk is a graphic memoir centered on Mira Jacob‘s conversations with the people close to her, especially her son. I loved his inquisitiveness and imagination. The conversations are so real and provide an interesting structure for her experiences #ContainsPhotos #Booked2021

Cinfhen Nice!! I did this on audio and even though it was a multi cast narration it didn‘t resonate with me 🤷🏼‍♀️ 11mo
BarbaraTheBibliophage Great choice! 10mo
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MeganLindell
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Pickpick

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ ½ • While I know this is a memoir, it felt so much more personal than most — us readers are so lucky that Mira shared these experiences.

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alysonimagines
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I just want to leave this here because it‘s my most favorite panel in the whole book. Love this kid‘s imagination so much! 😂💙

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alysonimagines
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Recommended by several members of my book club, #LitsyATXReadersSociety or #LARS for short. It was also my pick for our January theme, “Read previously for LARS by another member.” I loved the openly curious and innocent questions of the author‘s young mixed-race son about race, religion, and culture. 🔸 #januaryreads2021

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BarbaraJean
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Pickpick

This is a powerful read—called a “memoir in conversations”, the author uses talks with her son about race as a jumping-off point into remembered conversations from childhood & the more recent past. There are also some hilarious moments with her son, and profound & thought-provoking observations on her experiences as an Indian American, esp. in the aftermath of 9/11 & during 45‘s campaign. Thank you @MeganAnn for another great #NewYearWhoDis pick!

MeganAnn I‘m so glad you liked it!! I loved the way her discussions with her son prompted her own memories and the way it was presented in the graphic novel format. 1y
vivastory I read this recently & loved it 1y
Prairiegirl_reading I loved it too!! 1y
megnews I loved this. 1y
BarbaraJean @MeganAnn Yes, it was really well put-together, pairing past and present in the way she did. And the graphic novel format was excellent—Great marrying of form and content. 1y
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vivastory
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Pickpick

Mira Jacob's self-described memoir in conversations is an effective hybrid form of illustrations & photography. Covering from when her parents immigrated from India & ending two months into #45's presidency, it moves back & forth as it discusses family, careers, religion, art, 9/11 & racism. I LOVED this graphic memoir & plan on reading more graphic memoirs soon. It is a fave, if little explore, genre. I especially liked the dialogic format in👇

vivastory this book. Recommendations welcome (have already read Maus, Persepolis, Allie Brosh & Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant?) (edited) 1y
vivastory @xicanti Great! I just noticed that on the following list that I just found & was wondering if I should add it to my TBR. Def adding now
https://bookriot.com/100-must-read-graphic-memoirs/
1y
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vivastory @wonderflood Thanks! I just placed a hold for it at the library 1y
britt_brooke Such a great read! 1y
Megabooks This is a bit of a hidden gem, but I really enjoyed 1y
Megabooks Also I‘m reading this later this month. I‘ll try to remember to tag you in my review. 1y
vivastory @Megabooks I saw Calling etc on the bookriot link. Glad to hear that you recommend. I put it on hold at the library. Best We Could Do sounds interesting 1y
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vivastory
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Just read the first half. A nice companion to another current read: Kendi's Stamped from the Beginning. Approximately halfway through that one too & it's easily one of the most informative & important nonfiction books I've ever read.

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Chelsea.Poole
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Pickpick

Ohh my goodness allllll the heart eyes! 😍
I‘ve been hearing about this book for years and it really is as fabulous as everyone says. A biographical graphic novel from Mira, an Indian American who has conversations with her young son, but also looks back at conversations from the past to build her life‘s story. Excellent images and amazing storytelling with touching conversations about race, politics and the vexing realities of America.

Prairiegirl_reading Great book!! 1y
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BarbaraJean
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🤣 Started this one this morning—so good! It‘s both funny and thought-provoking... and I will probably finish it today! This is my third read for #NewYearWhoDis.

Chelsea.Poole I‘m reading this one right now too and loving it!! 1y
MeganAnn Yay!! 😍 1y
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Chelsea.Poole
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Bath time! 🛁 📚

MarriedtoMrT LOVED Good Talk! 1y
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candority
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Pickpick

I loved the unique art style of this graphic novel and I think it lends itself well to the difficult topics that Jacob‘s discusses. Really well done. 4⭐️

Richryan52 I hope you can make the webinar 1y
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Chelsea.Poole
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#currentlyreading #graphicnovel
I‘ve seen this book discussed so many times and have never had a chance to borrow it. Finally, I purchased it for our library. 📚

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eve
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“Every door I get through, this guy is always on the other side. Patting himself on the back for being open-minded while making sure I scrub myself before I enter.”

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charl08
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Rereading this for a book group meeting.
Still makes me laugh out loud.

(Remind me never to recommend a book again: I hate worrying about if everyone liked it)

rabbitprincess SAME! My recommendations are more caveat than actual recommendation 😂 1y
thegirlwiththelibrarybag It‘s quite crushing when someone doesn‘t like a book that you loved (and you‘ve recommended because you thought they‘d enjoy it) - I work in a library and get asked for “good book recommendations” fairly often and it never gets easier 😂 (although I‘m always quite pleased if they borrow one I‘ve particularly enjoyed - and they rarely come back with feedback - so it‘s kind of ideal) 1y
charl08 @rabbitprincess I should caveat more (but I love this book!) 1y
charl08 @thegirlwiththelibrarybag I'm sure they appreciate the recommendations. I'm always glad to hear them when I go in to mine. 1y
thegirlwiththelibrarybag @charl08, I just find the phrasing amusing - everyone‘s idea of a “good book” is different. I‘m always happy to talk books, my favourite is when they‘ve loved a book so much that in their enthusiasm they tell you the whole plot. (edited) 1y
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Megabooks
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Pickpick

One of my top nonfiction books of the year, Jacob looks at the difficulties of raising a brown child right now. The book has a nonlinear timeline encompassing her parents meeting in India, moving to Albuquerque, and her childhood there. She examines the role race played in friendships and relationships. She has conversations with her son about the racist comments Trump makes and why her husband‘s parents chose to vote for him. #graphicmemoir

MallenNC We read this in book club and we all liked it, plus we had a great discussion about it. 1y
vivastory I've been meaning to read this one. Great review 👍 Have you read When We Were Vikings? 1y
Librariana This was also excellent as an audiobook! The narration felt very much like listening to their conversations 😊 1y
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JenReadsAlot This was fabulous! 1y
Reviewsbylola This one is on my TBR. Sounds like maybe I should give the audio a shot. ⬆️ 1y
Megabooks @MallenNC I can see how this would make a great discussion book! 1y
Megabooks @vivastory I have. I don‘t think I was in the right headspace for it and want to reread it in light of some of the reviews I‘ve read. Re:Vikings. I hope you read Good Talk. 1y
Megabooks @Librariana @Reviewsbylola I wouldn‘t think to read a graphic memoir as audio, but it makes sense that this one would work. 1y
BarbaraBB My sister has adopted a black girl from the US. Do you think she should read this book? My sister I mean, my niece is just six years old now. 1y
Megabooks @BarbaraBB I can see how it could also apply to racist fascism from anywhere, and that certainly exists in Europe, plus I think it could help her understand where she came from. So the short answer is yes. 1y
Megabooks Her = your sister, she = your niece. English can be very nonspecific. @BarbaraBB 1y
BarbaraBB Thanks for taking the time to answer so specifically. I think I have my Christmas gift for my sister, who I also encouraged to read 1y
Megabooks @BarbaraBB I think that is another good choice, especially with the immigrant/assimilation aspects of the book. (If I‘m remembering correctly. I read it in 2014.) A white childhood friend is raising two boys adopted from Haiti, and I know certain aspects of it have been challenging. The immigrant experience plus being brown/Black in a white majority country definitely poses its own set of issues but also joys. 💜💜 1y
Librariana @Megabooks @Reviewsbylola - It absolutely does! It felt like listening to an intimate conversation... to someone's inner thoughts and concerns. And if my memory serves me right, it was an ensemble cast of narrators with the author being the predominant voice 😊 I would listen on my way to work and read the print format during lunch break. 1y
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Megabooks
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Best nonfiction of each month of the year #challengeaccepted @Cinfhen

January-> April
May -> August
September-> December?

@kaysworld1 some months had multiple 5⭐️ nonfiction books, but please feel free to choose among these, too, if you‘re interested. 👍🏻 I read a lot of nonfiction!

Megabooks @Cinfhen you know I love you since it took me a little over an hour to go through all 332 books I read through November! 💖😘😘 1y
Cinfhen Love ya back 😘and this is a curated list worth saving 🙌🏻 1y
Megabooks @Cinfhen I hope you find some to enjoy! 💜💜💜 1y
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Cinfhen I‘ve read 5 and 2 were on my best list too!!! 1y
Megabooks @Cinfhen 👯‍♀️👯‍♀️😘 1y
Prairiegirl_reading Good talk and hidden valley road we‘re both excellent. Good talk is possibly my favourite of the year. I was blown away by that book. 1y
Megabooks @Prairiegirl_reading I‘m rereading it today, and it definitely stands up as one of the best of the year! 1y
kaysworld1 All your recommendations are amazing and I have added loads to my tbr list in the near future I have also picked 3 for #newyearwhodis ill post later xx 1y
aa_guer2021 I got to read more nonfiction, too. But TBR at home feels like first priority! I am hoping to get back to the library soon! 🤞🏻❤️ Thank you for some future recommendations! 1y
Megabooks @kaysworld1 thanks! I can‘t wait to see which ones you‘ve picked! 1y
Megabooks @ruskigurl16 you‘re welcome! I hope you have a great reading 2021! 1y
Reviewsbylola Hidden Valley Road is intense! I chose Caste from BOTM but I feel like I‘ll need to be in a certain headspace to read it. 1y
Megabooks @Reviewsbylola caste is very intense too. Difficult read but so glad I did read it! 1y
Megabooks @kaysworld1 these were my top reads from 2020 by month (the complete Persepolis was December). I‘m going to tag a few others that I have 5 stars to. (There were a few because I read over 370 books last year.) 1y
Megabooks @kaysworld1 you mentioned you were interested in this one 1y
Megabooks @kaysworld1 I think that‘s got the ones that would be good on audio! I hope you find ones you enjoy!! 1y
kaysworld1 @Megabooks Thanks hun xx 1y
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keepingupwiththepenguins
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Pickpick

I could‘ve read this book quickly, if I wanted to. I probably could‘ve knocked it over in a single afternoon. But I took my time, in an effort to really, truly, fully appreciate its content, and the generosity of Jacob in sharing it with us (and by “us”, I mean “me”). If all graphic novels are as good as Good Talk, consider me a convert. Full review here: https://keepingupwiththepenguins.com/good-talk-mira-jacob/ #GraphicNovels #MustRead

EH2018 Great book! 2y
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ChaoticMissAdventures
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I am a bit torn as to which is my favorite September read. I loved A Thousand Ships, it was literary, and wonderfully crafted, and I loved Good Talk which had art I have never seen, and was very on point talking about growing up in the US through the 80-00's Many of the little stories had me feeling all the feels. This was a good reading month, got many on my old 2015 TRB off the list and enjoyed most of these #monthlyroundup

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charl08
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By Mira Jacob (via IG)

Chrissyreadit ❤️yes- our biggest problem has been inertia. It‘s time for big movement. 2y
Liz_M 💔 😭 2y
Chelsea.Poole 😭😭😭 2y
janerzy 💔💔 2y
Sace I'm still reeling. 😢 2y
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ChaoticMissAdventures
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Pickpick

Wow this is fantastic. Not only is the layout different then most graphic novels, but the storyline is also well done.
A little bit funny, sad parts, parts to connect with, and think over.

Librariana The audiobook was also quite a treat with an ensemble cast of narrators. I read it along with the audio and it made for a great reading experience. 2y
ChaoticMissAdventures @Librariana nice! I didn't even think of looking at the audio when the art was so well done. 2y
sharread What a cute kitty. 2y
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ChaoticMissAdventures
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What 6 year old now days wouldn't want to be The Sixth Jackson 😹

I listened to an interview with Mira Jacob on NPR and ordered this not knowing it was a GN, much less how creativity it was laid out.

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JenReadsAlot
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OriginalCyn620 👍🏻📚👍🏻 2y
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charl08
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Mira in conversation. This was brilliant.

#GoodTalk
#UpperValleyBooks
#StillQueer

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sarahgreatlove
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Pickpick

I‘ve been trying to read more about race, as a lot of us have. This one is a graphic non fiction memoir and I loved it. I picked it up and just stayed where I was until it was finished. It is beautiful visually, it‘s complex and it makes you think without feeling like school. The conversations the author has with her son made my heart ache and made me hopeful at the same time. Get the book 😍 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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charl08
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I'm kidding myself I can stay awake despite the time difference to hear Mira Jacobs talk about her amazing book.

"Good Talk recounts the conversations between Mira and her son, both before and following the 2016 election. Mira will be joined in conversation by Still Queer co-curators Alexander Chee and Dustin Schell."

https://www.crowdcast.io/e/stillqueer-mirajacob/

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TerriGreen
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Pickpick

I loved the style of this important graphic novel. I know this book is available in audio, but do yourself a favor and read an ebook or physical copy. It turned a little too political for me towards the end, but it is funny and touching. Book 71 4⭐️

Tracyantoon I have seen this on audio too. I will make sure I get a physical copy instead. Thanks! 2y
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MaryM
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I finished Good Talk by Mira Jacob today. I enjoyed this story and loved how it was illustrated. 👍👍

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kathytrithardt
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Pickpick

I have never yelled so much at people who cannot hear me while listening to an audiobook before (due to the incredibly racist things people were saying to/about the author/POC in general). This was brilliantly written and produced, and discusses several nuances of race and relationships. I highly recommend it.

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Prairiegirl_reading
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Pickpick

I 👏🏼LOVED 👏🏼THIS👏🏼!!! I‘ve seen so much about this on bookstagram but honestly was not expecting how good this is!! I can‘t even find words for how good this is.

britt_brooke So good!! 2y
Prairiegirl_reading @britt_brooke super inarticulate post on my part but I still can‘t get over it!! 2y
britt_brooke @Prairiegirl_reading No way! You were just fangiring, and for good reason. 😂💚 I loved the art so much. Such a great read! 2y
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Merethebookgal
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My afternoon plans 📚 I feel like the #eclecticreadathon always flies by, but I‘ve gotten in 3.5 hours so far and I‘m out on my balcony now hoping to pretty much spend the rest of the day out here reading. It‘s in the upper 80s but my balcony is shady so it feels amazing 😎 Hopefully thunderstorms will stay away!
#readathon #eclecticreaders

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Eyelit
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Pickpick

Devoured this in one sitting - I just couldn‘t put it down. I appreciated the art style, tho it took a minute to adjust to for me. Part personal history and part conversations with her son (and others) about race in America. There‘s a lot here to think about.
I also loved the moments of levity sprinkled in (mostly with her son (who is the coolest), as above).
I‘m glad I own this as I can revisit and reread.

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Eyelit
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Written a few years ago when Trump was running for election - and still painfully relevant today.

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LiteraryinLawrence
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Mehso-so

Disappointing. The content was fine but not groundbreaking (though maybe it was when it came out?). But I really disliked the visual representation. The author used a collage style rather than illustrating each scene, so the characters didn‘t have facial expressions relating to what they were saying. Every time a character appeared it was the same exact picture. To me, that missed the opportunity to evoke emotions or show artistic talent.

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akfreeborn
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Pickpick

Great graphic memoir of Mira Jacob that deals with race with family, marriage, work, school, kids, everyday life and elections. Very relatable, funny, poignant and a beautiful visual book as well. Very well done. This is one I keep thinking about.

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Soubhiville
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Pickpick

I had to read this in bits and pieces as I tried to process all of the things it Mira Jacob has to say.

Her creative use of collage in graphic novel form- very cool.

Smart, thought provoking, painful, and at times funny, this will be on my best of list for 2020.

I have to find her first book now.

Megabooks Such an awesome book! 2y
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Eyelit
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It‘s been a while since I planned a #tbr and since I‘m starting to get back to regular style reading I figured I‘d go official 😄

This is a sampling of my #junetbr and quite a few of them are for various book clubs - and half will be audiobooks

Looking forward to this month‘s reading!

LibrarianRyan Good talk was really great. 2y
AnneCecilie I loved Good Talk and Invisible Women 2y
zembla This is a great collection. The Only Harmless Great Thing is stunning. 2y
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JoyBlue
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Pickpick

Thoughtful and often laugh-out-loud funny memoir expressed mostly in conversations with her young, biracial son.

“Racism is about using power to keep other people down.“