Can't We Talk about Something More Pleasant? A Memoir

By Roz Chast,

Book cover of Can't We Talk about Something More Pleasant? A Memoir

Book description

#1 New York Times Bestseller
2014 National Book Award Finalist
Winner of the inaugural 2014 Kirkus Prize in nonfiction
Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award
Winner of the 2014 Books for a Better Life Award
Winner of the 2015 Reuben Award from National Cartoonists Society

In her first…


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Why read it?

3 authors picked Can't We Talk about Something More Pleasant? A Memoir as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

Anybody who’s had to clean out a family home knows what a messy, emotional, tedious, painful, sometimes lonely, occasionally humorous process it can be. Cartoonist Roz Chast captures all of that in this graphic memoir about helping her elderly parents move out of the New York City apartment they’d lived in for decades. Like me, Chast is an only child. That made a tough job even tougher, and she’s astonishingly frank about the ups and downs. If you find yourself having to help a loved one downsize, this book will make you feel less alone, no matter how many siblings…

From Jennifer's list on to read when you’re decluttering.

This book is by Roz Chast, famous New Yorker cartoonist. It is a memoir about her relationship with her aging parents dealing with universal caregiving themes she faced while watching her parents age and become increasingly disabled with more medical issues. It is told in a refreshing way through her cartoon talents. It made me both laugh and cry as she touched on topics and challenges that I and most caregivers experience. It addresses the grief and anxiety that we all feel as caregivers.

I am not normally a huge graphic novel enthusiast but I have included two on this list not only because Tangles and Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant are both excellent memoirs, but also because together they provide an interesting contrast between elder care in Canada and the United States, especially with regard to the Dreaded Money Thing. Besides, Roz Chast is hilarious. She made me laugh so hard, and honestly, when you're the primary caregiver for your aging parents, if you don't laugh, you'll cry.

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