Featuring The Best We Could Do: An Illustrated Memoir by Thi Bui


The Parchment Community Library is a partner organization with the Kalamazoo Public Library's Reading Together program.  This year's Reading Together selection is The Best We Could Do: An Illustrated Memoir by Thi Bui.  We have three copies of the book available to be checked out and the book is also available as an e-book through Hoopla.  Here's the summary from our catalog:

"The Best We Could Do, the debut graphic novel memoir by Thi Bui, is an intimate look at one family's journey from their war-torn home in Vietnam to their new lives in America. Exploring the anguish of immigration and the lasting effects that displacement has on a child and her family, Bui documents the story of her family's daring escape after the fall of South Vietnam in the 1970s and the difficulties they faced building new lives for themselves. At the heart of Bui's story is a universal struggle: While adjusting to life as a first-time mother, she ultimately discovers what it means to be a parent--the endless sacrifices, the unnoticed gestures, and the depths of unspoken love. Despite how impossible it seems to take on the simultaneous roles of both parent and child, Bui pushes through."

An illustrated memoir uses the same format as a graphic novel but is nonfiction.  The first Reading Together 2022 program was held in November 2021 and featured Dr. Gwen Athene Tarbox, WMU Dept. of English Professor, speaking on "Getting the Most Out of Reading Graphic Novels."  You can watch the presentation online HERE.

The Parchment Community Library will host a discussion of The Best We Could Do in conjunction with the Parchment Book Group on Monday, March 14 at 6:00 p.m.  The entire community is invited.  Find more information HERE.

Author Thi Bui will speak at Chenery Auditorium on Tuesday, March 22 at 7:00 p.m.  Reservations may be required.  Save the Date bookmarks are available in the Parchment Community Library lobby.  Visit the KPL Reading Together website for the most up to date information.  You can find additional Reading Together events and resources HERE.

Scheduled Events:

PLEASE NOTE THAT LOCATIONS MAY CHANGE DUE TO COVID-19 PRECAUTIONS - Check the Kalamazoo Public Library Reading Together Website HERE for the most up-to-date information

Saturday, February 12, 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 pm

Visual Storytelling with Aubrey Jewel Rodgers, Animation/Game Art Program Coordinator & Graphic Arts Instructor at KVCC

Van Deusen Room, KPL Central Branch, Registration Required

Tuesday, February 15, 10:30 am

Open For Discussion Book Discussion

Hosted by the Portage District Library on Zoom - limited to 18 participants

Registration Required - click HERE

Saturday, February 26, 1:00-4:00 pm

Writing Our Lives: Memoir Workshop with author Gail Griffin

Van Deusen Room, KPL Central Branch, Registration Required

Tuesday, March 8, 6:00-7:30 pm

Displaced Persons in Southwest Michigan

Van Deusen Room, KPL Central Branch

Thursday, March 10, 6:00-7:30 pm

When Trauma Gets Passed Down Along with Blessings

Online program at KPL Live

Monday, March 14, 6:00 pm

Parchment Book Group Book Discussion

Parchment Community Library Community Room

Monday, March 14, 6:00-7:00 pm

Storytelling Through Illustration for Teens with Kenjji Jumanne Marshall

Teen Studio, KPL Central Branch, Registration Required

Tuesday, March 15, 6:00-7:30 pm

We Are Our Stories: Being Asian and Asian American in Kalamazoo

Van Deusen Room, KPL Central Branch

Tuesday, March 22, 7:00 pm

Meet the Author: Thi Bui

Chenery Auditorium at the corner of Westnedge and Vine, registration details to be announced