The Best We Could Do: An Illustrated Memoir (Thi Bui)

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An intimate and poignant graphic novel portraying one family’s journey from war-torn Vietnam, from debut author Thi Bui.

This beautifully illustrated and emotional story is an evocative memoir about the search for a better future and a longing for the past. 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. With haunting, poetic writing and breathtaking art, she examines the strength of family, the importance of identity, and the meaning of home.

In what Pulitzer Prize–winning novelist Viet Thanh Nguyen calls “a book to break your heart and heal it,” The Best We Could Do brings to life Thi Bui’s journey of understanding, and provides inspiration to all of those who search for a better future while longing for a simpler past.


This is an important book! I honestly don’t know what to say to convince you to read it, but please: READ THIS ONE! Buy it. Read it. Re-read it. Give it to your friends and family. Give it to your kids. Let them understand how wrong what is happening in the USA and the world is.

The Best We Could Do tells the story of the author’s, Thi Bui, journey to the US as a refugee in the midst of the Vietnam War, as well as her journey to understanding her parents, and what they went through.

First of all, the art is just so beautiful! It’s one of the first things I “see” in a graphic novel, because if the art is not appealing to you, it’s kind of hard to get into it, right? Well, this one is just gorgeous! Then the story is told in a very cool way, as it relates what Thi is feeling in her present life, and relating it to her upbringing and her parents’ experiences.

I have to say that I’m not well versed in Vietnam’s history. I’m from Portugal, born in the 80’s, and while here we know of the Vietnam’s war and everything that happened, it was always mentioned in a very superficial way, because at that moment we had other issues here in this country, such as a dictatorship of our own to learn about. The point is, I wasn’t aware of some of the things that happened, and the dynamics of what happened in WW2 and after. But I learned a lot while reading this book, because not only did it taught me, but it made me curious enough to go look online for more information.

screenshot_2017-01-30-10-13-46(gorgeous, right?!)

This is the main point of books for me, to expand our horizons. A book that makes you question, and learn, and curious for more? It’s something that everyone should read.

In a point in history when refugees are being demonized by ignorant people, it’s more important than ever to support this book. To learn from someone who was a refugee herself. To read a side than most of us won’t be able to completely understand, but we can empathise, and try to learn to do better. Right?

So, guys, this book will be out soon. Buy it, review it, share the word. Talk about it. READ IT!

Book Traveling Thursdays: A Book That Was a Big Surprise

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Hello, welcome back to another Book Traveling 168709Thursdays, which a weekly meme created by Cátia @The Girl Who Read Too Much and Danielle @Danielle’s Book Blog. The goal is to share the covers of a book related to that week’s theme, which you can see at the Goodreads group, indicating the original cover, the one of your country, your favorite and least favorite.

This week’s theme is “Choose a book that was a big surprise for you“. I’m cheating a bit here, and I’m using a book that’s not even out yet, and yet I think that you should know about it and add to your TBRs: The Best We Could Do: An Illustrated Memoir by Thi Bui. Here the author tells her story, and her family’s, from how they grew up, to their escape from Vietnam due to the war, and how they settled in the USA. It’s beautiful and it’s important, especially in the current situation that is happening in the US and a bit all over the world. It doesn’t hurt that the illustrations are gorgeous too.


Original & Favorite COver:

Look at this beautiful cover! This is the only cover so far, but I do hope that they edit the book in several languages, but maintain this beautiful art. I was lucky enough to have been approved for an eARC on Netgalley, and the book comes out March 7th by Abrams ComicArts, if you’re interested.