Great New Book


What are you reading these days? I’m halfway through the new book Displacement and loving it. Twentysomething cartoonist Lucy Knisley shares the true story of taking her senile grandparents (or “my grands,” as she calls them) on a weeklong Caribbean cruise. The book is funny yet very touching, as she brings sandwiches to their balcony and helps her grandmother understand that the boat is, in fact, moving. She’s incredibly compassionate and patient, and the book makes me feel more aware of the quotidian difficulties people face as they grow older.

I also like how reading a graphic novel is almost like watching a movie — you don’t simply read the dialogue, but also look for little visual cues, like a flirty sideways glance or bags under someone’s eyes.


I’d definitely recommend this if you’re looking for a poignant read this spring.

P.S. Five best graphic novels, and my favorite book of all time.

  1. Jessica DuBois says...

    Ohh! I love Lucy Kinsley – read her first graphic novel and still love to flip through it – she has such a talent for drawing detailed descriptions. Love her style and she’s so relate-able. Have you read ‘French Milk’? Added to my wish list! Thanks and enjoy!

  2. Seems perfect for me! I dont know if it’s ADHD or the age of the Internet and Social Media but I don’t have the patience to read a book anymore. Only books of essays, as I feel I can go little by little and not forget my place in the book or story. Thanks for the recommendation :)


  3. Looks like a really cute book and I can’t wait to pick it up. Currently reading All The Light We Cannot See and really enjoying it!

  4. Carolin says...

    I just finished “A man called Ove” by Fredrik Backman. It’s a very touching story about an old grouch who turns out to be incredibly loveable in his own way. It’s a mix between looking at his life in retrospect finding out why he is how he is, and his current struggles with losing his wife and having modern life catch up with him. The details in it came together so perfectly and I couldn’t recommend it enough!

  5. Susana says...

    I never thought I liked graphic novels until I recently picked up Fun Home by Alison Bechdel and flew through it ( a “tragicomedy” about her relationship with her closeted gay father). I am currently reading its partner book about her complicated relationship with her mother called, Are You My Mother? Highly recommend both!

  6. I love the redesign of your new site Jo! Congratulations, and thanks for making our experience reading your blog and your amazing content better. Cheers!

  7. In Australia the new English curriculum includes graphic novels and It has been a little difficult finding age appropriate texts (young adults). This books sounds interesting and I am keen to look into it further. Could be a lot teachers and students could draw out of it.

    • Diana says...

      Her graphic novel Relish is aimed at a young adult audience and still my favorite by Lucy Knisley.

  8. Nancy says...

    I’ll have to check this one out, although it hits pretty close to home. I took my mother on a cruise after she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and had been told there was nothing more that they could do to slow the progression. One day we were sitting on our balcony when she asked if it was ours. I told her it was, but just for a week, to which she insightfully replied – sometimes a week is all that you need. My word of advice to anyone going on a similar trip is take advantage of wheelchair assistance when going through the airport. Exhaustion can increase confusion making things even harder for them to cope with.

  9. That looks adorable. I’m normally an airport ninja too lol….

  10. Laura says...

    I would definitely recommend “An Age of License,” which is a companion to “Displacement” that preceded it. I would say “An Age of License” has a much more light-hearted feel but still has the tone and style that makes Lucy Knisley’s work unique and enjoyable. I would say it might be a better fit for a casual summer read. Like some other commenters, I thought “Displacement” was a bit heavier than her other books–but still very enjoyable.

  11. Can’t wait to read this! It’s on the top of my summer reading list. Lucy Knisley is so fabulous, loved French Milk and Relish.

  12. Maira Kalman’s illustrated books are some of my favourites. I’m part-through Gretchen Rubin’s latest, Better Than Before — I always like the practical purchase of her books!

  13. I love memoirs about people whom I admire–usually female, musicians, and creative types. The book I’m reading now is Girl in a Band by Kim Gordon, the founder of the band Sonic Youth. I am nostalgic over the 80s and 90s music period and enjoying this read very much!!

    adorn la femme

  14. kara says...

    I’m sorry – this seems really disrespectful to older people. Does she care what they are going through? Not my cup of tea. Although I normally love your book recommendations.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      oh it’s actually completely respectful and compassionate. maybe i picked the wrong images to show. she is truly wonderful to them — incredibly patient, caring, thoughtful, loving. it’s really inspiring. i’ll try to find some other inside images to link to!

    • Lilly says...

      I read the book. I think she does care about them, very much. To me it was a little sad, not a spring book. The author also feels sad about it. She remembers them how they were before, strong, younger, in control. And she makes you think about life, aging, being dependable later in life.

  15. Amie says...

    I just finished the Bookman’s Tale by Charlie Lovett which I absoluetely loved!! the ending felt a bit rushed to me but that’s probably because I just didn’t want it to end!

  16. Jen says...

    i love your book recommendations, especially the graphic novels! i just read “Still Alice” and loved it. It was so poignant and sad. i also recommend “El Deafo”. i got it for my son but ended up reading it myself.

  17. This looks right up my street might give this a go xx

  18. Erica says...

    I just finished this book and loved it! Very entertaining, but serious and lighthearted at the same time.

    • Erica says...

      French Milk was a great read too!

  19. Lizzie says...

    Great recommendation- I heard her NPR interview but forgot about the book until now. Recently I read another cartoon memoir about coping with aging family members: Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant by Roz Chast. It was fantastic in both storytelling and sly humor, and though the topic was more dire than the drawings suggested, she treated it with grace and honesty.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      oh yes, i LOVED that book.

  20. annie says...

    I heard her interviewed on Fresh Air about this book. The way she described it, it didn’t sound “lovely” or lighthearted as you describe it, but rather a quite serious look at grandparents aging and not being who we remember them to be. Maybe it was just the tone of the interview. I’ll have to pick up the book myself!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      that’s so interesting! well, i’m only halfway through, so maybe it gets more dramatic. partly i really enjoy it because she is so compassionate toward her grandparents, even when they are frustrating or difficult, and i find it inspiring.

  21. All of her books are fantastic! I first read her graphic novel, “Relish” and was gifted the rest of her books over the holidays. “Relish” is still my favorite – it’s about her childhood and early adulthood and growing up with parents who love food, complete with detailed and delicious recipes.

  22. i love giving graphic novels as gifts. feels a little bit more personal for some reason… thanks for the recommendation, joanna!! i’m ordering it now (this time for myself :)

  23. Awads says...

    Oooooh! since you are already on the subject of cruise ships, might I recommend “Dead Wake: The last Crossing of the Lusitania,” Erik Larson? It’s an amazing true story and artfully told. Last week was actually the 100th Anniversary of the sinking, but it got very little press. Sad.

  24. i’m trudging through An Abundance of Katherines by John Green.

  25. I’m reading The Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs. I also love each and every book by Sarah Addison Allen!

  26. I liked her other recent book An Age of License too…gave me flashbacks to my early-mid-20s travels. :) Been following her IG progress on her wedding book Something New.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      i never read it. i’m curious about it now! i’ve only read her book french milk before this. doing to check out her instagram. thank you!

    • Lilly says...

      Joanna, I recommend you her book “Relish”, so interesting. It includes some recipes too.

  27. “Displacement” looks like a funny yet moving book. It made me think of my granddad who died last year.

    Yesterday I finished reading something COMPLETELY different: “Ready Player One”, sci-fi/dystopian novel by Ernest Cline. I highly recommend it.

  28. That book looks adorable! I just finished Ready Player One – it was a real pageturner!

  29. Carmen B says...

    This book looks great. Perfect timing too, since I’m going on my first cruise this October.