From the gift that keeps on giving section, GlassHospital offers this book recommendation:

chastI ordered Roz Chast‘s latest, “Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant?” for my wife, knowing that I was keen to read it.

I’ve always enjoyed Chast’s drawings in the New Yorker, and the topic of her aging parents seemed to offer something both universal and ripe for humor. When the package arrived, my wife seemed skeptical. But when I couldn’t get the book away from her, I knew we were on to something. After she finished it, I devoured it quickly.

The book is a graphic memoir. It tells the tales of her aging parents, who very much age in place—the place where Chast grew up in Brooklyn. Just going back there fills Chast with dread from the smells and feelings of her awkward youth and challenging relationships, especially with her mother.

Chast’s parents both live well into their 90s, with the attendant issues and frailties that come with old age. Chast makes no secret of her anxieties, in general or about aging, and what’s great is that she is able to poke fun at herself and see the humor (often gallows-type) in difficult family and health situations.

[Here is a superb interview of Chast from earlier this year when the book came out.]

Whether or not you have an aging parent, this is a book I highly recommend.