Scribbles from my notebook reading “Goodbye, Again”

Getting lost in my own thoughts while reading Jonny Sun getting lost in his own thoughts.

I’ve been waiting for an advanced reader’s copy of Jonny Sun’s essay collection Goodbye, Again ever since I first heard about its existence a year ago. Sun is my favorite writer, across all of his platforms, my go-to presence when I want to be reassured that whatever I’m feeling has been felt by someone else. It’s my favorite thing about him and his style, but after reading his essay collection I started questioning that sense of comfort. Art and storytelling is comforting, but is it really healthy to find one specific person your emotional support writer? That’s a lot of pressure to put on one person’s words. And I get the feeling Jonny Sun is aware of that expectation from his readers.

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Understanding the “Minor Feelings” of “Interior Chinatown”

Each book on its own tells a part of the Asian American experience and together shed light on the complexities of the roles we play.

After spending seven years immersing myself in the creative Asian American community––think YouTubers, Crazy Rich Asians, even subtle asian traits––I’m pretty familiar with how the conversation about representation in media goes. It boils down to the lack of roles, the lack of opportunities to tell our own stories, and the stereotypes Asians in entertainment get pigeon holed into. Half a decade of listening to and discussing all that got tiring, so I initially avoided reading Charles Yu’s latest book. Turns out Interior Chinatown is less in conversation with Hollywood, and more alined with Cathy Park Hong’s book, Minor Feelings. Reading each tells different perspectives of the Asian American identity, and together unlock a sharp commentary of how that experience shapes us.

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A fresh, needed perspective from a living female rock critic

Jessica Hopper’s book, “The First Collection of Criticism by a Living Female Rock Critic” goes beyond the simple story of a review or profile.

After years of music criticism, Jessica Hopper assembled her best work to plant a flag in pop culture criticism with her second book, The First Collection of Criticism by a Living Female Rock Critic. Her dry humor and honest reviews make this First Collection an enjoyable read, but Hopper’s refreshing point of view on female musicians and fans really make these essays cultural criticism. She took each artist, body of work, and the overall culture to contextualize it within her own perspective.

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