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Goodbye, Again: Essays, Reflections, and Illustrations

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The wonderfully original author of Everyone's a Aliebn When Ur a Aliebn Too gives us a collection of touching and hilarious personal essays, stories, poems—accompanied by his trademark illustrations—covering topics such as mental health, happiness, and what it means to belong. Jonny Sun is back with a collection of essays and other writings in his unique, funny, and heartfe The wonderfully original author of Everyone's a Aliebn When Ur a Aliebn Too gives us a collection of touching and hilarious personal essays, stories, poems—accompanied by his trademark illustrations—covering topics such as mental health, happiness, and what it means to belong. Jonny Sun is back with a collection of essays and other writings in his unique, funny, and heartfelt style. The pieces range from long meditations on topics like loneliness and being an outsider, to short humor pieces, conversations, and memorable one-liners. Jonny's honest writings about his struggles with feeling productive, as well as his difficulties with anxiety and depression will connect deeply with his fans as well as anyone attempting to create in our chaotic world. It also features a recipe for scrambled eggs that might make you cry.


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The wonderfully original author of Everyone's a Aliebn When Ur a Aliebn Too gives us a collection of touching and hilarious personal essays, stories, poems—accompanied by his trademark illustrations—covering topics such as mental health, happiness, and what it means to belong. Jonny Sun is back with a collection of essays and other writings in his unique, funny, and heartfe The wonderfully original author of Everyone's a Aliebn When Ur a Aliebn Too gives us a collection of touching and hilarious personal essays, stories, poems—accompanied by his trademark illustrations—covering topics such as mental health, happiness, and what it means to belong. Jonny Sun is back with a collection of essays and other writings in his unique, funny, and heartfelt style. The pieces range from long meditations on topics like loneliness and being an outsider, to short humor pieces, conversations, and memorable one-liners. Jonny's honest writings about his struggles with feeling productive, as well as his difficulties with anxiety and depression will connect deeply with his fans as well as anyone attempting to create in our chaotic world. It also features a recipe for scrambled eggs that might make you cry.

30 review for Goodbye, Again: Essays, Reflections, and Illustrations

  1. 5 out of 5

    Michelle | musingsbymichelle

    *Thank you NetGalley and HarperAudio for this book in exchange for an honest review. Jonny Sun is a delight and this book is delightful. Through what I can only describe as musings, Sun describes the world in his careful and descriptive way– filtering from quick snippets of interactions with friends and advice from loved ones to stories of his family through recipes and restaurants to taking care of various plants throughout his life and the lessons those plants have taught him. In addition, and *Thank you NetGalley and HarperAudio for this book in exchange for an honest review. Jonny Sun is a delight and this book is delightful. Through what I can only describe as musings, Sun describes the world in his careful and descriptive way– filtering from quick snippets of interactions with friends and advice from loved ones to stories of his family through recipes and restaurants to taking care of various plants throughout his life and the lessons those plants have taught him. In addition, and what, perhaps, makes this book easier to connect with, is his invitation to how his mind works, anxiety included. I listened to the audiobook and it is narrated by Sun. I plan to buy the physical copy to see the illustrations, but highly recommend the audiobook! Although some sections made my heart speed up as I felt my anxiety get triggered, Sun’s voice is incredibly soothing and it’s nice to hear his thoughts in his voice.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Roxana

    I've followed Jonny Sun on Twitter for many, many years now, and come to be a big fan of his work and his viewpoint, in all the ways and forms he's shared these with his ever-growing audience. I say audience, but it's not hard not to feel like 'friends' would be nearer the mark - as willing as he is to share and be vulnerable and authentic online, it's hard not to feel like you know him better than you really do. Goodbye, Again, his new collection of personal essays, reflections, and illustration I've followed Jonny Sun on Twitter for many, many years now, and come to be a big fan of his work and his viewpoint, in all the ways and forms he's shared these with his ever-growing audience. I say audience, but it's not hard not to feel like 'friends' would be nearer the mark - as willing as he is to share and be vulnerable and authentic online, it's hard not to feel like you know him better than you really do. Goodbye, Again, his new collection of personal essays, reflections, and illustrations, is a perfect example of that feeling. Sun speaks as though to a friend, in what often reads like an expanded version of some tweets or Twitter threads, exploring topics like mental health, productivity, happiness, home, houseplants, and creativity in his customarily gentle, open style. Because the book is pretty short, and many of the pieces within it especially brief, even when some of them didn't really land for me - and there were a number of those, I admit - it was always a quick read 'til the next thought. On the other hand, I wish Sun had gone more in depth with some of these issues, as a lot of it just felt like dipping a toe into the idea, shrugging at it in passing, and moving on again. Still, many readers, whether they've been following Jonny for years or are new to his work, will find plenty to relate to in his struggles and meditations, his musings, his meanderings, his recipes. (Oh, did I not mention there's a recipe or two in here? Enjoy those scrambled eggs, friends.) I listened to the audiobook, which Jonny Sun reads himself, and while normally I'm not a fan of authors reading their own work, in this case Jonny has a voice that is so soothing and easy to listen to, it fits his writing perfectly - of course, in a book so personal - and feels, again, like having a conversation with an old friend, late at night when the party's long since died down and there's just a handful of people left, sitting around and getting philosophical. And listening to it now, a full year into not getting to do just that with my own friends...it feels somehow even more meaningful. Thank you to NetGalley and Harper Perennial for the advance review copy!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Andrew

    While reading this book, I felt like Jonny Sun was speaking both directly to and from my soul, and with every page I thought, "Wow, he gets it." Yes, while many of these essays are short, they are so deeply impactful. In Goodbye, Again, Sun touches on his experiences with anxiety, depression, and surviving with the mindset that productivity equals value in a world where taking a break from the grind feels like failure. This is the book for the people that want to matter, make a difference and le While reading this book, I felt like Jonny Sun was speaking both directly to and from my soul, and with every page I thought, "Wow, he gets it." Yes, while many of these essays are short, they are so deeply impactful. In Goodbye, Again, Sun touches on his experiences with anxiety, depression, and surviving with the mindset that productivity equals value in a world where taking a break from the grind feels like failure. This is the book for the people that want to matter, make a difference and leave a mark, but at the same time don't feel like they've achieved enough to deserve it. Jonny's love of plants comes into metaphor often, revealing there's a lot we can learn from them-- growing takes time, rest is a necessity, and sometimes things truly just are the way that they are. Goodbye, Again is without a doubt a book worth revisiting again and again-- Simply and wonderfully healing, a blooming treasure.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    Thank you to Harper Perennial for an ARC to review. I don’t know if I’ve ever met a writer who captured thoughts I’ve had as poignantly as Jonny Sun. These short essays (can you even call them essays?) remind me of thoughts I have daily. Except Sun wrote them down, refined them to their core essence, and then tore my own heat apart by hearing them repeated back to me. Why can’t I give it a 5 star review? I felt some essays were a bit repetitive. I recognize that caring for plants does provide for Thank you to Harper Perennial for an ARC to review. I don’t know if I’ve ever met a writer who captured thoughts I’ve had as poignantly as Jonny Sun. These short essays (can you even call them essays?) remind me of thoughts I have daily. Except Sun wrote them down, refined them to their core essence, and then tore my own heat apart by hearing them repeated back to me. Why can’t I give it a 5 star review? I felt some essays were a bit repetitive. I recognize that caring for plants does provide for a lot of introspection, but it felt like the balance of essay topics was off by continually coming back to this theme in particular. But this one is NOT one to miss, and definitely one of my favorite reads so far in 2021.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Barred Owl Books

    This is a series of short essays with hand-drawn illustrations that touch your heart and lift your spirits with comfort and insights that you feel like your best friend wrote it with you in mind.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Summer

    This is a series of short essays. They are thoughtful, intimate, and full of heart. I can tell this a book that I will want to gift multiple times. Even now days later I’m still ruminating over the content and I look forward to purchasing a physical copy of the book. I highly recommend listening to the audiobook which is read by the author Jonny Sun. Thank you to Harper Perennial and Net Galley for offering me the chance to review the audiobook.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Miranda

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I've been following Jonny Sun since I was in college. I don't remember how I came across him. Perhaps it was a funny tweet, or insta post a friend shared. I remember diving into his social media accounts filled with cartoons and thoughtful statements about everyday life and related so SO much. Even then, Jonny captured the beauty and banality of life so well, and he was particularly good at putting into words the thoughts that are felt deeply but left unsaid. Below are some quotes and thoughts - I've been following Jonny Sun since I was in college. I don't remember how I came across him. Perhaps it was a funny tweet, or insta post a friend shared. I remember diving into his social media accounts filled with cartoons and thoughtful statements about everyday life and related so SO much. Even then, Jonny captured the beauty and banality of life so well, and he was particularly good at putting into words the thoughts that are felt deeply but left unsaid. Below are some quotes and thoughts - less of a literary review and more how I relate to them: Foreword: A little hello "I was learning to take breaks and to get rest- not the type of rest that actually just builds more pressure because you feel like you are putting off something you should be doing, but actual, true, healing rest" (vii) "I set out trying to be less trapped by the pressure to be constantly productive, and as soon as I started finding those moments where I allowed myself to stop working or thinking about working for a second, to find ways to relax, to recover, to let my mind meander for the sake of it, I decided that I needed to write about the, that I had to document them and collect them or else I would forget them and lose them. Otherwise, I told myself, all this break-taking, this intentionally unproductive time, would not be "worth it." Somewhere, that desire to have some sort of *proof* that I was taking time off turned into the idea that this needed to be a project, that my time spent not being "productive" had to have a product in order to be worth doing." (viii) Reading this during a break in my own life - between finishing work at my ever first job as a consultant and starting grad school in the fall - I relate a lot to feeling the pressure to use my time productively. In the first couple of months after ending work, I was in Hawaii spending my time hiking, sleeping, traveling, swimming, reading, and enjoying not having responsibilities at all. To me, being in nature is both true rest and a productive kind of rest - I can say I've been to these places and hiked these mountains. After spending a couple of months on resting, I soon felt a pressure to be productive, to DO something with my time besides rest, to figure out how I can spend the summer productively. So I got my drivers license, a motorcycle license, and now am off to Taiwan to learn Chinese and do part time work. Like Jonny, filling my life with some kind of work or project fills it with purpose. Filling the blankness "I don't enjoy having time that's been unaccounted for because it immediately makes me feel like I should be doing something with it, and then I can't think of anything that I could possibly be doing that would be worthwhile enough to live up to the raw potential of any amount of available time" (8) A lot of my reflections are probably going to be about productivity and work, as I'm reading this in a time of my own life where I am in charge of my own time, and feeling pressure - some external but mostly internal - to make the most of it. But I also think the push to be productive, and in particular to be creative, is very human and not something we should try to escape or learn to not feel, but something we should embrace. Succulent "Sometimes, when something falls away naturally, it forms roots of its own" (12). I'm about to go away to Taiwan and China for a year and a half, possibly more. Part of me will miss home immensely but another part of me is looking forward to falling away and form roots of my own. On yearning "Even knowing that "most productive" should not be the goal of my years to begin with, I have still learned to be more comfortable with being isolated than being unproductive" (18) On his relationship to work: "If I were talking about a person, I suppose that might be called love" (18) Cactus On his parents taking care of a cactus he left behind: "I felt guilty for forgetting about it, then felt guilty that my parents had taken care of this thing I had so easily forgotten about. Then, this guilt gave way to a flooding of this feeling of appreciation for them, and for their attention (which I then felt guilty about for not feeling sooner)" (20). How many things has my mom done for me that I have never noticed or forgotten about? I am feeling guilty too, now. "During my visit, I tell my parents about this exciting new idea I came up with where I one day plan on taking a cutting from their jade plant and growing a new jade plant from it in my own apartment, so that something they took care of every day could beget something that I would take care of every day, which feels like a small and distant way for me to care for them by keeping a piece of their care alive" (23). This makes me think of my grandparents' plants that they used to have in Harbin, on their balcony. How many of them carried small pieces of their friends' lives, and so on? On nostalgia "Or maybe nostalgia is to feel a happiness about something that is over because it is over. That in order to feel happy about it, it must be something that you can't go back to and affect, that you can't mess up from where you are now, but also, that you can't really feel at all" (31) On peace "Having a deadline looming is almost a peaceful thing because it feels as if the deadline simplifies all the variables of living. It forces everything not deadline-related to blur out of focus" (35) How to cook scrambled eggs I'm not going to quote this entire passage, but in summary it's a reflection on life told through egg recipes. There were so many parts of this book that I wanted to take photos of and share with my friends - and I did for a socially acceptable amount, to send things that I think they would find interesting or relatable but not send too many things that it would be overwhelming for them - and I sent the egg passages to a friend whose favorite food is eggs. I hope she liked it. A place to visit without being a visitor On his parents taking him to restaurants that they know the owners of: "But I think there is also a part of them that is also showing themselves off to me - "Look, your parents are people of the town. We are people who people know! And people like us!"" (63). When does this turning point in life happen? When your parents start wanting to impress you, and for you to regard them highly? Somewhere, I think it happened between me and my mom. "To be Asian in (North) America is to keep a short running list of places where you know you will be given the gift of being seen as more than a visitor" (63). Is this why I feel so comfortable in Asian restaurants, why when traveling around the world for pleasure or work I seek out Chinatowns when I want to feel comfortable? Farm game This one's about Stardew Valley and Animal Crossing! A social media post that Jonny made at some point last year, that particularly resonated with me - and makes another appearance as this more fully thought out essay in "Goodbye, Again" - was about Stardew Valley. He described farming games as providing a reachable goal and escape from the murky paths and goals of real life. I saw this post during the COVID-19 lockdown in New York, after my grandpa had passed away, when I was suffering from boredom and burnout from my job, a time when life seemed frustrating and stagnant and so I simply wanted to escape - and so I escaped into Stardew Valley. I used this kind of sentiment to understand why I enjoyed some of my other hobbies so much, like summitting mountains and completing thru-hikes; they provided clear and reachable goals. "Many of my friends have fantasies of quitting their jobs and owning an actual, real-life, physical farm - which is to say that most of my friends are city people, who don't know anything about actual farms [...] I find it curious that these dreams aren't about simply living in and among nature, but they are dreams in which nature is the project we work on. We cannot seem to escape the desire to feel productive with our time" (78-79). For me, I dream about simply being in nature rather than making into a project to work on. But my productivity comes less about working ON nature and more from experiencing the nature as productivity itself - e.g., summitting mountains as a reachable and accomplishable goal. Sunlight "Taking the time to be around nature is helping me understand that things can just exist, being what they are, and it's just each of us that gives them some sort of meaning" (122) Prayer plant "But even in the slow sadness of a dying plant, I have now come to appreciate that there is something peaceful about how slowly that panic and hopelessness and frustration and guilt unfurls, every morning and every night, over and over again, and how slowly the plant teaches me to feel it, to accept it, until one day it cannot teach me anything, anymore" (129). My grandpa's death, too, taught me a lot. It's something that I know, but can't put into words yet. Maybe one day. On proof "I knew that ending a message with a period meant something different than ending it with a single exclamation mark or multiple exclamation marks or an ellipsis or no punctuation at all" (140). This passage made me think about someone very special to me who uses periods in very meaningful and powerful ways over text. Just one period from him has the power to make me feel an intense yearning and love. On texting instead of talking: "And I loved knowing that in some folder, the act of talking to a friend was filling a .txt document with thousands and thousands of words. That by talking, we were writing a novel, or a script, or something even more. And that made it feel like what we were doing was much more than just talking. In writing all these words together, over years and years, it felt like we were collaborating, like we had written a friendship into being" (141). This speaks to my need, right now, to record everything that happens to me. I record the places I've been in Google maps. I record interesting moments as vignettes in my journal and notes. And I also got frustrated at my grandma for deleting my grandpa's final wechat messages to her, even though they are just words, even though she's already kept them in her heart, even though the experience of the last 60 years together is so much more than just a few texts. A waste of time and energy On making music with his friends, just for the sake of it: "And I think about the promise of turning this into an album. And I feel confident, and maybe encouraged, by the fact that it will probably never happen, partly because we are each so busy with our own lives that we don't have the time to sort through all of this, but mainly, I think, because the joy that comes from doing this is in actively throwing away - and in celebrating the throwing away of - the work. In letting it disappear back into the air. Or, because I am not brave enough to actually fully do that, to record everything on my phone just as proof that it happened, but to never do anything with it at all" (148). On finding ways to remember His mom taking pictures of him: "Even though I complain, the truth is that I am comforted by the fact that there is proof that I came home to visit, too. Because I will be gone again before I know it" (156). How many times have I walked down the stairs of my mom's apartment, or down the hallway of my grandma's toward the elevator, holding back tears but not looking back because I know my mom will be in the doorway looking at my leave, that my grandma will be walking in the hallway toward the elevator toward me, still in the process of walking when I get into the elevator and go downstairs without looking back. Removing On leaving a place: "When I leave, it becomes something that simply happens. People will go on with their lives. That place you were a part of, that you are now just some visitor to, will continue operating in your absence, will continue picking up more visitors, will continue to continue. It must" (157). How I feel as I am about to leave New York for perhaps over a year, for the longest time since I moved here in 3rd grade. On the emptiness created by people you barely know The restaurant his parents used to take him to closed, and the owners moved away, and there's no way to get in touch with them "Then I ask my mom if that makes her sad, and she pauses for a second and then says, "That's just how things go"" (160). I need to be better at letting things go. On mourning "You can mourn your own changes, too. That you are no longer the person you used to be is, in my opinion, a good reason for mourning, IT ay be a cause for celebration, sometimes, too. But you can always give who you once were a send-off, a memorial, before you move on from them" (161) Pieces "The more you grow as a person, the more homes you find, the more homes you make, the more homes you share. Each return to a home you once left becomes a realization that it takes up a smaller and smaller place among all the homes you know know. It's only natural to feel like you're being torn into pieces" (165). Wow. My grandfather's plant "Sometimes, a plant is just a plant, but sometimes, caring for a plant feels like some way to do something when you don't know what else to do. Sometimes, caring for a plant feels like a way to remember someone, a way to, in some way, continue caring for them. Sometimes, you keep caring for the plant, and the plant keeps growing, discovering new corners to inhabit, new walls to climb" (167). I miss you, grandpa. On remembering through others From time to time, you will hear their voice in someone else's words. This is how they tell you, "I was part of the world and the world is still here"" (168). I will never forget you, grandpa. I see you in all the places we experienced together, and all the places I want to show you but won't get the chance to. Your last 15 minutes before the end of the world, ranked form worst to best 10. Minute five: Being on a group FaceTime with your entire family, being grateful that at least, in this small way, you are together, even though you are not saying anything at all, even though you are all just crying, and you are just watching your mom take screenshot after screenshot of her own screen, even though there is no reason to save any more screenshots any longer" (200). I took so, so many screenshots of facetime when grandpa was in the hospital. Someone else's room "I stand in my old bedroom and try to remember what it felt like to be a younger me living here, instead of being a visitor to the memory of what 'here' even is. Here, all my stuff has stayed exactly the same as I remember from that time. It is frozen - a memorial, in a way, to some past version of me who is gone now, who I no longer am. And it doesn't feel like home anymore [...] I suppose sometimes the things in the room don't need to be different for a place to feel unfamiliar. Sometimes you are the thing that has changed" (207)

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    This review and more can be found at www.thebookbratz.blogspot.com. I received an ARC of GOODBYE, AGAIN after having read Jonny's debut book a few years ago, so when I found out that he had another book coming out, I knew that I really wanted to read it. This one was a little bit different -- instead of being a fiction story, this one was a collection of essays, illustrations, and reflections. So when I first picked it up, I was a little bit intimidated because I didn't know if I would enjoy the This review and more can be found at www.thebookbratz.blogspot.com. I received an ARC of GOODBYE, AGAIN after having read Jonny's debut book a few years ago, so when I found out that he had another book coming out, I knew that I really wanted to read it. This one was a little bit different -- instead of being a fiction story, this one was a collection of essays, illustrations, and reflections. So when I first picked it up, I was a little bit intimidated because I didn't know if I would enjoy the story, since I'm not really a huge nonfiction reader. However, that ended up not being a worry at all, because I absolutely loved this one and can't stop recommending it to people. So without further ado, let's get into my review! As the summary explains, this book is a collection of essays and reflections, as well as Jonny's hand-drawn illustrations. The reflections range on everything from moving out of your apartment, to missing your family, to falling in love, to making scrambled eggs. But even though the essays all vary greatly in their topics, there is a unifying theme of realizing who you are in relation to the world around you. There were moments where I laughed, felt my eyes well up with tears, and sat there dumbfounded at the thought of how something as simple as making eggs could be so profound. This book is truly an artistic treasure! I ended up really loving this book, and I thought that it was so touching and sweet. I ended up reading the entire book in less than 24 hours because I just didn't want to put it down, especially since many of the reflections were short pieces that were a page or two long. It was really easy to breeze through, and I also just felt so drawn to the book, because it really brought me a sense of calm and reflection in the middle of a chaotic, busy day. It felt like a warm hug to just be able to curl up with this book and read some reflections, stories, and thoughts from someone who I look up to a lot, and a lot of the things that Jonny says are very poignant and striking that made me think and reflect in ways that I wasn't expecting. I especially loved the short little reflections that had to do with realizing who you are, as well as love and loss. I picked up this book during the anniversary of a really big loss in my life, so being able to read small snippets about how the people we love aren't truly gone, and the way we leave ourselves behind in all of the places we've ever been, actually made me feel really at peace. This book felt like the hug I didn't know I needed -- like the friend's advice that I didn't ask for but ended up valuing beyond words. Overall, I think that GOODBYE, AGAIN was such a sweet treasure of a book that everyone should have on their shelves. If you're looking for a quiet, calming book that makes you think about your role in life without overwhelming you, instead making you feel comforted and like you're receiving a warm hug, then this is definitely the read for you.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Julian

    A unique, heartfelt, at times beautiful book that maybe overstates its case. The opening chapters of this book struck me very directly at this point in my life; Jonny writes about a combination of loneliness, desire, and alienation that is both vulnerable and relatable. You can sense the catharsis that he must've felt writing it in every page, and it's a great companion book for anyone going through a similar experience. The wall between narrator and author feels very thin in these pages. As an ac A unique, heartfelt, at times beautiful book that maybe overstates its case. The opening chapters of this book struck me very directly at this point in my life; Jonny writes about a combination of loneliness, desire, and alienation that is both vulnerable and relatable. You can sense the catharsis that he must've felt writing it in every page, and it's a great companion book for anyone going through a similar experience. The wall between narrator and author feels very thin in these pages. As an actual book, it falls a little flat (I do feel pretty awful for saying that because of the palpable vulnerability and openness here). While the book is easy to sink into, halfway through I felt like I had read most of the ideas the book wanted to articulate, and the carousel of anecdotes and reflections started to feel like many similar horses painted slightly differently. I found myself skimming yet another section with a metaphor about plants for these themes, yet another anecdote about the difficulties of fitting in, another reflection on how an apartment is and is not a reflection of oneself. If this book is half as long, is it a more effective one for the reader, though perhaps less therapeutic for the author? This may be more of a coffee-table/flip-through-at-your leisure book rather than one you want to read, in order, during a set period of time. There's an arc here, but it's loose. While you certainly can't fault the honesty within, I was left wanting more. The narrator doesn't grow/change as much as he accepts (fitting for the themes, I'll concede), and his many detailed descriptions about anxiety and meaninglessness are at times a bit suffocating. His writing is soulful and at times beautiful, but lacking sentence variance to keep me fully engaged. To borrow Jonny's metaphor and infuse with plant-based puns, I'd say buy this book, keep it out in the open where there's plenty of air, and leaf through it; let it nurture you when you need it to; and if there's a moment where you're wondering if you're over-attentive to it, maybe you've given it all that you can for the time being, and it's OK to set it aside.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Lauren

    The writing in Jonny Sun's latest book is like a comforting hug from someone you haven't seen in a long time due to COVID-19. As his words pull you into a tight embrace as your fountain of suppressed emotions spills over, in the short of it, he's basically telling you that, "it's okay not to be okay, because I've been there too, but there is a brighter side to remember, and sometimes, it can take the form of a plant or a cat that acts like a loaf of bread." I've been a fan of his work for a numbe The writing in Jonny Sun's latest book is like a comforting hug from someone you haven't seen in a long time due to COVID-19. As his words pull you into a tight embrace as your fountain of suppressed emotions spills over, in the short of it, he's basically telling you that, "it's okay not to be okay, because I've been there too, but there is a brighter side to remember, and sometimes, it can take the form of a plant or a cat that acts like a loaf of bread." I've been a fan of his work for a number of years now, but it's this new one from him that has arrived at just the right time. The funny thing is, the version of him that wrote it might not be the same one that's here, but I'm sure the sentiments remain. Admittedly, sometimes it's a little rambly, and I don't know enough about being a plant parent to truly understand the sentiments behind the dozens of pieces he wrote on just that subject matter alone. But I bear in mind that these are his thoughts, that this is the forms that arrive in, and that these experiences are his and may be relate-able for other readers out there. I think Jonny covers enough ground to where anyone can take away something from his writings. If you're lucky, you just might find him verbalizing thoughts that you yourself have had, but have never considered them in words until reading them in this here book. I love how relate-able Jonny can be, even if he's drawing from something particularly specific. I wonder what kind of person I will be when I one day and go back to re-read it. Another part of me wishes that this book didn't have an ending. But echoing Jonny, in order for their to be a second read-through, you need to finish the first one - and by all means, definitely start that first one, because "Goodbye, Again" is truly a comforting read.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Josh Stoiber

    Thanks to Harper Audio and NetGalley for the advanced copy of this beautiful little book. Goodbye, Again is a beautiful collection of often melancholy essays by Jonny Sun. Readers familiar with Jonny's Twitter account or his writing as the tenderhearted alien Jomny will have a good idea of what to expect tonally here, though many concepts and thoughts he addresses are explored in greater detail than in his previous works. I believe that the audio production was done well, sounding something like a Thanks to Harper Audio and NetGalley for the advanced copy of this beautiful little book. Goodbye, Again is a beautiful collection of often melancholy essays by Jonny Sun. Readers familiar with Jonny's Twitter account or his writing as the tenderhearted alien Jomny will have a good idea of what to expect tonally here, though many concepts and thoughts he addresses are explored in greater detail than in his previous works. I believe that the audio production was done well, sounding something like an extended (and perhaps slightly avant-garde) episode of This American Life. I do think that the narration was occasionally too melancholic, often ending sentences with a downward intonation and very, very quietly. However, I did get used to it and stop noticing it after half an hour or so. Many of the essays center on meaning and purpose, something the author often finds through productivity. These moments struck me as a millennial perspective on being a "work-a-holic." It's not the "keeping up with the Joneses" mentality, not the pursuit of a better car or bigger house or even more money, but rather trying to understand the value of different uses of one's time and energy, and examining the influences one has that help assign that value. This book is full of ruminations, and rarely offers conclusions made from them. Readers and listeners are invited to sit next to Jonny and think about the immediate world around them. It's meditative and beautiful. Not every essay gripped me, or even provoked equal thoughtfulness, but it was an empathetic journey worth taking. As a fellow millennial, I think that Jonny's insights will also help older generations understand some of what our generation wrestles with.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Rose

    Goodbye, Again, by Jonny Sun, is a collection of bits and pieces -- short essays, thoughts, and drawings all about life, depression, and plants. Fundamentally, this book is about the struggle between being productive and being happy, a topic that many, including myself, will find all too relatable. Sun's writing style is conversational and personal. He shares stories of his plants, his parents, his work, all with the same tone of quiet contemplation, a tone that is beautifully displayed by the au Goodbye, Again, by Jonny Sun, is a collection of bits and pieces -- short essays, thoughts, and drawings all about life, depression, and plants. Fundamentally, this book is about the struggle between being productive and being happy, a topic that many, including myself, will find all too relatable. Sun's writing style is conversational and personal. He shares stories of his plants, his parents, his work, all with the same tone of quiet contemplation, a tone that is beautifully displayed by the audio narration, which Sun provides himself. His voice, both spoken and written, is soothing and calm, even while he describes feelings that anything but. The drawings sprinkled throughout are simple, and they match the overall tone of the book beautifully. This book doesn't dive very deeply into anything -- the essays are sort, sometimes just a few lines long, and even those that take up more room on the page don't really do much exploration. Instead, this book skates along the surface, dipping down here and there to share a thought or a feeling about a topic, to describe how to cook eggs and how to live as the child of demanding parents, how to feel at home in a place and how to take care of a houseplant, all without ever truly examining the depths of any given subject. In spite of this overall shallow approach, the book overall is deeply moving. I found myself caught up in it, swallowing the bit size pieces of writing and drawing while nodding my head, feeling myself often clearly represented on the pages of the book. This book will feel very familiar to many readers, and although no answers will be given, perhaps it is enough to know that someone else is asking the same questions. Thank you to HarperAudio and NetGalley for this ALC!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Neil Pasricha

    I first learned about Jonny Sun through a 2017 New York Times Magazine feature called “A Whimsical Wordsmith Charts a Course Beyond Twitter.” His background fascinated me: the guy had grown a half a million meme-loving following on Twitter … almost as kind of an experiment doing his PhD at MIT. A young and accomplished playwright, architect, designer, engineer, illustrator of a Lin-Manuel Miranda book, and scriptwriter for BOJACK HORSEMAN. Who is this guy??? Well, in this wonderful collection of I first learned about Jonny Sun through a 2017 New York Times Magazine feature called “A Whimsical Wordsmith Charts a Course Beyond Twitter.” His background fascinated me: the guy had grown a half a million meme-loving following on Twitter … almost as kind of an experiment doing his PhD at MIT. A young and accomplished playwright, architect, designer, engineer, illustrator of a Lin-Manuel Miranda book, and scriptwriter for BOJACK HORSEMAN. Who is this guy??? Well, in this wonderful collection of small, delicate essays I feel like I’ve finally found out. An Asian-Canadian hyper-productive, openly-anxious, big-thinking artist with a beautifully unique perspective on issues large and small – especially those growing up amidst this constant race to produce and shine. Here are a few lines from his essay “Unnatural words” to give you a taste: “I have tried to become more attentive to words that treat natural elements of ourselves as currency: ‘paying attention,’ ‘spending time’, ‘wasting energy.’ That ‘free time’ as a concept is so natural to us means that we have told ourselves, we have agreed on the fact that, by default our time is to mean something, is to have value, to be worth something, or is to be earned. … I have tried to catch myself whenever I use words and phrases like this, but they feel so engrained in my way of thinking. It feels so expected of us to convert ourselves into currency and spenders and buyers that these words come across as entirely natural when really they are anything but. When I do catch myself, I try to use other words – ‘giving my attention’, ‘sharing my time’, ‘using my energy’ – but it feels so instinctively strange to use words that do not promise that I get something in return…” I loved this book.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Sandy

    This is 100% a comfort book in all of its sadness and introspection and moments of love. Jonny's writing is simple, but I think that's what makes it exceptionally impactful. He takes such complex feelings and turns it into something deeply relatable in a couple of pages. Some of his thoughts were based on some of the topics that I've felt deeply alone in for the longest time growing up as a perpetually anxious workaholic Asian-American, but I never had the words to describe them. I've bookmarked This is 100% a comfort book in all of its sadness and introspection and moments of love. Jonny's writing is simple, but I think that's what makes it exceptionally impactful. He takes such complex feelings and turns it into something deeply relatable in a couple of pages. Some of his thoughts were based on some of the topics that I've felt deeply alone in for the longest time growing up as a perpetually anxious workaholic Asian-American, but I never had the words to describe them. I've bookmarked many pages and highlighted so many lines. Some of the topics that hit me the hardest covered the "role" we play in a friendship to be useful and wanted, the habits unconsciously passed down to us from our parents, the strange relationship we have with overworking, and our constant worry about our impact on / importance to this world. I think overall, we all just want to BE someone to everyone we love and have the potential of loving. This book felt like a hug, like someone else knew how I felt. Jonny's writing feels like an evening talk with a friend. We're sitting at home and just being vulnerable with each other and anytime someone brings up a topic, the other person goes, "Wait, I feel that way too!" I really loved this book. I usually devour books, but I took my time with this one. I paced myself so I never took too much in and allowed the stories to sink in. I think that's a good way to read this one. Whenever you're ready to have that "deep talk" again, you can pick it up and find comfort in the moment and put it down to get back to your day. This is one of my most favorite books of all time. I really treasured my time reading it and I'm grateful it was written.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Roslyn Sundset

    I received an ALC (Advanced listener copy) of this book from NetGalley and Harper Audio. Just so you readers know, I will always give an honest review. If I can't be honest, I simply won't do it. This book is supposed to be out April 20, 2021. I listened to the audiobook version. This was narrated by the author, Jonny Sun. I want to start by talking about this author. I love this author. I know this person doesn't know me, but I feel like I know them. I read their book about the aliebn and wanted I received an ALC (Advanced listener copy) of this book from NetGalley and Harper Audio. Just so you readers know, I will always give an honest review. If I can't be honest, I simply won't do it. This book is supposed to be out April 20, 2021. I listened to the audiobook version. This was narrated by the author, Jonny Sun. I want to start by talking about this author. I love this author. I know this person doesn't know me, but I feel like I know them. I read their book about the aliebn and wanted everyone I know to read that book. I was in love. I follow this person on twitter too and feel joy when a new tweet pops up. So I had high hopes for this book right off the bat. And let me tell you, it did not disappoint. I felt like the almost 4 hours was not nearly long enough for this book. I really wanted to hear more because I felt like I connected with Jonny and their experiences and outlook on life. I mean, the one criticism I really have is that I felt the narration itself was a little slow. easy fix though, I ended up listening to the book on x1.25 speed and it was perfect for me. It did make the 4 hours go by even faster (well duh) but I still loved every moment of listening. Jonny's experiences are extremely specific yet somehow appropriately relatable. They use humor throughout which is a nice contrast to the "realness" that is felt deep within his words. There is one part of the book where I felt like Jonny was in my head. They were in a grocery store and the running commentary in their head felt exactly like my head and I just wanted to scream, "get out of my head!" But also, I felt less alone, which was comforting. This book felt like a warm understanding blanket, wrapped around me so I become a burrito. I wish I had the physical book because listening to the audiobook, I feel like I really missed out on the illustrations. I may get a physical copy once the book comes out to see what I missed. I want to buy this book for everyone I know.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Sophia Dyer • bookishly.vintage

    I cannot remember if I won this directly from the publisher or a goodreads giveaway, but thank you to the publisher for sending this my way! All opinions are my own. I truly enjoyed reading this, and if I had more time I would have read it in one sitting! I'm serious, IO blew through 100 pages like it was nothing. Jonny Sun is relatable and has a little something for everyone in this book, and I was seriously nervous by how much I related to some of the very specific, detailed stories in here. Al I cannot remember if I won this directly from the publisher or a goodreads giveaway, but thank you to the publisher for sending this my way! All opinions are my own. I truly enjoyed reading this, and if I had more time I would have read it in one sitting! I'm serious, IO blew through 100 pages like it was nothing. Jonny Sun is relatable and has a little something for everyone in this book, and I was seriously nervous by how much I related to some of the very specific, detailed stories in here. Also, he has a weird affixation with plants, but its nice too! The reason why this book was so quick and easy to read is because it does not read like a traditional book. "Chapters" are sometimes only a line or two long, and some are as long as 3-4 pages. There are lots of little illustrations (some I could not even tell what it was), and the topics are easy to read about and enjoy. The whole book encompasses saying goodbye (of course, like the title), but also hellos, getting stuck, anxiety, appreciating the little things, and everything in between. The title is even explained in the book too, in its own way. Overall, I enjoyed this book and Jonny Sun's ramblings. I really connected with a lot of his stories in the beginning, and I think he does have something for everyone. The format is easy to read without feeling bogged down or full of useless facts you see in many memoirs (sorry if you generally like them, I don't). I think if you read/liked Barely Functional Adult, this is a good similar read (with less cartoons but just as many silly metaphors).

  17. 5 out of 5

    Chelsea

    “Sometimes the things in the room don’t need to be different for a place to feel unfamiliar. Sometimes you are the thing that has changed.” I find myself liking this quite a lot because I feel like it resonates with me and it might mean something for some people too.🙃 Goobye, again is a raw and honest book about different/random things in life. This book made me feel like I’m not the only one who has these different/weird thoughts. You know how you overthink almost everything, always think that t “Sometimes the things in the room don’t need to be different for a place to feel unfamiliar. Sometimes you are the thing that has changed.” I find myself liking this quite a lot because I feel like it resonates with me and it might mean something for some people too.🙃 Goobye, again is a raw and honest book about different/random things in life. This book made me feel like I’m not the only one who has these different/weird thoughts. You know how you overthink almost everything, always think that the worst will happen? then in this book we get to read about Jonny’s own thoughts/experiences on them making you feel less lonely. Like « hey so others do feel that way too lol » 🙃there are chapters I liked more than others especially the ones about friendship, anxiety, and nostalgia just to name a few I liked. I did skip a few chapters just because I feel like they were kind of too long and I wasn’t really interested in them. Also, there are some nice drawings in this book. If you love plants then I’m sure you’ll like that one. Even if you don’t at least you’ll learn some things about plants you might have never heard about lol which I kind of liked. After all, I might get myself a plant.😅Overall, it was a nice read. For those who overthink/worry a lot(like me).😂this quote is for you. “You have your entire life to worry about the rest of your life. Just get through today. Don't tell yourself don't worry, but just worry smaller.” Thanks to Bibliolifestyle and Harper Perennial for the free copy!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Deborah Johnson

    I feel like I can't give this book a rating yet because I don't know how to rate it or what to rate it on. It did make me feel a lot of things and I think books that make us feel things even if it be confusion or sadness or some sort of reflection are elements of a good book. The writing is also extremely digestible and easy to understand and I think those are also elements of a good book (at least for me). I think this book made me feel really sad both for the author and for an old version of m I feel like I can't give this book a rating yet because I don't know how to rate it or what to rate it on. It did make me feel a lot of things and I think books that make us feel things even if it be confusion or sadness or some sort of reflection are elements of a good book. The writing is also extremely digestible and easy to understand and I think those are also elements of a good book (at least for me). I think this book made me feel really sad both for the author and for an old version of myself and for the people in my life that I know are so attached to work hustle culture and have feels around our inherent value. That's not to say that I don't have some of the same worries or feelings as Jonny Sun but that it made me mourn for the ways capitalism and expectation rule over our world and impact our mental health so deeply. As I'm writing this I realize I do need to give this book 5 stars because what he's done in this book is capture really really big universal concerns in such a vulnerable, honest, and raw way. Jonny Sun laid himself out here bare and open to the world and I don't know if I could do the same, there were parts where I was mad at him! I would say WHY ARE YOU THINKING THIS WAY WHY ARE YOU SO ATTACHED TO WORKING as if I haven't and don't feel the same way sometimes even though my mind knows and understand the bullshit around work/productivity culture - maybe I've had the privilege and time to move away from it more but yes. I would highly recommend this book because it made me feel a lot of things.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Elena L.

    [3.5/5 stars] "... life takes time, but with time, life, for the most part, seems to generally know what to do. " This collection of essays steals our little moments and allows us to relax and recover from the culture of production and work, letting our mind meander while we appreciate some valuable thoughts. Sun talks about anxiety and productivity, illustrating these themes with humorous reflections and plants. Seeing the growth of plants feels like they are teaching us to experience different [3.5/5 stars] "... life takes time, but with time, life, for the most part, seems to generally know what to do. " This collection of essays steals our little moments and allows us to relax and recover from the culture of production and work, letting our mind meander while we appreciate some valuable thoughts. Sun talks about anxiety and productivity, illustrating these themes with humorous reflections and plants. Seeing the growth of plants feels like they are teaching us to experience different emotions, from happiness to slow sadness to frustration and guilt. There's an interesting knowledge about plants and taking care of them that makes us go slow. The pressure to produce has been so engrained in us that even in our deepest fantasies we strive to produce. For instance, in "Farm game", the goal of the game is also to be productive. Ultimately, we are always trying to fill the blankness of the time. In "Nostalgia", as a very nostalgic person, this essay resonated with me - "nostalgia is to feel a happiness about something that is over because is over?" - I think that if we could go back to the past and affect it somehow, nostalgia wouldn't be a happy concept. If you want to read comforting essays, this book is for you. If you feel burnt out, this book is for you. [ I received a complimentary copy from the publisher - Harperperennial - in exchange for an honest review ]

  20. 4 out of 5

    Michael Gat

    Beautifully written and where appropriate, illustrated. Jonny's writing style makes it feel that he is speaking to you directly, and at times too directly. At times I've felt he is speaking not only to me, but for me. At it's best, it resonates almost perfectly with me. At it's worst, it is still interesting, it just resonates less. I hesitate to give this one five stars, but only because the experience of reading it was very personal and I have a tough time comprehending how others might relate t Beautifully written and where appropriate, illustrated. Jonny's writing style makes it feel that he is speaking to you directly, and at times too directly. At times I've felt he is speaking not only to me, but for me. At it's best, it resonates almost perfectly with me. At it's worst, it is still interesting, it just resonates less. I hesitate to give this one five stars, but only because the experience of reading it was very personal and I have a tough time comprehending how others might relate to it. He is upfront and honest about his battles with depression and anxiety. Many of the experiences and observations that result from this are very, resonant with me but may not be with others. More than anything, I found his descriptions of his experience with plants to be illuminating and relatable. Not because I've had similar experience with plants, but because his experiences with plants parallel my own experience with other things I've built, grown or developed. His insights into plants give me insight into my own different struggles. His writing style reminds me of what I might write, if I weren't constrained by the reality of "professional" writing all the time. Full of detailed, run-on sentences and paragraphs that make you feel like he's talking to you, rather than presenting things in the way that is necessarily the easiest to follow. It's authentic and gives him a unique voice. It is a wonderful read.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Madeleine Nicole

    This was so relatable and beautifully written. Almost every section was impactful in some way, and I've never read anything like this but I was so into it. I really want a physical copy so I can annotate and see the illustrations! - I love that it was narrated by the author (there was a weird sort of echo on the audiobook but that might have just been my phone and it didn't affect my enjoyment at all... just a little annoying). - The essays about productivity and self doubt and pressure were so re This was so relatable and beautifully written. Almost every section was impactful in some way, and I've never read anything like this but I was so into it. I really want a physical copy so I can annotate and see the illustrations! - I love that it was narrated by the author (there was a weird sort of echo on the audiobook but that might have just been my phone and it didn't affect my enjoyment at all... just a little annoying). - The essays about productivity and self doubt and pressure were so relatable to me and hit me hard. I think each person will get something different out of this book, depending on what they're going through, and the essays that I could really relate with were my favorite ones. - It seemed like there was a lot of unrelated themes so it lacked some unity. On the one hand, I appreciated that because it reminded me of life. We experience a lot of random messy things that don't always make sense or fit perfectly together. That being said, I would have liked to delve deeper into more specific topics and spent more time on each essay/theme. Overall, I really really enjoyed this! I don't rate nonfiction anymore, but I think this book would have gotten a 4 or 5 stars. Really wonderfully written and a relatable look at life. **Thanks to NetGalley for an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review**

  22. 5 out of 5

    Enid Wray

    I think this is a case where (i) the medium matters, and (ii) I am not the target demographic for this book (my being a retired white female of a certain vintage, in a long term stable marriage with an adult child). For me, at my stage in life, most of what I read here were truisms that I was already well acquainted with. This is an enjoyable enough little book, and it whiled away my time on this lovely sunny April morning. But, I didn’t find that there was anything particularly profound about it I think this is a case where (i) the medium matters, and (ii) I am not the target demographic for this book (my being a retired white female of a certain vintage, in a long term stable marriage with an adult child). For me, at my stage in life, most of what I read here were truisms that I was already well acquainted with. This is an enjoyable enough little book, and it whiled away my time on this lovely sunny April morning. But, I didn’t find that there was anything particularly profound about it… with, perhaps, the exception of this line: “The burden of configuring a response that encompasses everything that needs to be said is too great to face at the moment” (p33)... which happens to perfectly articulate the reason why I walked away from social media almost a year ago (after having tried using it to stay in touch with friends, family and former colleagues upon moving away post-retirement). I will confess that I have never heard of Jonny Sun, but I have done my research since finishing reading… and I think I will check out his TedTalk… I’m betting I’ll relate better to the message in person that I did on the page. Thanks to the publisher and Edelweiss for granting access to an early digital review copy.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Tina Rae

    So I absolutely LOVED this book! It’s a delightful collection of reflections that really hit home and rang true. I’m in a similar place and time in my life and I identified so hard with this entire book. It said a lot of things that I’d been feeling but had never voiced. And it was nice to see those same feelings in print. This also really made me want to own plants? I’m not great at keeping things alive but this made me want to go buy aaaall the plants and give it a try. This book definitely a l So I absolutely LOVED this book! It’s a delightful collection of reflections that really hit home and rang true. I’m in a similar place and time in my life and I identified so hard with this entire book. It said a lot of things that I’d been feeling but had never voiced. And it was nice to see those same feelings in print. This also really made me want to own plants? I’m not great at keeping things alive but this made me want to go buy aaaall the plants and give it a try. This book definitely a love letter to plants and I loved that they were often used as metaphors. This book was full of so much plant love! This whole book is so beautifully written and just a wonderful collection! I could not recommend it more highly! If you’re a 20 something or a 30 something and not entirely sure of your place in the world, this collection is for you. I felt so seen while reading this and I loved it so much. I have also read everyone’s a aliebn when ur a aliebn too by Sun as well and it is also fantastic!!! I will definitely be reading everything he writes in the future!! (And looking for his other books!) Thank you to Harper Perennial for sending a copy of this my way in exchange for an honest review! I loved every minute of reading it!!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Kari

    I’m honored to be on the @Bibliolifestyle Book Tour for GOODBYE, AGAIN. It is a revealing look of touching essays, wisdom, advice, thoughts, recipes, stories and reflection that is oozing with humor and difficult topics we sometimes don’t discuss. It was able to help lift my spirits and I really drew from the energy and connected on so many levels. So random were the topics but so random the human mind can be. As a topic pertaining on sadness and depression it says, “ You can’t outrun sadness be I’m honored to be on the @Bibliolifestyle Book Tour for GOODBYE, AGAIN. It is a revealing look of touching essays, wisdom, advice, thoughts, recipes, stories and reflection that is oozing with humor and difficult topics we sometimes don’t discuss. It was able to help lift my spirits and I really drew from the energy and connected on so many levels. So random were the topics but so random the human mind can be. As a topic pertaining on sadness and depression it says, “ You can’t outrun sadness because sadness is already everywhere. Sadness isn’t the visitor, you are”. Sometimes the quotes made me ponder and rethink how I feel sad and how I am stuck inside but it made me realize that sadness will be everywhere. I must change my thinking. I’m working now to have a PMA- Positive Mental Attitude on the things that I do have and finds ways to make happiness by helping others or doing something to surprise another person. That gives me a happiness like no other. My other favorite part is the various succulent and other plant life advice throughout. I feel like my thumb might be turning green. This is perfect gift to yourself or another person. It is a book everyone should have the pleasure of owning.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Danielle Zimmerman

    Never in my life have I dog-eared pages in a book as much as I did with GOODBYE, AGAIN. Mainly, to come back to them and sit with them further, but also to share certain passages and fleeting thoughts with others. Because that’s very much what GOODBYE, AGAIN is. It’s a compilation of passing thoughts and ruminations, extracted from their fleetingness and held up to the light in order to examine their many facets. It’s stream of consciousness but with certain themes and refrains that are not unlik Never in my life have I dog-eared pages in a book as much as I did with GOODBYE, AGAIN. Mainly, to come back to them and sit with them further, but also to share certain passages and fleeting thoughts with others. Because that’s very much what GOODBYE, AGAIN is. It’s a compilation of passing thoughts and ruminations, extracted from their fleetingness and held up to the light in order to examine their many facets. It’s stream of consciousness but with certain themes and refrains that are not unlike ones running through my own head. This book provides some much-needed solidarity and comfort. It reminds me that I’m not alone in how I think or how I feel, even though I may perceive myself to be. And that’s really what this whole book strives for. A way to feel less alone as well as okay in one-ness. In knowing that you as well as someone else has felt this way before and are likely to do it again. I very much look forward to returning to this book, especially the dog-eared pages, again and again and am grateful to Jonny Sun for putting thoughts to pen to paper and creating this collection.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Joan

    Goodbye, again is a melancholy, meditative collection of short essays, shower thoughts, and illustrations that Sun wrote while catching his breath from life. Its topics generally focus on anxiety and depression, work pressure, family, and house plants (something you can surprisingly expound a lot on - both on a literal and metaphorical level!). Although repetitive at times and occasionally nebulous in intent, Sun’s pieces are deeply personal and, for the most part, connected with the introvert i Goodbye, again is a melancholy, meditative collection of short essays, shower thoughts, and illustrations that Sun wrote while catching his breath from life. Its topics generally focus on anxiety and depression, work pressure, family, and house plants (something you can surprisingly expound a lot on - both on a literal and metaphorical level!). Although repetitive at times and occasionally nebulous in intent, Sun’s pieces are deeply personal and, for the most part, connected with the introvert in me. I particularly related to his musings on burnout and productivity, as I too am a workaholic that (for better or for worse) has difficulty with idleness. This is a short book that can be read quickly, but also works as a book you keep at hand, to leisurely pick up at odd moments of your life and browse an essay or two. Overall, I would recommend it, as I found it to be thoughtful and whimsical. Thank you to the author and Harper Perennial for an advanced copy of this book, as part of the Olive Influencer program!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Paperclippe

    I would have reviewed this book sooner, except that I stopped reading it for about a week because I didn't want it to end. And that emotion, that rare but painfully pleasant sense of knowing that something you enjoy is going to end sometime and it's only sad because you really enjoyed the thing, is almost the whole schema of this book. Goodbye, Again is not afraid to delve into all the small moments in life that are painful in their very pleasantness, that are welcoming in all of their despair. I I would have reviewed this book sooner, except that I stopped reading it for about a week because I didn't want it to end. And that emotion, that rare but painfully pleasant sense of knowing that something you enjoy is going to end sometime and it's only sad because you really enjoyed the thing, is almost the whole schema of this book. Goodbye, Again is not afraid to delve into all the small moments in life that are painful in their very pleasantness, that are welcoming in all of their despair. It is honest and truthful in its dissections of the pauses between breaths, or the time that it takes for a well-watered plant to turn and face the sun. It is soft, and it is sweet, and you will pause as you read it and realize you have been holding your breath, because you don't want the moment to end. But regardless, you will get to the end, maybe flip back a page or two to look at the images in Visiting Happiness one more time, and you will read past the note that Jonny Sun has left for you, and you yourself will say goodbye, again.

  28. 5 out of 5

    C

    Jonny Sun did it again. He wrote another beautiful book that not only made me cry in ways that I haven't in a long time, but he wrote a book that after finishing it made me feel a little less alone which is still a beautiful and wonderful thing to accomplish. This is the kind of book that sticks with you long after finishing the last page. It's the kind of book that you want to gift to everyone in your life, to strangers you meet on the street and to tell them to read it! To read it, to absorb the Jonny Sun did it again. He wrote another beautiful book that not only made me cry in ways that I haven't in a long time, but he wrote a book that after finishing it made me feel a little less alone which is still a beautiful and wonderful thing to accomplish. This is the kind of book that sticks with you long after finishing the last page. It's the kind of book that you want to gift to everyone in your life, to strangers you meet on the street and to tell them to read it! To read it, to absorb the words, to pass it along to a friend or stranger. It's the kind of book that can and will change your life. There were so many things about this book that I enjoyed, but if I went through and added all my favorite parts it would end up being the whole book listed here, so I'll keep it simple, limiting it to one piece in particular that managed to make me cry, to laugh, to really think. Your last 15 minutes was one of, if not, my favorite pieces of this whole book, but as I said above it's so hard to choose just one when the whole book is as close to perfection as a person can get.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Auderoy

    FAVOURITES: Unnatural words, Cactus, Conversation, Nostalgia, On peace, Building blocks, Sunlight, Pothos, On following dreams, or at least the feeling of them QUOTES: But for all the stress that deadlines bring, they also promise: "Don't worry about everything else. This is what's important. Trust me." And I enjoy believing it. It is the most soothing lie. And so in an effort to gain any sort of lasting sense of self, I try now to keep as many incomplete things on my screen as I can so I can show FAVOURITES: Unnatural words, Cactus, Conversation, Nostalgia, On peace, Building blocks, Sunlight, Pothos, On following dreams, or at least the feeling of them QUOTES: But for all the stress that deadlines bring, they also promise: "Don't worry about everything else. This is what's important. Trust me." And I enjoy believing it. It is the most soothing lie. And so in an effort to gain any sort of lasting sense of self, I try now to keep as many incomplete things on my screen as I can so I can show myself: This Is Who I Am Right Now. When we exit the restaurant, everyone gathers by the door and comes from the back room to tell my parents "man zou, man zou!" which I interpret as go slow, but which more accurately translates to something like walk slowly, which really means don't hurt yourself, which really means take care. I am always sad about happinesses leaving, but I have started to understand that sadnesses can leave, too.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Sara

    I received this ARC in the mail on January 6th and unpacked it on January 7th, and despite all that was happening immediately started reading it and was abruptly punched in the face by the foreword "[the idea] that my time spent not being 'productive' had to have a product in order to be worthwhile and worth doing." Though Jonny (I keep wanting to type Jomny) and I have very different upbringings, I can clearly see and identify with the intersection of anxious Millenial Asian-American introvert, I received this ARC in the mail on January 6th and unpacked it on January 7th, and despite all that was happening immediately started reading it and was abruptly punched in the face by the foreword "[the idea] that my time spent not being 'productive' had to have a product in order to be worthwhile and worth doing." Though Jonny (I keep wanting to type Jomny) and I have very different upbringings, I can clearly see and identify with the intersection of anxious Millenial Asian-American introvert, and I love feeling represented. While I don't want this to be relegated to the "Asian-American" section a la Minari, I too have parents who "befriend" the shopkeepers and the owner of the fortune cookie factory and who follow their favorite waiter when he moves from one closed Chinese restaurant to another. And I've also lived the "garden-level" apartment life! I can't wait to get a finished copy with all the sketches (multiple copies, to give to all my friends).

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