Cover Image: Goodbye, Again

Goodbye, Again

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Member Reviews

Jonny Sun wrote a beautiful book of short personal essays that follow loose themes throughout including family, mental health, and work. There's such a shared understanding that happens when you read someone else's words that mirror things you yourself have felt and thought but could never share in such a simplistic but lovely way.
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This illustrated essay collection from webcomic Jonny Sun is a gentle, meditative look at mental health, productivity, creativity, and being human. From his relationship to his houseplants to reflections on friendships to memories of his mother's tea soaked eggs, I was enraptured by the vulnerability in Sun's writing. Reading this book felt like sitting a while in the warm sun and letting it cleanse you of your worries. I couldn't put it down!
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I've been anticipating this title for months, and it did not disappoint. Jonny Sun brings his characteristic charm and wit to the forefront in this collection of essays and illustrations. While reading this book, I laughed and cried, and after I finished, I just sat for a while and reflected. I enjoyed the pacing and the book was well balanced with shorter sentiments positioned between longer essays and sequential art. I will recommend this to friends, and I'm looking forward to more of Sun's future writing.
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A low-level melancholy pervades this work. Speaking of visiting his childhood home, caring for houseplants, or justifying his own existence through work, Jonny Sun demonstrates a sensitivity verging on aversion to change that seems to burden his life. He is candid about his struggles with depression and anxiety, and speaks with specificity and clarity about his experiences. Readers looking to see their own experiences with depression and anxiety handled with care would find a lot to like about this book.
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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. 

<i>Goodbye, Again</i> 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.
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Easily one of my favorite books of the year so far. The essays in this book are raw and vulnerable when discussing mental health and the specific sort of grief that occurs when you move from a place you've called home, leaving everyone else behind. There are heartfelt essays about plants and how they have impacted Sun throughout his life. And there's 15 straight pages of egg recipes that are emotional and funny and exactly how I want all recipes to be from now on. I didn't even make it through the foreword of this book without it tugging on my heart strings and that didn't stop until long after I closed this book.
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I have loved Jonny Sun since I first got my hands on "Everyone's an Alien When You're an Alien Too." So to finally be able to read about his experiences in his own words has been wonderful.

Jonny is such an interesting human because he's so in tune with his own brain, and very good at writing it down so other humans can relate to it and say, "Oh my goodness he said that perfectly! That's exactly how I feel so much fo the time." Whether discussing anxiety, working too much, or his relationships, he has a quirky yet supremely honest style of writing that never gets old. I was sad to finish this book, so I just started reading it again. And I will say, it's even better the second time around, HIGHLY recommend.
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A mixed format memoir of reflections and illustrations on anxiety, loneliness, productivity, happiness, and houseplants.

Goodbye, Again is for anxiety what Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig is for depression, at least for me. (And in terms of a mixed format, Goodbye, Again and Reasons to Stay Alive are very similar.) But while Reasons to Stay Alive goes to really dark places (I mean, depression is a dark thing), Goodbye, Again was somehow wholesome. I related to Sun’s musings about happiness as not some grand thing and about that unsettled sense of self. He also inspired me to give myself another chance to keep a houseplant alive.
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This book is something I would buy as a gift for just the right person. Who would that be, you may ask. Well besides fans of Johnny Sun, I could see myself giving this to nieces, nephews, recent grads. Basically, 
I really picture this for a new adult. Johnny makes you feel less alone. His honesty and rawness is compelling and somehow acts as encouragement to get up, make some eggs, and keep going.
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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!
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This is the book you read on your breaks at work. I makes you think, makes you smile, and will keep you going throughout the day.
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Jonny Sun's writing is like a warm cuddly blanket. His words are so calming, relatable, and inspiring that you come away from even a single essay or cartoon feeling like you understand something about your life better, something you thought you already understood completely. I love the underlying deeper thoughts of the essays that he doesn't highlight or emphasize in any way. Read everything carefully because there's a great deal of meaning in the most surface of statements. This book is very deep. Also, you will want to eat dim sum and you will want to own an entire garden of houseplants once you've finished reading this. Oh, and if you suffer from anxiety like I do? You will leave this book realizing you're not alone. You've never been alone.
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Quite possibly one of my favorite essay collections yet. His depiction of anxiety and depression resonated with me especially, and I think it would be relatable for many who struggle with mental health. It takes a lot of talent to make someone both smile and tear up within the same book.
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Jonny Sun really has a way with words. This book delves into his personal life and many experiences that made me feel less alone. This was touching, heart-felt, funny, and just warm. It was beautifully written and really resonated with me. His writing takes me to another place of love and light. I appreciate the opportunity to read this book before it is published. Recommended for all. It was a lovely read.
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Jonny Sun is a remarkable writer, and this book is a great example of how great he truly is! A mixture of essays, poems, and stories that are deeply personal and very moving.
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