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profile-icon Brenda Hoffman


The first time I heard Gary Gulman’s stand-up was on Spotify, and his bit “Undone by a Semicolon” grabbed me: I wish I knew there was going to be this much typing! He regrets horsing around in typing class because his whole life is the computer. Appearing on countless late night talk shows, he recalls the “harrowing” tale of how the states came to be abbreviated with two letters. Who does that? Listen to Gary Gulman States' Abbreviations Bit to appreciate Gulman’s wit, command of language, and ability to turn a phrase that rivals another wordsmith and Pulitzer Prize winner, David Foster Wallace. Gulamn is in DFW’s league. He’s that good.

Randi’s (Gibson) new book suggestions brought me to Gulman’s memoir misfit. Praise for the book that chronicles his life from first grade through twelfth grade—with a page or two inserted between grades chronicling his years-long struggle with crippling depression provide context for his awkwardness, quirkiness and humor—is heaped on the funny man from comedy greats themselves including Amy Schumer, Judd Apatow, Seth Meyers and This American Life host Ira Glass, who said of Gulman's memoir, “[misfit] is about how a soft, football-hating kid like him ended up playing the sport—and tells lots of stories, too…he really was a little boy destined to become a comic.”

In the 80s, “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” was an early reality TV show featuring windbag Robin Leach sucking up to rich people who showed off their lavish (read: gaudy) homes. Gary parodied that show narrating descriptions of his own home (he wasn’t rich, and he detailed the amount of stuff in his house that his mom lifted from various jobs) called “Lifestyles of the Broke and Hopeless.” His narration is funny and clever: “Let’s visit the bathroom, where this bar of soap is actually a sliver of Dial [soap] fused to a bar of Ivoryyyyyy. This bottle of Prell’s life has also been extended through an infusion of shower water. It’s now certain to last these losers another ten shampoooooos.” The cassette tape of that parody went viral at his school way before the virality of YouTube and Tik-Tok encouraging the stand-up hopeful to make people laugh. But it was first grade where he made his first joke that cracked up the class—and the teacher. During story time Mrs. Burns asks: “What is a chick?” The smartest girl in the class, Lori-Ann McGloughin, answers: “It is a baby chicken.” Future joke writer Gulman pipes up, too: “Or a girl!” Everybody laughed, including the teacher. Gary decided then that he would spend the rest of his life “chasing that high!” And I’m amazed at his memory! He remembers all his teachers’ names, random classmates, and people that he hasn’t seen since age five.

But he was not a happy-go-lucky kid. Suffering from undiagnosed depression, he acted out and struggled to make friends. He loved basketball and played for hours at the end of his driveway. He began eighth grade with two ambitions:

  1. Make the basketball team.
  2. Don’t get murdered.

He succeeded, but playing on a team proved problematic and escaping classroom and schoolyard bullies was a daily thing. During practice, scoring baskets was easy but come game time and Gary choked. A bully, whose name he doesn’t reveal for fear of retaliation even some 40 years later, warned he would “kill him,” so Gary never walked alone in school and took varied routes home from school, but eventually he took the beating, and to this day he has no idea why the kid was after him. Of growing up in the 80s, he quips, “One way to look at my childhood is to think of Charlie Brown…if Snoopy had died.” His signature sad sack story that ends with a punch. He amuses audiences with his HBO special “The Great Depresh,” and while relating his struggles he’s at once dark and funny, “I look at the sunset and think: Yeah, you gave up, too.” And dryly reports that “eating ice cream with a fork is an unofficial symptom of depression.” His clever syntax reminds me of the genius filmmaker Charlie Chaplin who said: “Life is a tragedy when seen in close-up, but a comedy in long-shot.” To wit, Gulman’s suffering was tragic, but with time, perspective, therapy, and medication, he’s found a way to laugh through it. And talking about depression openly and reaching thousands of people is way more helpful than hiding from the mental illness that a quick Google search reveals affects around 280 million people worldwide.

Listening to and watching Gulman’s stand-up isn’t a prerequisite for reading this wonderfully-remembered, hilarious, and candid memoir, but it does remind the reader that he recovers from his depression, as well as the hell of school where his father insisted on holding him back in first grade because “he’s not mature enough to move on.” misfit is a quick read, especially if you were a kid in the 70s/80s because his minutiae-like recall of Ralph Lauren, IOU, and Air Jordans will have you pining for the good ol’ days, even if for Gulman they weren’t so good.

Watch his CBS Saturday Morning Interview "Misfit", and I dare you not to wanna pick up his memoir that talk show host, Seth Meyers claims of Gulman, “Gary is thoughtful and funny in a way few others are.”

Thanks to Randi at SAC who sent me a text announcing Gulman’s stand up tour, Scott (my husband) and I will experience Gulman’s live show at the Terry Theatre in Jacksonville on Friday, September 20, 2024! Interested?

Get tickets here:

Cover ArtMisfit by Gary Gulman

ISBN: 9781250777065
Publication Date: 2023-09-19
"One of my favorite books of all time." Amy Schumer 
A tour de force of comedy and reflection about the perilous journey from kindergarten to twelfth grade and beyondâe*from the beloved stand-up comic and creator of The Great Depresh For years, Gary Gulman had been the comedian's comedian, acclaimed for his delight in language and his bracing honesty. But after two stints in a psych ward, he found himself back in his mother's house in Boston--living in his childhood bedroom at age forty-six, as he struggled to regain his mental health. That's where Misfit begins. Then it goes way back. This is no ordinary book about growing older and growing up. Gulman has an astonishing memory and takes the reader through every year of his childhood education, with obsessively detailed stories that are in turn alarming and riotously funny. We meet Gulman's family, neighbors, teachers, heroes, and antagonists, and get to know the young comedian-in-the-making who is his own worstâe*and most persistentâe*enemy. From failing to impress at grade school show-and-tell to literally fumbling at his first big football gameâe*in settings that take us all the way from the local playground to the local mall, from Hebrew School to his best (and only) friend's rec room, young Gary becomes a stand-in for everyone who grew up wondering if they would ever truly fit in. And that's not all: the book is also chock-full of '80s nostalgia (Scented Markers, indifference to sunscreen, mall culture). Misfit is a book that only Gary Gulman could have written: a brilliant, witty, poignant, laugh-until-your-face-hurts memoir that speaks directly to the awkward child in us all.
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profile-icon Dr. Brittnee Fisher

Have you ever read a book that you hated and loved at the same time? I finished A Little Life and I can’t stop thinking that it was the best book I’ve read in a very long time, but I also have the urge to throw it against a wall. How do you recommend a book to others that made you want to cry repeatedly? How do you tell people to read something that will make them contemplate their existence and the true impact of their lives on the lives of others? You can’t. This is just me telling you about the book. The decision to read it is entirely your own.

You shouldn’t feel sorry for me about the big feelings I’m having about this story. It’s my own fault. I should have learned my lesson already about books from BookTok after the whole Haunting Adeline debacle, but I didn’t. I watched a video of a woman being filmed while reading A Little Life. She was so emotional. Her reading of this book looked like an experience. I was intrigued. Before starting the book, I asked at a recent book club meeting if anyone had read it. It was no’s all around. Yet one participant said she’d heard the book referred to as “trauma porn”. That should have served as a warning and not an enticement. Yet here I am.

And even with all the compiled trauma, I still found myself invested in the story and falling in love with the unfortunate characters. It’s hard to describe why the book is so endearing without spoiling the story, but love is at the core of it all. The strength of this book is how it leads you through the many different forms love can take. And in just the same way, it drags you through the adverse experiences of sadness, despair, and anger. This book does something that not many books can do. It makes you feel. It’s not always pleasant, but it sticks with you in a way that is rare.

I don’t regret A Little Life. It will take time for me to process the entirety of the story and my true feelings about it. I’m anticipating that, eventually, I’ll recover enough to find the courage to watch the film adaptation of the stage play. And then I can traumatize myself all over again. (Please send help).


Cover ArtA Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara
Call Number: Orange Park Popular Fiction ; PS3625.A674 L58 2015
ISBN: 9780385539258
Publication Date: 2015-03-10
NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST SHORT-LISTED FOR THE MAN BOOKER PRIZE Brace yourself for the most astonishing, challenging, upsetting, and profoundly moving book in many a season. An epic about love and friendship in the twenty-first century that goes into some of the darkest places fiction has ever traveled and yet somehow improbably breaks through into the light. Truly an amazement--and a great gift for its readers.   When four classmates from a small Massachusetts college move to New York to make their way, they're broke, adrift, and buoyed only by their friendship and ambition. There is kind, handsome Willem, an aspiring act∨ JB, a quick-witted, sometimes cruel Brooklyn-born painter seeking entry to the art world; Malcolm, a frustrated architect at a prominent firm; and withdrawn, brilliant, enigmatic Jude, who serves as their center of gravity. Over the decades, their relationships deepen and darken, tinged by addiction, success, and pride. Yet their greatest challenge, each comes to realize, is Jude himself, by midlife a terrifyingly talented litigator yet an increasingly broken man, his mind and body scarred by an unspeakable childhood, and haunted by what he fears is a degree of trauma that he'll not only be unable to overcome--but that will define his life forever.   In rich and resplendent prose, Yanagihara has fashioned a tragic and transcendent hymn to brotherly love, a masterful depiction of heartbreak, and a dark examination of the tyranny of memory and the limits of human endurance.

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profile-icon Kayla Cook

Kelsey Rodgers is a student on the Palatka campus and a regular attendee of the Book Club. She writes poetry and has an interest in novel- and screen-writing. Kelsey made her debut as a guest blogger in early April. This is her second post on the Book Blog.

Poetry has brought an abundance of comfort to me as a writer. Sometimes I like to revisit old poems I wrote as a teenager. Reading these fills me with a weird sense of nostalgia, as well as an understanding of myself. My most recent return to my old poems, however, seemed different. I could not help but to be shocked at the difference in my writing compared to the present day. My poems from the past lack the core elements of imagery and abstractions that I’ve become accustomed to using. So, what happened? What caused it to change? 

I’ve heard that reading can help improve your writing skills all my life, but I never took that advice seriously until I decided on being a creative writing major. I am a member of the Palatka campus SJR Book Club. This fall term will mark 2 years of attendance. Book Club has helped me form a routine of setting aside time for reading. I decided to also revisit some of my past reads from the meetings. 

I was surprised to realize how much inspiration was taken from these books. My abstract style mirrored the nature of Julia Armfield’s writing in Our Wives Under the Sea. Similarly, my use of religious allusions could be compared to the ones of Adam and Eve found in Jenny Hval’s Paradise Rot. These books subconsciously inspired me to explore literary devices I hadn't previously employed. Falling in love with reading has made me fall in love with writing in return. I am excited to read more books and see what new writing adventures await me!

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profile-icon Kendall McCurley

Summer is here! That means it’s time for sunshine, relaxation, and finally some time to tackle that TBR (to be read) list! Whether you're lounging poolside, lying on the beach, picnicking in the park, or embarking on a road trip, now is the time to pick up some fun reads! Here are some ideas to help you get started with your summer reading:

  • Start by setting achievable reading goals for the summer. Whether it's a certain number of books you want to read, a specific genre you want to explore, or even just dedicating a certain amount of time each day to reading, having clear objectives can help keep you motivated and on track. Remember: Summer is the time to read whatever you want, so read whatever makes you happy!
  • With longer days and more opportunities for outdoor activities, it can be easy to let reading fall by the wayside during the summer. To ensure you prioritize your reading time, try incorporating it into your daily routine. Whether it's dedicating some quiet time in the morning before the day gets busy, unwinding with a book in the evening as the sun sets, or even listening to audiobooks while you go for a walk or run, find a reading routine that works for you.
  • Speaking of audiobooks, if you're traveling or spending a lot of time outdoors this summer, consider incorporating audiobooks and e-books into your reading repertoire. With the convenience of smartphones and tablets, you can take your entire library with you wherever you go, making it easy to squeeze in some reading time during long car rides, flights, or lazy afternoons by the pool.
  • Consider participating in a summer reading challenge or joining a reading community to help stay motivated and engaged. SJR is still having book club over the summer! We will be meeting on zoom, so you never have to miss out if you are not on campus! Our first summer book club meeting is this Wednesday, May 8th! Don’t miss out!

So, as the temperature rises and the days grow longer, don't let the summer slip away without making time for the simple pleasure of reading. Here is a list of some great summer reads to help you get started! Happy reading!



People to Follow : a novelPeople to Follow : a novel by Olivia Worley
ISBN: 9781250881342
Publication Date: 2023-10-31
In Olivia Worley's pitch-perfect debut, People to Follow, ten teen influencers come to a remote island to star in a reality show, but when one of them winds up dead, they realize that this time, the price of getting "cancelled" could be their lives. A reality show on a remote Caribbean island. Ten teen influencers. One dead body. Welcome to "In Real Life," the hot new reality show that forces social media's reigning kings and queens to unplug for three weeks and "go live" without any filters. IRL is supposed to be the opportunity of a lifetime, watched closely by legions of loyal followers. But for these rising stars--including Elody, an Instagram model with an impulsive streak; Kira, a child star turned fitness influencer; Logan, a disgraced TikTok celeb with a secret; and Max, a YouTuber famous for exposés on his fellow creators--it's about to turn into a nightmare. When the production crew fails to show up and one of their own meets a violent end, these social media moguls find themselves stranded with a dead body and no way to reach the outside world. When they start receiving messages from a mysterious Sponsor threatening to expose their darkest secrets, they realize that they've been lured into a deadly game...and one of them might be pulling the strings. With the body count rising and cameras tracking their every move, the creators must figure out who is trying to get them canceled--like, literally--before their #1 follower strikes again.


The Heiress : a novelThe Heiress : a novel by Rachel Hawkins
ISBN: 9781250280039
Publication Date: 2024-01-09
NATIONAL BESTSELLER * A January Indie Next Pick and LibraryReads Pick "The reigning queen of the Gothic thriller." --Entertainment Weekly THERE'S NOTHING AS GOOD AS THE RICH GONE BAD. When Ruby McTavish Callahan Woodward Miller Kenmore dies, she's not only North Carolina's richest woman, she's also its most notorious. The victim of a famous kidnapping as a child and a widow four times over, Ruby ruled the tiny town of Tavistock from Ashby House, her family's estate high in the Blue Ridge Mountains. But in the aftermath of her death, her adopted son, Camden, wants little to do with the house or the money--and even less to do with the surviving McTavishes. Instead, he rejects his inheritance, settling into a normal life as an English teacher in Colorado and marrying Jules, a woman just as eager to escape her own messy past. Ten years later, his uncle's death pulls Cam and Jules back into the family fold at Ashby House. Its views are just as stunning as ever, its rooms just as elegant, but the legacy of Ruby is inescapable. And as Ashby House tightens its grip on Jules and Camden, questions about the infamous heiress come to light. Was there any truth to the persistent rumors following her disappearance as a girl? What really happened to those four husbands, who all died under mysterious circumstances? And why did she adopt Cam in the first place? Soon, Jules and Cam realize that an inheritance can entail far more than what's written in a will--and that the bonds of family stretch far beyond the grave.


Come and Get It : a novelCome and Get It : a novel by Kiley Reid
ISBN: 9780593328200
Publication Date: 2024-01-30
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER National Bestseller USA Today Bestseller A Good Morning America Book Club Pick An Indie Next Pick A LibraryReads Pick From the celebrated New York Times bestselling author of Such a Fun Age comes a fresh and provocative story about a residential assistant and her messy entanglement with a professor and three unruly students. It's 2017 at the University of Arkansas. Millie Cousins, a senior resident assistant, wants to graduate, get a job, and buy a house. So when Agatha Paul, a visiting professor and writer, offers Millie an easy yet unusual opportunity, she jumps at the chance. But Millie's starry-eyed hustle becomes jeopardized by odd new friends, vengeful dorm pranks, and illicit intrigue. A fresh and intimate portrait of desire, consumption, and reckless abandon, Come and Get It is a tension-filled story about money, indiscretion, and bad behavior--and the highly anticipated new novel by acclaimed and award-winning author Kiley Reid.


Love on the BrainLove on the Brain by Ali Hazelwood
ISBN: 9780593336847
Publication Date: 2022-08-23
An Instant New York Times Bestseller A #1 LibraryReads and Indie Next Pick! From the New York Times bestselling author of The Love Hypothesis comes a new STEMinist rom-com in which a scientist is forced to work on a project with her nemesis--with explosive results. Like an avenging, purple-haired Jedi bringing balance to the mansplained universe, Bee Königswasser lives by a simple code: What would Marie Curie do? If NASA offered her the lead on a neuroengineering project--a literal dream come true after years scraping by on the crumbs of academia--Marie would accept without hesitation. Duh. But the mother of modern physics never had to co-lead with Levi Ward.   Sure, Levi is attractive in a tall, dark, and piercing-eyes kind of way. And sure, he caught her in his powerfully corded arms like a romance novel hero when she accidentally damseled in distress on her first day in the lab. But Levi made his feelings toward Bee very clear in grad school--archenemies work best employed in their own galaxies far, far away.   Now, her equipment is missing, the staff is ignoring her, and Bee finds her floundering career in somewhat of a pickle. Perhaps it's her occipital cortex playing tricks on her, but Bee could swear she can see Levi softening into an ally, backing her plays, seconding her ideas...devouring her with those eyes. And the possibilities have all her neurons firing. But when it comes time to actually make a move and put her heart on the line, there's only one question that matters: What will Bee Königswasser do?


Cover ArtThe Takeover by Cara Tanamachi
Call Number: PS3612.O258 T35 2024
ISBN: 9781250842282
Publication Date: 2024-01-30
Sometimes, when you ask the universe for your soulmate, you wind up with your hate mate instead. On Nami's 30th birthday, she's reminded at every turn that her life isn't what she planned. She's always excelled at everything - until now. Her fiancé blew up their engagement. Her pride and joy, the tech company she helped to found, is about to lose funding. And her sister, Sora, is getting married to the man of her dreams, Jack, and instead of being happy for her, as she knows she ought to be, she's fighting off jealousy. Frustrated with her life, she makes a wish on a birthday candle to find her soulmate. Instead, the universe delivers her hate mate, Nami's old high school nemesis, Jae Lee, the most popular kid from high school, who also narrowly beat her out for valedictorian. More than a decade later, Jae is still as effortlessly cool, charming, and stylish as ever, and, to make matters worse, is planning a hostile take-over of her start-up. Cue: sharp elbows and even sharper banter as the two go head-to-head to see who'll win this time. But when their rivalry ignites a different kind of passion, Nami starts to realize that it's not just her company that's in danger of being taken over, but her heart as well. "Readers will cheer on this pair of sparring hearts." - Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)
Cover ArtFunny Story by Emily Henry
ISBN: 9780593441282
Publication Date: 2024-04-23
Named a Most Anticipated book of 2024 by TIME ∙ The New York Times ∙ Goodreads ∙ Entertainment Weekly ∙ ∙ Paste ∙ SheReads ∙ BookPage ∙ Woman's World ∙ The Nerd Daily and more! A shimmering, joyful new novel about a pair of opposites with the wrong thing in common, from #1 New York Times bestselling author Emily Henry. Daphne always loved the way her fiancé Peter told their story. How they met (on a blustery day), fell in love (over an errant hat), and moved back to his lakeside hometown to begin their life together. He really was good at telling it...right up until the moment he realized he was actually in love with his childhood best friend Petra.   Which is how Daphne begins her new story: Stranded in beautiful Waning Bay, Michigan, without friends or family but with a dream job as a children's librarian (that barely pays the bills), and proposing to be roommates with the only person who could possibly understand her predicament: Petra's ex, Miles Nowak.   Scruffy and chaotic--with a penchant for taking solace in the sounds of heart break love ballads--Miles is exactly the opposite of practical, buttoned up Daphne, whose coworkers know so little about her they have a running bet that she's either FBI or in witness protection. The roommates mainly avoid one another, until one day, while drowning their sorrows, they form a tenuous friendship and a plan. If said plan also involves posting deliberately misleading photos of their summer adventures together, well, who could blame them?   But it's all just for show, of course, because there's no way Daphne would actually start her new chapter by falling in love with her ex-fiancé's new fiancée's ex...right?
Charlotte Illes Is Not a DetectiveCharlotte Illes Is Not a Detective by Katie Siegel
ISBN: 9781496740984
Publication Date: 2023-06-27
"An immensely fun, voice-y read with a twisty mystery." -Mia P. Manansala, author of the Agatha, Anthony, and Macavity Award-winning Arsenic and Adobo "Charlotte is a delight." --The New York Times For anyone seeking to satisfy their Harriet the Spy, Encyclopedia Brown, or Nancy Drew nostalgia, this charming, entertaining debut based on the popular @katiefliesaway TikTok series stars a twentysomething former kid detective who's coaxed out of retirement for one last case. The downside of being a famous child detective is that sooner or later, you have to grow up . . . As a kid, Charlotte Illes' uncanny sleuthing abilities made her a minor celebrity. But in high school, she hung up her detective's hat and stashed away the signature blue landline in her "office"--aka garage--convinced that finding her adult purpose would be as easy as tracking down missing pudding cups or locating stolen diamonds. Now twenty-five, Charlotte has a nagging fear that she hit her peak in middle school. She's living with her mom, scrolling through job listings, and her love life consists mostly of first dates. When it comes to knowing what to do next, Charlotte hasn't got a clue. And then, her old blue phone rings . . . Reluctantly, Charlotte is pulled back into the mystery-solving world she knew--just one more time. But that world is a whole lot more complicated for an adult. As a kid, she was able to crack the case and still get her homework done on time. Now she's dealing with dead bodies, missing persons, and villains who actually see her as a viable threat. And the detective skills she was once so eager to never use again are the only things that can stop a killer ready to make sure her next retirement is permanent . . . "Kept me guessing and left me with a warm and happy glow." -Mary Robinette Kowal, author of the Hugo, Nebula, and Locus Award-winning The Calculating Stars
Legends and LattesLegends and Lattes by Travis Baldree
ISBN: 9781250886088
Publication Date: 2022-11-08
An Instant New York Times Bestseller A Barnes & Noble Best Book of 2022 A Library Reads Pick An Indie Next Pick A Goodreads Best Fantasy Choice Award Nominee The much-beloved BookTok sensation, Travis Baldree's novel of high fantasy and low stakes. *This new edition includes a very special, never-before-seen bonus story, 'Pages to Fill.'* After a lifetime of bounties and bloodshed, Viv is hanging up her sword for the last time. The battle-weary orc aims to start fresh, opening the first ever coffee shop in the city of Thune. But old and new rivals stand in the way of success -- not to mention the fact that no one has the faintest idea what coffee actually is. If Viv wants to put the blade behind her and make her plans a reality, she won't be able to go it alone. But the true rewards of the uncharted path are the travelers you meet along the way. And whether drawn together by ancient magic, flaky pastry, or a freshly brewed cup, they may become partners, family, and something deeper than she ever could have dreamed. "Take a break from epic battles and saving the world. Legends & Lattes is a low-stakes fantasy that delivers exactly what's advertised: a wholesome, cozy novel that feels like a warm hug. This is my new comfort read."--Genevieve Gornichec, author of The Witch's Heart
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profile-icon Andrew Macfarlane---SJR State College

Hello Everyone, Everyone Hello!

For my blog post this go around I will be switching back to my non-fiction graphic novel theme! I read this one a while ago, but it has a resonating message for our times.

"Tiananmen 1989" is a poignant and powerful graphic novel that delves into one of the most significant and tragic events in modern Chinese history. Written and illustrated by Lun Zhang with co-authors Adrien Gombeaud and Ameziane, the novel provides a gripping and emotional account of the 1989 pro-democracy protests in Tiananmen Square. It is almost hard to believe this was 35 short years ago y’all!

Through stunning artwork and compelling storytelling, the graphic novel captures the fervor and idealism of the student-led movement, while also shedding light on the harsh realities of government suppression and censorship. The authors skillfully intertwine personal narratives with historical context, offering readers a multifaceted understanding of the events leading up to the infamous June 4th massacre. The main voice you hear from is a professor of Sociology, who aids students and citizens and helps organize them.

What sets "Tiananmen 1989" apart is its humanizing portrayal of the individuals involved in the protests. From the idealistic students to the weary soldiers, each character is rendered with depth and empathy, allowing readers to empathize with their struggles and sacrifices. The novel doesn't shy away from depicting the brutality of the crackdown, yet it also emphasizes the resilience and spirit of the protesters in the face of adversity.

In addition to its compelling narrative, "Tiananmen 1989" is also a visually stunning work of art. Ameziane's illustrations are both evocative and haunting, capturing the chaos and emotion of the protests with striking detail and nuance.

Overall, "Tiananmen 1989" is a must-read for anyone interested in understanding the events that shook China and the world three decades ago. It serves as a powerful reminder of the importance of free expression and the enduring quest for democracy.




Cover ArtTiananmen 1989: Our Shattered Hopes by Adrien Gombeaud; Lun Zhang
ISBN: 9781684056996
Publication Date: 2020-06-16
Follow the story of China's infamous June Fourth Incident -- otherwise known as the Tiananmen Square Massacre -- from the first-hand account of a young sociology teacher who witnessed it all. Over 30 years ago, on April 15th 1989, the occupation of Tiananmen Square began. As tens of thousands of students and concerned Chinese citizens took to the streets demanding political reforms, the fate of China's communist system was unknown. When reports of soldiers marching into Beijing to suppress the protests reverberated across Western airwaves, the world didn't know what to expect. Lun Zhang was just a young sociology teacher then, in charge of management and safety service for the protests. Now, in this powerful graphic novel, Zhang pairs with French journalist and Asia specialist Adrien Gombeaud, and artist Ameziane, to share his unvarnished memory of this crucial moment in world history for the first time. Providing comprehensive coverage of the 1989 protests that ended in bloodshed and drew global scrutiny, Zhang includes context for these explosive events, sympathetically depicting a world of discontented, idealistic, activist Chinese youth rarely portrayed in Western media. Many voices and viewpoints are on display, from Western journalists to Chinese administrators. Describing how the hope of a generation was shattered when authorities opened fire on protestors and bystanders, Tiananmen 1989 shows the way in which contemporary China shaped itself.