Book club every 2nd Wednesday at 7pm
open to all

The book club convenes on Wednesday, January 9th at 7pm to discuss Thi Bui’s acclaimed memoir in graphic novel form, The Best We Could Do. 

To learn a bit about Thi Bui, the best thing you could do would be to visit her website and let her speak for herself. You can find it at https://www.thibui.com/

From the publisher’s blurb: “An intimate and poignant portrayal of one family’s journey from war-torn Vietnam, from debut author Thi Bui, this beautifully illustrated and emotional story is an evocative memoir about the search for a better future and a longing for the past. Exploring the anguish of immigration and the lasting effects that displacement has on a child and her family, Bui documents the story of her family’s daring escape after the fall of South Vietnam in the 1970s, and the difficulties they faced building new lives for themselves.

At the heart of Bui’s story is a universal struggle: While adjusting to life as a first-time mother, she ultimately discovers what it means to be a parent—the endless sacrifices, the unnoticed gestures, and the depths of unspoken love. Despite how impossible it seems to take on the simultaneous roles of both parent and child, Bui pushes through. With haunting, poetic writing and breathtaking art, she examines the strength of family, the importance of identity, and the meaning of home.

In what Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Viet Thanh Nguyen calls “a book to break your heart and heal it,” The Best We Could Do brings to life Thi Bui’s journey of understanding, and provides inspiration to all of those who search for a better future while longing for a simpler past.


For February, the book club will be reading Daniel Ellsberg’s The Doomsday Machine: Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner. In 1971, Daniel Ellsberg leaked the Pentagon Papers to the press in hopes they would help end the Vietnam War. He looks back on his early days as a national security analyst in The Doomsday Machine. Rose Rosenthal, a book club member at Bird & Beckett since its inception in the mid-1990s, declares that this is among the best books she’s ever read.


Note: The bookshop sells the book club selections at a 10% discount to people attending the book club. To defray costs and keep our spirits up, we encourage and very much appreciate a $5 donation to the shop from those attending the book club who aren’t interested in buying the book from us.

Join the email list for the book club by emailing bird-beckett-book-club@googlegroups.com