Nicole Chung's memoir All You Can Ever Know was an easy choice for our next book club meeting. Esther mentioned it to me at the end of last summer, before it had even been published. I'd followed Chung on Twitter for a while, but had no idea she'd written a memoir. As a Korean-born adopted person, I was immediately intrigued. I purchased it the day it was published.
But then, of course, the book landed in my to-read stack, and somehow I never picked it up. I was so excited to read it, but then holiday season at the shop kicked into gear, and I got distracted by other books. Honestly, I was probably also afraid to read it: until recently, I hadn't really spent that much time thinking about my own adoption. Part of me is nervous that the pages of this book will expose things about me that I've never confronted before.
These revelations, though, are part of the reason why I read, and why I am excited to read it alongside all of you. This book has a lot of excellent fans already: Alexander Chee, Celeste Ng, Min Jin Lee, and Daniel Mallory Ortberg, to name a few. I hope you'll read it with us! - Alyx
Like Alyx, I became familiar with Nicole Chung and her work through Twitter, when I was seeking out Asian American voices on current issues. It's not really an exaggeration to say I jumped on the pre-order button when she tweeted about her then-forthcoming memoir.
For the past several years, I haven't been in the habit of reading a physical, tangible book, or really anything more time-consuming than a long-form essay on my phone. So, I'm hoping with All You Can Ever Know, that I'll rediscover an appreciation for reading in that form again. There are so many facets to the human experience, and I'm excited to learn about a Korean American story much different from mine.
For Chung's memoir, I chose the Koh-I-Noor Sudoku pencil, considering a good third of the pencil is actually eraser– something I thought went well with the idea of unlearning parts of your life story, only to discover yourself anew. - Esther