Carry This Book|Jacobson, Abbi
Carry This Book
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A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER - From the mind of Broad City's Abbi Jacobson, a wonderfully weird and weirdly wonderful illustrated look at the world around us--all through the framework of what we carry.
"Jacobson's art is warm, textured, and carefully composed, a little bit Maira Kalman and a little bit Roz Chast. It's also genuinely funny." --Vox
With bright, quirky, and colorful line drawings, Jacobson brings to life actual and imagined items found in the pockets and purses, bags and glove compartments of real and fantastical people--whether it's the contents of Oprah's favorite purse, Amelia Earhart's pencil case, or Bernie Madoff's suitcase.
How many self-tanning lotions are in Donald Trump's weekender? What's inside Martha Stewart's hand-knit fanny pack? What kind of protein bars does Michelle Obama hide in her tiny clutch at the White House Correspondents' Dinner? An instant New York Times bestseller, Carry This Book provides a humorous and insightful look into how the things we carry around every day can make up who we are.


  • ISBN-13: 9780735221598
  • ISBN-10: 0735221596
  • Publisher: American Book Company
  • Publish Date: January 2018

Just a little left of center

Looking for a gift for that oddball friend or family member? You may have a holiday hit on your hands if you wrap up one of these books.

Abbi Jacobson takes a peek into the bags, pockets and wallets of celebrities, fictional heroes and various notable people in Carry This Book. Jacobson is the co-creator and star of Comedy Central’s absurd and hilarious “Broad City,” which follows two best friends as they clumsily navigate life in New York City. But Jacobson isn’t just a comedy genius, she’s also a talented illustrator. This book takes readers on an anthropological journey, using colored-pen illustrations to depict items that Jacobson imagines might be revealed when people (both real and fictional) lay their baggage on the table. Oprah carries a notepad so she can scribble down inspiring quotes (from herself), Barbie carries her NASA astronaut card, Bernie Madoff carries a few spare $4,000 pens. Jacobson labels and annotates the detritus of her subjects with wry commentary on the secret worlds that are exposed by the things we carry around. 

When you think of the Victorian era, do you picture well-mannered women in dramatic dresses, à la The Phantom of the Opera, perhaps reading some Charlotte Brontë? If you want to keep that vision intact, skip Unmentionable: The Victorian Lady’s Guide to Sex, Marriage, and Manners. If you want to discover the truth, however, follow Therese Oneill, your guide to the intimate rituals of life as a Victorian woman, from painting your face with lead for a youthful (and highly toxic) glow to the fact that turning your gloves inside out means “I hate you” and dropping your parasol means you’re in love. Oneill doesn’t shy away from the unsavory aspects of Victorian life, such as the excrement-filled streets, the toxic water and the scarcity of proper bathrooms. Who knew toilets (or the lack of them) could be so entertaining?

Get ready to discover the real you with Psycho-book: Games, Tests, Questionnaires, Histories edited by Julian Rothenstein. Within this book, you’ll find a full spectrum of psychological tests, dating from the conception of psychological testing to the present day. Each test is beautifully illustrated with examples, from the famous Rorschach inkblots to the less popular Odor Imagination Test, in which subjects were asked to tell a story after smelling various items—sour milk, for example. Feedback on the results of many of the tests is provided in the back of the book, although Psychobook warns against using personality tests as a tool for assessing mental health: The definition of what’s normal is (thankfully) very flexible. However, this book can be used as a tool to dive deep into your beliefs about yourself and others. You might want to bring some friends along for the journey—although you may discover more about them than you ever wanted to know.


This article was originally published in the November 2016 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.