True Story

Podcasts, Sexual Harassment, and Book Lists Galore

I hope you’ll forgive me if I open this newsletter with a bit of self-promotion. This week, the nonfiction podcast I am co-hosting with fellow Rioter Alice Burton officially launched!

For Real will be coming out every other week, and focused on nonfiction book recommendations from a variety of angles. In our first episode we talk new books, recommendations for International Women’s Day, some fiction/nonfiction pairings, and what we’re reading right now.

Sponsored by YOUR STORY IS YOUR POWER by Elle Luna and Susie Herrick. Published by Workman Publishing.

On the heels of International Women’s Day, the celebration of strong women is at an all-time high and women everywhere are sharing their stories. Your Story Is Your Poweris the tool you need to understand and express your own personal story. Elle Luna, bestselling author of The Crossroads of Should and Must, team up with psychotherapist Susie Herrick, to present an inspiring and practical hands-on guide that will show you how to uncover your own story in order to live a more confident, unapologetic life. Beautifully illustrated throughout, Your Story Is Your Power is a personal, thoughtful, motivating book to help you take control of your future.

You can hear me say “super excited” enough times to warrant a drinking game, and accidentally throw some shade at Ken Burns, while Alice talks vaginas and Lord Byron – it’s very on-brand for us. I hope you’ll click through and give it a listen, or subscribe using your favorite podcast app!

Sherman Alexie and Sexual Harassment

Over the last couple of weeks, the #MeToo movement has finally arrived in the world of publishing. There are a lot of authors who have been called out in a variety of ways, but the one most relevant to this newsletter is Sherman Alexie. Initially, Alexie was anonymously accused of various harassing behaviors, then issued a strange statement in response. This week, NPR published a story in which several accusers went on the record about Alexie’s behavior, while others spoke anonymously sharing very similar experiences:

The women reported behavior ranging from inappropriate comments both in private and in public, to flirting that veered suddenly into sexual territory, unwanted sexual advances and consensual sexual relations that ended abruptly. The women said Alexie had traded on his literary celebrity to lure them into uncomfortable sexual situations.

I don’t have much commentary to add to this, other than it’s another story that just makes me really sad. I do wonder how this news will affect the immediate sales and long-term regard for his memoir, You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me, which up until now has been widely praised. Before these stories emerged, I would have pegged it as a front-runner for many of the year’s big awards – it was already awarded the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction from the American Library Association. Now? I’m not sure what might happen. This book and author may be a good test case for whether, in the long run, these kinds of accusations will have consequences. More to come, I am sure.

Nonfiction Over at Book Riot

Although the first week of March is a big one for new books, I’m going to wait to jump into March’s buzziest titles until next week. This week, I want to highlight some of my favorite recent nonfiction posts that we’ve been publishing over on Book Riot:

Ashley wonders if we are done with sweary self-help books yet. My guess is no… but I can see why she’s over it.

Ann writes about coziness concepts beyond hygge – ikigai, lagom, and more.

Want brief nonfiction to read over lunch? Emily suggests some short memoirs, available online, that will fit the bill.

Calling out sexism in the tech industry was, I think, one of the early pushes in the current #MeToo movement. Sophia recommends five books about women in tech to give you an overview of what’s happening there. I’ll add a personal endorsement to Reset by Ellen Pao, that one is excellent.

Looking for an essay anthology to round out your Read Harder list? I wrote up some of my favorites!

President’s Day is over, but presidential biographies are always in style. Kate recommends 44 of them to add to your reading list.

Celebrate Charles Darwin’s birthday, a little late at this point, with these books Aimee recommends.

Sad that the Winter Olympics are over? Emma suggested these books to get psyched about the Games, but they’re still good now.

Re-live the 1990s with these awesome books about 90s scandals that Elizabeth rounded up.

That’s it for this week, fellow readers. Don’t forget! There are just a few days left for you to head over to our Instagram account and enter to win $500 in Penguin Clothbound classics!

As always, find me on Twitter @kimthedork, and happy reading! – Kim