Hello fellow nonfiction lovers – happy Friday and welcome to June! This week I want to highlight three new books that I think will be great as audiobooks, before jumping into a random assortment of nonfiction news.
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So Close to Being the Shit Y’all Don’t Even Know by Retta (May 29 from St. Martin’s Press) – Parks and Recreation is my favorite television show, and essay collections from funny women are my favorite type of audiobooks… so of course I’m going to get excited about a book from Retta, who played Donna on the show. In this collection, she writes about “throwing her hard-working Liberian parents for a loop” by moving to Hollywood after graduating from Duke, and everything that came after. I get the sense there’s bits on imposter syndrome here, along with just some really funny, honest stories. I can’t wait!
Calypso by David Sedaris (May 29 from Little, Brown) – A new David Sedaris book is always something to celebrate. I love his weird humor and darkly strange way of looking at the world. It appeals to my not-so-secret grumpy and anti-social side, I think. In this collection of essays, Sedaris writes about “middle age and mortality” while enjoying time at his beach house on the Carolina coast. I always recommend Sedaris on audiobook – there’s something about his voice and delivery that really sells every story. I just don’t think it’s the same in print.
Yes We (Still) Can: Politics in the Age of Obama, Twitter, and Trump by Dan Pfeiffer (June 19 from Twelve) – Confession time… I planned out this three-on-a-theme newsletter assuming that Dan Pfeiffer’s new book about working in the Obama administration was coming out on June 5. Turns out not, but I’m forging ahead anyway! It’s just more upcoming than I thought. Anyway, this Obama staffer memoir is about navigating the world of Trump and how to forge a path ahead amidst the madness. Pfeiffer is the co-host of the political podcast Pod Save America, which makes me think this will be especially great if he’s the narrator.
Overlooked is coming to television! The New York Times’ editorial project to write the obituaries of famous women who didn’t get an obituary when they died will become an anthology series where every episode is written and directed by women. Yes, please.
There’s another suspect for notorious hijacker D.B. Cooper! An 84-year-old pet sitter from Florida has written a memoir wherein he argues that a longtime friend committed the 1971 hijacking and theft (which is, to this point, unsolved). I’m a little skeptical, but curious to see if this theory goes anywhere.
This top nonfiction of 2017 list from Reading Group Choices is pretty great! It reminded me of several that I haven’t read yet, which I always appreciate.
More women are writing scientific memoirs, and we are all in for it over at Book Riot. This piece from Elizabeth is a little old, but interesting!
Speaking of memoirs, what do you think about the idea that we need more memoirs about surviving ordinary life? I tend to lean into the “stranger-than-fiction” memoirs that open this piece, but there’s definitely an argument to be made that a deep dive into everyday experiences can teach uf something too. There are a bunch of great recommendations at the end of the piece, so make sure to get all the way through.
Don’t forget, Book Riot is giving away $500 to the bookstore of your choice. Think of all the books you could get with $500! I’m practically swooning at the thought. Anyway, enter here!