True Story

It’s Still a Bad Idea to Climb Mount Everest

Hello, nonfiction nerds, and congrats on making it to the end of another week. I’m excited to be bringing you some nonfiction news today… but honestly, even more excited that this is my last newsletter before I head on a vacation! Next week I’ll be going up north, as we Minnesotans like to say, to spend time at the lake with books and booze and boat rides.

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Since I’ll be away from my desk I’ve tapped Alice Burton, the amazing co-host of the For Real podcast, to write next week’s newsletters. She’s one of my favorite funny people on the Internet, so I know you’ll be in good hands.

This week I have a few exciting book announcements, a list of best memoirs, and some thoughts on why it’s a terrible idea to climb Mount Everest. Onwards!

Author and creator Noelle Stevenson is writing a graphic memoir! The Fire Never Goes Out will be “a collection of seven or eight years of Stevenson’s personal comics, which come together in a memoir about her life.” I want to read this immediately but will have to be content to wait until January 2020.

Mallory O’Meara, author of The Lady from the Black Lagoon, has another book! Girly Drinks will be “a narrative nonfiction look into the history of women making and drinking alcohol all over the world” and sounds totally amazing.

The New York Times published a list of the 50 best memoirs of the past 50 years. It’s a really interesting list, and more diverse than I was expecting. I was pleased to see a few of my favorites – The Men We Reaped by Jesmyn Ward, Wave by Sniali Deraniyagala, and The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion, among others.

John Oliver did a segment on climbing Mount Everest and how the “expedition industry has devalued a once-historic achievement” and also made it a lot more dangerous. It’s interesting that this is in the news again, since this whole issue is at the center of Jon Krakauer’s 1997 book Into Thin Air. If you haven’t read that one, go get the audiobook right now – it’s incredible.

While it’s not exclusively nonfiction, the summer book club list from NPR’s Code Switch podcast looks excellent. The list is a collection of summer reads suggested by podcast listeners, as well as members of the Code Switch team.

If you haven’t gotten to read Furious Hours by Casey Cep, you can check out an excerpt from The Guardian. This piece came out back in May, but somehow didn’t cross my radar until this week. I’m psyched to get to this book.

And that’s all for this week! You can find me on Twitter @kimthedork, on email at, and co-hosting the For Real podcast here at Book Riot. This week we set sail on the high seas to talk about books on the ocean. Happy reading! – Kim