True Story

LITTLE WOMEN and Women in Politics

Hello, nonfiction friends! I cannot believe it’s the last week of August – the summer has absolutely flown by me. This week is another great one for nonfiction new releases. I’ve got three books to feature, plus six more that caught my eye. Let’s get going!

March Sisters: On Life, Death, and Little Women  by Kate Bolick, Carmen Maria Machado, Jane Smiley, and Jenny Zhang – In celebration of the 150th anniversary of Little Women, four authors write about their connections to the novel, including “what it has meant to them and why it still matters.” This is such an interesting combination of writers, and I have such a soft spot for Little Women – it’s right in my wheelhouse.

Bookish Reading: Since this book is so short, I want to direct you to previous/future work by each of the authors – Spinster by Kate Bolick (memoir), In the Dream House by Carmen Maria Machado (memoir), The Man Who Invented the Computer by Jane Smiley (nonfiction), and Sour Heart by Jenny Zhang (short stories).

The Optimist’s Telescope: Thinking Ahead in a Reckless Age by Bina Venkataraman – If you have ever wondered why making the decision that will benefit you most in the long-term is so hard, this is a book for you. Bina Venkataraman, a writer and former Obama administration advisor on climate change, explores the biology, psychology, and economics of making better decisions over time and shares practices we can adopt ourselves and as a society.

Further Reading: It’s not super recent, but Venkataraman’s 2018 article about why we should rethink the idea of a forced quarantine was interesting.

See Jane Win: The Inspiring Story of the Women Changing American Politics by Caitlin Moscatello – The November 2018 midterm elections resulted in a record number of women running for and winning elected offices. In this book, journalist Caitlin Moscatello follows four candidates (one for Congress, three for state offices) through their campaigns and the “brutal realities of running for office while female.”

Further Reading: Earlier this year, Moscatello wrote about the work of Millennial women in Congress and how they’re fighting back against the sexist, ageist rhetoric trying to convince them to keep their heads down and wait their turn.

And finally, a few more titles that I am curious about:

Hooray, new books! You can find me on Twitter @kimthedork, on email at, and co-hosting the For Real podcast here at Book Riot. Happy reading! – Kim