Read This Book

Read This Book: KNOW MY NAME by Chanel Miller

Welcome to Read This Book, a weekly newsletter where I recommend one book that I think you absolutely must read. The books will vary across genre and age category to include new releases, backlist titles, and classics. If you’re ready to explode your TBR, buckle up!

Know My Name cover imageThis week’s pick is the powerful memoir Know My Name by Chanel Miller.

Content warning: sexual assault, trauma, PTSD, suicide ideation

Many people recognize the name Brock Turner, but fewer know the real name of Emily Doe, the woman that Brock Turner assaulted behind a dumpster at a party on the Stanford University campus. Her name is Chanel Miller, and in this incredible memoir, she shares her story and reclaims her name. She recounts the events of the night that Brock Turner assaulted her, and the immediate effects as she came to terms with what happened and how her life was changed. She takes readers through the confusing, isolating experience of pressing charges, and her harrowing experience in court, and after, when Brock was only sentenced to six months in jail. But it’s so much more than just her side of what happened–it’s also about everything that happened to her in between those moments, her life before the assault, her art, how she processed her assault mentally and emotionally, and how she reclaimed her voice.

“If a victim speaks but no one acknowledges her, does she make a sound?”

Chanel Miller is an incredible writer–articulate, thoughtful, and deeply caring. She was destined to be published, and while my heart breaks to think of what she went through, I am at least glad for her book. She not only puts a real human face to a terrible crime, but she illuminates how difficult it is for many victims to come forward and how arduous it can be to navigate the legal system, even under the best of circumstances. She’s honest about the strain this event put on her and her entire family, but she is adamant about not being seen only as a victim–she’s a sister, friend, ally, artist, and writer as well. Her memoir is a brilliant homage to all of those parts of herself that were erased in the media coverage of her trial, and an inspiring call to action for people to continue to stand up to injustice everywhere. The subject matter isn’t always easy, but you’re in good hands with Chanel, and I would happily read anything she writes from here on out.

Bonus: I listened to the audiobook, which is narrated by Chanel Miller herself. I HIGHLY recommend this experience!

Happy reading,


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