True Story

New Book Clubs and Techie Biographies

Hello, nonfiction friends, this is Kim! In case you missed the news last week, I’ll be returning each week to write the Friday edition of True Story, while Alice will continue to share the best new nonfiction with you each week on Wednesdays.

A little bit about me… I’ve been writing for Book Riot since the site was formed. I helped launch this newsletter back in 2017, and currently co-host Book Riot’s bi-weekly nonfiction podcast with Alice. Before Book Riot I was a book blogger and community journalist. Today, I work in communications for a public library system. It’s still stunning to me that I get to spend so much of my waking time writing and talking about books. 

My taste in nonfiction is pretty wide-ranging, although tends to lean towards current affairs, journalism, and memoir – I love beautiful writing and a good story nearly as much as Alice loves FACTS!

My goal with the Friday send of the newsletter is to mix things up each week, sharing news from the world of nonfiction books, themed book lists, nonfiction book deals, updates on the nonfiction writing over at Book Riot, and more. I hope you’re as excited as I am because I am done with the preamble – on to some nonfiction news!

Nonfiction in the News

Cover Unbound by Tanara Burke

Soccer legend Megan Rapinoe is starting a book club! The first pick for her “new and exclusive” book club with Literati will be Unbound by Tarana Burke, founder of the #MeToo movement. In an interview with People, Rapinoe said she plans to read the books right alongside book club members, choosing titles that will help readers learn from experts in a variety of areas. I haven’t dug into Literati subscriptions much, but I can’t help but be a fan of Megan Rapinoe – awesome first pick!

Walter Isaacson is writing about Elon Musk? According to Musk, Isaacson has already been shadowing him for several days… but at this point there’s no other real news on the book. Isaacson has written several enormous biographies, including one about Apple founder Steve Jobs. Listeners of the podcast will know that giant biographies are not really my thing… but I am intrigued by Isaacon’s latest book, The Code Breaker, about Nobel Prize-winning scientist Jennifer Doudna. Elon Musk? Not so much.

Huma Abedin has revealed the cover of her upcoming memoir. Titled Both/And: A Life in Many Worlds, the book is, I believe, the first time Abedin will share at length about her ex-husband’s sex scandal and her time working for Hillary Clinton. Abedin is the daughter of Indian and Pakistani intellectuals and advocates, and has worked with Clinton since 1996 as a college intern. I’m most curious about how forthright Abedin will be in this book – memoirs by politicians can be bland, but she’s not exactly in politics anymore. It could be fascinating! Both/And will be released on November 2.

Weekend Reading

Cover of An Ugly Truth by Sheera Frankel and Cecilia Kang

This weekend I am hoping to finish up An Ugly Truth: Inside Facebook’s Battle for Domination by Sheera Frenkel and Cecilia Kang. The book is a behind-the-scenes look at the reasons Facebook has come under fire over the last five years – everything from data privacy issues to election manipulation. Frenkel and Kang are both reporters for the New York Times, and bring their extensive knowledge of cybersecurity, technology, and regulatory policy to the table, along with some really extensive and knowledgeable interviews with Facebook insiders.

It’s an absolutely fascinating read that really shows the extensive and fundamental flaws with Facebook as a platform and a tool. I’ve been feeling a lot of ambivalence about social media lately, and this book has just reinforced that the true goals of the people running the company go deeply against the public good in a whole host of ways.

For more nonfiction reads, head over to the podcast service of your choice and download For Real, which I co-host with my dear friend Alice. If you have any questions/comments/book suggestions, you can find me on social media @kimthedork. Happy weekend!