True Story

New Releases: Black Panthers, Duchesses, Artists

I know we’re all about books here, but I hope you’ve been watching some good TV, because there’s just so much of it. I’ve been watching a lot of Modern Family, despite the fact that most of the relationships on that show are Not Great, but it’s easy to just have it on. I also started You, which is extremely entertaining, then my friend said the book is good, so I have checked it out of the library.

How’re your reading goals going, if you have any? I stubbornly refuse to enter a number every year into the Goodreads challenge, because I don’t need that public pressure, instead keeping a variety of tracking notes and spreadsheets for my private satisfaction. I’m like seven books from my self-set, fairly low goal, which seems doable in a month and a half, despite the many holidays and the weird idea that you shouldn’t just sit and read when you’re hanging out with family.

New books for the week!:

Power Hungry cover

Power Hungry: Women of the Black Panther Party and Freedom Summer and Their Fight to Feed a Movement by Suzanne Cope

Did you know that in 1969, the Black Panther Party was feeding more children every day than the state of California? And in the early ’60s in Mississippi, a woman named Aylene Quin provided her restaurant to fellow civil rights activists (like members of SNCC) for their necessarily secret meetings. Cope’s book illustrates “how food was used by women as a potent and necessary ideological tool in both the rural south and urban north to create lasting social and political change.” So cool.

The Duchess Countess cover

The Duchess Countess: The Woman Who Scandalized Eighteenth-Century London by Catherine Ostler

The story of Elizabeth Chudleigh, Duchess of Kingston, Countess of Bristol, who in 1776 (yes, that 1776), went on trial for bigamy. The case drew an immense amount of public interest during a time when America was pretty sure it was supposed to be the most popular topic in the UK.

1000 Years of Joys and Sorrows cover

1000 Years of Joys and Sorrows: A Memoir by Ai Weiwei, translated by Allan H. Barr

Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei writes about growing up in “Little Siberia,” where his father (acclaimed poet Ai Qing) had been sent in exile by former friend Mao Zedong. Ai went to America to study art, where he met cultural figures of the ’60s like Allen Ginsberg and Andy Warhol. His political activism “has long made him a target of the Chinese authorities, which culminated in months of secret detention without charge in 2011.” Check it out if you’re interested in art, freedom of expression, or activist history.

For more nonfiction reads, check out the For Real podcast which I co-host with the excellent Kim here at Book Riot. And don’t miss Book Riot’s new podcast Adaptation Nation, all about TV and film adaptations of awesome books. If you have any questions/comments/book suggestions, you can find me on social media @itsalicetime. Until next time, enjoy those facts, fellow nerds.

Don’t forget you can get three free audiobooks at with a free trial!