True Story

New Releases: Albania, Jazz, and South Carolina

Driven to Ride chronicles Mike Schultz’s improbable journey following a lifesaving amputation. From a place of debilitating pain and depression, he tapped into the same sense of adventure that had once taken him to the top of competitive snowmobile racing and followed it to the pinnacle of adaptive snowboarding. As he launched himself into the world of adaptive sports, Schultz’s ambition was only tempered by his need for better equipment. His obsessive tinkering has presented yet another new path designing innovative prostheses. Inspiring and thrilling in equal measure, this is a story of uncommon strength, ingenuity, and seizing golden opportunities.

`Triumph Books.``“`

Welcome to your nonfiction new releases for the week! Kim and I just did a 2022 nonfiction preview on For Real and it got me even more jazzed for some of the amazing books coming out this year. Get those TBR lists ready if they aren’t already, because we got new facts comin’ at you:

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The Urge: Our History of Addiction by Carl Erik Fisher

Columbia University professor Fisher writes a history of addiction, not only from a medical perspective, but incorporating literature, religion, philosophy and sociology. This was one of my 2022 picks on For Real because I’m real psyched about it. Addiction has been with us for practically our entire history as humans, so why not learn more about why it happens and how we talk about it. Just a heads up, Fisher started the book because of his experience as an alcoholic, so he also covers some of his story there.

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Free: A Child and a Country at the End of History by Lea Ypi

Ypi grew up in Albania in the early ’90s (a country with a very dramatic flag) and writes about her living through the collapse of the Soviet state in the 1991 revolution and how the emergence of the “free market” led to chaos. Now a voice for the left in the United Kingdom, here she “offers a fresh and invigorating perspective on the relation between the personal and the political, between values and identity, posing urgent questions about the cost of freedom.”

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Struggling to Learn: An Intimate History of School Desegregation in South Carolina by June Manning Thomas

Thomas was part of the first integrated class in her school in 1964 in Orangeburg, South Carolina, and it was a traumatic experience. In her book, she looks at how desegregation happened in South Carolina from the 1950s to the ’60s. Despite rulings from the Supreme Court (including Brown v. Board of Education), all schools in South Carolina were not desegregated until the shockingly late year of 1970.

Antagonistic Cooperation cover

Antagonistic Cooperation: Jazz, Collage, Fiction, and the Shaping of African American Culture by Robert G. O’Meally

Ok you jazz nerds, I have a book for you. The title comes from Ralph Ellison’s description of ensemble jazz improvisation. Columbia University professor (another one!) O’Meally demonstrates how this concept “runs throughout twentieth-century African American culture to provide a new history of Black creativity and aesthetics.” O’Meally teaches Comparative Literature and has written about jazz for over three decades. Here he talks about Louis Armstrong, Toni Morrison, Duke Ellington, Basquiat, and more.

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

For more nonfiction reads, check out the For Real podcast which I co-host with the excellent Kim here at Book Riot. If you have any questions/comments/book suggestions, you can find me on social media @itsalicetime. Until next time, enjoy those facts, fellow nerds.