True Story

Breast Cancer Awareness Month Memoirs

Hello and happy weekend, nonfiction nerds! The transition into the chilly part of the fall has given me a lot of “big black trash bag” energy — that feeling of wanting to just throw everything out and start all over again from nothing. That’s obviously not feasible, though, so I’m trying to keep that impulse in check. Now let’s just cut the preamble and get to the books!

Bookish Goods

vintage library card bookmarks

Vintage Library Card Bookmark from BookEmphemera

I can’t get enough vintage library card memorabilia. I think these bookmarks are a delight! $4+

New Releases

book cover this arab is queer by elias jahshan

This Arab is Queer, edited by Elias Jahshan

This anthology is a collection of essays written by queer Arab writers, writing under their own names and anonymously. Stories in the collection range from the personal to the public, and include intimate connections and personal accounts of things like what it was like to be at a concert in Cairo when a rainbow flag was raised above the crowd. The book’s editor, Elias Jahshan, is a Palestinian/Lebanese Australian writer, editor, and journalist who served as the editor of Australia’s longest-running LGBTQ+ media outlet. I’m so interested in picking this one up.

book cover stroller by amanda parrish morgan

Stroller (Object Lessons) by Amanda Parrish Morgan

This book is the latest entry in a series I’d never heard of before — Object Lessons from Bloomsbury. Each short book explores the hidden life of an ordinary thing, everything from blue jeans to hyphens to strollers. This addition explores strollers, one of the most visible symbols of both “status and parenting philosophy.” The book goes back to the invention of the pram in the 1700s, to the various kinds of strollers you can buy today, to discussions about what it means to avoid getting a stroller at all. I love a compact deep dive!

For a more comprehensive list of new releases, check out our New Books newsletter.

Riot Recommendations

In recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October, this week I want to feature two memoirs written by breast cancer survivors.

book cover twisting fate by pamela munster

Twisting Fate: My Journey with BRCA―from Breast Cancer Doctor to Patient and Back by Pamela Munster M.D.

Dr. Pamela Munster is one of the top oncologists in the country, treating breast cancer patients who came to the University of California. At 48 years old, Munster learned her mammogram showed “irregularities,” and was diagnosed with breast cancer herself. This book combines her personal experience with the BRCA gene mutation along with her academic research around breast cancer and other inherited cancers. That combination seems particularly powerful for a memoir on this topic.

book cover everybody's got something by robin roberts

Everybody’s Got Something by Robin Roberts

Robin Roberts is a well-loved anchor for Good Morning America who has experienced many of her most difficult times while being on television. In this memoir, she writes about her breast cancer diagnosis, followed five years later by a diagnosis of a rare blood disorder. She also writes about losing her mother, returning to work after medical leave, and the lessons she has learned along the way. I have to think this one would be excellent as an audiobook. 

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 or send an email to Happy weekend!