True Story

Nonfiction on Women’s Healthcare in America

This week, Dylan had a routine check up at the vet, meaning Gwenllian had the run of the house for an entire day. She napped in all of Dylan’s favorite spots and played with the toys he never wants to share. But before long, she kept looking for him. Dylan and Gwen are constantly bickering, a classic older brother/little sister dynamic. But sometimes I’ll catch him letting her lick his face or Gwen asking Dylan to play, and I’ll be reminded that they love each other, at least somewhere deep down. This week in the newsletter, we’re looking at stories of women’s healthcare. But first, it’s time for bookish goods!

But before we get into all that, check out Book Riot’s newest newsletter, The Deep Dive, full of informed takes, useful advice, and more from experts in the world of books and reading. Subscribe and choose your membership level today at

Bookish Goods

a photo of a wooden thumb hold that helps readers keep books open

Book Buddy by Highland Books

Sometimes my hands get tired holding books open all day. So I love little devices like these that help keep books open. And this store has so many styles! $9

New Releases

a graphic of the cover of Fat Off, Fat On: A Big Bitch Manifesto by Clarkisha Kent

Fat Off, Fat On: A Big Bitch Manifesto by Clarkisha Kent

In her new memoir, Clarkisha Kent shares stories from her life as a self-described fat, Black, queer woman just trying to live her life in society that prefers to center the stories of skinny, white, straight people. Her writing is both funny and heartfelt, perfect for fans of Samantha Irby, Jenny Lawson, or Lindy West.

a graphic of the cover of Tremors in the Blood: Murder, Obsession, and the Birth of the Lie Detector by Amit Katwala

Tremors in the Blood: Murder, Obsession, and the Birth of the Lie Detector by Amit Katwala

In this history of the polygraph test, author Amit Katwala describes how in 1922, a man said that bandits had murdered his wife. But investigators weren’t sure if he was lying or not. Bandits? In Berkeley, California? To try to get to the bottom of the case, investigators decided to rely on the polygraph, a brand new invention they believed might provide some much-needed clarity.

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

Riot Recommendations

a graphic of the cover of Cost of Living: Essays by Emily Maloney

Cost of Living: Essays by Emily Maloney

When she was 19, Emily Maloney was admitted to the hospital via the ER for attempted suicide. But she didn’t realize that every single question a nurse or medical professional might ask her, also came with a high price tag. When she left the hospital, she found herself in five-figure medical debt, with no prospects on how she might pay it off. Cost of Living looks at the different ways that America’s very broken healthcare system charges to keep people alive, many of whom are in times of crisis. When you just want yourself or your loved ones to make it through, how are you supposed to make informed decisions when hospitals actively discourage you from doing so? Maloney’s collection was, admittedly, very hard for me to read. As a disabled person who has found myself in the emergency room on many occasions, I couldn’t help but deeply feel for Maloney and her uphill battle of trying to find appropriate care.

a graphic of the cover of Dear Scarlet: My Story of Postpartum Depression by Teresa Wong

Dear Scarlet: My Story of Postpartum Depression by Teresa Wong

In this graphic memoir, author Teresa Wong describes her experience with postpartum depression, and her struggle to find effective treatment for her condition. Having a baby comes with a lot of expectations of how a person should feel about their new baby. There’s a societal expectation that they will be happy, that every discomfort is worth it because you just had a baby. That it should just be a wonderful experience across the board, right? But that’s not how it went for Wong. She found herself stuffed in a fog of intense depression, making it incredibly difficult for her to find a medical professional that would even acknowledge her condition, let alone work with her to find the appropriate treatment.

a photo of Dylan, a red and white Pembroke Welsh Corgi, sitting on a wooden floor. He's posing for the camera because he is a huge ham.
Dylan, the Southern Gentleman

That’s it for this week! You can find me over on my substack Winchester Ave, over on Instagram @kdwinchester, or on my podcast Read Appalachia. As always, feel free to drop me a line at For even MORE bookish content, you can find my articles over on Book Riot.

Happy reading, Friends!

~ Kendra