True Story

Women Telling True Stories

There’s nothing like a warm spring evening watching the Corgis bound across the yard, chasing their favorite balls in a never-ending game of fetch. Ever overly opinionated, Dylan has chosen pink as his favorite colored ball, and he won’t chase anything else. I can’t pretend to understand why he’s so particular, but we all just go with it. Always our little attention seeker, Gwen keeps hiding other dogs’ toys and lounging in the lush clover. I’m still on my nonfiction kick, so all of this time with the Corgis has given me PLENTY of time to listen to some incredible audiobooks.

Bookish Goods

a photo of a sticker of a red pill bottle fills with tiny books

Books in a Bottle Antidepressants Sticker by itsasticker

I love a good sticker, and this funny little bottle of bookish antidepressants is amazing. It comes in several different colors. It’s perfect for laptops, water bottles — you name it! $4

New Releases

a graphic of the cover of The Best Minds: A Story of Friendship, Madness, and the Tragedy of Good Intentions by Jonathan Rosen

The Best Minds: A Story of Friendship, Madness, and the Tragedy of Good Intentions by Jonathan Rosen

Jonathan Rosen writes about his friendship with Michael Laudor, a man who had the world ahead of him, but then suffered a psychotic break. Rosen describes the ups and downs of Laudor’s illness. Even after Laudor seemed to be doing so much better, tragedy struck when Laudor experienced another psychotic episode.

a graphic of the cover of Between Good and Evil: The Stolen Girls of Boko Haram by Mellissa Fung

Between Good and Evil: The Stolen Girls of Boko Haram by Mellissa Fung

In her bestselling book, Under an Afghan Sky: A Memoir of Captivity, Mellissa Fung wrote about her own captivity. Now she shares the story of how she traveled to Nigeria to talk to girls who escaped the Boko Haram, which has taken hundreds of girls to be child brides for its soldiers.

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

Riot Recommendations

a graphic of the cover of A Living Remedy by Nicole Chung

A Living Remedy by Nicole Chung

A Living Remedy was one of my most anticipated reads of 2023, so I dropped everything to listen to it as soon as it hit my audiobook app. There’s something about Chung’s prose that captures readers’ attention from the start. After Chung’s father dies, she doubles down on wanting to make the most of the time with her mother. But when her mother’s cancer comes back, Chung knows she’s on borrowed time. Then the pandemic rolls in, and Chung can’t visit her mother because of social distancing. How does one say goodbye over the phone? How does a daughter attend her mother’s funeral virtually? A Living Remedy is a testament to Chung’s love for her parents and living with the grief of losing them. Her writing is so emotionally intimate, and if you lost a family member during the height of social distancing, you can’t help but relate to Chung’s story.

a graphic of the cover of Hill Women by Cassie Chambers

Hill Women by Cassie Chambers

Chambers’ family hails from Eastern Kentucky, and her parents moved from the holler to a bigger town, looking for better opportunities. Chambers makes it into an Ivy League school and is soon surrounded by young adults from incredibly privileged backgrounds. She deals with the backhanded compliments and passive aggressiveness about being from Kentucky. She keeps her head down, does her work, and begins looking for her next move. How will she give back to her community? Chambers illustrates the complex reality of striving for upward mobility while still trying to hold on to and respect her Appalachian roots. Moving away from the region, becoming what’s called a “Expatalachian,” is an emotional journey that every person has to work through themselves. And I appreciate Chambers letting us into her experience as she figures out her place in the world.

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Gwen, a black and white cardigan welsh Corgi, models with One of My Favorite Poetry Collections, English Lit by Affrilachian Poet Bernard Clay
Gwen models with one of my favorite poetry collections, English Lit by Affrilachian poet Bernard Clay.

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