True Story

Vacation Reads!

Hello friends! Greetings from the sunny land of Amelia Island, Florida! We’re here to visit the family, and the Corgis are loving the beach. So many sights to see and smells to investigate. Dylan especially knows how to vacation. He finds a sunny spot on the deck and looks out over the gorgeous landscape. Gwen, our extravert, has greeted and received belly rubs from every human in sight. Plus, they have a GORGEOUS bookstore here called The Book Loft. Today I have some books I finished while we are here, so let’s jump right in!

Bookish Goods

a photo of a white t-shirt that says, "All I need is a beach and a book."

Book Lovers T-shirt, Reading Shirt, Beach Lover Shirt, Summer Shirt by Coastal Lab

In honor of beach season, here is a cute shirt perfect for beach-loving bookworms! I see so many people reading on the beach, so this T-shirt is perfect. $26

New Releases

a graphic of the cover of The Rediscovery of America: Native Peoples and the Unmaking of U.S. History by Ned Blackhawk

The Rediscovery of America: Native Peoples and the Unmaking of U.S. History by Ned Blackhawk

Most of the history books published focused on the Western, colonial perspective of the history of North America. But in The Rediscovery of America, Ned Blackhawk retells American history centering the experience of Native Peoples.

a graphic of the cover of Little Earthquakes: A Memoir by Sarah Mandel

Little Earthquakes: A Memoir by Sarah Mandel

While Sarah Mandel was pregnant with her second child, she discovered a lump in her breast. Shortly before she gave birth, she found out that she had cancer with only a small chance of recovery. Little Earthquakes examines the complexities of bringing life into the world while confronting the potential loss of her own.

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

Riot Recommendations

a graphic of the cover of Liliana's Invincible Summer: A Sister's Search for Justice by Cristina Rivera Garza

Liliana’s Invincible Summer: A Sister’s Search for Justice by Cristina Rivera Garza

Cristina Rivera Garza’s sister, Liliana, was in college when she was murdered by an ex-boyfriend. Decades later, Cristina goes to Mexico City in search of her sister’s case file. But when the police inform her that Liliana’s case file was lost, she decides to make a sort of file of her own, an act to force the world to bear witness to her sister’s life. The rest of the book is memories that Rivera Garza has of her sister while they were growing up. We learn about all the squabbles they had as kids and all the love they shared as they got older. Rivera Garza also interviews Liliana’s friends from college in Mexico City. This way, Rivera Garza creates a collection of snapshots of her sister’s life leading up to the time of her death. This incredible memoir is one of the best memoirs I’ve read this year. It’s truly a stunning testament of sisterly love.

a graphic of the cover of upstream: Essays by Mary Oliver

Upstream: Essays by Mary Oliver

Pushkin has released a new audiobook of Mary Oliver’s incredible essay collection, Upstream. Hala Alyan, Joy Sullivan, and Kate Baer read different sections of the collection, each introducing their portion with some personal thoughts on why they treasure Oliver’s writing. The collection itself is a meditation on the natural world. Oliver writes her prose with a poet’s eye for word choice, each sentence carefully crafted. I’d never read Mary Oliver before, so Upstream was such a perfect choice as an introduction to Oliver’s work. So if you’re looking for a place to start reading Oliver’s extensive backlist, I’d definitely recommend you start with Upstream. And if you’re already familiar with her work, Pushkin’s new audiobook edition of this essay collection is a must listen.

Don’t forget to check out our latest newsletter, The Deep Dive. It’s full of informed takes, useful advice, and more from experts in the world of books and reading. Subscribe and choose your membership level ($5 or free!) today at

a photo of Dylan, a red and white Pembroke welsh corgi, and Gwen, a black and white and Brindle cardigan welsh corgi, standing on the beach
Dylan and Gwen at the Beach

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