True Story

Nonfiction on Audio!

Here in the upstate of South Carolina, everyone is heading back to school. I see kids from the neighborhood walking around with their backpacks and new school supplies. Dylan and Gwen are more than happy to greet them as they get off the bus at the end of our street. Gwen has a favorite boy who she adores above all the others. When he has to leave her to go home, he tells her that he’ll miss her. My heart can’t take all the cuteness. While we wait for the kids to walk by, I’m always listening to an audiobook. And I’ve listened to some great ones recently! So that’s what we’re talking about today.

But first, new books, bookish goods, and a reminder to make sure to check out Book Riot’s New Release Index. Delighting velocireaders since 2017, the Index will keep you in the know about all the latest books. New books for days. Subscribe today — you won’t be able to read them all, but it’s fun to try! 

Bookish Goods

a photo of three pumpkin decorations made out of book pages

Book Pumpkins-Fall Decor by RootToVine

YES, I am bringing out this adorable fall decoration a bit early. For incredible hand-crafted items, you often have to order ahead of time so it will arrive just in time! And these are just too cute not to have on time. $21

New Releases

a graphic of the cover of A Smoke and a Song: A Memoir by Sherry Sidoti

A Smoke and a Song: A Memoir by Sherry Sidoti

Out from She Writes Press, A Smoke and a Song follows the author as she cares for her mother, who is diagnosed with cancer in 2021. As her mother grows sicker, Sidoti thinks through whether she should let go or dig her heels in deeper to hold on to the time her mother has left.

a graphic of the cover of Dark Days: Fugitive Essays by Roger Reeves

Dark Days: Fugitive Essays by Roger Reeves

In his first work of prose, poet Roger Reeves examines what it’s like to move through the world as a Black person in America, in both the past and present. His essays include a combination of analysis, literary criticism, and philosophy.

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

Riot Recommendations

a graphic of the cover of Falling Back in Love with Being Human: Letters to Lost Souls by Kai Cheng Thom

Falling Back in Love with Being Human: Letters to Lost Souls by Kai Cheng Thom, Performed by the Author

In this essay collection, Kai Cheng Thom writes letters to people in her life. Whether it’s to ex-boyfriends or fellow trans women, Thom writes each letter with care. In one letter, she writes to J.K. Rowling, asking Rowling to show compassion. In one letter addressed to those who have hurt her, she repeats the phrase, “I forgive you” over and over again. On the audiobook, Thom performs each “I forgive you” differently, adding layers of meaning to ideas of forgiveness when you’ve experienced harm. At the end of each letter, Thom gives readers an action item, inspiring her readers to explore how they view their relationship with those around them.

a graphic of the cover of Wolfish: Wolf, Self, and the Stories We Tell about Fear by Erica Berry

Wolfish: Wolf, Self, and the Stories We Tell About Fear by Erica Berry, Performed by Lessa Lamb

Sometimes the very concept of a book catches my eye and I have to read it ASAP. That’s what happened with Wolfish, a book where Erica Berry delves into societal ideas around wolves. What do wolves symbolize to human civilization? How has that perception impacted society today? These are just a couple of the big questions that Berry examines. Lessa Lamb (yes, her real name) deftly performs the audio edition, making the listening experience fly by, even in sections that I imagine might be a little dry to read in print. I loved every second of Lamb’s performance.

a photo of Dylan, a red and white Pembroke Welsh Corgi, looking at the camera begging for food, which he so rarely receives.
“Please, sir, may I have some’ore?”

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