True Story

Memoirs, Biographies, and History — Oh My!

For the first time in MONTHS, I walked out my door and wasn’t enveloped in a blanket of searing humidity. The weather is gorgeous, and I can’t get enough. It’s perfect for sitting with a book while the Corgis frap around in the grass. Dylan can’t walk ten feet without rolling around in the grass. You bet I am getting in as much outside time as possible. Of course, plenty of that time is spent reading nonfiction, so let’s jump into today’s books!

But first, a reminder that Book Riot’s editorial team is writing for casual and power readers alike over at The Deep Dive! During the month of September, all new free subscribers will be entered to win Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler, plus five mystery books from The Deep Dive. To enter, simply start a free subscription to The Deep Dive. No payment method required!

Bookish Goods

a photo of a print of visual art. The illustration features a large open book with a lot of tiny books flying out of it. The text reads, "It's a good day to read a book."

It’s A Good Day To Read A Book Poster by Chelsaedocks

I love a good art piece, especially a bookish one. This one is perfect for your library, living room, or really wherever — why not decorate every room in books, right?! $16

New Releases

a graphic of the cover of Leslie F*cking Jones by Leslie Jones

Leslie F*cking Jones by Leslie Jones

It’s finally here! Leslie Jones’ memoir has hit shelves. It’s full of stories from her childhood growing up in the South and her experience trying to break into the comedy scene. And you bet I am getting this one on audio — I NEED to hear her performing this hilarious memoir.

a graphic of the cover of Sondheim

Sondheim: His Life, His Shows, His Legacy by Stephen M. Silverman

When Sondheim passed away, it was a sad day for theatre kids across the nation. Now, Stephen M. Silverman is giving us a biography of a man who wrote some of America’s favorite musicals.

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

Riot Recommendations

a graphic of the cover of The Dead Are Arising by Les Payne and Tamara Payne

The Dead Are Arising by Les Payne and Tamara Payne

Here’s one for history and biography lovers! The Dead Are Arising is an award-winning biography of Malcolm X. Les Payne worked on this book for decades, and when he passed, his daughter, Tamara Payne, continued his work and finished the book. The Dead Are Arising went on to receive dozens of accolades, including winning the National Book Award for nonfiction. This is definitely a book you won’t want to miss!

a graphic of a cover of Robert E. Lee and Me by Ty Seidule

Robert E. Lee and Me by Ty Seidule

When I moved to the South, I realized that the Civil War meant a lot of different things to folks down here. One of the things I learned is how Southerners each go on their own journey with coming to terms with their identity. This book is a fabulous look at the author’s own journey to reckoning with the South’s past and its role in the Civil War. The new South, a more inclusive, accepting South, is on the rise.

a photo of  a photo of Gwen, a black and white Cardigan Welsh Corgi, sitting on a dark green cushion. Dylan, a red and white Pembroke Welsh Corgi, sitting on a rug in front of a bookshelf.
This is their new album cover — Burnt and Toasted, a debut record by the dynamic duo, 2Loaves.

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