True Story

Backlist Award Winners for Your TBR

We’re wrapping up the fall book season with so many incredible new books on the shelf. Plus, It’s been a wild award season this year. It seems like every other day, there’s a new winner or new “best books of the year” list. My TBR keeps growing and growing! Isn’t that the best kind of problem to have? So, this week, I’m talking about two previous award winners that I enjoyed reading this year. But first, new books!

Are you looking for the perfect gift for that bookish special someone in your life this holiday season? Tailored Book Recommendations is here to help! Here at TBR, we pair our customers with a professional book nerd (aka bibliologist) who just gets them. They fill out a survey and then sit back and relax as we pick books just for them. We’ve got three levels — recs-only, paperback, and hardcover — and you can gift a full year or one time, so there are options for every budget! Get all the details at

Bookish Goods

a photo of a custom of a row of books on a clear ornament

Personalized Christmas Book Club Ornament by TonyshopArts

This is the perfect gift for folks in your book club! I love that this is such a personal touch to a holiday gift. $20

New Releases

a graphic of the cover of Airplane Mode: An Irreverent History of Travel by Shahnaz Habib

Airplane Mode: An Irreverent History of Travel by Shahnaz Habib

Shahnaz Habib writes about how traveling — how easy it is, where you can go, for how long — is often determined by the color of your passport and the color of your skin. Habib describes how traveling as a woman of color has changed her perspective on travel, inspiring her to research and write more on the topic.

a graphic of the cover of Into Siberia: George Kennan's Epic Journey Through the Brutal, Frozen Heart of Russia by Gregory J. Wallance

Into Siberia: George Kennan’s Epic Journey Through the Brutal, Frozen Heart of Russia by Gregory J. Wallance

George J. Wallance details the system that Russia used to send people into exile, often without much proof of wrongdoing. In the late 19th century, George Kennan went to Siberia to investigate Siberia, changing the diplomatic relationship between Russia and the USA forever.

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Riot Recommendations

a graphic of the cover of Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard

Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard

Pilgrim at Tinker Creek won the Pulitzer Prize back in 1975. Dillard, a master prose stylist, describes her life at Tinker Creek. She chronicles the changing of the seasons and shares the comings and goings of the other living creatures around her. There’s just something beautiful about the calm her writing creates. I love her ability to see the tiniest things and communicate their vast importance to the reader. She has an obsession with parasites and the way they exist in the world. Admittedly, I don’t share this fascination, but I respect the way she loves them.

a graphic of the cover of The Yellow House by Sarah M. Broome

The Yellow House by Sarah M. Broom

In 2019, Sarah M. Broom won the National Book Award for The Yellow House, which follows the story of her family and their connection to New Orleans. She describes her family’s history through the Yellow House, the childhood home that her mother owned for decades. We learn about Broom’s family history and the history of New Orleans. Her writing is vibrant and engrossing. You come to love her family and the Yellow House. This book is such a beautiful work of nonfiction, and I can’t recommend it enough.

a photo of Dylan, a red and white Pembroke Welsh Corgi, and Gwen, a black and white Cardigan Welsh Corgi, sitting on a multi-colored rug.

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