Anyone else like birds? I thought I’d escaped this family trait, but as I’ve gotten older, I’ve gotten more and more interested in them. This past weekend, I watched The Big Year, starring Steve Martin, Owen Wilson, and Jack Black, all about people competing to see the most birds in North America in a year. It’s pretty charming. And based on nonfiction! The Big Year: A Tale of Man, Nature and Fowl Obsession by Mark Obmascik, which I will definitely be checking out.
Let’s check out some nonfiction items!
Nonfiction mug time! Why not think about the books you have or haven’t read while drinking coffee/tea/your mug beverage of choice? The titles are hand-drawn and include older and newer, like Minor Feelings by Cathy Park Hong and Unbound by Tarana Burke. Why not lean into the nonfiction enthusiasm of it all?
Streets of Gold: America’s Untold Story of Immigrant Success by Ran Abramitzky, Leah Boustan
We’ve all heard stories of Ellis Island and the American immigration experience, but what do the facts really tell us? This is the result of years of research and debunks long-held myths. Also the cover is really pretty — look at those rays. A+.
Struggle Makes Us Human: Learning from Movements for Socialism by Vijay Prashad and Frank Barat
It’s a Haymarket Books pick! Haymarket Books is in Chicago, so I have a soft spot for them. Did you know they’re a nonprofit and have sales ALL the time? Ok anyway, this new release looks at workers’ struggles around the world. I’m talking India, Kenya, Peru, and beyond. They also look at “debt cancellation, a wealth tax, austerity, the pandemic, the arms industry, the climate crisis, socialism, working-class social movements and much more.”
For a more comprehensive list, check out our New Books newsletter.
Trans Mission: My Quest to a Beard by Alex Bertie
Pride reads! I read this this year and loved it. Alex describes his coming out and transition process, which he did in the UK (covered by their healthcare!). It’s meant to be helpful for coming out as trans, and also has helpful sections for family members. Alex is really charming and his YouTube channel is great (which is how he got internet famous!).
Queer Brown Voices: Personal Narratives of Latina/o LGBT Activism by by Uriel Quesada, Letitia Gomez, Salvador Vidal-Ortiz (Editors) [AOC]
This is essays and oral histories from FOURTEEN activists in the United States and Puerto Rico, centering the Latinx perspective in queer activism. They reflect “not only on the organizations they helped to create and operate, but also on their broad-ranging experiences of being racialized and discriminated against, fighting for access to health care during the HIV/AIDS epidemic, and struggling for awareness.” This came out in 2015, which is the same year marriage equality was made legal on a federal level (wow, that is recent).
For more nonfiction reads, check out the For Real podcast which I co-host with the excellent Kim here at Book Riot. If you have any questions/comments/book suggestions, you can find me on social media @itsalicetime. Until next time, enjoy those facts, fellow nerds.