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True Story

New Releases: Sardines and Washington Heights

Hello and welcome to another week of new releases! I call this the calm before the September storm (so. many. books. in. September) and we’ve got a nice array of DIFFERENTY kinds of nonfiction.

Did you catch Kim’s first Friday back last week? Check out the Friday edition of the newsletter for some A+ journalisty, link-filled bookish nonfiction content (question: after its intense overuse in the 2010s/2020s, are we going to have to ban the word “content” for a few years?).

Excelsior!

A Woven World

A Woven World: On Fashion, Fishermen, and the Sardine Dress by Alison Hawthorne Deming

This was inspired by the Yves St Laurent sardine dress, which basically looks like the cover (fish scales!) and “celebrates the fading crafts, industries, and artisans that have defined communities for generations.” She looks at Manhattan dressmakers of the nineteenth century and “the fishermen on Grand Manan Island, a community of 2,500 residents, where the dignity of work and the bounty of the sea ruled for hundreds of years.” Grand Manan is in Canada!

the chinese question cover

The Chinese Question: The Gold Rushes and Global Politics by Mae Ngai

Chinese diaspora! Gold! Ngai covers the gold rushes of the nineteenth century and how they led to “the Chinese Question,” namely: “would the United States and the British Empire outlaw Chinese immigration?” Spoiler: they did. Ngai links themes from “Europe’s subjugation of China to the rise of the international gold standard and the invention of racist, anti-Chinese stereotypes that persist to this day.” Basically, we are always being influenced by events and decisions of the past, and here are some you might not have known about that impact you.

presumed guilty cover

Presumed Guilty: How the Supreme Court Empowered the Police and Subverted Civil Rights by Erwin Chemerinsky

Chemerinsky is dean of the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law. His new book “reveals how the Supreme Court has enabled racist policing and sanctioned law enforcement excesses through its decisions over the last half-century” and how “its conception in the late eighteenth century until the Warren Court in 1953, the Supreme Court rarely ruled against the police.” If you like deep dives into Supreme Court history (I do) and again, why we do the things we do (history!), then check this out.

in the heights cover

In the Heights: Finding Home by Lin-Manuel Miranda, Quiara Alegría Hudes, Jeremy McCarter

Ok yeah, this came out in June, but I am only HEARING about it now. In the Heights is my wife’s favorite musical and this behind-the-scenes look offers “untold stories, perceptive essays, and the lyrics to Miranda’s songs—complete with his funny, heartfelt annotations. It also features newly commissioned portraits and never-before-seen photos from backstage, the movie set, and productions around the world.” SO NEAT.


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.

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True Story

New Book Clubs and Techie Biographies

Hello, nonfiction friends, this is Kim! In case you missed the news last week, I’ll be returning each week to write the Friday edition of True Story, while Alice will continue to share the best new nonfiction with you each week on Wednesdays.

A little bit about me… I’ve been writing for Book Riot since the site was formed. I helped launch this newsletter back in 2017, and currently co-host Book Riot’s bi-weekly nonfiction podcast with Alice. Before Book Riot I was a book blogger and community journalist. Today, I work in communications for a public library system. It’s still stunning to me that I get to spend so much of my waking time writing and talking about books. 

My taste in nonfiction is pretty wide-ranging, although tends to lean towards current affairs, journalism, and memoir – I love beautiful writing and a good story nearly as much as Alice loves FACTS!

My goal with the Friday send of the newsletter is to mix things up each week, sharing news from the world of nonfiction books, themed book lists, nonfiction book deals, updates on the nonfiction writing over at Book Riot, and more. I hope you’re as excited as I am because I am done with the preamble – on to some nonfiction news!

Nonfiction in the News

Cover Unbound by Tanara Burke

Soccer legend Megan Rapinoe is starting a book club! The first pick for her “new and exclusive” book club with Literati will be Unbound by Tarana Burke, founder of the #MeToo movement. In an interview with People, Rapinoe said she plans to read the books right alongside book club members, choosing titles that will help readers learn from experts in a variety of areas. I haven’t dug into Literati subscriptions much, but I can’t help but be a fan of Megan Rapinoe – awesome first pick!

Walter Isaacson is writing about Elon Musk? According to Musk, Isaacson has already been shadowing him for several days… but at this point there’s no other real news on the book. Isaacson has written several enormous biographies, including one about Apple founder Steve Jobs. Listeners of the podcast will know that giant biographies are not really my thing… but I am intrigued by Isaacon’s latest book, The Code Breaker, about Nobel Prize-winning scientist Jennifer Doudna. Elon Musk? Not so much.

Huma Abedin has revealed the cover of her upcoming memoir. Titled Both/And: A Life in Many Worlds, the book is, I believe, the first time Abedin will share at length about her ex-husband’s sex scandal and her time working for Hillary Clinton. Abedin is the daughter of Indian and Pakistani intellectuals and advocates, and has worked with Clinton since 1996 as a college intern. I’m most curious about how forthright Abedin will be in this book – memoirs by politicians can be bland, but she’s not exactly in politics anymore. It could be fascinating! Both/And will be released on November 2.

Weekend Reading

Cover of An Ugly Truth by Sheera Frankel and Cecilia Kang

This weekend I am hoping to finish up An Ugly Truth: Inside Facebook’s Battle for Domination by Sheera Frenkel and Cecilia Kang. The book is a behind-the-scenes look at the reasons Facebook has come under fire over the last five years – everything from data privacy issues to election manipulation. Frenkel and Kang are both reporters for the New York Times, and bring their extensive knowledge of cybersecurity, technology, and regulatory policy to the table, along with some really extensive and knowledgeable interviews with Facebook insiders.

It’s an absolutely fascinating read that really shows the extensive and fundamental flaws with Facebook as a platform and a tool. I’ve been feeling a lot of ambivalence about social media lately, and this book has just reinforced that the true goals of the people running the company go deeply against the public good in a whole host of ways.


For more nonfiction reads, head over to the podcast service of your choice and download For Real, which I co-host with my dear friend Alice. If you have any questions/comments/book suggestions, you can find me on social media @kimthedork. Happy weekend!

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True Story

New Releases: A Smattering of Books

I was telling Kim on For Real recently that I did some browsing at the library and found some very fun books I would likely not have heard of otherwise. One is The Just City by Jo Walton, which is such an excellent level of nerd fiction. Apollo and Athena decide to set up Plato’s Republic, using people plucked throughout time.

It KIND of feels nonfictiony because there’re so many historical references, and then you get the Greek myth stuff, and I am so far very much enjoying it. I read Walton’s Lent last year and it’s stuck with me. I like how she’s like, “what if I do nerd stuff, but WEIRD nerd stuff.”

This week’s new release highlights!:

Against White Feminism Cover

Against White Feminism: Notes on Disruption by Rafia Zakaria

Described as a “radically inclusive, intersectional, and transnational approach” to women’s rights, written by an American Muslim woman, attorney, and political philosopher. This centers women of color and is a “counter-manifesto to white feminism’s global, long-standing affinity with colonial, patriarchal, and white supremacist ideals.” This is part of a literature of recent work that notes the importance of decentering white women — particularly upper middle class white women — from feminism and from being seen as the de facto leaders of the movement.

Dirty Work cover

Dirty Work: Essential Jobs and the Hidden Toll of Inequality in America by Eyal Press

This makes you reexamine or even just examine what we can take for granted, but which comes at the price of someone else’s safety, physically and, I’m gonna say it, spiritually. It looks at jobs that “society considers essential but morally compromised,” like drone pilots, prison guards, and slaughterhouse workers, and how the majority of Americans are shielded from the ethically troubling work we expect unnamed others to do.

The Middle East Crisis Factory cover

The Middle East Crisis Factory: Tyranny, Resilience and Resistance by Iyad El-Baghdadi, Ahmed Gatnash

While Afghanistan borders the Middle East, this short (less than 250 pages) read can maybe be something of a background on the region for those of us shielded from the on-the-ground realities of what is happening. El Baghdadi and Gatnash “tell the story of the modern Middle East as a series of broken promises. They chart the entrenchment of tyranny, terrorism and foreign intervention, showing how these systems of oppression simultaneously feed off and battle each other.”

I Left My Homework in the Hamptons Cover

I Left My Homework in the Hamptons: What I Learned Teaching the Children of the One Percent by Blythe Grossberg

This feels a little like the vibe of The Nanny Diaries, but instead of a nanny, it’s a tutor. They’re still talking about “the inner circle of New York’s richest families” though, so if you’re looking for something escapist and to I guess learn some kind of thing about how it’s hard to be rich (but probably not that hard), here y’go. It’s under 200 pages!

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.

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True Story

5 Surprising (?) Books on My Shelf

We’ve got an exciting note for your Friday! Kim, the originator of True Story and my stalwart co-host on Book Riot’s nonfiction podcast For Real, is coming BACK to the Friday newsletter!

I’ll be doing new releases on Wednesdays and she’ll be doing — well, whatever she wants on Fridays. EYE for one am very excited to be getting some journalism back in this newsletter. Variety is the spice of life etc etc. GET HYPED.

This last Friday newsletter theme was thought of by my wife, who works in our office with the majority of our 800+ books and looks at the titles with some confusion apparently. “Why don’t you talk about some of the weirder books you have” she said. “What weird books!” I responded. “Like the one about hair removal.” “Don’t you want to KNOW why we do that!” No, she does not. Off we go!

Still Life cover

Still Life: Adventures in Taxidermy by Melissa Milgrom

It’s like a Mary Roach deep dive, but into taxidermy! Journalist Milgrom goes from “the anachronistic family workshop of the last chief taxidermist for the American Museum of Natural History to the studio where an English sculptor, granddaughter of a surrealist artist, preserves the animals for Damien Hirst’s most disturbing artworks.” And beyond! Obviously I bought this. How could you not.

Princess of the Hither Isles cover

Princess of the Hither Isles by Adele Logan Alexander

This university press American women’s suffrage history book is apparently not the first thing you’d maybe reach for. BUT. This is the story of Adella Hunt Logan, a Black suffragist who “taught at Alabama’s Tuskegee Institute but also joined the segregated woman suffrage movement, passing for white in order to fight for the rights of people of color.” Alexander is Logan’s granddaughter, and she grew up hearing her family refer to Tuskegee as “the Hither Isles.”

The Shortest History of Germany

The Shortest History of Germany by James Hawes

I have multiple histories of Germany. One is because it has a very fun cover (Germania) and this one because it promises up front that it’s gonna be short. It asks questions like how Roman did Germania ever become? How did Prussia come about (and whatever happened to Prussia)? And more modern questions, but I like things before people stopped wearing fun hats.

The Price for Their Pound of Flesh cover

The Price for Their Pound of Flesh: The Value of the Enslaved, from Womb to Grave, in the Building of a Nation by Daina Ramey Berry

I have a lot of books about the history of women in America! They are on some of my “no, we can’t donate books in this genre” shelves. I’m proud of this one because it feels like a deep cut of the work of Daina Ramey Berry, also known for co-authoring A Black Women’s History of the United States. No, you’re right, a real deep cut would be 2007’s “Swing the Sickle for the Harvest is Ripe”: Gender and Slavery in Antebellum Georgia. I don’t have that one. YET. But this one “shows the lengths to which enslavers would go to maximize profits and protect their investments.” Berry researched this for over ten years! And she “resurrects the voices of the enslaved and provides a rare window into enslaved peoples’ experiences and thoughts, revealing how enslaved people recalled and responded to being appraised, bartered, and sold throughout the course of their lives.”

Plucked a History of Hair Removal

Plucked: A History of Hair Removal by Rebecca M. Herzig

Did you know they used clamshell razors in colonial America? And that at least 85% of American women regularly remove hair from their bodies? Historian Herzig examines what’s up with that. She also shows how over time, mainstream American beliefs about visible hair changed, and how its existence — “particularly on young, white women—came to be perceived as a sign of political extremism, sexual deviance, or mental illness.” Wow! That seems bad. We should probably think about that more.

For more nonfiction reads, check out the For Real podcast which I co-host with the excellent Kim. If you have any questions/comments/book suggestions, you can find me on social media @itsalicetime. Until next time, enjoy those facts, fellow nerds.

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True Story

New Releases: Sailing the Sea and Festivaling Death

I’m almost done with a book by Sara Gruen (remember her? from the elephant book?) called Ape House, and I can’t stop thinking about that article that came out about how her life has been taken over by trying to get this man out of jail. Like, who saw that coming?

Also, not gonna lie, but the title of this newsletter has got me listening to the not-very-good musical about Gráinne O’Malley, The Pirate Queen (there’s a song called The Sea of Life). That musical was so unpopular, it’s not available on Spotify. I had to dig up my old iTunes library and pull the tracks from the CD I UPLOADED. Man. Remember having to import CD tracks to your computer? I do not miss that.

Let’s get to new releases!

This Party's Dead cover

This Party’s Dead: Grief, Joy and Spilled Rum at the World’s Death Festivals by Erica Buist

After the unexpected death of an in-law, Buist “decided to confront death head-on by visiting seven death festivals around the world.” She goes to Mexico, Nepal, Sicily, Thailand, Madagascar, Japan, and Indonesia (they seem to throw in New Orleans as a bonus site), looking for “the answers to both fundamental and unexpected questions around death anxiety.” As someone who reads a bunch of Caitlin Doughty books, I’m glad more people are writing about death and the way cultures respond to it. America is overall bad at it! Let’s look at other places.

Building Antebellum New Orleans

Building Antebellum New Orleans: Free People of Color and Their Influence by Tara Dudley

Get ready, m’nerds, because here’s a dive into New Orleans architecture (awwwww yeah). The Creole architecture of New Orleans is iconic, but what about the people behind it? Dudley “examines the architectural activities and influence of gens de couleur libres—free people of color—in a city where the mixed-race descendants of whites could own property.” Not specific enough? She also writes “an intimate microhistory of two prominent families of Black developers, the Dollioles and Souliés.” So neat! So historical.

Belly of the Beast cover

Belly of the Beast: The Politics of Anti-Fatness as Anti-Blackness by Da’Shaun L. Harrison

This book, with a foreword by Kiese Laymon, explores the intersections of “Blackness, gender, fatness, health, and the violence of policing.” Harrison is a a fat, Black, disabled, and nonbinary trans writer who examines anti-fatness as anti-Blackness, and offers strategies for “dismantling denial, unlearning the cultural programming that tells us ‘fat is bad,’ and destroying the world as we know it, so the Black fat can inhabit a place not built on their subjugation.”

Maiden Voyages cover

Maiden Voyages: Magnificent Ocean Liners and the Women Who Traveled and Worked Aboard Them by Siân Evans

OCEAN LINERS. So vast. So oceanic. This feels very crafted to appeal to the Titanic viewer, with emphases on class differences and experiences between decks (and yes, of course they talk about the Titanic and “The Unsinkable Stewardess” aboard her). Ocean liners occupy a very particular stretch of time in world history. I admit to being jealous of the people who got to experience them and pretend they were living out Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (is there a version of that where I end up with Jane Russell?). I’ve been psyched about this one for a while, and now it’s out!

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.

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True Story

Some More Short Nonfiction for Your Summer

Summer is on the wane! How is this even possible! It just began and then – poof! Well. If you haven’t quite hit your summer reading goals and want to incorporate more nonfiction, I’m here to come to your aid. How? Short. Non. Fiction. Let’s do it:

The Fire Next Time cover

The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin

I just read something (maybe on Twitter?) that was worrying about the defanging of Baldwin the way the culture has done so with Martin Luther King, Jr. Given his recent resurgence in popularity and the spreading of out-of-context quotes, this feels possible. So read him in context! Originally written in 1963, The Fire Next Time contains two essays: “My Dungeon Shook: Letter to my Nephew on the One Hundredth Anniversary of the Emancipation” and “Down at the Cross: Letter from a Region of My Mind.” It’s a modern classic AND only 130 pages.

the origin of others

The Origin of Others by Toni Morrison

What motivates the human tendency to construct Others? Why does the presence of Others make us so afraid? Toni Morrison is here to get into those and other Giant Questions, delivered as part of a lecture series. Sections include “Romancing Slavery,” “Being or Becoming the Stranger,” and “Narrating the Other,” among others. She “looks at configurations of blackness, notions of racial purity, and the ways in which literature employs skin color to reveal character or drive narrative.” Ta-Nehisi Coates writes the foreword.

Teaching a Stone to Talk cover

Teaching a Stone to Talk: Expeditions and Encounters by Annie Dillard

Pulitzer Prize-winner Dillard “explores and celebrates moments of spirituality, dipping into descriptions of encounters with flora and fauna, stars, and more, from Ecuador to Miami.” The reviews on this are people basically going into ecstasies over her writing about nature. I like that the first essay is “Living Like Weasels.” And it’s just over 200 pages! So short.

Can You Tolerate This cover

Can You Tolerate This? by Ashleigh Young

Okay, I have three words for you: Katherine. Mansfield. Tourism. Young grew up in New Zealand and writes about her youth, “fantasizing about Paul McCartney, cheering on her older brother’s fledging music career, and yearning for a larger and more creative life.” Then we go onto things like the Mansfield fandom. This is about 250 pages, so a BIT longer, but it’s also a more sort of literary nonfiction, if you’re not feeling the “facts, only facts” urge.

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.

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True Story

New Releases: Horse Girls + Memoirs

Hello to you, August dwellers! I can’t believe it’s August. I mean, I know time marches on etc etc, but whatttt. It feels like June. Meanwhile, I’ve been doing a deep dive into books coming out in the next six months (I have a spreadsheet!) and there are some GOOD ones coming out.

I mean, there’re always good ones coming out, but I’m saying there are some coming out where I saw it and involuntarily exclaimed something that sounded like “!!!!!” Get hyped, and maybe clear those TBR shelves to make room. Oh, and do it right now, because we’ve also got some A+ reads this week, starting with HORSES:

Horse Girls Cover

Horse Girls: Recovering, Aspiring, and Devoted Riders Redefine the Iconic Bond ed. by Halimah Marcus

You know about horse girls. They’re the ones who would pretend to be horses at slumber parties and jump over a pile of pillows. Or maybe that was just me and my friends. ANYWAY, this collection of essays written by self-professed horse girls includes Carmen Maria Machado, Jane Smiley, and Sarah Enelow-Snyder, who writes about growing up as a Black barrel racer in central Texas. I love essay collections by an assortment of people! Psyched about this one.

The Prisoner cover

The Prisoner: A Memoir by Hwang Sok-yong, Sora Kim-Russell (Translated by)

Hwang Sok-yong is a South Korean novelist and activist. In 1989, he traveled to Pyongyang, then went into voluntary exile in New York, and when he finally returned to South Korea, he “was sentenced to five years in the Seoul Detention Center” for breach of national security. This is his memoir, written at age 78, which covers his childhood, his life “as a young activist protesting South Korea’s military dictatorships, as a soldier in the Vietnam War, as a dissident writer first traveling abroad” and more.

wasps cover

WASPS: The Splendors and Miseries of an American Aristocracy by Michael Knox Beran

A WASP, or White Anglo-Saxon Protestant, is defined as “a member of the privileged, established white upper middle class in the U.S.” or, as Urban Dictionary puts it, “this usually refers to affluent people in the new england area, but also whites of ‘old money’ in other areas throughout the country.” Here they are referred to as the American aristocracy (probably true) and Beran traces them from the nineteenth century to the death of George H.W. Bush in 2018. Here are the Roosevelts, the Kennedys, their frequently disaffected lives, and how they impacted the culture.

Inflamed Cover

Inflamed: Deep Medicine and the Anatomy of Injustice by Rupa Marya, Raj Patel

You’ve probably heard about inflammation and how we’re supposed to be dealing with it. Patel and Marya’s new book “illuminates the hidden relationships between our biological systems and the profound injustices of our political and economic systems.” Yes! Our endocrine system and our trauma. They are LINKED (according to this book; I myself know nothing). If you’re interested in medicine, anatomy, OR injustice, check this out.

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.

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True Story

Olympic Reads for Champion Readers

I’m gonna admit it, I rarely get into the Olympics. But we were visiting my wife’s mom and the Olympic softball game got put on and I was INTO IT. Is it a cliché? Perhaps (yes). But I woke up so very early to watch them lose to Japan. NOT EVEN MAD ABOUT IT THOUGH because Japan looked so happy to win. Yeah, it was a sober response from the USA, but now I am someone who has opinions about Monica Abbott (the opinion is that she is great), so that feels like a win for everyone.

Let’s look at some Olympic-centered books!

My Mother's Daughter cover

My Mother’s Daughter: A Memoir of Struggle and Triumph by Perdita Felicien

Two-time Olympian Felicien is a retired hurdler from Canada. Wow, hurdling. Running is hard enough, but let’s add jumping over things to that. I looked up the height of Olympic hurdles, and it is 3’6″, which is 67% of my height. In her memoir, Felicien talks about her mother’s immigration to Canada from St. Lucia, and how despite the many obstacles they faced as a family, her mother Catherine pulled them through.

Boys in the Boat cover

The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics by Daniel James Brown

Yeah, like I’m doing an Olympian list of books and NOT including this one. This is about the University of Washington rowing team that represented the United States at the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin (the same games where Jesse Owens won FOUR GOLD MEDALS). It details their backgrounds, their growing up during the Great Depression, and how they beat Italy and Germany to win gold.

native american son cover

Native American Son: The Life and Sporting Legend of Jim Thorpe by Kate Buford

Thorpe was the first Native American to win a gold medal for the United States in the Olympics, winning TWO gold medals at the 1912 Olympics for classic pentathlon and decathlon. He also played football, baseball, and basketball. He grew up in the Sac and Fox Nation, and after his Olympic wins, played with the New York Giants baseball team (yes, baseball) and played professionally for six seasons! You might have seen the story floating around the internet that someone stole his shoes before the decathlon. He found a mismatched pair of shoes, competed in them, and won gold. Amazing.

fire on the track cover

Fire on the Track: Betty Robinson and the Triumph of the Early Olympic Women by Roseanne Montillo

Robinson was the winner of the first Olympic 100 meter dash for women at the 1928 Summer Olympics. This history encompasses her career, as well as that of early Olympians like Babe Didrikson (won “two gold medals in track and field at the 1932 Summer Olympics, before turning to professional golf and winning 10 LPGA major championships”[x]) and Stella Walsh (represented Poland at the 1932 Olympics in the 100 m dash and won gold).

Amazing job to all! I could do none of these things. Making it to the Olympics itself is a huge achievement. And if anyone comes for Simone Biles, I will come for you. *narrows eyes*

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.

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True Story

New Releases: France, Plants, Stans (of Civil Rights!)

We hit a bit of a slow week, so we’re doing “Cool-Looking New Releases from July 2021” and choosing to examine this week with a MACRO, more sort of month-centered type lens. Summer’s fleeting, just go with me on this.

This Is your mind on plants cover

This Is Your Mind on Plants by Michael Pollan

Does anyone else confuse Michael Palin with Michael Pollan? It’s easy to! Especially if you grew up hearing the former go “I’m Michael Palin! And you’re watching Comedy Central!” but with a British accent where Palin sounded like “Polin” for some reason. Ok anyway, for some time I thought the guy from Monty Python wrote nature books, and he does not (but he IS a travel writer). This book looks at “three plant-based drugs — opium, mescaline and caffeine” and how they appear in world culture, as well as their bodily effects.

Carry on by john lewis cover

Carry On: Reflections of a New Generation by John Lewis

The recent assault on voting rights makes me pretty emo about this one. This is a “brilliant and empowering collection of final reflections and words of wisdom from venerable civil rights champion, the late Congressman John Lewis at the end of his remarkable life.” Each section pivots around the word “on.” On Love, On Marriage, On Immigration, On Forgiveness. It sounds like a declaration (“on, forgiveness!”), and now I am even MORE emo.

I Have Always Been Me cover

I Have Always Been Me by Precious Brady-Davis

I don’t know how I missed this one! Look at that AMAZING cover. Brady-Davis is a trans advocate who grew up in the Omaha, Nebraska foster care system and the Pentecostal faith. Here, she “speaks to anyone who has ever tried to find their place in this world and imparts the wisdom that comes with surmounting odds and celebrating on the other side.” Times are hard and this is exactly the sort of book we should have out there.

the belle epoque cover

The Belle Époque: A Cultural History, Paris and Beyond by Dominique Kalifa

Well, this one’s just fun. And a university press book! The Belle Époque is basically the movie Moulin Rouge (French historians don’t @ me). You get the Bohemian scene and Toulouse-Lautrec and ART and SCIENCE. Plus, according to Wikipedia, “a period characterized by optimism, regional peace, economic prosperity, colonial expansion, and technological, scientific, and cultural innovations.” So vaguely like the ’90s, except not that. Also we weren’t optimistic in the ’90s, we were shielded by a thick layer of cynicism and a refusal to be vulnerable. But anyway! Learn about an in-retrospect Golden Age that took place from approximately 1871-1914!

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.

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True Story

Book Deals for Your Friday

It’s basically the weekend! Let’s all get cheap books!

My delight in cheap books continues to know no bounds. I look at them every single day and now I am here to share some cheap nonfiction with you. HAPPY FRIDAY.

Anne Boleyn cover

Anne Boleyn: 500 Years of Lies by Hayley Nolan ($4.99)

Did you see The Other Boleyn Girl? It made me so mad! It basically took every rumor about Anne Boleyn and said “sure, why not.” Well here, Nolan is out to break down those lies and talk about “the shocking suppression of a powerful woman.” Also this cover’s pretty solid. I’m a fan. Learn some facts about the most famous of the Tudor wives!

Out of the Silence: After the Crash by Eduardo Strauch, Mireya Soriano ($4.99)

Welcome to the United States of Anxiety: Observations from a Reforming Neurotic by Jen Lancaster ($4.99)

Monsoon Mansion: A Memoir by Cinelle Barnes ($4.99)

To the Bridge: A True Story of Motherhood and Murder by Nancy Rommelmann ($1.99)

Doc a Memoir cover

Doc: A Memoir by Dwight Gooden and Ellis Henican ($5.99)

I know close to nothing about sports, so I thought this was a medical memoir, but turns out, Dwight Gooden is a baseball player! A baseball player who mainly played in the ’80s and ’90s. This is a memoir of “talent, addiction, and recovery from one of the greatest baseball pitchers of all time.”

Tomboyland: Essays by Melissa Faliveno ($4.99)

For a Song and a Hundred Songs: A Poet’s Journey Through a Chinese Prison by Liao Yiwu and Wenguang Huang ($5.99)

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.