True Story

Guides to the Government

Happy weekend, nonfiction friends! Last weekend, my sister began what I hope will be a new tradition— Soup Sundays! This fall and winter, we’re going to try making a pot of soup every weekend, either for sharing with friends during a football game or to eat ourselves throughout the week. I’m excited to see what new recipes we find!

This week I’m continuing with the back to school theme by sharing some books perfect for government class. Let’s dive in!

Bookish Goods

library due date cards turned into square coasters

Book Lovers Coaster Set Library Due Date Card from CheltenhamRoad

If you love libraries and drinking beverages (who doesn’t?), then you will want to check out these amazing handmade coasters. These are so neat. $22

New Releases

book cover the mosquito bowl by buzz bissinger

The Mosquito Bowl: A Game of Life and Death in World War II by Buzz Bissinger

Buzz Bissinger is back with another inspirational sports story! This book recounts “The Mosquito Bowl,” a rag-tag football game played between regiments of the U.S. Marine Corps on the beach at Guadalcanal. The two groups— the 4th and 29th regiments— included many of the era’s star college football players and young men who would eventually play in the NFL. In this book, he shares their stories and the stories of their families within the context of college sports and a world war.

book cover thinking 101 Woo-kyoung Ahnby

Thinking 101: How to Reason Better to Live Better by Woo-kyoung Ahn

Psychologist Woo-kyoung Ahn teaches a class at Yale called “Thinking,” which is a study in biases and how they affect our lives. This book is basically the story of her class, covering the most common “thinking problems” we run into in our daily lives— think things like confirmation bias, delayed gratification, anecdotes, and more. Each chapter includes examples from class, breakdowns of relevant experiments, and lessons about how to combat these thinking problems when they arise. It’s a very fun and quick read.

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

Riot Recommendations

Now, more than ever, it feels really important for people to learn how the government works and the ways in which we can influence the outcomes. These two books look at different ways our right to vote is being threatened and what we can do about it.

book cover one person no vote by carol anderson

One Person, No Vote: How Voter Suppression Is Destroying Our Democracy by Carol Anderson

In the wake of the Supreme Court’s 2013 decision to undercut the Voting Rights Act of 1965, voting rights in the United States have been attacked and rolled back in communities around the country. In this book, Carol Anderson traces the history of voter suppression from 1865 through the present, looking specifically at how government-led discrimination has affected African American voters. The book shows how various voter suppression tactics work, looks at the impact these tactics had in 2018, and offers suggestions about how to move forward.

book cover dark money bu jane mayer

Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right by Jane Mayer

This is another book about the ways democracy is being threatened and challenged— specifically, how wealthy, right-wing interests are shaping our political discourse by pouring money into the system. Jane Mayer, an investigative reporter for The New Yorker, traces how a small group has funneled money through think tanks, academic institutions, the media, and the courts to set an agenda for the country. This book is deeply infuriating, but so important to understand.

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 or send an email to Happy weekend!