True Story

New Essay Collections in Paperback

Hello and happy Friday, nonfiction friends. It’s the end of an exceptionally heavy week, and I don’t have much to say other than I hope you are taking care of yourself and have found a way to turn grief or rage into action, however small. 

Bookish Goods

black sign with a stack of primary-colored books and the word nonfiction

Nonfiction Library Wall Sign

If you really want to show off your love for nonfiction, consider this bookish wall print! It comes in a variety of sizes, papers, and framing options, so you can make it look right at home near your collection.

New Releases

For this week’s new releases, I want to highlight a couple of essay collections newly out in paperback: 

book cover girlhood by melissa febos

Girlhood by Melissa Febos

In this book, critic Melissa Febos explores the narratives women are told about being female and how to get away from those stories. She begins with her body changing at 11, then follows with other experiences where she defined herself by her relationships and perceptions she had about herself. Eventually, she set about trying to reframe the ideas she had about safety, happiness, and freedom to reimagine relationships and herself.

book cover the window seat by aminatta forna

The Window Seat: Notes from a Life in Motion by Aminatta Forna

This collection seeks to explore borders, the natural world, and the stories we tell ourselves through the lens of travel and movement. In one essay, Aminatta Forna writes about the charms of air travel (how nostalgic!). In another, she explores narratives and expectations for young Africans traveling to the United States for school. In others, she brings her perspective as an African person to issues of race in America. This is a beautiful collection!

Riot Recommendations

Former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick is publishing a young adult graphic novel called Colin Kaepernick: Change the Game. The book is a memoir of his experience as a high school student, trying to choose between a career in baseball or football.

In a release about the book, Kapernick said: “Many of my experiences in high school helped to anchor me in my understanding of Blackness, my community, and my sense of worth … High school affirmed for me that it’s sometimes only by transgressing social expectations that we’re able to transform into our truest selves.”

Inspired by that book, here are two other graphic novels about sports you might want to pick up:

book cover dragon hoops by gene luen yang

Dragon Hoops by Gene Luen Yang

Before he was a full time graphic novelist, Gene Luen Yang was a high school teacher in California. In this book, he chronicles a single season of his school’s varsity basketball team, the Dragons, as they try to win the California State Championships. I love this comic so much – it’s like an inspirational sports movie in book form.

book cover spinning by tillie walden

Spinning by Tillie Walden

For a decade, figure skating was the center of Tillie Walden’s life and identity. But after switching schools, discovering art, and falling in love with a girl, she started to question whether she really fit into that world anymore. Eventually, she finds the courage to quit and see what else might be out there. 

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! 

True Story

PEN Winners and Wax Melts

A happy Wednesday to you and does anyone else do birthday books? My wife and I started a tradition a few years ago where we buy a book for the other on their birthday, and I just love it. This year I made her buy me a Lincoln biography, because despite reading seven (eight?) books on Lincoln this year, none of them have been a biography.

We’ve got some neat stuff this week! Let’s start off by looking at some wax melts:

Bookish Goods

Nonfiction wax melts

Rosemary Sage & Lavender Nonfiction Wax Melts

What does nonfiction smell like? I guess this! Now I have not always been aware what wax melts are, but they’re basically a way to make a room smell nice. Through wax! And also fire. They are “Inspired by a genre that makes you philosophize about what life is really about.” INDEED.

New Releases

All the Ways Our Dead Still Speak cover

All the Ways Our Dead Still Speak: A Funeral Director on Life, Death, and the Hereafter by Caleb Wilde

If you’re thinking,’Wow, that cover looks familiar,’ I had the same thought! It’s v similar to the original cover of Furious Hours. Only this one has a coffin shape in the middle, which is fitting, given the subject matter. Wilde previously wrote Confessions of a Funeral Director. In this entry, he writes about what we know of the afterlife, examining cultural ideas and the science behind what we currently think we know. Among all this is also his work during the pandemic and how his business has been impacted by it.

Borderland Blacks Cover

Borderland Blacks: Two Cities in the Niagara Region during the Final Decades of Slavery by dann j. Broyld

This focuses on Rochester, New York and St. Catharines in Canada’s Niagara Region.These cities were the last stops on their section of the Underground Railroad, and both were home to large communities of free Black citizens, including luminaries like Frederick Douglass and Harriet Tubman. Historian Broyld “investigates how the times and terms of emancipation affected Blacks on each side of the border, including their use of political agency to pit the United States and British Canada against one another for the best possible outcomes.”

Riot Recommendations

Looking for Lorraine cover

Looking for Lorraine: The Radical and Radiant Life of Lorraine Hansberry by Imani Perry

We’re looking at PEN biography winners! Two to be exact, and this bio of Lorraine Hansberry is the 2019 winner (it also won a bunch of other awards, but we’re focusing on PEN today!). Playwright and social justice activist Lorraine Hansberry is best known for A Raisin in the Sun, but in her brief time (Hansberry died at 34), she lived a remarkable life — particularly remarkable given when she lived it.

sisters and rebels

Sisters and Rebels: A Struggle for the Soul of America by Jacquelyn Dowd Hall

The 2020 winner is about “three sisters from the South” who “wrestle with orthodoxies of race, sexuality, and privilege.” These women were descendants of a slaveholding family in Georgia, and all grew up to take different paths. One clung to generations of racist family beliefs, one became a writer of proletariat literature, and one worked against racism and prejudice in her home region.

Don’t forget you can get three free audiobooks at with a free trial!

True Story

Some Favorite Pulitzer Prize Winners

Hello nonfiction friends, and happiest of Fridays! Welcome to the second edition of the new format for True Story (along with the rest of Book Riot’s great genre newsletters). I’m excited to be writing a bit more about new nonfiction, as well as sharing some bookish merch and backlist titles. Let’s dive in for the week!

Bookish Goods


Pressed flower resin bookmark

In the last few months, I’ve gotten very into collecting bookmarks, I think because they can be both beautiful and useful. I particularly loved this resin bookmark – how luxurious does that

New Releases

book cover who killed jane stanford by richard white

Who Killed Jane Stanford? A Gilded Age Tale of Murder, Deceit, Spirits and the Birth of a University by Richard White

I learned about the murder of Jane Stanford in one of my favorite books of 2020, Why Fish Don’t Exist by Lulu Miller. The story of Stanford’s murder is a turning point for the protagonist of that story, and it made me deeply curious about the woman herself. In 1885, Jane and her husband, Leland, cofounded a university to honor their son, who had recently passed away. Jane was an eccentric and a spiritualist who expected the university to bend to her whims. In 1905 she was poisoned while on vacation in Hawaii. Leaders at the university tried to suggest it was natural causes, covering up the crime to protect their own interests. In this book, historian Richard White offers the first full account of Jane’s murder and the cover-up. 

book cover rising troublemaker by luvvie ajayi jones

Rising Troublemaker: A Fear-Fighter Manual for Teens Luvvie Ajayi Jones

I love young adult adaptations of nonfiction books! In this young readers edition of Professional Troublemaker, Luvvie Ajayi Jones encourages teens “to be their bravest, boldest, truest selves, in order to create a world they would be proud to live in.” Ajayi Jones gives teens permission to be troublemakers, encouraging them to use their voices for good while knowing that a good life is pushing through the things that are scary.

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

Riot Recommendations

Last week the 2022 Pulitzer Prizes were announced. The winner in General Nonfiction was Invisible Child: Poverty, Survival and Hope in an American City by Andrea Elliott, a profile of a young, Black girl growing up homeless in New York City. I started reading it last week and it’s incredible – more in the future. This week, I want to highlight a few of my favorite past winners in this category: 

book cover locking up our own by James foreman

Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America by James Forman Jr. 

This 2018 winner is about the origins of the “war on crime” in the 1970s, specifically why this movement was supported by many African American leaders at the time. He explores that era’s surge of crime and drug addiction, and how Black leaders felt that gains of the civil rights movement were being undermined by those crimes. Few anticipated how those decisions would lead directly to the mass incarceration problems we see today. 

book cover evicted by matthew desmond

Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond

This winner of the 2017 Pulitzer Prize is an incredible book. Matthew Desmond is a Princeton sociologist who sought to understand housing insecurity in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In the book, he follows eight families trying to keep a roof over their heads, showing how precarious life can often be. It’s a deeply upsetting and eye-opening book absolutely worth picking up. 

book cover the emperor of all maladies

The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer by Siddhartha Mukherjee

Siddhartha Mukherjee is a physician, researcher, and science writer, who uses his considerable talents to tell a story about cancer. This expansive book explores cancer through the lenses of biology, history, and biography. The stories Mukherjee shares about the cancer patients he treats are deeply moving and balanced out with stories about the scientists trying to eradicate this disease. Even though it won the 2011 prize, I know a 608-page book about the history of cancer might seem daunting. But Mukherjee’s gift for storytelling and illustrating complicated science makes it well worth the effort. 

Don’t forget you can get three free audiobooks at with a free trial!

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! 

True Story

Nonfiction for Days: Memoirs and New Releases

Hello and welcome to this fun new newsletter format. Behold! As we journey through the lands of bookish goods, new releases, and some other stuff I recommend. Have a splendid day!

Bookish Goods

Bookworm Knowledge Poster

You love facts, so why not lean into that by displaying a poster about bookworm knowledge? I love info posters with different SECTIONS, so this is A+. Plus this artist has a bunch of different subjects, including guinea pigs! Guinea pig knowledge poster!

New Releases

His Name Is George Floyd cover

His Name Is George Floyd: One Man’s Life and the Struggle for Racial Justice by Robert Samuels, Toluse Olorunnipa

Just in time for the two year anniversary of the murder of George Floyd is this new biography, written by two Washington Post reporters. It is described as a “poignant and moving exploration of George Floyd’s America, revealing how a man who simply wanted to breathe ended up touching the world.”

River of the Gods cover

River of the Gods: Genius, Courage, and Betrayal in the Search for the Source of the Nile by Candice Millard

A nineteenth century quest! Two grumpy Englishmen set out to find the source of the Nile and then argued about whether one of them found it. Historian Millard shares the story of another man whose name has mostly been left out of the story: Sidi Mubarak Bombay, an African guide who was enslaved and sent to India, was emancipated, returned to Africa, and became a guide for these expeditions.

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

Riot Recommendations

Let’s look at some 2021 memoirs! Who doesn’t love a memoir?

Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner

Be cautious with this if you’re grieving a parent, but it’s a NYT Notable Book of the Year for a reason. Zauner deals with her mother’s diagnosis of terminal cancer and her own “reckoning with her identity” as a Korean American.

Just As I Am by Cicely Tyson

This 2021 memoir came out two days before Cicely Tyson passed at age 96. It covers Tyson’s iconic career, tumultuous relationship with Miles Davis, and her self-care routine (meditation!) that she says helped her live into her nineties. Remember when there was a supply chain issue and this book was sold out at a lot of places because everyone bought it? I do. Anyway, acclaimed memoir of ’21!

Don’t forget you can get three free audiobooks at with a free trial!

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.

True Story

Books on the History of Reproductive Rights

Hello and happy Friday, nonfiction friends. Like many of you, I am sure, I’m grappling with news from the Supreme Court, in which a leaked draft of an upcoming opinion suggests that the Court is preparing to strike down Roe v. Wade. I was also disappointed, but not surprised, by this week’s failed Senate vote to put abortion protection into law.

This is a huge and complicated issue that, I have to admit, I don’t know nearly as much about as I wish that I did. In that spirit, here are four books about abortion access and reproductive justice that I’ve added to my TBR:

book cover when abortion was a crime by leslie reagan

When Abortion Was a Crime: Women, Medicine and Law in the United States by Leslie Reagan

This book, originally published in 1998, gives a comprehensive look at the history of abortion, examining the entire period in which abortion was illegal in the United States. It explores “how abortion was criminalized and policed” and how women sought care outside the law. A reissue in February 2022 includes a new preface looking at contemporary threats to abortion access. From what I can tell, this is a widely-regarded and comprehensive overview of the topic.

book cover killing the black body by dorothy roberts

Killing the Black Body: Race, Reproduction, and the Meaning of Liberty by Dorothy Roberts

This book, also a bit on the older side, “exposed America’s systemic abuse of Black women’s bodies.” It begins all the way back with how slave owners exercised an economic stake in Black women’s fertility. It also covers forced (or coerced) sterilizations as recently as the 1970s, as well as how the reproductive needs of Black women have been excluded from mainstream political agendas. Again, this seems like a necessary and useful primer on this subject. 

book cover life's work by willie parker

Life’s Work: A Moral Argument for Choice by Dr. Willie Parker

Dr. Willie Parker grew up in a fundamentalist Christian household in the South. A practicing obstetrician, Parker eventually quit his practice to focus exclusively on providing safe abortions for women who needed his help the most in his community. In this memoir, he shares both his experiences and the complex stories of women seeking access to reproductive care. At the same time, he makes a Christian case in support of reproductive rights and pushes back against many of the rules and regulations being placed on abortion access. This seems like an extremely useful perspective. 

book cover Pro by Katha Pollitt

Pro: Reclaiming Abortion Rights by Katha Pollitt

In this book, feminist Katha Pollitt argues against abortion being presented as bad or agonizing, and against turning it, a normal medical procedure, into “something shameful and secretive.” Instead, she makes the case that it’s “a moral right and a social good.” I added this one to my list because I think it provides an important reframe of abortion as just one piece of a larger need for women to have access to safe, effective, and personal reproductive care no matter their circumstances.

If none of these seem like what you’re looking for, here are several other book lists I looked at while putting together my TBR: 

Don’t forget you can get three free audiobooks at with a free trial!

One Thing I Like

logo for the podcast Normal Gossip

I don’t necessarily think of myself as someone who gossips… but I have to admit I do love feeling on the inside of groups and stories. In that spirit, I was delighted to discover the Normal Gossip podcast, hosted by Kelsey McKinney. Each week, McKinney and a guest recount and debate a juicy, anonymous, and true story submitted by a real person. It’s very silly and very satisfying, all at the same time, which feels like just what I need right now.

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!

True Story

New Releases: Country Music and a Revolution

Hello and happy Wednesday to you! I have just finished my seventh Lincoln audiobook for the year, and am now on one called Lincoln’s Lieutenants, and I’m like. Does that one count? It’s about the Army of the Potomac, so now ABOUT Lincoln, but he’s definitely in it. And he’s in the title. I don’t know. Maybe it’s partial credit.

We’ve got more good books out this week! What an exciting but also incredibly stressful and exhausting time to be alive.

Bad Mexicans Cover

Bad Mexicans: Race, Empire, and Revolution in the Borderlands by Kelly Lytle Hernández

Historian Hernández tells the story of the magonistas and their rebellion against Mexico’s dictator in the early twentieth century. Said dictator was being helped by the U.S., whose capitalist robber barons wanted to continue taking resources from Mexico. The magonistas were made up of “journalists, miners, migrant workers, and more, who organized thousands of Mexican workers.” Super interesting history.

Essential Labor by Angela Garbes

Essential Labor: Mothering as Social Change by Angela Garbes

After Garbes’s previous book, Like a Mother, comes her exploration of caregiving in America. In her follow-up, she says that “while the labor of raising children is devalued in America, the act of mothering offers the radical potential to create a more equitable society.” This has all been brought to the foreground by the pandemic and the drastically increased caregiving demanded of women, many of whom are also working full-time jobs and selected to be caregivers for no reason other than their gender. Love reading theories of motherhood.

Her Country cover

Her Country: How the Women of Country Music Became the Success They Were Never Supposed to Be by Marissa R. Moss

Dangit, I love the women of country music. This covers the last twenty years, a time when women have been noticeably missing from country music due to radio stations choosing not to play them. At the 2019 CMAs, Sugarland lead singer Jennifer Nettles wore a cape emblazoned with the words “Play Our F*@#!n’ Records.” Despite this and the fight for equal play, singers like Kacey Musgraves and Mickey Guyton have become extremely successful. Nashville journalist Moss compares country of the ’90s, which felt almost dominated by women, to 2021, “when women are only played on country radio 16% of the time, on a good day, and when only men have won Entertainer of the Year at the CMA Awards for a decade.”

Don’t forget you can get three free audiobooks at with a free trial!

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.

True Story

Brains, Lip Service, and the Weather Machine

Happy Friday, nonfiction fans! It really has been A WEEK, has it not? I was trying to put together a reading list to help make sense of the Supreme Court, but my brain just isn’t working in peak condition right now.

Instead, I want to catch up on some nonfiction news that’s been building for a few weeks – everything from some book announcements to a powerful excerpt I urge you to read!

Actress Betty Gilpin is writing a book! All the Women in My Brain: And Other Concerns, out September 6, is described as “a hilarious, intimate, and candid collection of essays.” In an interview, Gilpin said that the book won’t be a “tell all” about her TV and film roles, but rather how those experiences connect to being a woman in the world and managing all of the voices that try to tell you what to do and how to act. I love this cover!

The winners of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize have been announced. This particular prize has a lot of great nonfiction selections to highlight: 

book cover some of my best friends by tajja isen

LitHub ran a great excerpt from Tajja Isen’s new book Some of My Best Friends: Essays on Lip Service. In the piece, she writes about how “the failure of progressive change in contemporary book publishing is so total that there is now a whole string of books about the failure of progressive change in contemporary book publishing.” She specifically writes about a few recent fiction titles, but I think her commentary is more broadly applicable. This excerpt definitely got the book on my radar!

Biographer Walter Isaacson is working on a book about Elon Musk. Isaacson, who has written about Leonardo da Vinci, Benjamin Franklin, and Steve Jobs, said he was interested in profiling Musk because he is “interested in innovators and people who push boundaries.” I can’t really bring myself to get excited about this one, but I did think the interview linked above was an interesting peek into why Isaacson wants to write this book and what we might read in the future.

Don’t forget you can get three free audiobooks at with a free trial!

One Thing I Like

book cover the weather machine by andrew blum

One of the books I picked up during my independent bookstore shopping spree was The Weather Machine: A Journey Inside the Forecast by Andrew Blum. It’s a slim little book that manages to give a comprehensive and entertaining overview of how weather forecasting actually works… and how fragile the whole system could turn out to be. 

To explore the forecast, Blum shares a brief history of weather forecasting, visits remote weather observation stations, watches weather satellites blast off, and visits the site of one of forecasting’s biggest and most accurate computation systems. This book, which I read in just a few hours, gave me a much deeper appreciation about everything it takes so I can turn on my phone in the morning to find out if it’s going to rain. Highly recommended!

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! 

True Story

New Releases: Girl Groups and Trilobites

Hello! It’s May and yet it’s 45 degrees in Chicago. We just had all our cherry blossom trees bloom here (as I think they did basically everywhere in the last couple weeks?), but they’ve already started turning green (bah!), which is all the more reason to seize the day, cherry blossom-wise, and gather your photos while ye may.

I’ve been audiobooking Endurance by Alfred Lansing about the Shackleton expedition, and wow, I feel like I would have just laid myself right down on the ice and told them to abandon me. So cold! So much eating of seal blubber! But they all lived, which is bananacrackers. Well done, all those people.

Be My Baby by Ronnie Spector

Be My Baby: A Memoir by Ronnie Spector

“But Alice,” you say, “hasn’t this been out for thirty years?” Yes! But now, this 1990 music memoir has a new postscript by the late Ronnie Spector. Spector’s book covers her time as lead singer of the Ronettes (who sing the eponymous excellent song) and her emotionally abusive marriage to music producer Phil Spector. Rolling Stone named this one of the best rock memoirs of all time, and there are so many of those!

Travels With Trilobites cover

Travels with Trilobites: Adventures in the Paleozoic by Andy Secher

Trilobites!! So many of them in the past. So weird. They lived from over 500 million years ago (again, Neanderthals were around like…35,000 years ago) to over 250 million years ago. They were alive so long ago but also alive for so long! You can find their fossils in Siberia, Morocco, Australia. This tells their history and has hundreds of photos of them. The author is a “field associate in paleontology at the American Museum of Natural History” and personally owns more than 4,000 trilobite fossils. Again — there’s someone for every interest.

You've Changed cover

You’ve Changed: Fake Accents, Feminism, and Other Comedies from Myanmar by Pyae Moe Thet War

Ooo this is all about what it’s like to be a Myanmar person, in yet another interesting release from Catapult. Pyae looks at the “knots and complications of immigration status, eating habits, Western feminism in an Asian home, and more, guiding us toward an expansive idea of what it means to be a Myanmar woman today.” Also things like “the patriarchal Myanmar concept of hpone which governs how laundry is done,” and just, dang. Catapult is definitely a newer press and they keep publishing things I want to read.

Don’t forget you can get three free audiobooks at with a free trial!

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.

True Story

True Stories for Autism Acceptance Month

We’re nearly at the end of April, which means I am just squeaking in a book list in recognition of Autism Acceptance Month.

According to the Autism Society, the prevalence of autism has risen from 1 in 125 children in 2010 to 1 in 54 in 2020. This means we’re seeing even more opportunities to learn about autism and how it affects people in different ways.

For this book list, I tried to highlight writing by autistic women, families, and people of color. Check them out:

book cover I Overcame My Autism by Sarah Kurchak

I Overcame My Autism and All I Got Was This Lousy Anxiety Disorder by Sarah Kurchak

Sarah Kurchak, who grew up in a small town in Ontario, always seemed to know that she was different from the people around her. To fit in, she adopted behaviors so she could perform being like everyone else, but these coping mechanisms caused her significant challenges. When she was finally diagnosed with autism at 27, she realized that these same coping mechanisms contributed to her anxiety and depression. In this memoir she challenges stereotypes and ideas about autism and shares what she believes will help “make the lives of autistic people healthier, happier and more fulfilling.”

book cover we're not broken by eric garcia

We’re Not Broken: Changing the Autism Conversation by Eric Garcia

Journalist Eric Garcia started to write more about what it’s like being autistic in America after growing frustrated with the way the media wrote about autistic people. In the book, he uses his own experiences as an autistic person to look at the social and policy gaps that exist when trying to support autistic people. He also shared the stories of a range of autistic people, including people of color and those in the LGBTQ community.

book cover autism and heelts by jennifer cook otoole

Autism in Heels: The Untold Story of a Female Life on the Spectrum by Jennifer Cook O’Toole

At 35 years old, Jennifer O’Toole was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome which, for the first time, helped her life make sense. In this book she writes about “the constant struggle between carefully crafted persona and authentic existence” while specifically calling out the experiences of women with an autism spectrum disorder diagnosis. In addition to autism, she writes about everything from body image to self-esteem and more.

book cover same but different by holly robinson peete

Same But Different: Teen Life on the Autism Express by Holly Robinson Peete

In this book, activist Holly Robinson Peete partners with her twins, R.J. Peete and Ryan Elizabeth Peete, to share stories about what it is like to be an autistic teen. Through this family perspective, they’re able to share what it’s like to have autism (R.J.), support an autistic sibling (Ryan Elizabeth) or support an autistic child (Holly). The book covers everything from family vacations, playdates, body changes, high school drama, and more.

Don’t forget you can get three free audiobooks at with a free trial!

One Thing I Like

Tomorrow, Saturday, April 30, is Indie Bookstore Day! In the Twin Cities we celebrate all week, so my sister and I spent last weekend visiting independent bookstores across the area, several of which we’d never visited before. Buying books at independent stories isn’t always feasible, but if you have a chance to buy at least one this weekend, your local indie is always worth the trip!

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!

True Story

New Releases: Forest Detectives and Two-Spirits

I wonder if there’ll ever be a world where people release short biographies of famous white men. I’ve been looking for a decent biography of Ulysses S. Grant and the audiobooks at the library are all about 40 hours long, because sure. Why not do that. I need like 200 pages, MAYBE 250. When I was in college, I picked up a slim volume about George Gordon, Lord Byron that started in his famous years. It was great. I don’t need to read about where he was born or other things he wouldn’t remember!

Anyway, I’m on my seventh Lincoln audiobook and after this, I’m gonna have to start buying them, because I have run out at the library. It’s fine. We’ll all get through this.

Let’s look at new releases!

Forest Walking cover

Forest Walking: Discovering the Trees and Woodlands of North America by Peter Wohlleben and Jane Billinghurst

From the author of The Hidden Life of Trees comes another book about trees. Hurray! As the title says, this is about walking in the forest and learning “how to be a forest detective.” Forest detective! It tells you how to understand the nature around you and awaken to “the ancient past and thrilling present of the ecosystem around you.” I love it.

Viola Davis - Finding Me Cover

Finding Me: A Memoir by Viola Davis

Extremely acclaimed actress Viola Davis tells her story of growing up in poverty with an abusive and alcoholic father, being inspired by Cicely Tyson, finding her feet in acting, and fighting against the harmful, stereotypical roles offered her by Hollywood. We talked about this on For Real and can you believe the breadth of Davis’s work? As Kim suggested, this is probably going to be great on audio.

Indelible City cover

Indelible City: Dispossession and Defiance in Hong Kong by Louisa Lim

Author Lim was raised in Hong Kong with Chinese and English parents. After being a reporter there for over ten years, she writes a history of the city, including “the British takeover in 1842, the negotiations over the 1997 return to China, and the future Beijing seeks to impose.” Also she talks about guerrilla calligraphers? Which is so cool.

Reclaiming Two Spirits cover

Reclaiming Two-Spirits: Sexuality, Spiritual Renewal & Sovereignty in Native America by Gregory D. Smithers, Raven E. Heavy Runner (Foreword by)

A history of gender and sexuality in Native North America! “Two-Spirits” is “an umbrella term denoting feminine and masculine qualities in one person.” When Europeans came to America and forced changes to the Indigenous ways of life, this cultural understanding was at risk of disappearing. Smithers traces its history from early Spanish invasion to the present day. Another excellent release from Beacon Press!

Don’t forget you can get three free audiobooks at with a free trial!

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.