Category Archives: Nonfiction

Dopesick

The opioid crisis has made many headlines, but I hadn’t wrapped my head around how serious the problem is until reading this excellent book by Beth Macy. Macy has been a reporter in Roanoke, Virginia, for decades. (In fact, I … Continue reading

Posted in Nonfiction | 2 Comments

Twelve Years a Slave

Solomon Northup was a free black man who lived his whole life in New York until, in 1841, he took a job as a traveling musician. This job landed him in Washington, DC, where, despite possessing papers showing he was … Continue reading

Posted in Classics, Memoir, Nonfiction | 4 Comments

Grandma Gatewood’s Walk

Every once in a while, I like to introduce a little bookish chaos into my life, and one fun way to do so is by ordering a Bas Bleu surprise package. So many of the books in their catalog look … Continue reading

Posted in Biography, Nonfiction, Travel/ Exploration | 4 Comments

Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup

Theranos was founded by 19-year-old Stanford dropout Elizabeth Holmes in 2003. The company’s big idea was to do blood tests using only a tiny drop of blood—a simple finger-prick. The blood-testing machines could even live in people’s home, with the … Continue reading

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Educated

Tara Westover grew up in the mountains of Idaho. Suspicious of the government and committed to an extreme version of the Mormon faith, her parents home-schooled Tara and her siblings, although there was little structure or actual education to their … Continue reading

Posted in Memoir, Nonfiction | 9 Comments

The Gastronomical Me

I love good food and good writing, but I’m not one to seek out good food writing. It’s not that I dislike food writing — I often do enjoy it — it’s just not at the top of my list. … Continue reading

Posted in Food, Nonfiction | 4 Comments

One Person, No Vote

Carol Anderson’s previous book, White Rage, is one of the most important books I’ve read in recent years. It lays out clearly and methodically how white people have pushed back against every advance black Americans have made since the Civil War. … Continue reading

Posted in Nonfiction | 9 Comments

A Human Being Died That Night: A South African Woman Confronts the Legacy of Apartheid

Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela is a psychologist who served on South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Part of her work, which involved trying to understand acts of evil committed during apartheid, led her to interview Eugene de Kock, one of the government’s … Continue reading

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Landmarks

Robert Macfarlane is one of my very favorite nature writers. He writes in a wonderful, engaging combination of personal essay, cultural history, and nature writing. Whether it’s about our weird relationships with peaks and summits, or the old paths and … Continue reading

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Victoria and Abdul: The True Story of the Queen’s Closest Confidant

When I first saw the trailer for the movie Victoria and Abdul last year, I’ll admit that I rolled my eyes a little. It looked too cutesy, and perhaps too guilty of romanticizing British colonialism. But when I heard that there … Continue reading

Posted in History, Nonfiction | Leave a comment