Category Archives: Nonfiction

The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America

It’s common knowledge in America that our communities are segregated, but what’s less common knowledge is how this segregation came to be and what role our government had in making it happen. In The Color of Law, Richard Rothstein of the … Continue reading

Posted in Nonfiction | 2 Comments

Brown Girl Dreaming

Brown Girl Dreaming is only the second book I’ve read by Jacqueline Woodson. (The first, her spectacular picture book Show Way, is about seven generations of the women of an African-American family, from slavery through civil rights, and the instructions … Continue reading

Posted in Children's / YA Lit, Memoir, Nonfiction, Poetry | 5 Comments

Consider the Lobster and Other Essays

Several years ago, I read David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest. I enjoyed it, mostly, but found it was too much of a good thing. The sort of good thing where once you’ve had too much of it, you feel a … Continue reading

Posted in Nonfiction, Short Stories/Essays | 12 Comments

Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America

This is written to you, my friends, because I feel led by the spirit to preach to you. I don’t mind if you call Spirit common sense, or desperate hope, or willful refusal to accept defeat. I don’t mind if … Continue reading

Posted in Nonfiction | 5 Comments

The Wild Places

The Wild Places, like the other two books I’ve read by Robert Macfarlane (Mountains of the Mind and The Old Ways), is a delicious combination of personal essay, nature writing, and cultural history. I feel I could read his writing … Continue reading

Posted in Nonfiction, Travel/ Exploration | 1 Comment

The New Jim Crow

Michelle Alexander’s hugely influential book The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness was published in 2010, just two years after Barack Obama was elected president for the first time. That’s seven years ago now, and as … Continue reading

Posted in Nonfiction | 7 Comments

Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness

In 2009, Susannah Cahalan was 24 years old and well into an exciting and successful career as a journalist at the New York Post. And then she noticed what looked like a bug bite on her arm. That was followed by a … Continue reading

Posted in Memoir, Nonfiction | 12 Comments

Between the World and Me

I have raised you to respect every human being as singular, and you must extend that same respect into the past. Slavery is not an indefinable mass of flesh. It is a particular, specific enslaved woman, whose mind is active … Continue reading

Posted in Nonfiction | 21 Comments

Policing the Black Man: Arrest, Prosecution, and Imprisonment

Did you know that the U.S. has the highest incarceration rate in the world? At least it did in 2012, according to the essay by Jeremy Travis and Bruce Western in this collection edited by Angela J. Davis. Besides having … Continue reading

Posted in Nonfiction, Short Stories/Essays | 2 Comments

You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me

Sherman Alexie’s new memoir is a combination of prose and poetry reflecting on his relationship with his parents, especially his mother; his childhood on the Spokane Indian Reservation; and his adult life away from the reservation. The emotions he expresses … Continue reading

Posted in Memoir, Nonfiction | 6 Comments