Nicki at Secret Library Blog did a post about some nonfiction books she added to her Goodreads TBR shelf, and I really enjoyed reading it. I thought it was a fabulous idea, so I’m borrowing her idea and writing up a post of my own. Thanks, Nicki!
In no particular order, here are some of the nonfiction books I’m looking forward to reading over the next few months:
(If any of these books interest you, just click the covers to add them to your Goodreads.)
Underneath It All: A History of Women’s Underwear by Amber J. Keyser
ebook ARC, 96 pages
Expected publication: January 1st, 2018 by Twenty-First Century Book
Throughout history, women’s lingerie garments have played a complex role in women’s lives. Learn how undergarments protected and shaped women’s bodies to fit the ideals of the time, enhanced desire in intimate relationships, made statements about social movements such as women’s suffrage, and provided a way to express individual style and personal empowerment. With each swing of the fashion pendulum, new undergarments forced the body into the preferred shapeflat bust and angular ribcage, lush bosom and high waist, sloped shoulders and ample hipswhich in turn, affected women’s health and activities. Learn how lingerie has been used as a status symbol, a marker of social class, and an economic driver throughout history.
This book seriously appeals to my inner history geek. The evolution of women’s fashions over the centuries never ceases to fascinate me, so when I saw this title on Edelweiss, I was instantly intrigued. I’m curious to see what I will learn!
When They Call You A Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir by Patrisse Khan-Cullors & Asha Bandele
Paperback ARC, 257 pages
Expected publication: January 16th, 2018 by St. Martin’s Press
The emotional and powerful story of one of the co-founders of Black Lives Matter and how the movement was born.
From one of the co-founders of the Black Lives Matter movement comes a poetic memoir and reflection on humanity. Necessary and timely, Patrisse Cullors’ story asks us to remember that protest in the interest of the most vulnerable comes from love. Leaders of the Black Lives Matter movement have been called terrorists, a threat to America. But in truth, they are loving women whose life experiences have led them to seek justice for those victimized by the powerful. In this meaningful, empowering account of survival, strength, and resilience, Patrisse Cullors and asha bandele seek to change the culture that declares innocent black life expendable.
The Black Lives Matter movement shines a much-needed light on the continuing systemic racism faced by African-American in the United States. Social injustice, racism, and inequality are issues I’ve been paying close attention to (especially over the past few years), so when I heard about this book I knew I had to read it.
Loaded: A Disarming History of the Second Amendment by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz
ebook ARC, 176 pages
Expected publication: January 9th, 2018 by City Lights Publishers
America loves guns. From Daniel Boone and Jesse James to the NRA and Seal Team 6, gun culture has colored the lore, shaped the law, and protected the market that arms the nation. In Loaded, Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz peels away the myths of gun culture to expose the true historical origins of the Second Amendment, exposing the racial undercurrents connecting the earliest Anglo setters with contemporary gun proliferation, modern-day policing, and the consolidation of influence of armed white nationalists. From the enslavement of Blacks and the conquest of Native America, to the arsenal of institutions that constitute the “gun lobby,” Loaded presents “a people’s history of the Second Amendment” as seen through the lens of those who have been most targeted by guns: people of color. Meticulously researched and thought-provoking throughout, this is essential reading for anyone interested in understanding the historical connections between racism and gun violence in the United States.
Kirkus Reviews describes Loaded as a “provocative cultural analysis arguing that the Second Amendment and white supremacy are inextricably bound.” With white supremacists boldly taking their hatred to the streets more and more, I’m even more eager to read this book and what it leads me to ponder upon.
Not a Crime to Be Poor: The Criminalization of Poverty in America by Peter Edelman
ebook ARC, 320 pages
Published October 31st, 2017 by The New Press
In addition to exposing racially biased policing, the Justice Department’s Ferguson Report exposed to the world a system of fines and fees levied for minor crimes in Ferguson, Missouri, that, when they proved too expensive for Ferguson’s largely poor, African American population, resulted in jail sentences for thousands of people.
As former staffer to Robert F. Kennedy and current Georgetown law professor Peter Edelman explains in Not a Crime to Be Poor, Ferguson is everywhere in America today. Through money bail systems, fees and fines, strictly enforced laws and regulations against behavior including trespassing and public urination that largely affect the homeless, and the substitution of prisons and jails for the mental hospitals that have traditionally served the impoverished, in one of the richest countries on Earth we have effectively made it a crime to be poor.
Edelman, who famously resigned from the administration of Bill Clinton over welfare “reform,” connects the dots between these policies and others including school discipline in poor communities, child support policies affecting the poor, public housing ordinances, addiction treatment, and the specter of public benefits fraud to paint a picture of a mean-spirited, retributive system that seals whole communities into inescapable cycles of poverty.
Poverty and the treatment of those who are less fortunate is another high-interest topic for me. I expect this book—much like Matthew Desmond’s Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City—will likely leave me angry and upset by the time I reach the end. But like other matters of social injustice, these are important things to know about… no matter how upsetting it may be.
Paperbacks from Hell: A History of Horror Fiction from the ’70s and ’80s by Grady Hendrix
ebook ARC, 256 pages
Published September 19th, 2017 by Quirk Books
Take a tour through the horror paperback novels of the 1970s and ’80s . . . if you dare. Page through dozens and dozens of amazing book covers featuring well-dressed skeletons, evil dolls, and knife-wielding killer crabs! Read shocking plot summaries that invoke devil worship, satanic children, and haunted real estate! Horror author and vintage paperback book collector Grady Hendrix offers killer commentary and witty insight on these trashy thrillers that tried so hard to be the next Exorcist or Rosemary’s Baby. It’s an affectionate, nostalgic, and unflinchingly funny celebration of the horror fiction boom of two iconic decades, complete with story summaries and artist and author profiles. You’ll find familiar authors, like V. C. Andrews and R. L. Stine, and many more who’ve faded into obscurity. Plus recommendations for which of these forgotten treasures are well worth your reading time and which should stay buried.
I spent my teen years reading a LOT of horror novels. Some good, some bad, and at least one that was so utterly terrifying, I had to throw it out the front door in order to be able to sleep. I wonder how many books I will recognize as I read Paperbacks from Hell? This should prove to be a fun trip down memory lane!
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Most of these books deal with heavy topics, but I’m looking forward to reading them all. Do any of my nonfiction reads interest you? Leave a comment and tell me which one(s)!