Blood on the River: A Chronicle of Mutiny and Freedom on the Wild Coast, by Marjoleine Kars
The New Press
August 12, 2020 Marjoleine Kars recounts a tale of oppression, bloodshed, and some triumph in her previously untold account of the 1763-64 slave rebellion in Dutch Berbice, modern day Guyana.
Democracy in One Book or Less: How It Works, Why It Doesn't, and Why Fixing It Is Easier Than You Think, by David Litt
June 19, 2020 David Litt, former speechwriter to President Obama and author of Thanks, Obama, refreshingly debunks myths about our founders, pointing up false narratives and warped historical perceptions.
This Is One Way to Dance: Essays, by Sejal Shah
University of Georgia Press
June 4, 2020 Essayist Sejal Shah brings important, refreshing, and depressing observations about what it means to have dark skin and an "exotic" name, when the only country you've ever lived in is America.
What Is the Grass: Walt Whitman in My Life, Mark Doty
W. W. Norton & Company
April 16, 2020 Acclaimed poet Mark Doty's memoir is not only an exaltation of America's troubadour, Walt Whitman, but also a celebration of gay manhood, queerness, and the power and elasticity of poetry.
Later: My Life at the Edge of the World, by Paul Lisicky
March 17, 2020 As we find ourselves in the midst of a pandemic, Paul Lisicky's memoir is deeply affecting; we can recall the terror and frustration when no treatment or prevention was available for AIDS and HIV.
Supreme Inequality: The Supreme Court's Fifty-Year Battle for a More Unjust America, by Adam Cohen
February 24, 2020 Lawyer and journalist Adam Cohen explores five decades of Supreme Court opinions and comes to a rueful conclusion: These decisions have greatly exacerbated the space between rich and poor.
Counterpoint: A Memoir of Bach and Mourning, by Philip Kennicott
February 19, 2020 The Washington Post's Philip Kennicott suffered his mother's harsh words and actions throughout childhood. His book is partly a need to acknowledge her "sadness and anger and unaccountable rages."
January 19, 2020 Garth Greenwell's new story collection — like his previous novel — follows young, gay American men teaching English in Bulgaria. It's part heartbreaking, part forward-looking, and all beautiful.
Aarti Shahani as a child with her sister and her father.
October 1, 2019 Aarti Shahani reports on Silicon Valley for NPR. But, as she details in her memoir, she's also from a family that followed a contorted, painful path to citizenship.
The Yellow House, by Sarah M/ Broom
August 13, 2019 Sarah Broom's childhood house is the fulcrum for her memoir about her large and complex family. But perhaps more important, it stands in for the countless ways America has failed African Americans.
Idiot Wind: A Memoir by Peter Kaldheim
July 30, 2019 Even if we weren't in need of another road-trippy-addiction memoir, Peter Kaldheim's book recounts his very human efforts to swim to shore with compassion and gratitude.
July 12, 2019 Margarita Liberaki's novel, first published in 1946, follows three young women growing up in the Athens countryside alongside a colorful cast of family members, secret-keeping servants and local boys.
When We Were Arabs: A Jewish Family's Forgotten History, by Massoud Hayoun
The New Press
June 26, 2019 Author Massoud Hayoun has Moroccan, Egyptian and Tunisian heritage — and is also Jewish. He weaves in his family history with the politics that shaped their lives, including European oppression.
May 31, 2019 Gregory Spatz is both a creative writing professor and a fiddler, which gives depth to these stories about high-end stringed instruments and the people who play, love and sometimes steal them.