Tag: essays

Broaden Your Mind With This Week’s Non-Fiction Picks

Each week, Bookstr scans bestseller lists across the Internet to learn what people are reading, buying, gifting, and talking about most — just so we can ensure consistent, high-quality recommendations. This week’s nonfiction picks center around the theme of current best-sellers, showcasing what nonfiction books are the biggest hits with audiences! Pick these up to see what everyone is talking about!


5. The Collected Schizophrenias by Esme Weijun Wang


A swirling collection of color coming together

Image via Amazon

The Collected Schizophrenias by Esme Weijun Wang is a collection of thirteen essays that offer a new vocabulary and discussion topics regarding the perils of mental illness. The author, Wang, struggles with schizophrenia herself and offers light of what it’s like to grapple with one’s own mental sickness. In the book, Wang balances her own personal struggles with carefully crafted research, creating a unique experiences that will speak to anyone fascinated by the topic or fighting their own battles mentally.


4. The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee by David Treuer 


An American flag on the backdrop of a black background

Image via Amazon

The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee by David Treuer examines America’s complicated and often disgraceful history with the Battle of Wounded Knee, the massacre of Native Americans by American troops in 1890. The author, a Native American who grew up on a reservation, examines Native American’s history with Wounded Knee and all the attempts to destroy their culture throughout the years. In doing so, David Treur finds that their culture has, while no thrived, transformed and created a unifying sense of identity culture that has resisted being wiped and in some ways, grown stronger. This is a profound read that showcases a people’s resistance and holding onto their culture through the turbulent years.


3. Maid by Stephanie Land


A pair of maid gloves on the white background

Image via Amazon

Maid by Stephanie Land turned to housekeeping to meet ends meet after  an unplanned pregnancy. There, she saw how mistreated the housework community was and began to write stories online sharing her experiences. Stories of living on foot stamps, uncaring government employees who refused maids assistance, and overworked, underpaid Americans who were struggling to meet ends meet. This book now explores that lifestyle, the lifestyle of what it’s really like to be a maid and shares their stories with the world. This book gives a voice to those who have none as it follows Stephanie’s journey and many others like her.


2. Make Scream, Make it burn by Leslie Jamison


A bunch of neon letters saying 'Make It Scream Make it burn'

Image Via Amazon

Make It Scream, Make It Burn by Leslie Jamison is another collection of essays, each offering varied, different, and thought provoking content. Among the essays featured is one about the loneliest whale in the world, the landscape of the Sri Lanken War, becoming a stepmother, and journey through Las Vegas in a. desperate search for the American Dream. Each essay is full of nuance and passion, each different yet related under a constant banner beautiful writing and connecting thematically. Jamison’s voice is impossible to resist and with emotional, intellectual power this is a must read.


1. Charged by Emily Bazelon


An African-American man stands at a prison fence
Image via Amazon

Charged by Emily Bazelon is an examination of the broken American prison system. It examines the power prosecutors truly have, who control a case and are more liable to swing the jury over to their side in order to ‘win’ rather than balancing a fair system. They decide who lives and goes free, who lives and who dies, with all the biases that come with their decisions. This book follows two young people caught in the unfair justice system: Kevin, a twenty year old charged with a serious violent felony and Noura, a teenage girl indicted for murdering her own mother. The author follows their cases in detail, showing why criminal cases go wrong and showcaseing how the system can be reformed.



Featured Image Via Amazon

New Book Teaches Children the History of Drag!

Yaaasss, a new book, just been released today on Amazon, Drag: Combing Through the Big Wigs of Show Business contains 100 essays and photos of personal stories involving drag culture. The book explores the current era of drag, and at the same time reflects on the history of drag, and those who pave the way for drag artists everywhere. New Now Next reported that author Frank DeCaro’s new book aims to teach children the history of drag before the RuPaul’s Drag Race era. Check out the description below for more information about the title, which is published by Rizzoli Publications!



Since man first walked the Earth…in heels, no other art form has wielded as unique an influence on pop culture as Drag. Drag artists have now sashayed their way to snatch the crowns as the Queens of mainstream entertainment.

Through informative and witty essays chronicling over 100 years of drag, readers will embark on a Priscilla-like journey through pop culture, from television shows like The Milton Berle Show, Bosom Buddies, and RuPaul’s Drag Race, films like Some Like It Hot, To Wong Foo…, and Tootsie, and Broadway shows like Hedwig and the Angry Inch, La Cage aux Folles, and Kinky Boots.

With stops in cities around the globe, and packed with interviews and commentaries on the dramas, joys, and love that “make-up” a life in wigs and heels, Drag features contributions from today’s most groundbreaking and popular artists, including Bianca del Rio, Miss Coco Peru, Hedda Lettuce, Lypsinka, and Varla Jean Merman, as well as notable performers as Harvey Fierstein and Charles Busch. It includes more than 100 photos–many from performers’ personal collections, and a comprehensive timeline of drag “herstory.”


Sashay and read away!


featured image via newnownext.com

Jenny Slate Previews Her New Book ‘Little Weirds’

Writer and actress Jenny Slate is one of the funniest women working in Hollywood today. Now, she’s bringing her signature humor to a new book.


In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Slate talked about her upcoming book Little Weirds, which is a collection of essays that Slate says “will explore what it’s like to be a female in a misogynistic culture”.


Slate landed a book deal in 2017 with Little, Brown and Company to publish a collection of feminist essays in 2019. Now, EW has an exclusive look at the cover of the book.


Image result for little weirds

Image Via Entertainment Weekly


Slate explained why she chose the title Little Weirds:


“The title explains exactly what is inside the book: It is a an expression of my truest voice, a tour of my inner world, and all of it is made of small, odd pieces. I started to call them ‘Little Weirds’ as a way to honor the pieces but not label them traditionally.”


And as for the cover:


“I asked for an image that was fun but not immature, for an image of a celebration of plurality and curiosity and beauty and pleasure. I asked for both a brontosaurus and a hamburger. I asked for a little bit of everything. I think we got it just right.”


Little Weirds will be published November 5th. It is available for pre-order now.



Featured Image Via TVOvermind

New Book Challenges Portrayal of Appalachians in ‘Hillbilly Elegy’

When first released in 2016,  Hillbilly Elegy became an unexpected hit. Written by J.D. Vance, it follows Vance through his childhood and his escape from poverty to become both a Marine and a graduate of Yale. His story paints a portrait of America that many people can relate to. The popularity of the book skyrocketed Vance to media fame and Netflix is preparing a film adaptation directed by Ron Howard.


Book cover for Hillbilly Elegy
Image Via Amazon


But there are aspects of the book that have garnered criticism. Specifically, its portrayal of Appalachians has been slammed as problematic. Growing up in Kentucky and Ohio, Vance writes about the mountain region and the people that he knew throughout his childhood and teen years. The language used to describe Appalachians is disparaging, even going so far as to dismiss Appalachian people generally as “lazy”.

In response to these criticisms, Meredith McCarroll, the Director of Writing and Rhetoric at Bowdoin College, and Anthony Harkins, associate professor at Western Kentucky University, have teamed up to bring Appalachian Reckoning, a collection of essays that offer a retort to the portrayal of Appalachians within Vance’s book.


Book cover for Appalachian Reckoning featuring wooded Appalachian trail
Image Via WVUPressOnline


With forty-one essays spread across forty contributors, the collection doesn’t say that Vance is entirely wrong in what he writes, but instead seeks to offer a new viewpoint on Appalachian people that is less narrow. The introduction describes the collection as “a book born out of frustration” from people who only get their view of Appalachia from Vance’s book.



Featured Image Via Discovery