Shelf Talk blog: new summary of non-fiction for November 2021

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Peak peaks.

Five non-fiction titles are joining Peak Picks this month. Brené Brown has inspired millions of people with her willingness to explore shame and vulnerability; in Heart Atlas, Brown gives readers the tools to forge meaningful connections. Joshua McFadden follows James Beard Award winner Six seasons with the beautiful and the practical Cereals for every season. Seattle-based Peter Robison’s investigative report into the Boeing crash is featured in Fly blind.

And two honest, raw memoirs complete Peak Picks: Rapper, actor and household name Will Smith partners with Mark Manson (The subtle art of not giving a fuck) in Will, and Faith Jones’ escape from the Children of God is recounted in poignant detail in Nun sex worship.

Biographies, memoirs and essays, Oh my God!

In Those precious daysNovelist Ann Patchett reflects on her life in deeply felt essay
collection. Chinese artist Ai Weiwei traces a century of Chinese history through his remarkable life and that of his family in 1000 years of joys and sorrows, while almost 100-year-old Mel Brooks looks back on a life spent making people laugh in All on me! Huma Abedin recounts her life from a childhood raised in several countries to becoming Hillary Clinton’s main assistant in Both and, while Kal Penn examines his acting career to Obama staff and back to acting in You can’t be serious. Model Emily Ratajkowski explores feminism and sexuality in her incisive debut My body, while Mayukh Sen considers the impact of seven immigrant women who have influenced the way we eat in Creators of taste. In The deeper the roots, Michael Tubbs chronicles his life in Stockton, California, from poverty to becoming the city’s first black mayor and the youngest mayor of a major city in the United States. last word in posthumous publication Faith wholeheartedly.

History and politics.

In The 1619 project, Nikole Hannah-Jones argues that American history can be better understood
not with the independence of the nation in 1776 but the arrival of the first slave ship in 1619; in the same vein, Kyle T. Mays examines the common history and the conflict between blacks and Native Americans in An Afro-Indigenous History of the United States.

Supreme Court expert Linda Greenhouse dives deep into the momentous year Ruth Bader Ginsberg was replaced by Amy Comey Barrett, cementing a Tory bloc, by Justice on the brink, while Jonathan Karl recounts the final months of the Trump presidency and its consequences in Treason. And in The hidden case of Ewan Forbes, Zoe Playdon reveals the impact a secret verdict had on transgender rights.

One of a kind.

Are you a fan of the Oscar winning documentary My octopus teacher? If so, be sure to check wild submarine for an immersive journey into the depths of the ocean; if you are more interested in the land than the sea, Atlas of the invisible uses data to create beautiful maps that show us everything from happiness levels to those most at risk due to geopolitical struggles.

Haruki Murakami is famous for his novels; now he will also be known for his eclectic and extensive collection of t-shirts in Murakami T. Lowbrow culture is rarely taken seriously, if not completely disparaged; in Tights, Rex King finds it a cause for celebration. And finally, poet Kate Baer takes vitriolic messages from trolls online and turns them into uplifting and hopeful poems in Hope this finds you well.


This press release was produced by Discussion blog on the shelf. The opinions expressed here are those of the author.

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