Politics & Drama & Own Voices Stories / Five Non Fiction Recs for Spring 2019

I tried to get this posted on time, but it didn’t happen. And then I thought, well, I’ll try again over the weekend. And then I almost didn’t post at ALL but then I decided to not loose to procrastination. SO THIS POST IS NOW ON TIME. Officially. Because when it’s posted is the new on time. And it officialy got published before Sunday midnight and the end of the weekend. Go me. 

Well, what were you doing instead of blogging, one might ask. You might ask about all the other books I read. please don’t.

Because in fact, you can’t actually watch Brooklyn 99 and read at the same time. who would have guessed.

Anyway, back to the point. 

I really enjoy some non-fiction reads. Learning from other people’s real life experience and perspective and from history is SO IMPORTANT.

It’s also great for writing my fictional stories and drawing from real life stuff. This year, I’m trying to read at least one non-fiction book a month which means I’ll probably be talking about non-fiction books a bit more. Hence, today’s list.

In the Shadow of Statues

I’ve just finished reading this book, and wow! It’s really good! Democrats in the South are rare, and I always love reading stories from voices like Democrat and New Orleans mayor, Mitch Landrieu.

Also, Mitch Landrieu could totally run for president but has decided not to because in his words, “there’s already a field of great candidates.” thanks for having some common sense, Mr Mayor.

But that’s NOT what this book is about! In the Shadow of Statues, Landrieu tells the story of growing up with racism in his home city and his father’s crusade to integrate the city government. It’s gripping, as Landrieu shares how Hurricane Katrina, Gun Violence, and Confederate History all plague his city. New Orleans has such tense history and Landrieu does a great elevating POC voices and sharing why he decided to take action against the Confederate moments overlooking his city.

When They Call You a Terrorist

I could NOT put this book down. It’s a heartrending narrative of growing up black in Urban California in the 90’s and the devastating effects of the drug wars and zero tolerance policing. Everyone should read this book.

And even though it’s hard and has terrible, terrible moments, this true story of a woman’s courage and determination to stand up to systematic racism is inspiring. Before reading this book, I couldn’t have told you who started Black Lives Matter or even remember details from countless police shootings that make headlines. stores of men like Eric Garner and Freddie Gray and Trayvon Martin.

But after this book, I am personally invested in raising awareness and taking concrete action for Black Lives Matter and police reform. If you ask my parents, this book turned me into a social justice warrior and has caused a ton of tense conversations about systematic racism. (also, why is the term social justice warrior an insult? Didn’t they call Joan of Arc some sort of social justice warrior, too?)


This was one of my fav reads of 2017! Mostly because I’m a journalist. And if you want to really remember how absolutely insane and unfit for the Presidency Donald Trump is, read this book.

the 2016 campaign was weird and horrible and had so many crazy moments that are just SUPER easy to just get overwhelmed with and forget them all. Unbelievable hashes through the election season from the viewpoint of a journalist who was assigned to Donald Trump’s campaign from DAY ONE. I’m really sorry for Katy Tur because she spent 500 days following Trump and Co around.

Katy’s story made me gag, scream, and fume in rage. It reminds me why I keep fighting Donald Trump and his White House and why we must do everything to undo the damage this unhinged presidency has brought to the US.

From the constant assault on the first amendment, to the brushing aside of common dignity, to the constant policy flip flipping, the Trump era has been a disaster from the moment he decided to run for the position.


I loved this book so much! It’s witty and fun and full of great stories about an Iranian immigrants life in America. I also really liked how this story tackles modern day conversations about immigration and politics.

Maybe the president’s changed, and there’s different hit songs on the radio, but people still immigrate to the US. Teenagers still don’t have their green cards. And high school crushes definitely still happen.

In the Garden of Beasts

Some of my favorite non-fiction books are stories from World War II and the Nazis rise to power and the people who stood up and fought back. In the Garden of Beasts is such a book. It follows the US Ambassador to Germany and how he tried to represent the US and live in Berlin as Hitler took over. Also, his daughter was notoriously flirtatious with EVERYONE and her story is mostly amusing.

I mean, it’s dark. because you know all these charming Germans who are desperate for US approval are really horrid human beings. At the same time, it’s decadent and glamorous and reads like a dream. A dream that’s actually a nightmare.

But you know, even as this book reads like a strange dream, it’s also completely true. And even as people ignored white supremacy in the 30’s, politics is brushing aside white supremacy today. Just Horrible.

You know when I originally drafted this post, I had TEN books listed. but yours truly is lazy because talking about ten entire books takes a long time. And a lot of words. And very few people will read THAT many words about non-fiction.

But HERE’s some non-fiction books I’m looking forward to reading soon!

Mayor Pete is running for President! And he’s only 37 years old???????

He also speaks five languages, studied at Oxford, served in the Navy in Afghanistan, and has been a super great mayor. Also, he’s gay and has SOME AMAZING IDEAS.

Anyway, I am looking forward to reading his book AND SEEING HIM ON THE DEBATE STAGE IN JUNE. Even though Mayor Pete is a small candidate, he has 65,000 people who each contributed to his campaign, which means he gets to be on the Democratic primary debate with big politicians like Bernie Sanders and Beto O’Rourke. SO COOL!

I love the way he talks and his letter to his South Bend Muslim community made me cry.


Barack Obama recommended both of these books in his 2018 favorites list.

And I might really like reading complicated books about big ideas like Democracy and Liberalism. That’s kind of my brand, right? 

But really, since I consider myself pretty progressive, I need to read thoughtful books on big ideas. it’s good for the political brain.


Whelp, if you haven’t guessed, I could talk about my non-fiction reads and planned reads ALOT but I won’t, because i know the whole world isn’t nerdy like me. Instead, I’ll leave you with my Goodreads Non-Fictions reads list, so check it out if you’re interested in more reading recs form yours truly!

lets chat

Are you much of a non-fiction reader like me? Do you enjoy biographies or memoirs? If you could read anyone’s biography, even if they haven’t written one yet, who would you pick?



  1. March 18, 2019 / 9:44 am

    Wow, I love your recommendations! I’m also trying to read at least one nonfiction book a month – it’s a goal I set for myself last year that I ended up accidentally blowing completely out of the water on accident. Nonfiction is one of those things that sounds really intimidating, but once you get into a habit with it, it becomes second nature. I’d heard of most of these books, but hearing your thoughts just makes me want to read them more!

    • March 27, 2019 / 10:05 pm

      Good luck on your non-fiction goals! i can’t wait to hear what you books you pick up!

  2. March 18, 2019 / 3:20 pm

    I love non-fiction and memoirs. I’m going to re-read Barbara Ehrenreich’s Nickel and Dimed soon, and I want to pick up Educated by Tara Westover, Hillbilly Elegy, and Parkland by Dave Cullen.

    • March 27, 2019 / 10:06 pm

      I’ve been hearing stellar reviews about Educated! It’s definitely on my TBR!

  3. March 19, 2019 / 7:04 pm

    Okay so the last thing I want to remember is how absolutely insane and unfit for president Trump is lol but I am a journalism major so I’m probably going to pick that book up! Thank you for all these recommendations, I’ve been meaning to read more widely. I’m glad you enjoyed them all. 🙂

    • March 27, 2019 / 10:07 pm

      Haha, I totally feel you about remembering all the terrible Trump stories. Oh! It’s so cool that you’re also a journalism major! Though i’ll only be a journalism major for 36 more days, hehe. 😊

      • March 29, 2019 / 7:35 pm

        I’m also graduating soon, too! Hopefully I’ll move from journalism student to journalist lol. 🙂

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