New Nonfiction

West End LibraryRead FeedStaff Picks

New Nonfiction

Recommended reading for fans of the real world

This list is for readers who try to keep up with current social and political norms. Whether you're looking for inspiration or just making conversation, you'll find plenty to talk about - or base major life changes upon - in these new nonfiction titles:
 
Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson
In Just Mercy, Bryan Stevenson, the founder of the Equal Justice Initiative, details the arc of his career as a civil rights lawyer representing death row inmates in the deep South. Stevenson tells a David and Goliath story of his struggle for justice against entrenched racism and prosecutorial misconduct. His story is heartbreaking in its personal accounts, triumphant in its victories, and outrageous in its exposure of miscarriages of justice. A must-read for the civic-minded, or anyone seeking to be inspired by the positive change one person can make. 
 
Red Notice by Bill Browder
Bill Browder, the grandson of America's most prominent communist, enters the world of investment capitalism as an act of family rebellion. His story begins with the breakup of the Soviet Union, as he uncovers investment opportunities in Russia that other banks are too risk-averse to pursue.

Whether or not you find the author as heroic as he finds himself, his experiences highlight an important era of U.S.-Russian relations. If you enjoy fretting about the dangerous nature of the current Russian regime, you will enjoy reading Browder's tale of butting heads with billionaire oligarchs as he struggles to get rich, and stay that way, in a Russia that is either rapidly changing, or stubbornly remaining the same.
 
Words Will Break Cement by Masha Gessen
On the subject of fretting about Russia: Masha Gessen tells the story of Russian feminist punk band Pussy Riot, and the harsh punishments they received after rattling the political establishment. Gessen's perspective, as opposed to Browder's, is one of a native Russian. Those interested in recent Russian history may want to catch up on all of Gessen's writing, including The Man Without a Face and The Brothers. Gessen's own experience as a journalist and lesbian working in - and later fleeing - Putin's Russia make her one of today's most interesting writers.
 
Frank by Barney Frank
Former U.S. Rep. Barney Frank discusses his long career in politics. You probably know him as the sharp-tongued politician from Massachusetts advocating for financial regulatory reform and marriage equality. You may also know him as the first congressperson to voluntarily come out as gay.

By the end of his service in Congress, he had reached the position of House Financial Services Committee chair and was the first member of Congress to be in a same-sex marriage (spoiler alert!). If you have enjoyed his quips and barbs over the years, you will likely enjoy reading his book.
 
The One-Page Financial Plan by Carl Richards
If the books above have inspired or frightened you into taking action to secure your own future, The One-Page Financial Plan can give you some concrete steps to get there. Carl Richards explores common reasons that people do not invest, and offers some advice on how to create a simple plan for saving for the future.