Ripped From The Headlines Non-Fiction

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Ripped From The Headlines Non-Fiction

Every once in awhile, a story comes out of nowhere and dominates the news cycle. People clamor for more information, searching for old articles about the people involved, watching clips from their teenage years, and wondering how things could have gotten to where they are. These seven non-fiction books attempt to answer those questions by diving in deep to stories, and people, that dominated the headlines, inspired countless think-pieces, and left a mark on the American conscious for a long time. From Larry Nassar and Brock Turner to Elizabeth Holmes and Anna Delvey, these books are perfect for answering the questions those news broadcasts brought to mind and teaching you about what went on behind the scenes. 

Content Warning: Several of these books contain descriptions of sexual abuse. 

The Girls: An All-American Town, a Predatory Doctor, and the Untold Story of the Gymnasts Who Brought Him Down by Abigail Pesta
The world watched in horror as it was revealed that Larry Nassar, a long time doctor associated with the U.S. gymnastic's team had been molesting patients for years. The onslaught continued as many beloved female gymnasts spoke out about the abuse they had suffered. The full effects of the scandal are still unfolding, but Nassar currently sits behind bars for his crimes. This detailed book, one of the first published about Nassar, explores not only how Nassar was finally exposed but how he got away for his crimes for so long. 

Soulless: The Case Against R. Kelly by Jim DeRogatis
The criminal proceedings against singer-songwriter R.Kelly are ongoing, but this book, from the man who first broke the story in 2000, is a must-read for anyone following the case. DeRogatis first heard about R.Kelly's "problem with young girls" via a fax in 2000, and has been following and reporting on the story for two decades now. This is a definitive, gut-wrenching look at the musician's career, his previous interactions with the law, and how his actions were overlooked for many years. While we don't have a finale to the story yet, this book will help you prepare for it. 

Know My Name: A Memoir by Chanel Miller
In 2016, Brock Turner became infamous for the sexual assault he committed in 2015, and for years his victim, simply known as Emily Doe, stayed silent. That all changed in 2019, when she came out, revealed her name to be Chanel Miller, and released a memoir about her experiences not only as a survivor but as someone that everyone seemed to be talking about, often without realizing that she was Emily Doe. Well-written, moving and heartbreaking, Miller's memoir touches on everything from her life before Brock Turner, to the trial that ended up getting a judge recalled, to the aftermath in the unfolding Me Too movement. 

Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup by John Carreyrou
The scandal around blood testing startup Theranos and its enigmatic, black turtleneck clad founder, Elizabeth Holmes, dominated the headlines for months. Multiple documentaries have now been made about the startup that didn't have the technology to make up its claims, but this book takes a dive so deep you'll wonder how you'll ever get out. Carreyrou's excellent reporting brings the complicated story to light, and even if you don't know the first thing about startups you'll be hooked on this story. The true story isn't quite over yet--Holmes is still in court over some of the charges against Theranos, but this book will help catch you up quickly. 

My Friend Anna: The True Story of the Fake Heiress by Rachel DeLoache Williams
The story of an heiress who was actually a scammer went viral in 2018, and one of the friends at the heart of the drama--one who herself got conned by the con artist--tells all in this fascinating account of what it was like to see it all unravel so quickly. You'll want to read this book before it inevitably hits the screen. Williams' account of being close to Anna and seeing it all happen firsthand is invaluable to the reader. Delvey is currently serving her prison term for grand larceny, but you won't be able to put down this story until you find out how exactly she got caught. 

Catch and Kill: Lies, Spies, and a Conspiracy to Protect Predators by Ronan Farrow
The allegations against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein have dominated a lot of the media conversation around the Me Too movement, but Weinstein and more big-name abusers are covered in depth in this fascinating book by Ronan Farrow that looks at what it is like to report the secrets people have worked so long to cover-up. This book isn't just about what Weinstein and others are accused of doing--this book is about who knew what when and the lengths they went to in order to protect abusers and predators for decades. If you've been following along the any of the media stories about the Me Too movement, this is a must read book. 

All-American Murder: The Rise and Fall of Aaron Hernandez by James Patterson and Mike Harvkey
Football star turned convicted murderer Aaron Hernandez was the subject of a ton of headlines when he was first arrested, and then more when he took his own life in prison, but now he's back in the news as a new documentary series explores his life. To augment that, check out this book by well-known author James Patterson and author Mike Harvkey about Hernandez's journey from all-american to infamous. This book touches on gang relations, the murders with which Hernandez was charged, his personal life and his death in Massachusetts prison.