Non-Fiction

Erosion: Essays of Undoing

What if beauty dwells in the margins of our undoing and remaking? Erosion is a collection of essays depicting the ways that modern priorities and lifestyles have led to the spiritual, physical, and political erosion of communities in the United States. At the core of Williams’ melodic, impassioned writing is a deep connection to her… Continue reading Erosion: Essays of Undoing

In the Dream House by Carmen Maria Machado

In this fragmented memoir of her relationship with an abusive long-term partner, Machado imbues her own personal story with an exposition of the “archival silence” on the topic of abuse in the queer community. It starts with a fervent crush on a beautiful, charming acquaintance. Progressing through the stages of friendship, torrid love, and polyamorous… Continue reading In the Dream House by Carmen Maria Machado

Not That Bad: Dispatches from Rape Culture edited by Roxane Gay

Roxane Gay began this anthology in an attempt to unravel the nebulous concept of “rape culture”– to engage with the question, “What is it like to live in a culture where it often seems like it is a question of when, not if, a woman will encounter some kind of sexual violence?” Ultimately, this piece… Continue reading Not That Bad: Dispatches from Rape Culture edited by Roxane Gay

The Collected Schizophrenias by Esmé Weijun Wang

From an outsider’s view, Wang’s identity stands apart from the common conception of someone with schizoaffective disorder—she is ivy-league educated, exceedingly well-dressed, and “high-functioning” when she is not in the grips of psychosis. After being kicked out of her university for her mental health status, Wang begins a never ending journey into a health system… Continue reading The Collected Schizophrenias by Esmé Weijun Wang

Native Country of the Heart by Cherríe Moraga

**Originally published on Latino Book Review From the beloved queer Chicana feminist writer Cherríe Moraga, Native Country of the Heart is a memoir told in parallel with the memoir of her Mexican mother, Elvira. Elvira is the foundational stone on which Moraga builds her own Chicana feminism and family, a woman whose beauty, rage, and… Continue reading Native Country of the Heart by Cherríe Moraga

Tell Me How It Ends: An Essay in Forty Questions by Valeria Luiselli

An essay in 40 questions: Why did you come to the US? Where are your parents? Any problems with the government in your home country? In Tell Me How it Ends, Valeria Luiselli shares her experience as an interpreter for refugee children from Central America arriving in the US. As she fills out the intake… Continue reading Tell Me How It Ends: An Essay in Forty Questions by Valeria Luiselli

Cocoa by Kristy Leissle

“But because cocoa is manufactured into a luxury so dear to so many, so accessible as an everyday moment of bliss, it comes with a different kind of emotional power than, say, oil or grains. The implicit call to action here is challenging: it is a request that everyone who uses cocoa ask how they… Continue reading Cocoa by Kristy Leissle

Eating NAFTA by Alyshia Gálvez

As Mexican food is being globally ‘elevated’ and reinterpreted/appropriated by the foodie elite, Mexico has seen a simultaneous rise in obesity and diabetes as access to traditional food is drastically hindered as a result of the North American Free Trade Agreement. Eating NAFTA is an investigation of the rise of industrial food systems in Mexico… Continue reading Eating NAFTA by Alyshia Gálvez

Evicted by Matthew Desmond

“The poor were being left out of the inequality debate, as if we believed the livelihoods of the rich and the middle class were intertwined but those of the poor and everyone else were not. Where were the rich people who wielded enormous influence over the lives of low-income families and their communities—who were rich… Continue reading Evicted by Matthew Desmond

Ancient Futures by Helena Norberg-Hodge

While working in international development, I found myself questioning whether foreign aid does more harm than good. I could list out ways that it failed to provide lasting solutions and effected unintended negative consequences, but I could never quite respond to the “then what do we do instead?” question that I often got from people.… Continue reading Ancient Futures by Helena Norberg-Hodge

1491: New Revelations of the Americas before Columbus by Charles C. Mann

“Understanding that nature is not normative does not mean that anything goes. The fears come from the mistaken identification of wildness with the forest itself. Instead the landscape is an arena for the interaction of natural and social forces, a kind of display, and one that like all displays is not fully under the control… Continue reading 1491: New Revelations of the Americas before Columbus by Charles C. Mann

The Death and Life of Great American Cities by Jane Jacobs

This book is an activist’s ode to the ineffable nature of cities–places full of a regenerative vitality that we often diminish in our attempts to organize them via conventional city planning. Rather than molding cities in to a utopic image of what we think cities should look like, Jacobs’ key focus is how to revitalize… Continue reading The Death and Life of Great American Cities by Jane Jacobs

The One-Straw Revolution by Masanobu Fukuoka

 “The human being was a happy creature, but he created a hard world and now struggles trying to break out of it.”   Fukuoka describes how he came into natural farming and how his simple principles of working the land reflect his philosophy of casting aside human will and ego. By observing and cooperating with… Continue reading The One-Straw Revolution by Masanobu Fukuoka

War Dogs by Rebecca Frankel

I was genuinely disappointed when I unexpectedly reached the end of this book on my Kindle. Frankel explores the world of military war dogs (MWDs) and their handlers in what is definitely the least depressing book about war that I’ve read. Despite the chilling anecdotes of explosive-detection missions in Iraq and Afghanistan, my lasting impression… Continue reading War Dogs by Rebecca Frankel

Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil DeGrasse Tyson

The title is fairly self-explanatory…Tyson fits astrophysics into a short read that is accurate, whimsical, and poetic. It’s like a bed time story for nerds, starting with the first infinitesimally small moments when the universe started to expand and ending with Tyson’s personal manifesto on what the cosmological perspective means to him. Besides giving readers… Continue reading Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil DeGrasse Tyson

Sapiens by Yuvah Noah Harari

Sapiens is an origin story of our world, starting with the various upright species over 2 million years ago and leading up to the point just before humans engineer their own evolution into something else entirely. Unlike most traditional history books, it not only includes major shifts in political, economic, agricultural, and spiritual trends, but… Continue reading Sapiens by Yuvah Noah Harari