Celebrity memoirs (like, a lot of them). Funny essay collections. Entertaining social commentary. This season’s crop of nonfiction truly does it all. Read, shop, read, repeat.
“Remember Love” by Cleo Wade
Cleo Wade, will you be our best friend? The poet, who’s been deemed “Millennial Oprah,” is back with a third book, this time about how to love yourself in times when you feel lost. The chapters are short, and the balance of prose and poetry feel like heartwarming affirmations. We read this in one sitting, but it’s also perfect for reading slowly — and if you read a chapter or two every morning, it’ll feel like starting your day with a literary hug.
“The Woman in Me” by Britney Spears
Britney Nation, rise up. Our girl is speaking. Now that her nearly 14-year conservatorship is over, the one and only Britney Spears is telling her story, her way in her new memoir. The book promises to delve into her relationship with her family, her experience with fame, and lots more. In fact, Britney has said that the emotional content of the book is why she chose not to narrate it for the audiobook (Michelle Williams will be doing that, all hail). Read — or listen — with tissues.
“Extremely Online” by Taylor Lorenz
Grumpy Cat. Dooce. Vine. If any of those words mean something to you, you’ll appreciate this book. It’s a look back at the platforms that have shaped social media — like YouTube, Facebook, and the aforementioned (and now defunct) Vine — from the perspective of the users, rather than the tech company creators. Taylor Lorenz is a journalist covering tech and online culture at the Washington Post, which uniquely qualifies her to write this “social history of social media.” Like and subscribe.
“Worthy” by Jada Pinkett Smith
Jada Pinkett Smith’s forthcoming memoir has already made a lot of headlines — but we recommend reading the real thing for her true story. In the book, she harnesses the compassion and honesty she brings to her Red Table Talks to share the story of her childhood, her rise to success, and the challenges she encountered along the way. She digs deep into some of her most difficult moments — including her experience with depression and yes, her high-profile marriage to Will Smith — and shares how radical self-acceptance ultimately helped her through them all.
“Black Friend” by Ziwe
Would you be interested in a great essay collection? You’d be an iconic reader. In Ziwe’s debut book, the comedian’s dry humor is on full display as she uses personal stories to unpack everything from race and identity to pop culture at large. Our favorite essay? The one with a jumbotron mishap (you’ll have to read for more). Add this one to your TBR — especially if you’re still upset about her show being canceled.
“Class” by Stephanie Land
The author of the best-selling memoir-turned-Netflix series “Maid,” returns with a follow-up memoir detailing her experience pursuing an MFA in writing — while raising her young daughter as a single parent, pregnant with her second child, juggling several jobs, navigating governmental aid, and living under the poverty line. It’s a hard look at who gets to pursue their dreams in this country, and what it can take to get there.
“Thicker Than Water” by Kerry Washington
Award-winning actress and director Kerry Washington dives into a long-held family secret in her new memoir. In 2018, Washington was slated to appear on PBS’ “Finding Your Roots.” To prep for the show, she collected DNA samples from both her parents, and got a surprising result: She learned that her parents had used a sperm donor to conceive her. Here, she unpacks that revelation — a possible explanation for her sense of “not quite belonging,” as she told the New York Times — and how it factored into her upbringing and rise to success.
“Glossy” by Marisa Meltzer
Close your eyes and picture it: It’s 2016, and you’re applying boy brow for the first time. Ok now open them. Here we are in 2023, and Glossier is not quiite the “it” brand that it once was. This book charts the rise of the company – helmed by its young, well-connected founder, Emily Weiss – and, more recently, its plateau. It’s an inside look at what it took to build what was the millennial brand of the moment, and for millennials like us…well, we couldn’t get enough.
“Unreliable Narrator” by Aparna Nancherla
Aparna Nancherla is familiar with feeling like she’s not good enough. In fact, she says, the better her career has gone, the worse her imposter syndrome has grown. Which we find extremely relatable. This book of funny and engaging essays covers everything from the author’s mental health history (which she joked about before it was cool) to her long career as a comedian and how her view of herself has been shaped by society. If you’re already an Aparna fan, this is for you, and if you aren’t yet…welcome. It’s funny in here.
“50 Years of Ms.” edited and with commentary by Katherine Spillar and the editors of Ms.
Introducing: a coffee table book that you’ll actually want to read. Ms. Magazine has been spearheading feminist ideas for the last five decades. And this stunning collection celebrates just that. Curated by executive editor Katherine Spillar and with a foreword from co-founder Gloria Steinem, this anthology includes archival content, interviews, and standout articles spanning topics like marriage, family, work, politics, and reproductive rights.
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