december

and to all a good night

Every year on Goodreads, I create a faves-20## list to track the things I read that I really liked. It’s done in the moment, and I try to check in on it and cull things at midyear and in december so that it’s roughly 50-60 books max. If you want to see all of this year’s cuts in detail, click the image above. Here’s the 1̶0̶ 13 from that list I wanted to call out in particular, in no particular order (also, in the time it took to write this, a few things got added to that goodreads list that aren’t in the above image, lol).

See you next year!

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Fiction

  1. Girl, Woman, Other, Bernadine Evaristo
    This was one of the books I started my year with, and it’s been in the back of my mind throughout. This came on my radar after its joint win with Margaret Atwood’s The Testaments in last year’s Booker Prizes, and having now read and sat with both, I’d argue this should have won the prize solo.

    Atwood’s follow-up to The Handmaid’s Tale is fine (I’m down for a good multi-perspective thriller, though it’s easy to figure out the plot beats once you realize who all is involved in the book), but the style of Girl Woman Other (text that’s somewhere between prose and poetry; chapters that follow one character each and form interlocking narratives with other chapters), the polyphonic voices of its characters, and the way it does all of the above and makes it seem like the easiest thing to read in the world all make it deserving of the prize.

    This is the book I think I’ve recommended the most to people this year, and a planned reading/Q&A with Evaristo at the Cambridge Public Library is probably the one event I’m still disappointed the pandemic cancelled.

  2. Forgotten Work, Jason Guriel
    It’s a concept that shouldn’t work: a novel in verse? A speculative fiction novel, at that? And it fills in styles like music reviews, fan forum posts, and other narrative exercises in iambic pentameter? And yet it does, and does so in such a gleeful way that I found myself slowing my normal reading pace to spend more time with the book. It feels like an album in miniature, each chapter a track (with some stylistic diversions), hurtling through the chronology of a band that barely existed and the cult of followers it created.

  3. Piranesi, Susanna Clarke
    This is slim compared to Clarke’s previous novel, but has so many wonderful moments where you the reader know slightly more than the main character what’s happened to him. A great book about being lost to get lost in.

  4. The Vanishing Half, Brit Bennett
    I keep an eye on (and vote in) both GoodReads and Book of the Month club’s annual best-of-the-year roundups, even though the nominees (and, usually, eventual winners) tend to remind me of how much my own reading diverges from their metrics of what is “popular”. I was pleasantly surprised, then, to see The Vanishing Half get both BotM’s top accolade AND Best Historical Fiction over in GoodReads’ year-end roundup. The story of twin sisters whose paths diverge wildly after leaving their home (a city in Louisiana where everyone is light-skinned), this felt like a good sister-read to something like Nella Larsen’s Passing, but felt entirely contemporary. It also has such a great tablecloth-pulling moment for one of its characters that completely resets who they are for the reader, and it’s added Brit Bennett’s previous novel, The Mothers, to my TBR list for 2021.

  5. Crossings, Alex Landragin
    I’m still working my way through David Mitchell’s latest genre-bender, the music-focused Utopia Avenue (which feels like it’d go hand-in-hand with Forgotten Work), but this is the book that felt the Mitchellest to me, with its two ways of being read (either cover-to-cover or following an order of chapters listed up front that the e-book will actually guide you through if you so choose). It’s all wildly inventive and does some soul-swapping two-people-across-a-great-deal-of-time stuff that was a lot of fun.

  6. Interior Chinatown, Charles Yu
    Seeing this win the National Book Award this fall reminded me how good this had been when I read it after it came out at the end of January. It does some fun plays with form (large bits of the book are written in screenplay format) and has some great insights on being Asian-American in Hollywood and what we’re allowed to be.

  7. Mary Toft, or: The Rabbit Queen, Dexter Palmer
    I picked this up in late 2019 based on loving Version Control, Palmer’s previous book, as well as loving the trippy op-art-meets-The-Favourite cover art, and finally got to it in the leadup for the 2020 Tournament of Books. Historical fiction isn’t usually my jam as a reader, and this took a second to really click into place for me, but once it did, it REALLY clicked for me. Mary Toft is known in history for claiming to give birth to rabbits - she was later found to be a fraud. This uses that as its basis, but follows the apprentice to the doctor attending to Mary as its main character, with a brief glimpse into Mary’s psyche for one chapter. On a larger level (and as the plot gets more and more farcical), it’s a book about what we believe to be true as a collective, what we “buy”, and the lies we tell ourselves.

  8. A Children’s Bible, Lydia Millet
    I wrote last month about feeling underwhelmed by the much-hyped Leave the World Behind, and I think it’s because I had read this earlier in the year and it did the parts of what that did that I liked better. I got drawn in by the cover of this one (which felt like an eerie child’s primer that had been through some shit), was lucky enough to get a galley, and was delighted by the prose inside. A chorus of slightly-too-wise-for-their-years children dealing with a destructive storm that their parents are too inebriated to care about narrate, and there’s some larger-scale climate metaphors going on that I think the book pulls off even if the landing is a little bumpy.

Non-Fiction

  1. This Is Major, Shayla Lawson
    I still haven’t figured out how this got on my radar, and I almost returned it to the library unread when I couldn’t figure it out, but then I read its first essay about American Girl dolls (and the lack of an African-American one until Addie, a former slave), got hooked and didn’t put it down until it was done. I’d put this in the same category as Roxane Gay’s Bad Feminist or Tressie McMillan Cottom’s Thick — essay collections both specific to the experience of black womanhood and universal in what they explore. This would pair nicely as a fiction/nonfiction thing with Girl Woman Other.

  2. Boom Town, Sam Anderson
    I’m slowly learning to like professional sports by finding the weird and wonderful stories within the large corporate machine that I generally don’t care about. The main source for these are Jon Bois’ delightful videos for Secret Base. Boom Town is like a book version of those videos - it’s about Oklahoma City’s basketball team, but it’s also about the founding of Oklahoma City, the land rush, the 1994 bombing of the city, and so many things in between (like a fun diversion about a Capitalism Museum). It’s a wonderfully perfect blend of high and low culture.

  3. Jesus & John Wayne, Kristin Kobes du Mez
    I got really into reading about the rise and effects of Christian Nationalism within the United States this year. Not everything stuck (I look forward to reading books that cite Taking Back America For God in the future, but it was a bit too dry and I returned it to the library after a few chapters), but Jesus and John Wayne was the perfect starting place for some of the further reading I did (like The Power Worshippers, which has some great on-the-ground reporting from the efforts of the last few years). It’s clear and readable, and traces a great line from the start of the movement through to the bits of Evangelical Culture I remember from the 90s and early 00s.

  4. Can’t Even, Anne Helen Peterson
    I’ve been following AHP from her Scandals of Classic Hollywood days at The Hairpin through to her work both at Buzzfeed, and now at her own newsletter, Culture Study (which is worth a subscription for the “just trust me” links alone). She’s done a great job at taking her doctorate in old hollywood gossip and using that same investigative lens to cover both modern celebrity culture (as in her book Too Fat Too Slutty Too Loud) and larger issues in the world today - she and her partner Charlie Warzel are working on a book about remote work out next year that’s already on my TBR list the second I have a title.

    Her article about millennial burnout last year went viral, and Can’t Even extends from that article to find out the particular whys and hows of the moment we’re in and how it’s hitting more than just millennials. Critics have been all over the place on this one, some coming to the book looking for answers it never promises to have, others that really get what it’s going for in its synthesis of the many sources it cites. I love the points it makes about returning to collective action, and it’s pointed my TBR list in some great directions for further reflection on what that could look like.

  5. Uncanny Valley, Anna Weiner
    As a Person In Tech who has an ever-growing list of Feelings about Startup Culture and Ethics in Technology (the short version of said feelings is that software as a field should have some sort of licensing/code of ethics for its builders and designers similar to medicine or other engineering fields), I also have an ever-growing Goodreads shelf of books talking about this. Anna Weiner’s memoir of a particular slice of early 2010s Bay Area startup culture is so vivid, and her outsider perspective as someone who suddenly realized they were the frog in the boiling pot of water in time to jump. There’s some lovely stylistic choices as well — company names as a whole are largely avoided, but easy to piece together, and her description of an outfit as a “startup twin set” made me audibly cackle as I read it in the park this summer.

november

I've made a little list...

Since November 7th, it’s felt like I’ve had a little piece of my brain back. Watching the radical joy taking place in the Count Every Vote protests in Philly, greedily devouring every Gritty meme, going outside on a beautiful Saturday, hearing people banging pots and pans at the end of the bike path near my apartment, immediately queuing up Martha and the Vandellas’ “Dancing in the Street”. You get the picture. I knew it was just a moment, and that the work needed to continue (and still needs to continue), but for a moment, it felt a little sunnier, and something in my brain unlocked.

I’ve had a bunch of books I’ve picked up this year (or borrowed from my girlfriend) that I’ve tried to start but have just Not Had The Brain To Deal With. And now I’m starting to find all the nuts I’ve stored away for winter, finally ready to crack into them. On that list: Wolf Hall. Hidden Valley Road. Caste. The New Jim Crow and The Color of Law. My reading tends to swing between all-the-nonfiction and all-the-fiction phases, and right now I’m digging into the fiction as a nice warmup for getting back to nonfiction.

recent reads

  • I don’t remember how Shayla Lawson’s This is Major got on my radar, but I’m so glad it did. The description of the book puts it in the company of Roxane Gay and Samantha Irby, and I’d add Tressie McMillan Cottom’s name to that list, too. It opens with a killer essay on American Girl dolls and specifically not wanting Addy as a young black girl, and goes on to discuss the notion of “black girl magic”, the power of a photo of Diana Ross eating a rib, workplace microagressions, and so much more with a sharpness that had me tear through the book in about a day.

  • I read Rumaan Alam’s Leave the World Behind while on vacation last month, and it was fine. I get why people were so hyped about it, but ultimately it didn’t blow me away like I wanted it to. I get why it was in contention for the National Book Award for fiction this year but I’m so glad Charles Yu’s Interior Chinatown got it instead.

  • I mentioned The Man Who Ate Too Much before, but I finally devoured it last week. It’s a fantastic portrait of a foundational figure in American cuisine, and you can tell a food writer wrote it because it nails the general pleasure food can bring (the same reason I love reading Nigella Lawson’s cookbooks) and the way things were changing on the post-war American table.

in progress

  • I can’t figure out what of my usual sources for finding books got me to Plain Bad Heroines, but I’m really digging it. It’s a 610-page doorstopper that’s been surprisingly breezy so far, and there’s a very meta conceit (this is a book about a movie being made based off a non-fiction book about a cursed all-girls school in the 1920s, and it jumps between the actual events and the modern-day adaptation), but the narrator’s voice is so fun.

up ahead

this is the nice part of the year where publishers aren’t really putting out new titles until 2021, so I can both catch up on the things I’ve squirreled away/piled around my apartment AND decimate my to-be-read list with everything the best-of-2020 lists list that I didn’t already have on my radar (looking at you, giant NPR Book Concierge).

Next month: the things I enjoyed reading most this year, whether published in 2020 or before

october

spooky season

it’s spooky season, so I’ve been indulging in scary movies. Well, “scary” movies — 70s and 80s arty stuff where the practical effects are obviously over-the-top (like Dario Argento’s Suspiria and Phenomena, and Halloween III: Season of the Witch), and the sort of maybe-this-was-kind-of-scary-in-the-50s-but-now-it’s-just-campy stuff (like William Castle movies and anything with Vincent Price) is my particular October speed.

Texas Monthly had a wonderful oral history of Wishbone last month that I encourage you all to read. Please picture a tiny Ben pressed against the railing of the third floor of the Mall of America during the mention of the Target/Mall of America event that mentions, because I was there.

Reading that made me think about the tie-in paperback series they had with the show, where books split their time between a (young reader-appropriate) retelling of classic lit mixed in with a modern-day plotline, just like the show. Other things I remember about this series:

  1. Target had them next to the Animorphs books and other trade-paperbacks-for-young-readers series like Goosebumps

  2. There was also totally a flipbook thing in the corner of the pages with Wishbone doing a flip.

I LOVED them and had a decent chunk of them, but I’m also realizing that the Wishbone paperback version of Beowulf (titled, of course, Be a Wolf!) does not count as having actually read Beowulf. Luckily, there’s a new version from Maria Dahvana Headley whose profile in the New Yorker totally grabbed my attention and got me excited to read a version that translates its “Hwaet” as “Bro!”. I really liked what Emily Wilson did in her translation of The Odyssey a few years ago, so I’m excited to dig into this and see another “classic” of the literary canon translated through a more modern lens.

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recent reads

  • I’ve been reading (or at least trying to read, in one case) more about the rise of Christian Nationalism, as someone who grew up in its Evangelical shadow in the Midwest in the 90s. I’ve been a few chapters into The Power Worshippers for months, and while it’s very good, it’s still just academic enough that I have to let it digest and think about what its author is discussing. It’s very good, but also very depressing at times.

    On the other hand, I tore through Jesus and John Wayne, which was an excellent primer AND wove the rise of this particular stream of the right with another favorite topic of mine to read about lately, “are men ok?”. This was exactly my speed, has a great chronological framework, and also does some great analysis in why John Wayne gets held up as a paragon of a particular type of masculinity to boot. AND it’s super accessible! What more can you ask for?

  • On the lighter side of things, I also devoured Natalie Zina Walschotts’ Hench, which creates a world where supervillain henchpeople get booked through temp agencies and follows one such hench’s rise through the ranks, complete with supervillain bosses who care a little too much about your emotional well-being, data-crunching about whether superheroes are actually saving the world, and some general superheroes-have-real-people-problems stuff that reminded me of Soon I Will Become Invincible from a few years ago, The Incredibles, and Doctor Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog.

  • One title I didn’t shred through this last month (though I absolutely wanted to) was Jason Guriel’s Forgotten Work. The description of the book absolutely had my number:

    In the year 2063, on the edge of the Crater formerly known as Montréal, a middle-aged man and his ex's daughter search for a cult hero: the leader of a short-lived band named after a forgotten work of poetry and known to fans through a forgotten work of music criticism.

    I am amazed at how well all of this works. It’s a novel in rhyming couplets! That’s speculative fiction! About music snobs and valuing things because they’re rare rather than whether you like them or not and writing fanfiction on music forums and robot butlers. The book feels like an immaculately-sequenced album that I didn’t want to end, so I stretched out my time with it as much as I could.

in progress

  • It seemed appropriate to follow up one high-concept novel mythologizing a band that never existed with another, so I’m finally digging into David Mitchell’s new novel from earlier this year, Utopia Avenue.

  • I’m going on a long weekend’s vacation down to the cape and resisting the urge to pack All The Books, but in addition to Beowulf and Utopia Avenue (and everything else that’s currently sitting unread on my Kindle), I’m bringing Rumaan Alam’s Leave the World Behind and some PG Wodehouse. The point of this weekend is to get away, and Wodehouse’s Jeeves stories are one of my literary comfort reads. I want to expand into the rest of his back catalog, and thus when Piccadilly Jim popped up in something else I read, I added it to the listt and found a decent used copy.

up ahead

september!

oh my god it's cold outside again i love it

There is a chill in the air and I am so. pumped. about it, y’all. My reading pace for the year had slowed down a few months ago, and then getting together with my significant other every weekend to meet up in a park roughly halfway between our apartments, crack open a few seltzers, and read outside for an hour or so totally helped me re-energize after spending a ton of the spring indoors. I’m hoping for another month of weather like we’ve been having before I start to have to bundle up too much.

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recent reads

  • Remember last month when I told you I was excited to read Anne Helen Petersen’s new book Can’t Even? I had an ARC (the book officially comes out next Tuesday) and it’s so good, y’all. I love that AHP resisted the urge to adjust each chapter for Our Current Pandemic and instead added a note to the front about how that has only made the points the book makes about how we got to a state of generation-wide burnout even clearer. I want to get it for my sister, my co-workers, and anyone else wondering why they’re so tired at the end of the day right now. It doesn’t offer solutions to these feelings, but it does call out how we can team together to push back against their causes as a unified force.

  • Such a Fun Age had been getting a lot of buzz (and its early pickup by one of the morning show book clubs meant it toooook forevvvvvvver for my number to come up for a copy at the library), but it was absolutely worth the wait. The book does a great job of capturing the specific way a Well-Meaning White Person can do more harm than good in more ways than one, and I loved how complex all of the main characters were. There’s some fantastic farce that gets set up in the second third of the book, and I love that it avoided what I thought the most obvious ending would be.

  • Sam Anderson’s Boom Town felt the book equivalent of a Jon Bois youtube miniseries that talks about a sports event (in this case, the rise of the Oklahoma City Thunder) by interweaving it with the weird and wild history of Oklahoma City itself, finding parallels in the founding of the city, development into an actual metropolis, and recovery after the Oklahoma City bombing.

  • Book of the Month had Piranesi (which I was looking forward to last month) as an add-on title, so I used an extra credit I had to pick that up alongside one of their main five books for this month, Transcendent Kingdom, largely off of a rave review from Roxane Gay on GoodReads. Both were so good, y’all! Both are around 250 pages (which is the right size for my level of focus at the moment), and I had to physically put both down so that I wouldn’t just devour them in one sitting. I still began AND finished both over the weekend.

    They’re very different books - Piranesi is a twisty, unreliable narrator sort of fantasy thing, and I loved feeling one step ahead of our storyteller in terms of understanding what was going on. Plus, its descriptions of The House, this seemingly infinite structure where he resides, were so vivid and lush. Totally page-turning once you realize what’s going on.

    Transcendent Kingdom is realistic contemporary fiction, spotlighting a character reacting to the loss of her brother to drugs as a teenager and her mother’s subsequent depression, and how she continues processes that both through her work as a doctoral student studying addiction, and as someone trying to reconcile the evangelical church they were brought up in.

    I hadn’t read Yaa Gyasi’s previous (similarly raved-about) book, Homegoing, but it’s getting added to my list based on how much this surprised me. Similarly, I had picked up Susanna Clarke’s only previous novel, Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell when Amazon had it for $1.99, and it might end up being a big winter project since it’s a much more massive novel than Piranesi was.

in progress

  • The Gone World recently popped up on my radar since it was listed alongside other twisty, genre-defying books that I like and was one of the only titles I haven’t read. That’s also on my nightstand of books to get to in the next few weeks.

up ahead

  • I got PBS Passport for a year as a self-Birthday gift, and in addition to watching (or, in the case of Country Music, re-watching) all of the Ken Burns documentaries I can get my hands on, I’ve been watching a bunch of the one-hour American Masters and Independent Lens documentaries. One of the ones available was on James Beard, who I recognized as a name that gets thrown around a lot when talking about the contestants on Top Chef, but didn’t actually know a lot about the man himself. That wet my appetite enough that I’m looking forward to getting a fuller biography in John Birdsall’s The Man Who Ate Too Much, out October 6.

  • ALSO out on the sixth is the next book from Stuart Turton, who wrote The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle, which I think I’ve recommended to everyone at this point. Anyways, the new one’s called The Devil and the Dark Water, it involves piracy and a mystery on the high seas, and I’m hoping it’s as twisty and clever as his first novel.

  • ALSO ALSO out on the sixth: V.E. Schwab’s new book The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue. Tor published the first few chapters for free as a taster and I’ve been excited since I read that while on vacation last month. Here’s the description:

    France, 1714: in a moment of desperation, a young woman makes a Faustian bargain to live forever and is cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets.

    Thus begins the extraordinary life of Addie LaRue, and a dazzling adventure that will play out across centuries and continents, across history and art, as a young woman learns how far she will go to leave her mark on the world.

    But everything changes when, after nearly 300 years, Addie stumbles across a young man in a hidden bookstore and he remembers her name.”

  • In Books Not Out On October 6 News, Ben Schott has written another Jeeves novel in homage to P.G. Wodehouse, Jeeves and the Leap of Faith, and based on how delightful the previous one he wrote was (it adds a little bit of a spy element to otherwise spot-on Jeeves/Bertie antics) I’ll be picking it up as soon as it’s out (October 13)

too many (true crime) books

wait, again? already?

So: I had planned this to be a monthly thing, but then between Elon Green publishing an AWESOME article on the whiteness of the true crime genre over the weekend, PLUS looking at the GoodReads reviews of The Third Rainbow Girl (which I finished and really liked) and getting irritated for similar reasons, apparently you’re getting a second newsletter in as many weeks?

FIRST: go read Elon’s article. I’ll wait. I don’t really have anything to add there other than that it made me want to more closely keep an eye on the authors and subjects the true crime media I consume.

I never really got into Serial, the podcast that started the current true crime podcast “boom”, but I’ve enjoyed other similar shows that take an investigative approach in explaining both what happened and explains the reason why the person producing the show is drawn to the case. It’s the same with true crime books - for the most part, I don’t just want a breakdown of the case that paints the victim as a tragic figure and walks through the timeline up until their death; I want a more analytical perspective that looks at the legacy a case has had, either on the community it affected, the writer currently writing about it, or (ideally) both.

The Third Rainbow Girl hit the sweet spot for me on that - I LOVE the way it starts with a numbered section called “True Things” that essentially acts as a thumbnail sketch of the book that follows. The rest of the book alternates between telling the story of the case and pursuit of the killer, and the story of the author’s time in the area, where the shadow of the case directly informs the lives of the people the author interacts with, and a few of her relationships over the course of her time working there.

Reading through the reviews of the book on GoodReads (which I won’t link to here, but I trust you to Google if you’re interested), it’s clear that there’s a second audience of readers who Do Not Think This Book is True Crime. There aren’t enough details of the case! The author spends too much time talking about themself! There’s no closure for the families!

If you’re looking to get into the mind of a killer and read fawning passages of the Beautiful White Victims Whose Lives Were Cut Too Short, this book is not going to be for you. But if that’s what you’re looking for from true crime, I think that’s a problem! There’s a whole podcast, My Favorite Murder, that makes glib content out of the gory details of these cases without any real analysis. Rachel Monroe (whose fantastic Savage Appetites gets namechecked in Elon’s article) wrote a great takedown of this perpective in reviewing the show’s book Stay Sexy and Don’t Get Murdered. She (and Elon AND Emma Copley Eisenberg) are also part of the new Unspeakable Acts anthology pulled together by Sarah Weinman, which also got mentioned in Green’s article. That collection’s goal is perhaps a bit too lofty, but it mostly succeeds at showing a greater picture of what true crime reporting can be.

Better True Crime Media And You

True Crime Books I Didn’t Already List Above That You Should Read Because I Told You to Check Them Out

  • Say Nothing, Patrick Radden Keefe
    Compulsively readable, this gives a wonderful crash course in The Troubles (which I once heard a coworker struggle to remember the name of and call “the irish bad times”), the IRA, and a fascinating missing-persons case that ends with checking a bunch of oral history records in Boston

  • The Queen, Josh Levin
    There is so. much. more. to the story of Linda Taylor, the woman Ronald Reagan as the prototypical “welfare queen”. That sobriquet is the tip of the iceberg in a life full of murder, fraud, and kidnapping.

  • Furious Hours, Casey Cep
    Cep is one of my favorite writers currently at the New Yorker, and while I would have loved a version of this book that braided together the three narratives at its center (Reverend Willie Maxwell, who was accused of killing up to 5 of his family members in a massive insurance fraud racket; the lawyer who represented Maxwell; and Harper Lee, who followed the trial and acquittal of Maxwell’s eventual assassin while attempting to write a follow-up to To Kill A Mockingbird), the book we got tells these stories compellingly.

True Crime Podcasts That Are About More Than Just Serial Killers and Also Aren’t Serial

  • In The Dark
    In terms of true crime podcasts, you can’t do much better than In The Dark. I tuned into season 1 because it masterfully covered what went wrong in the attempt to locate Jacob Wetterling (a case I grew up in the shadow of in Minnesota) and the effect it had on the way we handle missing children’s cases, and season 2 blew things open in the case of Curtis Flowers, who had been convicted of a murder where the pieces don’t quite add up six. separate. times.

  • Running From Cops
    This is from the team and creator that made Finding Richard Simmons, which ended in a gross and exploitative place, but two seasons later, this does a masterful job of explaining how COPS (the tv show) changed cops (the profession) in a bad way.

  • You’re Wrong About
    This is probably my current favorite podcast and I’ve probably already talked about it at you if we’ve been in conversation about books or podcasts in the last year and a half and I apologize, but it’s also SO. DANG. GOOD. at revisiting figures and stories from the past that have had one media narrative that’s become the official word on things where revisiting it shows waaaaaaay more nuance and a lot of ways we’ve been generally shitty to the narratives of people who aren’t straight white dudes.

  • The Dream
    This one’s sort of pushing the boundaries of what counts as “true crime”, but I’m pretty sure that’s what this whole newsletter issue is about, so please go listen to Jane Marie break down MLM companies (in season 1) and the “wellness” industry (in season 2) to show what they’re really selling.

The comments, as always, are open - give me your good true crime (and other) recent reads.

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