As the summer winds down and the fall air moves in, society is likewise making a transition. After a stressful spring and a tentative summer with the pandemic, and schools debating whether or not to reopen, we all need to take a breather (safely of course. Don’t go to a Halloween bash. Least of all without a mask.) Luckily, as there are beach reads for your socially-distanced summer, there are bed reads for your socially distant fall. Here’s a list of some topical books that are sure to both entertain, educate, or, in the case of one, scare you.
As calls for racial justice grow ever louder, and America grapples with its past, here is a (true!) tale of the Black women who sent a man to the moon. You may be more familiar with the film adaptation, starring Taraji P. Henson of Empire fame, but this book delves into the lives and families of Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, and the other computers of what would become NASA, and their struggles and successes in a field dominated by white men.
"This book almost didn’t see the light of day,” its website touts, and from the constant legal battles concerning its publication, is more than just hyperbole. This little book of horrors, written by Trump’s ex-fixer, Michael Cohen, details his life and career with President Trump, right up to the election and after. The book offers salacious details, such as the infamous “golden showers”, a “Faux-Bama” that Trump hired to fire, and what could be almost construed as a twisted family dynamic between the President and his former friend. It’s horrifying and entertaining, a trainwreck in literary form.
Speaking of twisted family dynamics, ever wondered about the lore behind the biggest-hit-then-miss of the decade? Mostly centering on the books version of Westeros (thank you Martin for not being D&D), this is the book that was hyped up to be the full compendium of the Targaryen dynasty, starting from their humble roots in Valyria to conquerors to a fallen dynasty. This book is a door-stopper, so make sure to take breaks to rage at HBO’s mishandling of what could have been a spectacular series finale.
As we wait for the release of the next season of The Crown and reevaluate our perspective of the British Royal Family (Prince Andrew, Megxit, colonialism), here’s an autobiography from the perspective of one of the Queen’s ladies-in-waiting, Anne Glenconner. Detailing her life in the nobility and her family’s ties to the royal family, this book provides a fascinating look at one of the world’s most famous families-as well as tiding us over until we can see Olivia Colman on screen again.