I much prefer fiction over non-fiction, but every once in awhile, I do pick up a non-fiction book. They tend to be memoirs or books written like fiction - I'm not big on historical tomes - but here are a few I've read in recent months!
- Girl Walks out of a Bar by Lisa F. Smith (Memoir): This book was recommended to me by a law firm partner who wondered if I'd ever encountered something like this as an associate. The profession is certainly one that is marred by alcoholism and drug abuse, but I had no first- or even second-hand experience with it. It never surprised me that the stress of the work could lead someone to this life, but I wondered how it could be possible to get the work done while struggling with addiction. This book helps show the fine line between drinking and drug-use as a vehicle for enjoying a good time after working so hard and spiraling out of control.
- The Fact of a Body by Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich (True Crime): This a non-fiction memoir/true crime book about Ricky Langley, a known child molester sentenced to death in Louisiana, and the Harvard 1L (the author) who learns about his case. The case causes the author – herself a survivor of childhood molestation – to learn more about the defendant, as well as to delve more deeply into her own family’s history. The author is honest about her own destructive coping mechanisms and how her experiences made it difficult for her to see Mr. Langley as someone deserving of mercy (and in turn how feeling that way made her question her worth as an attorney).
- How Not to Get Shot and Other Advice From White People by D.L. Hughley (humor): While Hughley is a comedian, and he definitely puts a comic twist on the topics covered in this book - the underlying narrative is that Black lives in this country are consistently and persistently under attack. I read this at the same time as Biased by Dr. Jennifer Eberhardt - which focuses on the need for discussions about implicit bias. The two books cover much of the same landscape, with Eberhardt approaching it from a scientific analytical perspective, and Hughley just putting out the cold hard reality of it all. I appreciated having both presentations simultaneously - and highly recommend both books for accessing issues that are ever-present but often difficult to find the words to talk about.