As the saying goes, knowledge is power. With so much going on in the world regarding politics, the environment, and, most pressingly, the pandemic, it’s hard to stay up to date with what’s happening. The U.S. Book Show not only recognized this but hosted a panel featuring 8 of the hottest books about Current Affairs soon to hit the shelves. With topics ranging from science and unconscious bias to election fraud, the following Current Affairs picks from the U.S. Book Show are sure to strike a chord.
Content Warning: The Least of Us: True Tales of America and Hope in the Age of Fentanyl and Meth discusses drug addiction and the opioid crisis in America. The Power of Women: Learning from Resilience to Heal Our World discusses sexual assault and violence.
A Bigger Picture: My Fight to Bring a New African Voice to the Climate Crisis by Vanessa Nakate
Written by climate justice activist Vanessa Nakate, A Bigger Picture centers around Nakate’s experience leading the climate movement in Uganda. More specifically, Nakate details the ways she has been overlooked as a climate activist from Africa. A Bigger Picture also explores the way the global south has been ignored in the climate conversation worldwide. Even though it is her debut memoir, A Bigger Picture speaks to the necessity of diversity within the climate justice and social justice movements from Nakate’s personal point of view. Perfect for anyone invested in global issues and memoir-style stories, A Bigger Picture: My Fight to Bring a New African Voice to the Climate Crisis is on sale on November 2, 2021. You can find more information here.
The End of Bias: A Beginning: The Science and Practice of Overcoming Unconscious Bias by Jessica Nordell
Jessica Nordell applies her studies in cognitive science and psychology to The End of Bias. Dealing with the prominent issue of implicit bias and the harm it’s caused in American society, Nordell goes beyond recognizing implicit bias and provides solutions on how to truly eradicate bias from society. The End of Bias analyzes the effectiveness of diversity training, schooling techniques and specialized training within police forces to reduce forceful attacks against Black and brown Americans. The End of Bias is a topical, scientific approach to a topic that is mystified within the media. The End of Bias: A Beginning: The Science and Practice of Overcoming Unconscious Bias releases on September 21, 2021. You can find more information here.
Learning in Public: Lessons for a Racially Divided America from My Daughter’s School by Courtney E. Martin
One-part introspective memoir and one-part critical analysis of bias, Learning in Public asks questions about how families navigate school choice, and the way race and politics play into that. Courtney E. Martin reflects on her own experience living in Oakland, California and how she used public schools in her neighborhood as a way to learn more about racial biases in America. Martin approaches activism by appealing to parents and community members who are unaware of how deep racial divides go, making her story applicable nationwide and to all readers. Learning in Public: Lessons for a Racially Divided America from My Daughter’s School hits shelves on August 3, 2021. You can find more information here.
The Least of Us: True Tales of America and Hope in the Age of Fentanyl and Meth by Sam Quinones
Best known for his 2015 book Dreamland, Sam Quinones explores the next devastating stage of the opioid epidemic: synthetic drugs. The Least of Us follows Quinones as he tracks the danger and widespread distribution of fentanyl while methamphetamine only dropped in price, creating a perfect storm for more drug problems across the country. Quinones speaks to the power of community against the predatory corporations that push addiction. The Least of Us is intended for mature readers who are interested in stories of truth from addiction survivors and how the opioid crisis has continued to rampage. The Least of Us: True Tales of America and Hope in the Age of Fentanyl and Meth releases on October 12, 2021. You can find more information here.
The Power of Women: Learning from Resilience to Heal Our World by Dr. Denis Mukwege
Renowned doctor and human rights activist Dr. Denis Mukwege tackles the prominence of sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo and other countries that have experienced Western colonization. Dr. Mukwege incorporates survivor stories with his own research from nations around the world, piecing together the connection between global politics and the violence that occurs against women. The Power of Women advocates for safer spaces for men and women, serving as a powerful invitation to include women in economic and political situations, as their resilience is necessary to society. The Power of Women is recommended for mature readers who are curious about the nuances of war and the economy in social and gender dynamics. The Power of Women: Learning from Resilience to Heal Our World will be available on November 2, 2021. You can find more information here.
Refugee High: Coming of Age in America by Elly Fishman
An exploration of Roger C. Sullivan High School in Chicago, Refugee High is an intimate look into the lives of refugee and immigrant students in America during the 2017-2018 school year. In 2017, anti-immigration rhetoric was promoted massively by the White House, and Elly Fishman strives to explore how this rhetoric impacted the students, teachers and administration of Roger C. Sullivan High School. Refugee High not only includes testimonies and glimpses into the lives of students, but raises questions about how the public education system is equipped to help refugee and immigrant students and parents. This book is recommended for readers who enjoy personal stories and their connection to national systems. Refugee High: Coming of Age in America hits shelves on August 10, 2021. You can find more information here.
Until I Am Free: Fannie Lou Hamer’s Enduring Message to America by Keisha Blain
Kesha Blain’s Until I Am Free combines biography, history and social commentary into one book. Centered around American civil rights leader Fannie Lou Hamer, Until I Am Free delves into Hamer’s influence both in her time and in the modern day, and what present social justice advocates can learn from her philosophies. Blain expertly combines Hamer’s life stories with messages from her activism, making Until I Am Free a versatile and timely read for those interested in politics, history and social justice, as well as untold stories. Until I Am Free: Fannie Lou Hamer’s Enduring Message to America releases on October 5, 2021. You can find more information here.
The Vote Collectors: The True Story of the Scamsters, Politicians, and Preachers Behind the Nation’s Greatest Electoral Fraud by Michael Graff and Nick Ochsner
On the heels of one of the most volatile presidential elections in recent memory, The Vote Collectors is a pointed look at the 2018 congressional election in North Carolina’s Bladen County. The 2018 election of Mark Harris in North Carolina’s 9th District staved off a “blue wave” in the state, causing questions of legitimacy, specifically in Bladen County. The Vote Collectors uses this story to explore the weakness of current voting systems, specifically in the South, given the historical scars of racism in elections and voting rights. Michael Graff and Nick Ochsner take a closer look at how voting fraud via absentee ballots occurred in Bladen County, speaking to the importance of local elections and destruction of democracy in this instance. The Vote Collectors is recommended for readers interested in politics and American history, as well as the intersection of voting rights. The Vote Collectors: The True Story of the Scamsters, Politicians, and Preachers behind the Nation’s Greatest Electoral Fraud comes out on November 16, 2021. You can find more information here.
Featured Image via Unsplash.