STARRED REVIEW
September 2021

Book Clubs: September 2021

Feature by

These four provocative nonfiction books offer fresh perspectives on our nation.

STARRED REVIEW
September 2021

Book Clubs: September 2021

Feature by

These four provocative nonfiction books offer fresh perspectives on our nation.

September 2021

Book Clubs: September 2021

Feature by

These four provocative nonfiction books offer fresh perspectives on our nation.

Share this Article:

These four provocative nonfiction books offer fresh perspectives on our nation.

A first-rate collection of essays gathered from Southern Living and Garden & Gun magazines, Where I Come From: Stories From the Deep South by beloved memoirist Rick Bragg provides unique insights into the author’s corner of America. In these brief but powerful pieces, Bragg’s curiosity ranges far and wide as he reflects upon personal interests (pickup trucks, Southern cuisine, country music) and more universal matters (race and religion). Offering a kaleidoscopic look at the contemporary South, this colorful compilation is sure to inspire rousing discussions. 

David Gessner takes readers on an unforgettable tour of the nation’s monuments and parks in Leave It As It Is: A Journey Through Theodore Roosevelt’s American Wilderness. Gessner gives an overview of the life and conservation work of Theodore Roosevelt and also shows how that work remains significant today as he visits Yellowstone National Park, the Grand Canyon and other sites. Subjects such as environmentalism and the future of public lands will get book clubs talking, and Gessner’s humor and incisive observations make him a wonderful traveling companion.

In Looking for Miss America: A Pageant’s 100-Year Quest to Define Womanhood, Margot Mifflin delivers a fascinating historical survey of the Miss America pageant. Using the contest as a gauge of the advancement of women in America, Mifflin traces its evolution from a tourist attraction in Atlantic City in 1921 to a scholarship contest 100 years later. Her brisk, spirited narrative will entertain readers even as it presents fruitful material for discussion, with topics as wide-ranging as the #MeToo movement and the role of pageants in society.

Ojibwe author David Treuer gives a fresh account of Native American history in The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee: Native America from 1890 to the Present. Blending history and reportage with personal narrative, Treuer sets out to show that, contrary to the story told in books such as Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, Indigenous culture was not destroyed in the late 19th century. Rather, it is still alive and vibrant today. Authoritative yet accessible, his book is rich in talking points, including contemporary depictions of Native Americans in popular culture and the impact of the American Indian Movement.

Review By

Get the Books

Where I Come From

Where I Come From

By Rick Bragg
Vintage
ISBN 9780593310809
Leave It as It Is

Leave It as It Is

By David Gessner
Simon & Schuster
ISBN 9781982105051
Looking for Miss America

Looking for Miss America

By Margot Mifflin
Counterpoint
ISBN 9781640094901
The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee

The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee

By David Treuer
Riverhead
ISBN 9780399573194

Sign Up

Stay on top of new releases: Sign up for our enewsletters to receive reading recommendations in your favorite genres.

Recent Features

Sign Up

Sign up to receive reading recommendations in your favorite genres!