Waiting On… Eight Non-Fiction Books I Can’t Wait To Read In 2019

Waiting On Wednesday is a regular feature on Pop! Goes The Reader in which I highlight forthcoming titles I’m particularly excited about and looking forward to. This weekly event is hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine.

Before Pop! Goes The Reader was launched back in June 2013, there were few genres I read more extensively than non-fiction. While I’ve subconsciously chosen to read considerably less of this genre in the ensuing years, both because Pop! Goes The Reader focuses first and foremost on young adult and middle grade fiction and because I find it genuinely difficult to review non-fiction titles in an objective and helpful way, I’ve recently rediscovered my love of the genre in 2018 and have read little else lately. As a quick aside, I highly recommend Black Dahlia, Red Rose: America’s Most Notorious Crime Solved For The First Time by Piu Marie Eatwell, I’ll Be Gone In The Dark: One Woman’s Obsessive Search For The Golden State Killer by Michelle McNamara, Columbine by Dave Cullen, We Have Your Daughter: The Unsolved Murder of Jonbenet Ramsey Twenty Years Later by Paula Woodward and The Real Lolita: The Kidnapping of Sally Horner and The Novel That Scandalized The World by Sarah Weinman, all of which I’ve read (and loved) this year!

Because I’ve been reading so much of this genre lately, I thought it might be fun to take a quick peek at Goodreads to see if any new and/or upcoming non-fiction books caught my attention, and was delighted to discover a handful I’m really looking forward to in 2019. I’m thrilled to share that list of books with you today, and can only hope you’ll discover at least one book in this post that you’re excited about, too!

Publication Date May 7th 2019 by Hachette Books
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What do Adam Sandler, Donald Trump, and South Park have in common? Why are myths like “reverse sexism” and “political correctness” so seductive? And why do movie classics of yore, from Sixteen Candles to Revenge Of The Nerds, make rape look like so much silly fun? With Lindy West’s signature wit and in her uniquely incendiary voice, The Witches Are Coming lays out a grand theory of America that explains why Trump’s election was, in many ways, a foregone conclusion.

As West reveals through fascinating journeys across the landscapes of pop culture, the lies that fostered the catastrophic resentment that boiled over in the 2016 presidential race did not spring from a vacuum. They have in fact been woven into America’s DNA, cultivated by generations of mediocre white men and fed to the masses with such fury that we have become unable to recognize them as lies at all.

Whether it be the notion overheard since the earliest moments of the #MeToo movement that feminism has gone too far or the insistence that holding someone accountable for his actions amounts to a “witch hunt,” The Witches Are Coming exposes the lies that many have chosen to believe and the often unexpected figures who have furthered them. Along the way, it unravels the tightening link between culture and politics, identifying in the memes, music, and movies we’ve loved the seeds of the neoreactionary movement now surging through the nation.

Sprawling, funny, scorching, and illuminating, The Witches Are Coming shows West at the top of her intellectual and comic powers. As much a celebration of America’s potential as a condemnation of our failures, some will call it a witch hunt. To which West would reply, so be it: “I’m a witch and I’m hunting you.”




Publication Date March 5th 2019 by Hanover Square Press
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As a teenager, Mallory O’Meara was thrilled to discover that one of her favorite movies, The Creature From The Black Lagoon, featured a monster designed by a woman, Milicent Patrick. But for someone who should have been hailed as a pioneer in the genre, there was little information available. For, as O’Meara soon discovered, Patrick’s contribution had been claimed by a jealous male colleague, her career had been cut short and she soon after had disappeared from film history. No one even knew if she was still alive.

As a young woman working in the horror film industry, O’Meara set out to right the wrong, and in the process discovered the full, fascinating story of an ambitious, artistic woman ahead of her time. Patrick’s contribution to special effects proved to be just the latest chapter in a remarkable, unconventional life, from her youth growing up in the shadow of Hearst Castle, to her career as one of Disney’s first female animators. And at last, O’Meara discovered what really had happened to Patrick after The Creature’s success, and where she went.

A true-life detective story and a celebration of a forgotten feminist trailblazer, Mallory O’Meara’s The Lady From The Black Lagoon establishes Patrick in her rightful place in film history while calling out a Hollywood culture where little has changed since.




Publication Date April 9th 2019 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
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Five devastating human stories and a dark and moving portrait of Victorian London — the untold lives of the women killed by Jack the Ripper.

Polly, Annie, Elizabeth, Catherine and Mary-Jane are famous for the same thing, though they never met. They came from Fleet Street, Knightsbridge, Wolverhampton, Sweden, and Wales. They wrote ballads, ran coffee houses, lived on country estates, they breathed ink-dust from printing presses and escaped people-traffickers.

What they had in common was the year of their murders: 1888. The person responsible was never identified, but the character created by the press to fill that gap has become far more famous than any of these five women.

For more than a century, newspapers have been keen to tell us that “the Ripper” preyed on prostitutes. Not only is this untrue, as historian Hallie Rubenhold has discovered, it has prevented the real stories of these fascinating women from being told. Now, in this devastating narrative of five lives, Rubenhold finally sets the record straight, revealing a world not just of Dickens and Queen Victoria, but of poverty, homelessness and rampant misogyny. They died because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time — but their greatest misfortune was to be born a woman.




Publication Date March 5th 2019 by Viking
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A gripping account of the unsolved death of an Indigenous teenager, and the detective determined to find her killer, set against the backdrop of a troubled city.

On August 17, 2014, the body of fifteen-year old runaway Tina Fontaine was found in Winnipeg’s Red River. It was wrapped in material and weighted down with rocks. Red River Girl is a gripping account of that murder investigation and the unusual police detective who pursued the killer with every legal means at his disposal. The book, like the movie Spotlight, will chronicle the behind-the-scenes stages of a lengthy and meticulously planned investigation. It reveals characters and social tensions that bring vivid life to a story that made national headlines.

Award-winning BBC reporter and documentary maker Joanna Jolly delves into the troubled life of Tina Fontaine, the half-Ojibway, half-Cree murder victim, starting with her childhood on the Sagkeeng First Nation Reserve. Tina’s journey to the capital city is a harrowing one, culminating in drug abuse, sexual exploitation, and death.

Aware of the reality of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, Jolly has chronicled Tina Fontaine’s life as a reminder that she was more than a statistic. Raised by her father, and then by her great-aunt, Tina was a good student. But the violent death of her father hit Tina hard. She ran away, was found and put into the care of Child and Family Services, which she also sought to escape from. That choice left her in danger.

Red River Girl focuses not on the grisly event itself, but on the efforts to seek justice. In December 2015, the police charged Raymond Cormier, a drifter, with second-degree murder. Jolly’s book will cover the trial, which resulted in an acquittal. The verdict caused dismay across the country.

The book is not only a true crime story, but a portrait of a community where Indigenous women are disproportionately more likely to be hurt or killed. Jolly asks questions about how Indigenous women, sex workers, community leaders, and activists are fighting back to protect themselves and change perceptions. Most importantly, the book will chronicle whether Tina’s family will find justice.




Publication Date January 29th 2019 by Thomas Nelson
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What is it like to learn that your ordinary, loving father is a serial killer? Kerri Rawson, the daughter of the notorious serial killer known as BTK (Bind, Torture, Kill), tells the nightmarish story of that discovery and of her long journey of faith and healing.

In 2005, Dennis Rader confessed without remorse to the murders of ten people, including two children — acts that destroyed seven families and wrecked countless lives in the process. As the town of Wichita, Kansas, celebrated the end of a thirty-one-year nightmare, another was just beginning for his daughter, Kerri Rawson.

Suffering from unexplainable night terrors for much of her childhood and young adult years, Kerri was unaware of her father’s crimes until the FBI knocked on her apartment door, plunging Kerri into a black hole of horror and disbelief. Her dad had been leading a double life. The same man who had been a loving father, devoted husband, church president, Boy Scout leader, and public servant had been using his family as a cover for his heinous crimes since before she was born.

Telling her story with candor and courage, Kerri writes for all who carry unhealed wounds and who struggle to protect themselves and their families from the crippling effects of violence, betrayal, anger, and loss. A Serial Killer’s Daughter is an intimate and honest exploration of life with one of America’s most notorious serial killers. For anyone grappling with how to forgive the unforgivable, rebuild lives in the shadow of death, and hold on to sanity in the midst of madness, Kerri’s story will shock, astound, and ultimately encourage.




Publication Date April 2nd 2019 by Skyhorse
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It’s 2004 and twentysomething Amy Roe is living by herself in Portland, Oregon, with few friends, little money, and no job. It’s not her year. With lots of free time on her hands, she remembers watching the Boston Marathon years ago and, inspired by that memory, decides to join a marathon training group, hoping that running 26.2 miles will give her something show for an otherwise entirely unproductive time in her life. A few months later, she crosses the finish line but is far from a Boston qualifying-time.

But Amy has caught the marathon bug, and is determined to qualify for Boston, even if it’s just as a squeaker, a runner who just manages a BQ time. Eleven marathons later, and Amy finally squeaks by, signing up for the 2011 Boston Marathon. She completes it, qualifying again for the following year, and then again for 2013, the fated year of the Boston Marathon Bombing. Due to an injury, Amy crosses the 2013 finish line in a little over four hours, minutes before the bombs goes off. Her world is forever changed as she is shaken to her core.

Becoming Boston Strong is Amy’s journey of falling in love with the Boston Marathon and its community, for better or for worse. It chronicles the ups and downs of her training, delving into the mystical appeal of the greatest marathon in the world and how it attracts those who return to it year after year. Hilarious and heartfelt, Becoming Boston Strong is for every person who ever dreamed of belonging to something bigger than themselves.




Publication Date March 12th 2019 by Random House
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I’m running to forget, and to remember.

Katie Arnold learned early how her legs had the ability to carry her away to where no one could catch her. Scrappy and adventurous as a child, Katie moved between suburban New Jersey, where she lived with her mother, and rural Virginia, which her elusive father, David, a National Geographic photographer, called home.

Later, Katie chased her dreams to Santa Fe, where she became a writer for Outside Magazine. By her mid-thirties she had the world on a string. Katie relished the life she and her husband built for their growing family among the rivers and mountains of New Mexico. But after welcoming her second daughter, Katie received shocking news: Her father had been diagnosed with terminal cancer. Three months later, he was gone.

In the aftermath, Katie slid into a dark hole of anxiety and panic, while a stream of if-onlys looped through her mind: If only I hadn’t waited to get married and have babies, if only I lived closer. She tried every means to stanch her fear, but the only remedy that worked was running long distances alone through the wilderness. Then on New Year’s Eve, a year after her father’s death, Katie found herself making a startling resolution: to train for and run a 50k trail race.

Running Home traces Katie’s journey to outrun her grief over thirty-two miles of rugged terrain, mourning the father she lost and grieving for the man she never knew, while learning to let go. Clocking miles across mesas and mountains, from one side of the Grand Canyon to the other, Katie redefined her relationship to fear, motherhood, and running itself. This memoir is inspiring reading for anyone knocked over by life, who has struggled to put one foot in front of the other to find the right path forward.




Publication Date February 26th 2019 by Seal Press
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An eye-opening look at Little Women author Louisa May Alcott’s time as a Civil War nurse, and the far-reaching implications her service had on her writing and her activism

Louisa on the Frontlines is the first narrative nonfiction book focusing on the least-known aspect of Louisa May Alcott’s career – her time spent as a nurse during the Civil War. Though her service was brief, the dramatic experience was one that she considered pivotal in helping her write the beloved classic Little Women. It also deeply affected her tenuous relationship with her father, and inspired her commitment to abolitionism. Through it all, she kept a journal and wrote letters to her family and friends. These letters were published in the newspaper, and her subsequent book, Hospital Sketches spotlighted the dire conditions of the military hospitals and the suffering endured by the wounded soldiers she cared for. To this day, her work is considered a pioneering account of military nursing.

Alcott’s time as an Army nurse in the Civil War helped her find her authentic voice – and cemented her foundational belief system. Louisa On The Frontlines reveals the emergence of this prominent feminist and abolitionist – a woman whose life and work has inspired millions and continues to do so today,




Now it’s your turn! Are there any books being published in 2019 that you’re particularly excited about? Let me know in the comments – I would love to hear from you!

2 responses to “Waiting On… Eight Non-Fiction Books I Can’t Wait To Read In 2019”

  1. Amanda says:

    A new Lindy West!! Honestly I now want to read all of these – but hers I am most excited for!

    I can’t think too far ahead except for Christina June’s No Place Like Here!
    Amanda recently posted…Review: The Dinner ListMy Profile

  2. Susan Adrian says:

    Wow, THE FIVE looks fascinating!

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