Betches may receive a portion of revenue if you click a link and purchase a product or service. The links are independently placed and do not influence editorial content.
Whether you’re shopping for the political nerd on your holiday gifting list or just need an engaging holiday read for yourself, we have the perfect list of reads for anyone who wants to unplug (but only kind of). We’ve curated casually enriching picks from reflections on Nancy Pelosi’s career to a sexy politico-adjacent novel to Michelle Obama’s latest basket of affirmations. And if you can’t get enough of the Betches Sup podcast, we included a pick from each of the hosts so you know it’s a recommendation you can trust.
Bestie is back! Michelle Obama’s second book hit shelves earlier this month—need I say more? I will, just in case you don’t also stare longingly at your copy of Becoming every day wishing you could read it again for the first time. In the follow-up the former First Lady gives advice on navigating our ever-changing selves, relationships, and uncertain times. Inject it into my veins, Michelle.
The first woman to lead a political party in Congress is stepping down from her role this year to usher in the next generation of Democratic leaders. In her time as Speaker, Pelosi oversaw two impeachments, landmark legislation including the Affordable Care Act, and made history by vocalizing her wishes to punch the 45th president in the face. In her 2021 book Susan Page, Washington DC Bureau Chief for USA Today, recounts over 150 interviews with people close to the trailblazing Speaker of the House, as well as a series of interviews with Pelosi herself, shedding light on her life and impact on American politics.
I hate to break it to you, but it is a matter of weeks before we are full-on launched into the drama of another presidential election marathon season and Ali Vitali’s Electable should be required reading for every voter, candidate and campaign director. Reflecting on her time reporting on the ground during the 2020 Democratic primary where a record number of women ran for office and none clinched the party’s nomination, Vitali examines the idea of “electability” and how it intersects with gender, race, and the accepted ideologies of power in America.
Writer and fashion editor Danielle Prescod has used her platform to call for change in predominantly white spaces in the fashion industry, and in her new memoir Token Black Girl she reflects on her experiences growing up in Westchester, New York. She recounts being both ridiculed and used as an asset simply for being in the same space as her white peers, and the effect that has had on her own self image. Prescod says the mission of the book is “taking back some ownership by being like, “Fine, you wanna make me a token? No problem. But you’ll also hear from me.”
Tara Westover was born into a survivalist family in the mountains of Idaho, raised largely off the grid from the rest of society. At the age of 17 she decided to go to school for the first time and pursue education all the way to earning a PhD from Cambridge University. It has been labeled as one of the best books of our time, plus everyone I know hasn’t stopped talking about it for at least two years.
According to Amazon, Dahlia Lithwick’s Lady Justice dramatizes the stories of the women lawyers who were influential in stymying the impacts of the Trump administration years. Drawing on experiences from people like former acting Attorney General Sally Yates who stood in the way of the Muslim travel ban, Roberta Kaplan who sued the neo-Nazis who marched in Charlottesville, VA, and Stacey Abrams who fought to protect the right to vote in Georgia, Lithwick recounts the heroes of four troubling years in recent American history.
Betches co-founder Sami Sage loves this one because it feels like it’s Gossip Girl but set in D.C. politics. It’s the perfect vacation read—think: Old money, drama, social satire, political backstabbings and more. It’s all the makings of a page-turner you won’t be able to put down.
In Grant Ginder’s follow-up to People We Hate At The Wedding, the author somehow finds a setting more political than a wedding: a senatorial campaign. Nancy is a congresswoman running for Senate while her adult children navigate love and life in New York and Paris before running into some VERY serious trouble. A fun escape with knowing winks to politics with dynamic female characters that keeps you guessing, and the pick of Amanda Duberman, Betches’ Editorial Director of News and Activism (aka the brains behind your fav Insta account).
In this smart rom-com, Olga, a wedding planner for Manhattan’s elite, finds her own love story amidst navigating her personal ambition, family secrets and Puerto Rican roots in the wake of Hurricane Maria. Bridging political corruption, family and of course romance, Olga Dies Dreaming is the perfect read for anyone looking for a funny and thoughtful story that questions the very idea of the American dream. It’s Alise Morales’ top pick, so you know you can’t go wrong.
Our Sup podcast host Kaitlin Byrd reviewed this one for The Cut and described Admissions as as “Kendra James’s coming-of-age memoir about her time as a Black girl at boarding school. Chronicling her three years on the idyllic campus of the Taft School in Connecticut with humor, insight, and a near-superhuman depth of grace, James straddles an ever-shifting line as the school’s first Black American legacy, trying to find equilibrium in a space that was never built for her and isn’t aware that it should try,”—all at just 15 years old. James later becomes an admissions officer herself, and unpacks these themes from a new POV while reflecting on her own experiences with elite education.
ICYMI Stacey Abrams is also a romance thriller novelist and with her latest work While Justice Sleeps she dives into the realm of the Supreme Court. When the swing vote Justice on the Court unexpectedly falls into a coma, his young clerk Avery Keene finds out she is his legal guardian and power of attorney, and discovers secrets hiding within some of the most hallowed halls of Washington. This is the perfect read for anyone who loves the drama of D.C. politics and is bound to be missing Stacey Abrams.