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5 books not to miss: Billy Porter and Jamie Foxx memoirs, Questlove’s ‘Music Is History’

·2 min read

In search of something good to read? USA TODAY's Barbara VanDenburgh scopes out the shelves for this week’s hottest new book releases. All books are on sale Tuesday.

1. “Unprotected,” by Billy Porter (Abrams Press, nonfiction)

“Unprotected,” by Billy Porter.
“Unprotected,” by Billy Porter.

What it’s about: The Emmy-winning actor of “Pose” shares his story of growing up Black and gay in a country that wasn’t kind to either identity and how the constant struggle to simply be himself shaped the singular artist and proud icon.

The buzz: “Overcoming racism, homophobia, bullying, and abuse, a theatrical star is born,” says Kirkus Reviews.

2. “Music Is History,” by Questlove (Abrams Image, nonfiction)

What it’s about: QuestloveDJ and founding member of The Roots – draws on his deep musical expertise and curiosity to create an American history of the past 50 years, drawing connections between music and contemporary America.

The buzz: “A palimpsestic, personal, and resonant journey with a living musical encyclopedia,” says Kirkus Reviews.

More: Jennifer Garner, Brad Paisley, 'SNL' stars among guests set for Katie Couric's book tour

3. “Act Like You Got Some Sense: And Other Things My Daughters Taught Me,” by Jamie Foxx (Grand Central, nonfiction)

What it’s about: In this heartfelt memoir, the Academy and Grammy award-winning entertainer shares his story of growing up under the care of his no-nonsense grandmother and the lessons he learned raising his two daughters, Corinne and Anelise.

The buzz: “Fans and parents alike will get a kick out of this,” says a starred review from Publishers Weekly.

4. "Orwell’s Roses," by Rebecca Solnit (Viking, nonfiction)

What it’s about: This charmingly fresh biography of British author and antifascist George Orwell (“1984,” “Animal Farm”) charts his life through the avid gardener’s love of roses and passion for the natural world.

The buzz: “A fine Orwell biography with equally fine diversions into his favorite leisure activity,” says a starred review from Kirkus Reviews.

You're using the term ‘Orwellian’ wrong: Here’s what George Orwell was actually writing about

5. “Girly Drinks: A World History of Women and Alcohol,” by Mallory O’Meara (Hanover Square Press, nonfiction)

What it’s about: An insightful, entertaining feminist history of women and alcohol through the ages, including the untold stories of female distillers, bartenders, brewers and drinkers who helped shape our cultural rituals of imbibing.

The buzz: “Provoking both thought and laughter, this serves as bracing refreshment from a master textual mixologist,” says a starred review from Publishers Weekly.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Billy Porter, Jamie Foxx, Questlove: 5 new books to read now

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