There are lots of curated lists of books on timely topics in blogs and libraries websites. Try doing a browser search on [topic] non-fiction voices, e.g. "poverty non-fiction voices" or "poverty books nonfiction adults," etc.
Here is a sampling of books in the College Libraries
Dignity : Seeking Respect in Back Row America by Chris ArnadeWidely acclaimed photojournalist Chris Arnade shines new light on America's poor, drug-addicted, and forgotten - both urban and rural, blue state and red state - and indicts the elitists who've left them behind. Once or twice a generation, an author reveals what life is like for the truly needy and disenfranchised. Like Jacob Riis in the 1890s, Walker Evans in the 1930s, or Michael Harrington in the 1960s, Chris Arnade cuts through the jargon and abstractions to expose the reality of our current class divide in stark pictures and unforgettable true stories. After abandoning his Wall Street career, Arnade decided to document poverty and addiction in the Bronx, spending years interviewing, photographing, and becoming close friends with homeless addicts, hanging out in drug dens and McDonald's in the South Bronx. Then he started driving across America to see how the rest of the country compared. He found the same types of stories everywhere, across lines of race, ethnicity, religion, and geography. The people he got to know, from Alabama to California and Maine to Nevada, gave Arnade a new respect for the dignity and resilience of what he calls America's Back Row-those who lack the credentials and advantages of the Front Row. The strivers in the Front Row, with their advanced degrees and upward mobility, see the Back Row's forms of meaningas worthless, and then tell them they are wasting their time staying in dying towns or cities. Why not move for better jobs? The responses from the Back Row-about the comforts of faith, community, family, and tradition-are seen as backward. But the Back Row finds love, companionship, and dignity in surprising places-in drug dens, community colleges, churches, and even in McDonald's. In Arnade's pictures and writings, the suffering and flawed are also seen searching for dignity in the midst of loss and humiliation. As Takeesha, a woman in Hunts Point, told Arnade, she wants the secular elites to see her as she sees herself- "a prostitute, a mother of six, and a child of God." This book is his attempt to help the rest of us truly see, hear, and respect millions of people who've been left behind.
Call Number: Crumb Stacks HC110.P6 A76 2019
Publication Date: 2019-06-04
Evicted : Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew DesmondNEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER * WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE * NAMED ONE OF TIME'S TEN BEST NONFICTION BOOKS OF THE DECADE * One of the most acclaimed books of our time, this modern classic "has set a new standard for reporting on poverty" (Barbara Ehrenreich, The New York Times Book Review). In Evicted, Princeton sociologist and MacArthur "Genius" Matthew Desmond follows eight families in Milwaukee as they each struggle to keep a roof over their heads. Hailed as "wrenching and revelatory" (The Nation), "vivid and unsettling" (New York Review of Books), Evicted transforms our understanding of poverty and economic exploitation while providing fresh ideas for solving one of twenty-first-century America's most devastating problems. Its unforgettable scenes of hope and loss remind us of the centrality of home, without which nothing else is possible. NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY President Barack Obama * The New York Times Book Review * The Boston Globe * The Washington Post * NPR * Entertainment Weekly * The New Yorker * Bloomberg * Esquire * BuzzFeed * Fortune * San Francisco Chronicle * Milwaukee Journal Sentinel * St. Louis Post-Dispatch * Politico * The Week * Chicago Public Library * BookPage * Kirkus Reviews * Library Journal * Publishers Weekly * Booklist * Shelf Awareness WINNER OF: The National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction * The PEN/John Kenneth Galbraith Award for Nonfiction * The Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction * The Hillman Prize for Book Journalism * The PEN/New England Award * The Chicago Tribune Heartland Prize FINALIST FOR THE LOS ANGELES TIMES BOOK PRIZE AND THE KIRKUS PRIZE "Evicted stands among the very best of the social justice books."--Ann Patchett, author of Bel Canto and Commonwealth "Gripping and moving--tragic, too."--Jesmyn Ward, author of Salvage the Bones "Evicted is that rare work that has something genuinely new to say about poverty."--San Francisco Chronicle
Call Number: Crumb Book Stacks HD7287.96.U6 D47 2016
Publication Date: 2017-02-28
Hand to Mouth : Living in Bootstrap America by Linda TiradoThe real-life Nickel and Dimed--the author of the wildly popular "Poverty Thoughts" essay tells what it's like to be working poor in America. ONE OF THE FIVE MOST IMPORTANT BOOKS OF THE YEAR--Esquire "DEVASTATINGLY SMART AND FUNNY. I am the author of Nickel and Dimed, which tells the story of my own brief attempt, as a semi-undercover journalist, to survive on low-wage retail and service jobs. TIRADO IS THE REAL THING."--Barbara Ehrenreich, from the Foreword As the haves and have-nots grow more separate and unequal in America, the working poor don't get heard from much. Now they have a voice--and it's forthright, funny, and just a little bit furious. Here, Linda Tirado tells what it's like, day after day, to work, eat, shop, raise kids, and keep a roof over your head without enough money. She also answers questions often asked about those who live on or near minimum wage: Why don't they get better jobs? Why don't they make better choices? Why do they smoke cigarettes and have ugly lawns? Why don't they borrow from their parents? Enlightening and entertaining, Hand to Mouth opens up a new and much-needed dialogue between the people who just don't have it and the people who just don't get it.
Publication Date: 2015-09-01
Journeys Out of Homelessness : The Voices of Lived Experience by Jamie Rife; Donald W. BurnesHow do individuals move from being homeless to finding safe, stable, and secure places to live? Can we recreate the conditions that helped them most? What policies are needed to support what worked-and to remove common obstacles?Addressing these questions, Jamie Rife and Donald Burnes start from the premise that the most important voices in efforts to end homelessness are the ones most often missing from the discussion: the voices of those with lived experience. In Journeys Out of Homelessness, they gather the first-person stories of some who have not only survived, but thrived, going on to find positive home situations.Highlighting what we can learn from these personal stories, Rife and Burnes combine them with in-depth discussions of key themes and issues and point to the shifts necessary in current policy and practice that are essential if we are to effectively respond to a problem that has reached epic proportions.
Publication Date: 2019-10-15
Just Mercy : A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER * NOW A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE STARRING MICHAEL B. JORDAN AND JAMIE FOXX * A powerful true story about the potential for mercy to redeem us, and a clarion call to fix our broken system of justice--from one of the most brilliant and influential lawyers of our time. "[Bryan Stevenson's] dedication to fighting for justice and equality has inspired me and many others and made a lasting impact on our country."--John Legend NAMED ONE OF THE MOST INFLUENTIAL BOOKS OF THE DECADE BY CNN * Named One of the Best Books of the Year by The New York Times * The Washington Post * The Boston Globe * The Seattle Times * Esquire * Time Bryan Stevenson was a young lawyer when he founded the Equal Justice Initiative, a legal practice dedicated to defending those most desperate and in need: the poor, the wrongly condemned, and women and children trapped in the farthest reaches of our criminal justice system. One of his first cases was that of Walter McMillian, a young man who was sentenced to die for a notorious murder he insisted he didn't commit. The case drew Bryan into a tangle of conspiracy, political machination, and legal brinksmanship--and transformed his understanding of mercy and justice forever. Just Mercy is at once an unforgettable account of an idealistic, gifted young lawyer's coming of age, a moving window into the lives of those he has defended, and an inspiring argument for compassion in the pursuit of true justice. Winner of the Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction * Winner of the NAACP Image Award for Nonfiction * Winner of a Books for a Better Life Award * Finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize * Finalist for the Kirkus Reviews Prize * An American Library Association Notable Book "Every bit as moving as To Kill a Mockingbird, and in some ways more so . . . a searing indictment of American criminal justice and a stirring testament to the salvation that fighting for the vulnerable sometimes yields."--David Cole, The New York Review of Books "Searing, moving . . . Bryan Stevenson may, indeed, be America's Mandela."--Nicholas Kristof, The New York Times "You don't have to read too long to start cheering for this man. . . . The message of this book . . . is that evil can be overcome, a difference can be made. Just Mercy will make you upset and it will make you hopeful."--Ted Conover, The New York Times Book Review "Inspiring . . . a work of style, substance and clarity . . . Stevenson is not only a great lawyer, he's also a gifted writer and storyteller."--The Washington Post "As deeply moving, poignant and powerful a book as has been, and maybe ever can be, written about the death penalty."--The Financial Times "Brilliant."--The Philadelphia Inquirer
Publication Date: 2015-08-18
Maid : Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother's Will to Survive by Stephanie Land; Barbara Ehrenreich (Foreword by)NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER AND INSPIRATION FOR THE UPCOMING NETFLIX SERIES "A single mother's personal, unflinching look at America's class divide, a description of the tightrope many families walk just to get by, and a reminder of the dignity of all work." -PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA, Obama's Summer Reading List At 28, Stephanie Land's dreams of attending a university and becoming a writer quickly dissolved when a summer fling turned into an unplanned pregnancy. Before long, she found herself a single mother, scraping by as a housekeeper to make ends meet. Maid is an emotionally raw, masterful account of Stephanie's years spent in service to upper middle class America as a "nameless ghost" who quietly shared in her clients' triumphs, tragedies, and deepest secrets. Driven to carve out a better life for her family, she cleaned by day and took online classes by night, writing relentlessly as she worked toward earning a college degree. She wrote of the true stories that weren't being told: of living on food stamps and WIC coupons, of government programs that barely provided housing, of aloof government employees who shamed her for receiving what little assistance she did. Above all else, she wrote about pursuing the myth of the American Dream from the poverty line, all the while slashing through deep-rooted stigmas of the working poor. Maid is Stephanie's story, but it's not hers alone. It is an inspiring testament to the courage, determination, and ultimate strength of the human spirit.
Nomadland : Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century by Jessica BruderThe inspiration for Chloé Zhao's 2020 Golden Globe award-winning film starring Frances McDormand. "People who thought the 2008 financial collapse was over a long time ago need to meet the people Jessica Bruder got to know in this scorching, beautifully written, vivid, disturbing (and occasionally wryly funny) book." --Rebecca Solnit From the beet fields of North Dakota to the campgrounds of California to Amazon's CamperForce program in Texas, employers have discovered a new, low-cost labor pool, made up largely of transient older adults. These invisible casualties of the Great Recession have taken to the road by the tens of thousands in RVs and modified vans, forming a growing community of nomads. Nomadland tells a revelatory tale of the dark underbelly of the American economy--one which foreshadows the precarious future that may await many more of us. At the same time, it celebrates the exceptional resilience and creativity of these Americans who have given up ordinary rootedness to survive, but have not given up hope.