What I've read recently:
The Glass Universe, by Dava Sobel. This is a history of photographic astronomy using glass plates--photometry, spectral lines, and how the photos they were used to study variable stars--and of the Harvard Observatory and the women who did much of the work. Many of the women were first hired as "computers," doing calculations for (originally only male) astronomers, before starting to do astronomy on their own. The group included Henrietta Swan Leavitt, who figured out the luminosity-distance relationship in Cepheid variables, and thus the distance to the Magellanic Clouds and the Andromeda galaxy; Annie Jump Cannon (of the OBAFGKM star classifcations); and Cecilia Payne Groposchkin, who became the first person of any gender to get a PhD in astronomy from Harvard, with a dissertation showing that our sun is made mostly of hydrogen and helium.
The book is about both the astronomical work, and the lives of the people doing it, including the ways the women involved had to fight to do it, and be recognized for their work, in both the US and Europe. It weaves together several lives, and stories, over more than half a century. One important thread is Mary Anne Palmer (Mrs. Henry) Draper, who dedicated many years, and money, to support and fund the Henry Draper Memorial to carry on her late husband's cataloging work. (All those "HD" star catalog numbers are from that work.)
Tricks for Free, by Seanan McGuire. This is another InCryptid story, this one about/narrated by Antimony Price (younger sister of Verity, who introduced the series). She's on the run from the Covenant, and thus separated from all her living family (though her dead aunts visit occasionally), fighting sorcerers in an amusement park. She has a team of Cryptid allies, her boyfriend Sam comes back (and they decide/declare that they are boyfriend and girlfriend) and everything moves fast. This was fun, but leans significantly on what happened in previous books.
Around the World in Eighty Trees, by Jonathan Drori. Drori gives us eighty brief pieces about eighty trees he finds interesting, either for botanical or cultural reasons--with locations, usually at the level of "Morocco" but sometimes US states, and for ailanthus it's "Brooklyn, USA." Each tree's essay is illustrated with color drawings. The book discusses trees I hadn't known of, and includes some things I hadn't known, or thought about, and is pleasant, mostly restful reading, a few trees at a time. (The articles on some trees sections talk about global warming or near-extinction from overuse). Recommended by mrissa.
White Fragility: Why It's So Hard to Talk about Race, by Robin diAngelo. This is more or less what it says on the tin, from the viewpoint of sociology/activism: why it's difficult for white people to talk about race, and the ways that silence about race maintain white supremacy--and that this is not accidental. DiAngelo offers some suggestions about how white people can talk about race, including both ways to talk to (and sometimes challenge) each other, and ways to listen respectfully and not shut down people of color who are taking about racism. The book looks at both structural racism and microaggressions, and how people (don't) talk about hate crimes. I have this as a library ebook, and may need to buy a copy so I can reread it, and maybe use some of her bibliography. It's shorter, and easier to read, than I'd expected. (Your mileage may vary, either if you're less familiar with sociology and some of the terminology, or if the topic is especially stressful for you.) Note: diAngelo is writing from an American viewpoint, and points out both that other parts of the world will be somewhat different, and that American movies, magazines, music, etc. are part of the environment all over the world.
- So Far So Good, by Ursula Le Guin (still, I'm dipping into it, a few poems at a time)
- Quite Enough of Calvin Trillin, a collection of short pieces, including humor and reporting
- At the Mouth of the River of Bees, short stories by Kij Johnson