While many enjoy a good movie based on an even better book (and we’ve had some good ones out in the last few years), I like a good book based on an even better news story. Journalistic integrity coupled with the art of good storytelling makes a high-profile story hard to pass up. Whether it’s a muckraking assignment or an eye-opening account of American society, it’s guaranteed to make my reading list. Some like-minded readers have even started a variation of the traditional book club where instead of reading entire books members discuss different articles and news features of recent acclaim. These groups are a great way to help engage readers in different nonfiction topics as well, especially if someone is looking to break the monotony with their usual fiction selections.

Both God’s Harvard by Hanna Rosin and The Boys in the Bunkhouse by Dan Barry were based on two of my favorite articles. In God’s Harvard, Rosin explores the academic and professional endeavors of the students at Patrick Henry College, an evangelical Christian school prepping attendants for careers in conservative politics. In the more recent The Boys in the Bunkhouse, Barry reports on the tragic events involving a group of exploited men with intellectual disabilities who worked at a turkey processing plant in Iowa. I highly recommend reading both articles by the same names from the New Yorker and the New York Times before reading the books.

God's Harvard

A journalistic account of the ambitions and pursuits of a group of students at Patrick Henry College. The evangelical Christian-based school specializes in preparing students for careers in conservative politics and motives.

The Boys in the Bunkhouse

An account of the tragic events involving a group of men with intellectual disabilities employed by a turkey processing plant in Iowa. For over thirty years, the workers were exposed to unsafe and exploitative conditions at work and home.