Featured Book: Orange is the New Black


This post is a part of an original series created by librarians/media specialists across Central Minnesota featuring books. If you have a book you would like to showcase, please send your review to our offices

Book: Orange is the New Black by Piper Kerman

Review by Katherine Morrow, Branch Librarian, Mille Lacs Lake Community Library

If you’ve seen the Netflicks series Orange is the New Black you may want to pick up the book with the same title.  Though you’ll find Piper and many of the same characters in the memoir, don’t expect as much conflict and drama as the television version.  If you haven’t heard of it, the author, Piper Kerman, who is a Smith graduate, is arrested and incarcerated over 10 years after she committed a drug-running crime.  She is in her mid-thirties in a stable home with her fiancé Larry when she has to surrender to the federal corrections institute in Danbury, CT.  In prison she stands out with her blond hair and college degree.  She bonds with her fellow inmates over inventive ways to use sanitary napkins and confiscated ketchup and also helps them with their schooling and legal cases.

This book dramatizes the problem that was recently highlighted by Attorney General Eric Holder, that too many non-violent individuals are being incarcerated for drug offenses.   Kerman serves her 15 months and is able to return to her former life.  Many of the women she meets are not so fortunate and end up back in prison.

I checked out this book through the ECRL Overdrive site and read it on my Kindle.  Although there was a small wait, I probably got the digital version sooner than I would have as a regular book.