Patricia Evangelista’s ‘Some People Need Killing’ among New York Times’ 10 Best Books of 2023

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Patricia Evangelista’s ‘Some People Need Killing’ among New York Times’ 10 Best Books of 2023
(3rd UPDATE) Former US president Barack Obama includes Evangelista's debut nonfiction novel as one of his top book picks for 2023

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Patricia Evangelista’s Some People Need Killing: A Memoir of Murder in My Country was named among the New York Times’ (NYT) 10 Best Books of 2023, the American newspaper announced on Tuesday, November 28 (Manila time).

Patricia Evangelista’s ‘Some People Need Killing’ among New York Times’ 10 Best Books of 2023

In Some People Need Killing, her debut nonfiction book, Rappler’s former investigative report details her experience covering former President Rodrigo Duterte’s deadly war on drugs. The book was formally launched just over a month ago on October 18 (Manila time) at Columbia University’s Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma in New York.

When news of the book’s inclusion in the NYT’s list of best books for 2023 first broke out, Evangelista expressed her astonishment toward its reception.

“I wrote the story, but it’s not just mine. The book was the product of many years of work and the efforts of a great many remarkable people, some of them survivors, who bore witness and chose to document a savage time,” Evangelista wrote in an Instagram post.

“I am glad to know the book has been read. I am humbled there is an audience willing to listen. I hope the story goes far, and am honored to have been part of its telling,” she added.

The four other nonfiction books that made it to the list are The Best Minds by Jonathan Rosen, Bottoms Up and the Devil Laughs by Kerry Howley, Fire Weather by John Vaillant, and Master Slave Husband Wife by Ilyon Woo.

On Saturday, December 23, former US president Barack Obama shared his annual top book picks for 2023, featuring Evangelista’s work as part of “the books [he’s] enjoyed reading.”

On Friday, December 1, the New Yorker also put Some People Need Killing in its “The Best Books of 2023.”

The week prior, Some People Need Killing was also selected as one of the NYT’s 100 Notable Books of 2023, as well as TIME Magazine’s 100 Must-Read Books of 2023.

On December 7, TIME Magazine also named Evangelista’s book as the number one best nonfiction books of 2023.

“TIME was one of the first international publications to spotlight Duterte’s drug war. I’m grateful Some People Need Killing is in their Top Ten Best Books, at a time when the question of whether some people do need killing determines the crack of gunfire,” Evangelista posted on X.

Evangelista led Rappler’s investigation of Duterte’s drug war, which saw the unjust killings of thousands of Filipinos to fulfill Duterte’s major goal of combating illegal drugs in the country. –

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