The point of Nonfiction November is to read, discuss, and otherwise celebrate all the awesome nonfic lit out there. The hosts have decided on weekly blog post topics, and this week’s topic is….
This week, pair up a nonfiction book with a fiction title. It can be a “If you loved this book, read this!” or just two titles that you think would go well together. Maybe it’s a historical novel and you’d like to get the real history by reading a nonfiction version of the story.
This is actually pretty tough because there are SO MANY amazing possibilities, right? So I gave it a lot of thought and somehow managed to narrow it down to 3 pairings:
Fiction: The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory + Nonfiction: The Wives of Henry VIII by Antonia Fraser
The Other Boleyn Girl was one of the first “grown up” historical fiction novels I read, so it holds a special place in my heart despite its blatant historical inaccuracy. Enjoy the well-paced plot and sympathetic characters and steamy romance, then read the REAL story in Fraser’s book. (Full disclosure: I am currently reading The Wives of Henry VIII and haven’t finished it yet, but I’m loving it so far and feel justified in including it here.)
Fiction: The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly + Nonfiction: Headstrong by Rachel Swaby
Lady scientists unite! Kelly’s novel is written for younger readers, but it’s SO GOOD that I won’t hesitate to recommend it to anyone regardless of age. It’s kind of a coming-of-age in the era of Darwinism and 1st wave feminism — and it’s set in Texas, so you know I’m kind of a sucker for that. Get the real scoop on women in science history in Headstrong: 52 Women Who Changed Science — And the World.
Fiction: Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell + Nonfiction: Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy by Karen Abbott
Mitchell’s classic novel is one of the world’s most popular & problematic books. It’s well worth the read, but it also shouldn’t be consumed in a cultural/historical vacuum. There are A LOT of awesome books and other media that can be paired with it, but to carry on the theme of interesting women that this post seems to have, I’m going to say that Abbot’s profiles of real bad-ass/crazy/heroic/questionable Civil War ladies is a great companion for this book.
Do you have any other suggested pairings for these books? I’m definitely interested in making my TBR list even more intimidatingly ridiculous!