Nonfiction November Week 3

November 17, 2016 Books 8


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….

Book Pairing

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:

gregory_otherboleyngirl fraser_wivesofhviii

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.)

kelly_evofcalpurniatate Swaby_Headstrong

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.

Mitchell_GWTW Abbott_LTSS

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!

8 Responses to “Nonfiction November Week 3”

    • Louise

      I just saw that a few minutes ago while working my way through the other Nonfiction November posts — Amanda at ‘A Bookshelf Monstrosity’ paired the two in her own blog post. I’ve definitely got to find a copy!

  1. Amanda

    Excellent pairings! Wonder Women by Sam Maggs was a lot like Headstrong with some really cool women – and referenced back to Liar Temptress.. There’s another book to go with Liar, Temptress that I can’t think of right now and its going to make me nuts. Some day I’m going to pop back into your comments to tell you to read it!

    • Louise

      Haha OK — it’s probably one of those things that will randomly be shuffled up by your brain when you aren’t even thinking about it!

  2. Rachel

    What fantastic pairs! This is my favorite week of Nonfiction November because I get to see what everyone thinks should be read together. Because I love theming my reads.

    • Louise

      Oh, I think you would love it & you should definitely pick it up or borrow it if you get a chance. Those ladies were some real tough cookies.

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