First, here’s a link to last year’s post with a long list of pairings.
The Federal Writer’s Project is the reason for both of these books. You can read my review of the excellent nonfiction story The Food of a Younger Land and then go read the fun novel, The Truth According To Us. The “truth” about what happens when a Federal Writer’s Project author shows up to work on the West Virginia state guide book. Just an FYI: author Annie Barrows co-wrote The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society–that’s likely all you need to know to pick up this fun novel.
I have not read The Great Influenza book (nonfiction)–I have only seen the excellent American Experience episode on the ‘flu (you can watch it here). Bright as Heaven tells one family’s story of living through that frightening time.
Say Nothing arrived for me from the library at a time when I was overwhelmed, so I will likely read it for Irish Lit Month next year. Meanwhile, I read and loved Milkman this year. Both are about the Troubles in Northern Ireland in the 1970s.
I couldn’t choose between two excellent nonfiction stories of saving people from the Nazi’s to pair with Last Train to London. Neither of the nonfiction books deals with the Kindertransport so in that both are a stretch. Both show the courage and dedication of individuals though, just like Last Train does. You can read about the nonfiction books 50 Children, One Ordinary American Couple and Defying the Nazis here in my post on them.
While the problems with royal governess Marion Crawford’s hijacked memoir, The Little Princesses, have been well-documented (unscrupulous American journalists re-wrote some of it, her icky husband pushed it, etc) it is basically still her memoirs. I doubt she referred to the then courting Elizabeth and her 17-year old sister as “the Little Girls” though! She also knew that the Princesses did, too, have boys in their life and there were more people around them at Windsor during the war than at any other time, but… While I read Wendy Holden’s first royal novel but have not read this one–The Royal Governess, but I did just buy it on sale for Kindle for $2.99.
Berlin 1936 is a great choice for either the nonfiction week of Novellas in November (#NovNov –next week) or for Nonfiction November (#NonficNov). Told in little vinettes–slices of life-of Berlin during the Olympics it makes a quick, but engaging read. Fast Girls is the very readable novel about the U.S. women’s track team.