Nonfiction November: Nonfiction–Fiction Pairings


I couldn’t decide if these pairs had to have at least one book read this year or not! I’ve done a lot of this sort of post so I’m always eyeing potential pairings. This week’s host for Nonfiction November is Doing Dewey. Won’t you be nice and click and go see their post?

My Pairings

The nonfiction runs right along with the fictional story. A match made, not in heaven, but in the Wilderness of Southeastern Ohio.

The Pioneers  by David McCullough In addition to my linked review, you can get another take on this book from Girls in White Dresses.

The Awakening Land Trilogy by Conrad Richter. Here are my reviews:

The Trees and, here too is the review from my friend at Girls in White Dresses.

I reviewed the final two books, The Fields and The Town together. Girls in White Dresses hasn’t read those two yet!

Chanel books have recently become an industry (like Kennedy or Royal books)–especially novels. There are many more. The nonfiction book is Channel’s Riviera by Anne de Courcy (a must-read author for me). The novel of Chanel I read is Mademoiselle Chanel by C.W. Gortner.

A somewhat awkward pairing since the fictional Passing occurs a few decades before the nonfiction Life on the Color Line and Passing is about a woman while Color Line is about a young boy living in my hometown a decade or two earlier than when I grew up-a boy who had always lived as white. Edna Ferber’s novel, Showboat, also discusses what it means to be “black” in America at that time (and still today, I suppose).

During both World Wars the British government took over (requisitioned) many of the great houses of the land for government use. They were staging areas, training grounds, hospitals, office space, and who-knows-what-else. The owners had littler or no say in the matter. Two fairly recent nonfiction books look at this practice. One, Requisitioned,  looks at damage done to the amazing houses was–often it was horrendous. The other, Our Uninvited Guests looks at the people who invaded. The two novels I’ve paired them with are Brideshead Revisited, which begins with Charles Ryder, now an Army officer, landing at Brideshead, which has been recquisitioned. He and his men are camped in the grounds. The other novel is a new one, The Last Garden in England, which includes the war years and what occured at that house as well.  Except for the last book, I own them but have not reviewed them. (I have read Brideshead but it was back in the 1970s in high school. I swooned over the Great, first, version PBS aired with Jeremy Irons and Anthony Andrews. My love of Jeremy dates to that show).


I did not read either of these this year. Both deal with the “idyl” before World War I. The Perfect Summer by Juliet Nicolson (my review was lost on my old blog) and The Summer Before the War by Helen Simonson (scroll down in the post to read the review).

The Warmth of Other Suns has been on my TBR too long–I must make time for it. It is the story of the great migration of Black Americans from the South to the industrial centers of the north. The Salt Fields, an excellent novella, is about one man’s journey north during the migration.


Maiden Voyages is the nonfiction account of the women who worked on the great liners. I enjoyed this new book very much, though it has flaws. The Ocean Liner is the novel I chose not only takes us aboard a great liner, but gives us a fictitious story of the “forgotten” Kennedy daughter, Rosemary, who was given a labotomy and then hidden from view.


For More of My Fiction/NonFiction Pairings see these posts:

Fiction and Nonfiction About Classical Musicians

2020’s Nonfiction November Book Pairings post

2019’s Nonfiction November Book Pairings post

I enjoy pairing up books in this manner! Do you? Leave me a comment or a link to your own pairing(s) post(s).

6 thoughts on “Nonfiction November: Nonfiction–Fiction Pairings

Add yours

  1. Ooh these are great! I thought I had to do it on ones I’ve read this year but I don’t know where I got that from. The books on the Great Migration and “passing” are the ones I find most interesting here but you’ve gathered a great set!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I am truly blown away with this post and loved your pairings. So many of these books I’d love to read. The only one I’ve read is The Summer Before the Way which I really enjoyed.


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