Book Reviews · Reading Challenges

Nonfiction November: Book Pairings!

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This week, pair up a nonfiction book with a fiction title (or another nonfiction!). 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. Or pair a book with a podcast, film or documentary, TV show, etc. on the same topic or stories that pair together. (Rennie @ What’s Nonfiction)

This is my favorite part of Nonfiction November–book pairs!

My past pairings lists:

  1. 2019
  2. 2020
  3. 2021

This year I had some of these in a list I kept. Others are formed with books I read this year.

Last Summer on State Street is possibly my favorite book of 2022. I wish everyone would read it! It is the fictional story while, An American Summer: Love & Death in Chicago and the author’s earlier book, There Are No Children Here, are the nonfiction story of growing up in Chicago’s worst public housing projects–and after. Another good nonfiction piece is the documentary Hoop Dreams. While those focus more on boys, they are still a good counterpart to Toya Wolfe’s story of that Last Summer on State Street.

This is a pair I identified in 2019 and keep forgetting to use in the book pairings post!! Whether newly arrived via the immigration crisis, or long-settled, those of African-descent who consider themselves now European have interesting stories. Two such books are the novel. Travelers by Helon Habila (my review is linked) and Afropeans: Notes from Black Europe by Johnny Pitts (nonfiction and beautifully reviewed by Liz Dexter on her blog. I have not read Afropeans yet.

We Band of Angels is the nonfiction book in this trio. When We Had Wings and Angels of the Pacific are both new novels. All deal with the nurses taken prisoner in the Philippines early in World War II. I find it amazing that this happens so often today–two books on the same topic, often very similar, coming out at around the same time. I’ve taken to calling these “Book Twins.”

I’ve previously paired Hitler’s Forgotten Children with Someone Named Eva by Joan M. Wolf. Another set of “Book Twins” hit the shelves this year–Cradles of the Reich and The School for German Brides. I’ve added the nonfiction group biography, Nazi Wives because the “twins” deal with a different aspect of the Lebensborn program, and some of that information is similar to a little of the discussion in Nazi Wives.

Are you doing Nonfiction November? Leave me a comment or a link to your post.

14 thoughts on “Nonfiction November: Book Pairings!

  1. Great list. The books on the Philippines sound interesting though I’m sure they will be hard reading given the subject. My own schedule is all over the place but I did manage to do my nonfic reading overview and do plan to read some of the titles I have waiting on my TBR.

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  2. Thank you for the shout-out and link, and I’ve added the Habila to my wishlist! I struggle with this week normally but I wrote it through the year so had a decent number …

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  3. I love book pairs as well! I loved reading Last Summer. I have When We Had Wings on my pairs list. I had an extensive list last year, but not as many this year. Writing my post today.

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  4. You have a lot of interesting pairings here. I love the idea of pairing a fiction with a non-fiction, since so often I read a fiction book and it prompts me to learn more in a non-fic. Happy early Thanksgiving!

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