Week Two: Book Pairings #NonFicNov

Week 2: November 9 to 13 (Hosted by Leslie)

imageBook Pairing: Match a fiction book with a nonfiction book that you would recommend.

  • Note: I recommend these but I have NOT read all of these! But I want to so that is just as good, yes? I can recommend books I haven’t read yet, I think.

One of the reasons I love the blog CitizenReader is for the wonderful book-pairing readalongs hosted; so I could easily ‘borrow’ the ones I participated in and share here:

Thomas Keenan’s Technocreep (NF) with John Scalzi’s Old Man’s War (fiction) – oops, I wanted to but did not get to either of these books…

Sherwin Nuland’s The Doctor’s Plague (NF) with Joanna Kavenna’s The Birth of Love (fiction) – I actually DID read BOTH and shall I just say: FASCINATING.

We had a book menage of all nonfiction books by/on Shirley Jackson:  Life Among the Savages and Raising Demons (book about raising her kids) with the biography of her by Judith Oppenhemier, titled Personal Demons –> HOWEVER THIS IS SUPPOSED to be finding a nonfic to go with fiction, so this inspires me to suggest reading Salem’s Lot with the Haunting of Hill House! (yep, havent’ read but saw the movie) Might as well throw in a nonfic book about Stephen King or by King? On Writing would suffice, but that leads me to a fun pairing of On Writing with Carrie, King’s first book. On Writing talks about how he came to write Carrie… 


But let’s think a little. Hmmmm. . .

How about: rlitbyan Reading Lolita in Tehran with tbokbyas The Bookseller of Kabul? Oh – these are both nonfiction, set in different countries but same theme of persecution and restriction of women and education. Perhaps this fiction offering: Khaled Hosseini’s atsskh A Thousand Splendid Suns will work as a good pairing with The Bookseller – both Afghanistan.


Oooooo, how about this? This features a pairing of setting and time frame:  How about fiction scbytd Sister Carrie (set in Chicago 1900ish) with ditwcbyel Devil in the White City, circa 1893? note: I have yet to read Devil White City; I know I know! It’s TOTALLY crazy that I haven’t read it yet.


AND, here’s a good one! I walked into the indie book store in Newport Rhode Island and asked for Jill Morrow’s Newport npbyjm but it wasn’t on the shelf. So the wonderful staff recommended a nonfiction read  gbydd Gilded – which was delicious fun; I got the full scoop on Newport now and then. Um, I still need to get a copy of the Morrow book…


Finally, I present a book menage of my own planned for at the time I started reading Orphan Master but I never did get around to on the nonfic side. (Shame on me?) but I ❤LOVED❤ the fiction half of this pairing: tomsbyaj The Orphan Master’s Son with Barbara Demick’s Nothing to Envyntebybd Ordinary Lives in Northern Korea.



I’m excited to see what everyone posts on this.

What about you? Did this post stimulate any share-able ideas?


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39 thoughts on “Week Two: Book Pairings #NonFicNov

    1. I think this is so easy for me because when I read nonfiction, I’m usually inspired to delve deeper or find something related OR sometimes a book is even suggested. Like in Bad Feminist, Roxane mentions Kate Zambrano and now I want to read those – which is likely a terrific pairing with Bad Fem… AND, H is for Hawk should be a paired with The Once and Future King because she talks about the author TH White. AND…but of course, the Oscar book that I read should be paired with The Importance of Being Earnest or something else he was written but do keep in mind that I do NOT recommend the Oscar book I read – it wasn’t very good. Maybe Yes Please could be paired with Bridget Jones? I don’t know – do you know of a good feminist positive daring fiction book for that one?

        1. I don’t have it either… I will probably have to request it, too. Maybe she should schedule for some time in the future? Like Februray 2016? Just throwing it out there.

    1. OMG, The Orphan Masters Son is satire and wow did I laugh. It’s an extremely uncomfortable laughing, cuz it is CRAZY. The book was crazy. I loved it.

  1. This is amazing! Reading Lolita in Tehran and A Thousand Splendid Suns were both great, as well as Sister Carrie andThe Devil in the White City. Both The Orphan Master’s Son and Nothing to Envy have been on my wish list for a long time. Great pairings, Care.

  2. So many good pairings! I am particularly on board with any pairing that gets people to read Nothing to Envy. That book blew me away (and broke my heart). The image of so many North Koreans just squatting on the ground waiting for nothing has really, really stuck with me.

    1. Yea, I really don’t think I can honestly take credit for the pairing – I’m sure I read it as a suggestion – just trying to give it more exposure. 😉

  3. Ooh, I currently have a lot of books paired by topic or historical setting, but I’d love to have more sci-fi paired with pop science. I’m sure nonfiction that pairs with old Man’s War would be fascinating.

    1. I thought that rather brilliant, too.I just didn’t fit into my schedule but I do someday hope to read both. I follow Scalzi on Twitter and really need to read something of his.

  4. I keep putting off reading the Orphan Masters Son as I don not know a lot about the inner workings of North Korea. Great idea for the pairing – we have a couple of other NK books on the shelves at work as well.


  5. Nothing to Envy has been on my to-read list for a long time. Gilded sounds like it could be a lot of fun.

    As I’m reading through the posts for this week’s prompt, I’m noticing that Devil in the White City seems to be the MVP.

    1. NtE = on list TOO long. DitWH = on list forever! Gilded was like a gossip rag but fun because I already knew (visually) about the houses – just not the people who live in them.

  6. I love the Newport pairing. You posted about these two books earlier this year, didn’t you? I’m not sure why, but I’ve always been absolutely fascinated by Newport.

    1. Newport IS fascinating and I learned a lot – I read it in August while I was summering there (cough, cough) and reviewed it maybe the first week in September – quite recent, yes. AND the only reason I read it was because I couldn’t find the fiction book!

  7. I absolutely loved The Orphan Master’s Son — and I’ve been hearing great things about Adam Johnson’s new book (short stories). I need to get my hands on a copy of Nothing to Envy. Great pairings! I thought this was such a fun prompt. I might have to do round #2 because I keep thinking of more.

    1. I had fun with this, too. Unfortunately, more fun to find the books to read than to actually carve out time to read them. Too Many Books Not Enough Time

  8. Oooh – another nonfic for Orphan Master’s Son is Without You, There Is No Us. I hated Orphan Master’s Son, but it did get me really interested in North Korea and was the primary reason I sought out Without You!

  9. Oh I love Reading Lolita in Tehran! Such an inspiring book! I also haven’t read Devil in the White City,but it’s on my TBR for this event (with about a hundred other things!). Have you read Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi? Similar subject matter to Reading Lolita and it’s great!

  10. I was just looking at Sister Carrie the other day and thinking I need to get to it soon. Plus I have never read Devil. I think I shall just take your idea and run with it!

    1. Cool. Have fun.Maybe I’ll read Devil next, too. I think I might need a break from ‘the present’ and dig into some more ancient history for my nonfiction.

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