I cannot believe that it is already week two of NonFiction November! This week (November 9-13) has such a cool prompt. It’s Book Pairing! And it is hosted by Julie @ Julz Reads. 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. I have a few!
PAIRING #1: WITCHES
Witches! The Absolutely True Tale of Disaster in Salem may be a middle grade book but it is perfect for giving the historical context and factual background of the multitude of reasons that have been found for the Salem Witch Trial. That way, when you read Arthur Miller’s fantastic play, The Crucible, you won’t wander around (like moi) thinking for ten years that lying little girls were the sole cause of the trials. As a bonus, also check out…
Death in Salem by Diane E. Foulds is a nonfiction which gives the reader the private stories of all those involved in the trials. This book is an easy to read reference style that I found it incredibly useful to have alongside The Crucible. Miller changed some of the ages and minor details for dramatic affect and Fould’s book is perfect to look up and learn more about reality of the individual people’s lives.
PAIRING #2: BEING HUMAN
Notes on a Nervous Planet by Matt Haig is one of my favorite nonfiction books from this year. I read it because The Humans was chosen by one of my book clubs. Matt Haig’s advice on how to deal with anxiety and stress probably saved my sanity during the pandemic. But his fictional story of an alien tasked with living among us in The Humans reminded me of all the treasured things about humanity and our modern world. The balance between the two was like an icy hot rub on my exhausted and anxious soul.
PAIRING #3: FEMALE SPIES
This is my 2020 gigantic pile of books, both historical fiction and nonfiction, about female spies. I have only finished reading Code Girls by Liza Mundy (absolutely excellent) and The Women Who Smashed Codes by Jason Fagone (also excellent). I am half way through Code Name: Lise by Larry Loftis and D-Day Girls by Sarah Rose and, while I am enjoying both of these nonfiction books, I made the mistake of trying to read them via audiobook. I struggled to keep the names and stories separate and had to switch to physical copies. I would love to finish all of these books by the end of the year. These brave women did nearly all of their work in complete secrecy and they have inspired me to be brave during this tumultuous year.
Tell me, please! Which books would you recommend reading together?