Nonfiction November Week 2: Book Pairings

This week always stands out as the most impressive week in NFN, in my opinion. I am always so struck by how other readers have coordinated their reading to including both a nonfiction and fiction on the same topic. This is my favorite week to pop around and read all the posts.


Week 2: (November 7-11) – Book Pairing: 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. You can check out Rennie’s amazing contribution and the rest of the participant’s posts on Rennie’s site @ What’s Nonfiction.

I started with The Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States. While I have been interested and reading about Indigenous People for many years, I was still surprised by the history presented in this book and the connections the author makes to US military history. This is one of five books in the Revisioning History series.

I also picked up a collection of Native American Myths and Legends. Truly, I was blown away by this. Every American my age has been required to read Greek and Roman mythology. I can understand the pedagogical reasons for this since “classic” European literature is written by white men who also read those myths. But teaching these to the exclusion of others presents the notion that these are the only myths while wildly ignoring all other culture’s legends and stories. The myths and legends presented in this book are from numerous tribes and nations across the US and reflect the values of the people. The emphasis on nature and cooperation, the obligation of the people, and the part each animal plays form a completely different value system than the Greek and Roman myths.

Finally, I read A Snake Falls to Earth by Darcie Little Badger. The story is a beautiful one of friendship, family, and what is means to honor tradition. It is a YA novel and I loved reading about the friendship that forms between the cottonmouth, Oly, and Nina. The story highlights the value of land, the concerns about climate change, and the destruction of natural habitats that are causing the extinction of whole species. The synopsis tells us that the book, “draws on traditional Lipan Apache storytelling structure…” which makes me want to pick up these two books.

I could easily go round and round! I am just thrilled, especially since this is Native American History Month, to find so many books and resources about Indigenous People.

Tell me, please! Have you read any good Fiction / Nonfiction pairings this year?


7 thoughts on “Nonfiction November Week 2: Book Pairings

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  1. That’s a great one, and I’ve found your Indigenous reading interesting. I always struggle with this week myself even though I enjoy everyone else’s contributions – I coped this year by writing my post as I went along as I knew I wouldn’t remember enough books to create the post on Monday!


  2. I absolutely love this topic! Talk about a syllabus – you’ve got one here too! I agree with you – we study the pedagogical Greek and Roman myths and legends at the expense of such a world of others. And in North America, this is especially disappointing. Thank you for sharing these! I think the only relevant book I’ve read is Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, which although outstanding didn’t incorporate as much around the myths and legends, if I remember correctly. The Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States sounds excellent.


  3. Very interesting books and I have added them to my week 4 “New to My TBR” blogpost! I plan to participate in 2023 Native American Heritage Month in November.
    At the moment November is filled with challenges ..there are so many book and so and just 30 days in November! So I will read the books I have selected during the year and plan to share them in November 2023! Thanks for this wonderful blog post!

    Liked by 1 person

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