Nonfiction November: Book Pairing

November 15, 2016 Uncategorized 24


Welcome to week 3 of Nonfiction November! We’re celebrating nonfiction this week with one a previous favorite topic – nonfiction and fiction book pairings. Sarah at Sarah’s Bookshelves is hosting the link-up this week and our prompt is the following:

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 did a pretty long list of fiction/nonfiction pairings last year, so I’ve only got two new ones to add.


Last year, one of our Nonfiction November read-alongs was Cleopatra by Stacy Schiff, which I think was close to universally enjoyed. I’d definitely recommended it! The book I’ve paired it with, Cleopatra’s Shadow was some of the first fiction I’d read about this time period and it was a fascinatingly different perspective on Cleopatra. It presented a pretty stark, brutal reality, but I very much enjoyed getting to see the role Cleopatra and her sisters (may have) played in events at the time.


I have to admit that I’ve not yet gotten to the nonfiction half of this pair, but the internet assures me that The Girls of Atomic City is well worth a read. I also did not completely enjoy reading The Atomic Weight of Love, mostly because it was depressing at a time when I needed something more inspiring. However, I once again loved learning about women in history. In this case, it was also learning about women in science – definitely something I’d like to do more of. So, while I didn’t love reading this book, I thought it was objectively very good and I think I might even enjoy it more if I read it again.

Don’t forget – if you have a nonfiction/fiction book pairing to recommend, Sarah’s got the link-up this week.


24 Responses to “Nonfiction November: Book Pairing”

    • DoingDewey

      I’m sorry to have used up one of your ideas, but I’m glad to hear you enjoyed both of these too! I’ve not given either of them as gifts, but I’ll definitely be keeping them in mind this year.

    • DoingDewey

      I’ve only read The Witches and Cleopatra, but I enjoyed both, so I’ll have to check out her backlist! I actually didn’t even know she’d written anything else, so I’m glad you mentioned it!

    • DoingDewey

      I really must get to The Girls of Atomic City! I’ll put it on my library to-read list and maybe I’ll actually get to it that way 🙂

    • DoingDewey

      The Witches was good, but not as good as Cleopatra. I found it a bit repetitive and have heard the same thing from several other bloggers as well I’d definitely suggest starting with Cleopatra 🙂

  1. Eva @ The Paperback Princess

    I didn’t like Schiff’s Cleopatra book that much! I found it really difficult to get through and if I remember correctly (because it was a while ago now) I was frustrated by how much of her life was described based on what the men in her world were doing. This is a common failing of books about women from a certain time – there just isn’t as much documentation about women before a certain time.

    I have, however, picked up her book The Witches and am assured it’s better.

  2. Amanda

    Oh I really liked Cleopatra. I will have to add Cleopatra’s Shadows to my list because I definitely would like to read more about her. I’m ashamed I still haven’t read the Girls of Atomic City. Clearly it’s not happening this November, maybe next year.

  3. Ellie

    I agree with you that sometimes you don’t enjoy books as much as you might because of your current state of mind. There’s been a few books I’ve picked up because I thought they might be light hearted…and turned out the opposite. So whilst I think they are probably good books, it was definitely not what I wanted at the time!
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    • DoingDewey

      Exactly! I’m far more likely to dislike a book if it’s not what I expected, since it’s more likely it won’t be what I was in the mood for.