#NonficNov: Fiction/Nonfiction Book Pairings

November 8, 2021 Uncategorized 50

Welcome to the second week of Nonfiction November! I’m super excited to be your host this week for the Fiction/Nonfiction Book Pairing prompt. This is always such a fun one. You can link-up your pairings at the bottom of this post. The full prompt this week is:

Fiction/Nonfiction Book Pairing : 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’ve actually been focused enough on nonfiction this year that I had a hard time with this one! I think I’ve read a lot of nonfiction for which good fiction pairings exist, but I’ve stuck with two where I’ve read both parts of the pair.

Creative WWII Resistance Fighters

I’m happy to be able to include these two books here, because both were really well done! The author of the Raul Wallenberg story did a great job showing the risks Wallenberg took using bureaucratic means to stymie the Nazis in their attempts to deport Jews from Hungary. It was a creative way of fighting back and took incredible bravery from every participating member of the Swedish embassy staff. For that reason, I think it pairs well with the fictional story in The Ventriloquists, where a small band of resistance fighters use a fake newspaper to fight back against the Nazis. Both stories involved unique modes of resistance that required participants to risk everything to stand up for their beliefs. The beautiful writing in The Ventriloquists made it one of my favorite reads of the year.

Charlotte Bronte

Pairing this iconic Bronte biography with one of her books is a bit obvious, but I think it pairs particularly well with this specific book of hers. The biography is amazing. It’s so detailed and gave me a lot of insight into the way Bronte’s life informed her fiction. Villette was the book of Bronte’s that felt the bleakest to me and I found that all the more moving for knowing that it was inspired by tragic events in the author’s life.

them both up; you know you want to!

Instagram Challenge and Discussion Link-Up

Thank you all for joining us for another year of Nonfiction November! Don’t forget to link-up your discussion prompt responses and nonfiction reviews with below. You can also join Jaymi at The OC Book Girl for the Instragram challenge every day. The hashtag there and on twitter is #NonficNov. 

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

50 Responses to “#NonficNov: Fiction/Nonfiction Book Pairings”

    • DoingDewey

      I feel like I’ve had years with a lot more pairings, but coming up with two was some effort for me this year! Nice job coming up with two as well 🙂

  1. Lisbeth @ The Content Reader

    Love the pairings. Being a Swede, and a former Ministry of Foreign Affairs employer, I am well aware of the heroic efforts of Raoul Wallenberg and the embassy staff at the time. Amazing story and such a story that it is difficult to make up. I am really teased by your pairing of ‘The Ventriloquists’. Have not heard about it before, but will look for it.
    I am a big fan of the Brontës and have read both books. I used to live in Brussels, where Charlotte had a fling on her teacher. I am also a member of the Brussel’s Brontë Group, and have followed in the footsteps of Charlotte and Emily. I agree that Villette is not my favourite book by Charlotte, but I think it is considered to be her best. Ahead of her time with the description of religious doubts and a personal breakdown.
    Great pairings indeed.
    Lisbeth @ The Content Reader recently posted…Nonfiction NovemberMy Profile

    • DoingDewey

      Wow! It sounds like you’ve had a very interesting career. I’m glad to hear you were already aware of Raoul’s story. He seems like someone worth remebering 🙂

      The Brussel’s Bronte group sounds awesome. I’d definitely like to visit the places Charlotte wrote about if I get the opportunity.

  2. Rennie

    The Raoul Wallenberg biography sounds really good! I remember the one time I visited Stockholm I noticed a bunch of things named after him and was curious enough to look him up, it was the first time I’d heard of him. The story of what they did really did seem incredible. I might give that one a try! I love the idea of a pairing around WWII resistance fighters!
    Rennie recently posted…Nonfiction November Week 2: Book PairingsMy Profile

    • DoingDewey

      Ooh, thanks for sharing! I’m glad to hear that he’s memorialized there. There was a lot of detail to the story and the writing could sometimes have been more exciting, but the events themselves were so incredible, I really enjoyed this one 🙂

      • Rennie

        I know what you mean, sometimes some less than thrilling writing is excusable when the story itself is compelling enough 🙂

        Someone just recommended this one to me and I thought of you because of this pairing – The Bohemians: The Lovers Who Led Germany’s Resistance Against the Nazis, by Norman Ohler. It seems like it’s narrative nonfiction on this topic, I thought it sounded great!
        Rennie recently posted…Nonfiction November Week 2: Book PairingsMy Profile

    • DoingDewey

      I often think I’ve reached my limit on reading about WWII, but every time that happens, I find a new and interesting perspective on the topic that makes me excited about it all over again 🙂

  3. Dee Fisher

    I love this week – here were my choices – Recommendation 1 – Drug Addiction (Opiods) and 2 – Rising Sea Levels/Climate Change.

  4. Jen at Introverted Reader

    You showed more restraint than I did. I meant to write about 3 pairings but remembered an important one I forgot to include *after* my Instagram post went live. So I just added it as a fourth option since I had never hit publish on my actual blog post! Oops.

    I love books about WWII and I love Jane Eyre. I own Villette but haven’t read it yet. I’ll be sure to check both your pairings out.

    Thanks for hosting!
    Jen at Introverted Reader recently posted…Weekly Update for November 7, 2021My Profile

    • DoingDewey

      Oh, I would have shared more if I could come up with them! I always love coming up with as many pairings as I can for this one. Some years that’s a lot and other years two is all I’ve got 🙂 Thanks for joining in!

    • DoingDewey

      Haha, yep, I think it was around 800 pages. I have to admit that length would probably have put me off, but I picked it up as an ebook and didn’t realize what I was getting myself into! I’m glad I didn’t though, because it was really good.

      I’ve not read anything by the other Bronte’s but I’d like to eventually now that I’ve learned something about them.

    • DoingDewey

      I will do my best to keep reminding you about the Barker bio! I really loved it, so I’m happy to keep pushing it.

      I would also guess WWII will be a common topic. I can’t believe how much fiction and nonfiction is published focused on that time period!

    • DoingDewey

      Haha, I get not enjoying Villette. There’s definitely a time in my life when I would have found the author’s philosophy on life and the main character’s passivity really frustrating. I’m surprised to find that I was able to really enjoy the beautiful writing and feminist perspective on the book anyway. The Bronte family dynamics really are fascinating!

  5. JaneGS

    Both of your pairings appeal to me so much. I really enjoy learning about WWII, both in fiction and nonfiction. I hadn’t heard of either of the books you paired, so they are going on my list.

    And, I have been reading the Brontes for decades now. I agree that Villete is bleak. I actually got frustrated with both the author and her fictional self. I read the Barker bio a few years ago and thought it marvelous. Great pairing!

    • DoingDewey

      Oh, I’m glad! I’m a little surprised that I didn’t find Villette frustrating, but it was so beautifully written and I enjoyed feeling like I understood Bronte’s perspective when writing it. I think that was enough to balance out the rather frustrating protagonist for me 🙂

    • DoingDewey

      I have to admit, I might have been scared off by the length of the Barker bio had I picked up a physical copy, but as an ebook, I didn’t know what I was getting into! I’m glad it worked out that way though, because I thought it was worth the length for the fascinating level of detail it includes.

  6. CurlyGeek

    It’s amazing how many heroic stories there are about World War II – every time I think it must be tapped out by now, another story emerges. The New York Times just had a fascinating story about a Portuguese consulate in France who saved thousands by signing visas when he was told not to. I also love stories about women in WWII. A Woman of No Importance is one of those – not an unusual story maybe but unusual in that this woman wasn’t more recognized.

    • DoingDewey

      It’s so true! Not even just heroic stories, but all the many different takes on this time period. Whenever I think I couldn’t possibly be excited to read yet another book on WWII, something comes out that sounds fresh and interesting.

  1. Fiction/Nonfiction #nonficnov – louloureads

    […] I always love the fiction/nonfiction prompt for Nonfiction November – it’s hosted by Katie at Doing Dewey, and here’s the prompt: This week, pair up a nonfiction book with a fiction title. It can be […]

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