Nonfiction November has commenced and the second of this year’s weekly discussion prompts is Book Pairings, hosted by Sarah of Sarah’s Book Shelves.
The idea is to 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.
Looking back at the nonfiction books I’ve read so far this year, here are some suggested pairings. Links from the titles will take you to my review or the book description on Goodreads.
Pair Beyond The Thirty-Nine Steps: A Life of John Buchan by Ursula Buchan with (obviously) The Thirty-Nine Steps by John Buchan – the classic spy thriller for which the author is best known (or watch the Hitchcock film version starring Robert Donat which Buchan generously described as improving on the book)
Pair In My Life: A Music Memoir by Alan Johnson with The Commitments by Roddy Doyle – set in 1980s Dublin (rather than 1960s South London), Jimmy Rabbitte forms a soul band, The Commitments, and dreams of musical success.
Pair Untitled: The Real Wallis Simpson, Duchess of Windsor by Anna Pasternak with Ike and Kay by James MacManus – a fictionalized account of the real life relationship between another couple in the public eye.
Pair Chanel’s Riviera: Peace and War on the Cote d’Azur, 1930 – 1944 by Anne de Courcy with The Dressmaker’s War by Mary Chamberlain – the story of an English dressmaker caught in Germany during World War II, the choices she must make to stay alive and the implications of those choices in the aftermath of the war.