In case you missed it, last week Amanda kicked off our Nonfiction November with some of her fave NF reads. Lest she call me out again for skipping out, here I am to get us started for this week’s topic: pairing up a nonfiction book with a fiction one.
Grouping books together is totally my jam – see exhibits a, b, and c – so I am excited about this topic.
Issac’s Storm + The Promise
Both of these books have been on my TBR for a while, and I’m actually just waiting for Issac’s Storm to be mine from the library so I can hop to it! Issac’s Storm is Erik Larson’s nonfiction account of the 1900 hurricane in Galveston, Texas – the greatest natural disaster in American history. The Promise is Ann Weisgarber’s novel about a young woman from Ohio who arrives in Galveston in 1900 to marry a childhood admirer. I can’t to see how the fictional account works in the realities of the storm.
The Girls of Atomic City + Code Name Verity
If you are interested in reading about women during WWII, then I’m going to recommend both of these books. Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein is an amazing novel about two friends and the role they play in the war effort. The Girls of Atomic City is Denise Kiernan’s nonfiction account of Oak Ridge, Tennessee, and the work that was done there during the war. Young women doing what they can during the war? Check. Hardships and reality? Check. Secrets and intrigue? Check. Seriously – you won’t regret reading either one.
The Dead Duke, His Secret Wife and The Missing Corpse + The Talented Mr. Ripley
I just finished The Dead Duke, His Secret Wife and The Missing Corpse which was kind of a bizarre story. I spent most of the book trying to figure out when the Dead Duke really died and whose life he was living at the time. Trying unravel this mystery led me to thinking about Patricia Highsmith’s The Talented Mr. Ripley. Ripley’s way of becoming someone is far more sinister than what might have happened with the mysterious 5th Duke of Portland and T.C. Druce – but Druce sounds like kind of a dirtbag which led me to this comparison.
The Witches: Salem, 1692 + A Few YA Reads
I’m only 20 pages into The Witches right now and I keep thinking of books I have read or want to read! First, I thought of the Cahill Witch Chronicles by Jessica Spotswood which I’ve been wanting to read forever. Witches trying to stay secret – yes please. Next I thought of The Fever by Megan Abbott, about a creepy panic when high school girls fall ill. Not my favorite read to be honest, but it was compelling and the paranoia hearkens back to Salem quite a bit in my mind. Continuing with the YA theme I thought of The Witch Hunter by Virginia Boecker. This is more of a stretch I think – but the accusations and the searching for witches is what brought it to my mind. Last one, maybe more middle grade I suppose, but the fantastic Madeline L’Engle’s Wrinkle in Time series -specifically A Swiftly Tilting Planet. As I read about Cotton Mather inserting himself into the history of Salem I thought about how he gets involved in the story of Meg and Charles Wallace. And I want to now throw over my whole TBR to read the whole Wrinkle in Time series again. I am curious to see what else jumps to mind as I keep reading – and a bit nervous to read about what happened in Salem.
What books are you linking together this week?
Isaac’s Storm is the next Erik Larson I want to read, but I hadn’t heard of The Promise. Just added it to my list.
Looking forward to hearing more about The Dead Duke!
There’s an Erik Larson book I didn’t know about?!! Christmas has come early!
The Dead Duke is SO ON THE LIST. And that has renewed my interest in reading The Talented Mr Ripley. Excellent post Holly – so many books fighting to get to the top of my list.
Thanks PBP! Even though Amanda has been holding down the GIAO fort, I try to contribute now and again. I am woefully behind on my 2015 reading.
The Girls of Atomic City and Code Name Verity – perfect! Both are on my wish list, too,
This is the second recommendation I’ve seen today for The Girls of Atomic City – adding it to my TBR…and it sounds similar to The Wives of Los Alamos (which is already on my TBR). And – The Fever!! What an awesome pairing with The Witches (though I haven’t read The Witches)….another one in that vein (fiction) is The Unraveling of Mercy Louis.
Oooh, I will look up the wives!
Ooh, this is really interesting. I’m not really a big non-fiction reader, so when you pair up an NF read with a novel that interests me, it motivates me to read more 😀 I’ve noted all of these 😀
Wow you have thought up some wonderful pairs. I was just thinking about reading Isaac’s storm TODAY. Isn’t that weird timing?
My Nonfiction Pairs
These are great pairings. I need to read The Girls of Atomic City.
I love when a really good book makes me want to read more about the subject at hand. I haven’t read any of these but would like to–namely Code Verity and Issac’s Storm. I’ll keep in mind your pairings when I do finally get to them!
Isaac’s Storm has been sitting on my shelf for a few years already; time to finally read it! And Code Name Verity, which has been on my list, is now joined by The Girls of Atomic City.
I recently read The Talented Mr. Ripley and I believe I put the crazy Duke story on my tbr not too long ago. Wonderful idea to read and compare these. Great post.
I’ve just recently read my first book by Larson and I really enjoyed it! I’d definitely like to check out Isaac’s Storm too 🙂
The Girls of Atomic City has been on my want list for a while. I had NO idea Larson wrote a novel about the Galveston hurricane. Now I want to read THAT too!!