Monday, November 14, 2016

Nonfiction November Week 3: Book Pairing



This week's Nonfiction November topic is hosted by Sarah at Sarah’s Book Shelves.

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'm really excited about this week's topic, so I won't be able to stop with just one pairing. I love historical fiction and I love nonfiction, so I find it quite natural and entertaining to read a fiction book on a topic and then follow it up with a nonfiction buddy on the same topic. I find the fiction an easy way to get familiar with something before I delve into the nonfiction side.




The Spymistress by Jennifer Chiaverini & Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy by Karen Abbott

The Spymistress is a thrilling novelization of the life of Elizabeth Van Lew, a Civil War hero who risked everything to steal Confederate secrets during the Civil War. Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy chronicles the adventures of four female Civil War spies, including Van Lew.




The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah & Ravensbrück by Sarah Helm

The Nightingale is the story of two French sisters trying to survive the German occupation during World War II. The younger sister joins the Communist resistance, ferrying downed airmen across the border to safety. Ravensbrück details the deathly existence of Nazi Germany’s only concentration camp built solely for women.



Fever 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson & An American Plague by Jim Murphy

Both are utterly compelling accounts of the yellow fever epidemic that ravaged Colonial Philadelphia. Rich details, based on extensive research, highlight the previously neglected care-giving role of African-Americans. Although both books are geared towards a middle grade audience, I thoroughly enjoyed - and learned a lot - reading them as an adult.



I, Elizabeth by Rosalind Miles & The Life of Elizabeth I by Alison Weir


In I, Elizabeth Miles traces, through the queen's own voice, Elizabeth's turbulent years as a princess in Henry VIII's court, her uneasy status during the brief reigns of her brother Edward and sister Mary and her decades on the throne. In the nonfiction counterpart, Weir uses myriad details of dress, correspondence and contemporary accounts to create an almost affectionate portrait of a strong, well-educated ruler loved by her courtiers and people alike.


16 comments:

Susie | Novel Visits said...

Those are some great pairings. I really only know the fiction side, but the nonfiction titles look excellent. I'm especially interested in Ravensbruck. It would also pair very well with Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly. Her novel is a fictional account of women who were among the "Ravensbruck Rabbits."

Lory said...

I love historical fiction/nonfiction pairings. I have not yet read The Nightingale WWII novel actually set in Ravensbruck is Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein.

A Bookshelf Monstrosity said...

Susie- didn't realize that's what Lilac Girls were about!

reviewsbylola said...

Great post! I enjoyed Fever 1793 so I will have to look up the companion book you posted.

Melinda Ott said...

Ooh, I really enjoyed The Spymistress! I also have Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy on my TBR shelf.

Jane @ www.raincitylibrarian.ca said...

All fantastic pairings! The Ravensbruck title is new to me, as is Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy. Great recommendations!

Sarah's Book Shelves said...

I loved Liar, Temptress so the Van Lew book totally appeals to me! And I remember hearing good things about Ravensbruck last year, though I don't think I have a long, intense book about concentration camps in me at the moment.

Toady said...

Such interesting pairings. I am quite a fan of the civil war era, as you can see from my own pairings. I am adding the first suggestion to my TBR.

raidergirl3 said...

Great pairings! The plague books look very good, I'm making note of them.
I'm much better at reading the historical fiction and then never getting around to the nonfiction version.

JoAnn said...

These are excellent pairings! I finally read The Nightingale this year and have been wondering about Ravensbrück. Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy is on my wish list, too.

looloolooweez said...

Oh hey, I used Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy for one of my pairings, too! I'm definitely going to have to check out that Chiaverini book.

Amanda @ Gun in Act One said...

So many good books! I loved Liar, Temptress. I'm reading my first Chiaverini book now so I'll have to add the Spymistress to my list. I struggled with Lilac Girls at times, but parts of it were really well done and it did make me want to read Ravensbruck when I'm ready for a book that heavy.

DoingDewey said...

Ooh, I love all your historical fiction pairings! I'm especially interested in The Spymistress, because I loved Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy :)

Ellie Warren said...

I'm sure I remember adding Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy to my wishlist some time ago, I couldn't resist that title. I will look up those yellow fever books.

Catherine Gilmore said...

Great pairings! I'm a fiction fiend so I read and loved The Nightingale and will add Ravensbruck to my TBR. I might wait a bit, though. Not sure I'm ready to read anything from such a dark time right now.

I love Alison Weir! Did you know she's doing a series on Henry VIII's wife? It's fiction, but the amount of research she does is amazing. So far, it's only Katherine of Aragon, but Anne Boleyn comes out next year.

A Bookshelf Monstrosity said...

Catherine- I think I'd really enjoy fiction from Weir. I love historical fiction that's really well researched.

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