Nonfiction November: Book Pairings

This week's theme for Nonfiction November, hosted at Regular Rumination, is book pairings--matching up non-fiction books with fictional counterparts, or vice versa--which is one of my favorite ways to explore a particular subject. On a random assortments of topics, here are a few that stand out to me:

Something Must Be Done About Prince Edward County and Lies We Tell Ourselves

Kristen Green's memoir and history explores a shameful but important piece of American history--the closing of the public schools in Prince Edward County, Virginia to protest desegregation. Robin Talley's YA novel is the fictionalized story of two high school girls--one black, one white--on opposite sides of the segregation debate who find themselves thrown into an unexpected friendship. (I wrote about this pairing in more depth earlier this year.)

Packing for Mars and The Martian

Andy Weir's novel, The Martian, has made it big with a movie adaptation starring Matt Damon. While it's a fun story (I highly recommend the audio version), it's even more interesting to me because of all the science in it; Weir definitely did his homework. To continue the exploration of space travel and all its glories, pick up Mary Roach's Packing for Mars, a scientific study of space travel complete with Roach's characteristic wit and humor.

Just Like Us and The Book of Unknown Americans

Helen Thorpe's study of four immigrant girls in America isn't perfect, but it is an interesting glimpse into the experience of trying to span the distance between one's homeland and life in America. It also touches on the varying experiences of those in the United States with and without papers--especially those who came here as children. Cristina Henriquez' novel moves this study from Colorado to Delaware, nonfiction to fiction, but explores similar themes of belonging and patriotism and hope.


Anyone else like to pair fiction and non-fiction when reading on a particular subject?

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