Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Nonfiction November: Book Pairing


Nonfiction November continues. Our host for week two is Lu at Regular Rumination and our topic is Book Pairings. Leslie explains:
The original intention of this week’s theme was put together a fiction book and a nonfiction book that go well together. If you decide to pair two nonfiction books together, that works too! It could be two (or more!) books you’ve read, one book you’ve read and one you have not, or two books that you’ve added to your TBR and want to read that you think will complement and inform each other.
The possibilities here seem endless, so I've decided to limit myself to titles I've read this year. For those with literary leanings, I suggest...


So We Read On: How The Great Gatsby Came to Be and Why It Endures... an interesting mix of literary discussion, F. Scott Fitzgerald biography, and memoir from author and NPR book critic Maureen Corrigan.


After reading Corrigan's book, dust off your copy of The Great Gatsby. If you haven't read it since high school, or even in the past decade, you won't believe it's the same book!

What book pairings would you suggest?

29 comments:

  1. I thought about this combination, too! It's great. I'd really love to read So We Read On.

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    1. Lu - I really enjoyed So We Read On... and learned a lot, too.

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  2. Non-Fiction: Vita's Other World--A Gardening Biography of Vita Sackville-West by Jane Brown. Great book any gardener would love. Vita's husband, Harold Nicholson, was a great gardener along with Vita. Fiction: The White Garden: A Novel of Virginia Woolf by Stephanie Baron. The White Garden being, of course, part of Vita's garden at Sissinghurst. I've read them both and do recommend. :-)

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    1. JudyMac - Oh, that's a good one! I remember being intrigued with the cover of The White Garden when it was released... very attractive.

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  3. What a great pairing! I'd had An So We Played On on my TBR for what seems like forever. I hope I get to it at some point.

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    1. Sarah - It was a good book. So sad that FSF believed himself to be a failure when he died.

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  4. I should read the nonfiction book about Gatsby because I like the book but don't really understand why it is so important.

    My Nonfiction Pairs

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    1. Anne Bennett - There is much more to Gatsby than the obvious symbols we were hit over the head with in high school. Always interesting to reread books which were assigned back then...

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  5. I like this meme. I also like the fact that you have limited your post to one pairing. I have not read So We Read On. I think that it would be great idea to read it right before rereading (or for first time readers an initial read) of the Great Gatsby.

    I love reading literary criticism and other non - fiction written around fiction.

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    1. Brian Joseph - It was a lot of fun thinking about fiction/nonfiction pairings, but limiting it to books read this year made it tougher. I enjoyed many of the books I read in high school, but probably missed so much of their meaning and significance. Have often thought about beginning a "rereading high school" project...

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  6. Ooh, I didn't know there was a nonfiction book about Gatsby! Thanks for the heads up!

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    1. Samstillreading - And it's a longer book that Gatsby, too ;-)

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  7. So We Read On sounds very interesting....my nonfic wishlist is exploding!

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    1. Brona - Mine is too! That always happens in November:)

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  8. I think I would pair the book I am reading now--A Woman's Work is Never Done: A History of Housework in the British Isles 1650-1950 by Caroline Davis, with any novel by Jane Austen. It would be interesting to review the seemingly effortless lives of Jane Austen characters in the context of the intense labor involved in keeping a household running.

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    1. Patience_Crabstick - Oh, that sounds interesting! I'm planning to read Emma next month (or whenever I finish The Last Chronicle of Barset), so will take a closer look.

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  9. I do like this question...and your answer, though somehow I'm often more drawn to the book about the book!

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    1. Audrey - That's understandable... it's such an interesting book, and I enjoyed Corrigan's narration, too.

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  10. This is a great pairing. I'm always happy to see nonfiction that is written about fiction. Those make the best pairings!

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    1. Hibernators Library - I've always been drawn to books about books, too!

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  11. Yes!!! I remember you mentioning So We Read On a few times and while Gatsby isn't my favorite book, it's the one I've read the most because it's just so rich and fascinating. Maybe next year I'll do a paired reading of the two.

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    1. Trish - So We Read On added to my appreciation of Gatsby, but it has never been one of my favorites either.

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  12. I didn't even really like Gatsby and I still want to read this! I just can't say no to books about books :)

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    1. DoingDewey - I remember enjoying Tender is the Night much more than Gatsby when I was in high school, but Gatsby has improved as I've gotten older.

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  13. This sounds like a fascinating choice, JoAnn; I definitely want to check this one out, since I've been wanting to re-read The Great Gatsby. Thanks so much for the recommendation!

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    1. Tara - Gatsby definitely improves with rereading and age!

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  14. Oh that's a great book pairing! I hadn't heard about So We Read On. Must look for it!

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