Something in Common: Fiction/Nonfiction Book Pairing

Book Pairing: Match a fiction book with a nonfiction book that you would recommend. 

This week’s Nonfiction November topic offers an interesting challenge, and I’m really curious to see what other participants will be recommending! I struggled with it, truthfully, until I decided to bend the rules a little. I have two different pairings to suggest today, and neither is a proper “pairing”–each includes a topical nonfiction work and two related novels, so it’s probably more accurate to call these “themed reading trios.” (I made that up.)

The first grouping is a fairly obvious one on the topic of teen violence in a school setting: Dave Cullen’s enlightening, terrifying investigation Columbine and Lionel Shriver’s deeply unsettling novel We Need to Talk About Kevin are both complemented by Jessica Knoll’s 2015 fiction debut, Luckiest Girl Alive; in fact, Knoll credits Cullen’s work as a resource in the her novel’s acknowledgements.

About a month ago in my review of Anna Lefler’s debut novel Preschooled, I suggested it might make a good companion read with Meg Mitchell Moore’s fall 2015 novel The Admissions–both revolve around the perils and pressures of modern upper-middle-class parenting, but they approach it from opposite ends of childhood. Both would be complemented well by the perspective offered by one of my 2014 Nonfiction Books of the Year, Jennifer Senior’s All Joy and No Fun: The Paradox of Modern Parenthood.

Nonfiction November Book Pairing

Do you have any recommendations for fiction and nonfiction reads that complement each other?

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