Fiction and Nonfiction Books that Go Together

This week’s topic for #Nonficnov is Book Pairing, connecting a fiction book with a nonfiction book.

Here are my suggestions from books I read in 2020.

FICTION

If you like Jodi Picoult novels—she takes on the hard topics in story form—you’ll like A Spark of Light. In it, Picoult takes you inside an abortion clinic where hostages are being held and hurt by a pro-life activist. While Picoult doesn’t try to convince you of the right or wrongness of what’s happening in the book, she does help you better understand the wide variety of characters involved as she unfolds the story.

NONFICTION

For a nonfiction pairing, try Compassion (&) Conviction: The AND Campaign’s Guide to Faithful Civic Engagement by Justin Giboney, Michael Wear, and Chris Butler.

Its premise is that life often isn’t binary. It’s not always this OR that. Sometimes it’s this AND that.

Written from a Christian perspective, this book educates us on how to be both Christian AND political, with grace and with love. Using examples from the Bible itself (Joseph, Moses, Daniel, etc.), the authors state, “To refuse to engage in politics is to refuse to take advantage of a useful tool for God’s work.”

It encourages Christians to identify social issues that we can help with. If we’re to love our neighbor, we need to learn how to stand up for each other in all realms of life.

“Christians should engage politics because doing so provides us with a robust opportunity to love our neighbor by acting justly, promoting human flourishing, and seeking the prosperity of our community.”

3 More Pairings

Here are three more fiction/nonfiction pairings I suggest:

  1. If you’re a Harper Lee fan (the author of To Kill a Mockingbird), you’ll also like the nonfiction Furious Hours: Murder, Fraud, and the Last Trial of Harper Lee by Casey Cep. It’s about the story of a serial killer in Alabama in the 1970s, and Harper Lee’s desire to write a book about it.
  2. If you like The Giver of Stars about the traveling librarians in Kentucky in the 1930s by Jojo Moyes, you’ll also like The Library Book by Susan Orlean. It’s the amazing history of American libraries written in a very nonstuffy way.
  3. If you like The Store by James Patterson about an Amazon-type company that is taking over the country, you’ll also like Because Internet: Understanding the New Rules of Language by Gretchen McCulloch. It explains how even our language is changing as a consequence of technology and the internet.

Link your own book pairings at JulzReads.

What fiction and nonfiction books would you pair? Share any favorites in the comments.

23 thoughts on “Fiction and Nonfiction Books that Go Together

  1. blankLaurie

    What a wonderful idea, Lisa. I think I am going to check out the Jojo Moyes – Susan Orlean combination. I have been wanting to read another book by Moyes. I liked the Me Before You series.

  2. blankEva @ The Paperback Princess

    The Library Book has been on my TBR since it came out and I always say I’m going to read it for Nonfiction November and then I don’t! I like the idea of it pairing with that Jojo Moyes book – I always enjoy her.

    Furious Hours sounds amazing and I am so adding it to my list!!

  3. blankLesley

    This is such a fun idea! I’ve never really done this because almost all the non-fiction I read is Christian and almost all the fiction I read is not! It’s definitely something to think about – I loved The Giver Of Stars so maybe I’d like The Library Book too.

  4. blankKaren Friday

    Lisa, thanks for these suggested pairings. While they all sound intriguing “The Store” and “Because Internet” reminded me of something my literary agent says. “Amazon is taking over the world.” 🙂

  5. blankAnita Ojeda

    I love this idea of pairing fiction with non-fiction! My favorite pairing for my students are The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls and The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie.

  6. blankGail

    I saw this post in #AnythingGoes and it stood out for me as a book lover, and I liked the idea of a fiction and non-fiction pairing. I’m glad you reminded me of Jodi Picoult, I used to love her books so will check this one out. The Store also sounds very intriguing.

  7. blankTheresa Boedeker

    I like posts like this. I usually have a fiction and non-fiction book going at the same time. Okay, let’s be serious, often more than one of each. I like to hop from one to the other. Taking time to let what I read marinate a bit.

  8. blankDonna

    Great idea Lisa! You’re so creative!! Love your book reviews and these fiction/non-fiction pairings are super. Of course I will take harper Lee’s books FIRST, but after that…probably the Library Book!

  9. blankJean Wise

    What fun to find pairs like this. I will have to relook at some of my favorite nonfiction books and hunt for the right match. Thanks for the challenge

  10. blankApril J Harris

    I had never thought of looking at fiction and non-fiction in pairs, Lisa – I love how you have done this!! What a great way to expand our reading lists and our reading experience. Thank you so much for sharing and for being a part of the Hearth and Soul Link Party community.

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