Pair Your Nonfiction and Fiction Books

While I do love a meaty nonfiction book, I also love a great novel. Often it’s the fiction stories that grab our hearts to make us care about the nonfiction information.

So on this Week 2 of Nonfiction November we are pairing nonfiction books with fiction books. Find more pairings here with Rennie at What’s Nonfiction.

4 Pairs of Nonfiction and Fiction Books

Here are four combinations I recommend from books I’ve read this year.


A. Stories I Only Tell My Friends
An Autobiography
by Rob Lowe

Even though I’ve been a fan of Rob Lowe through the years, I picked up this autobiography with low expectations. I was delightfully surprised. He tells interesting stories with a lot of humility.


B. A Tale for the Time Being
by Ruth Ozeki

Nao, a 16-year-old in Tokyo, writes a journal of her life. Then sends it anonymously into the world. It’s discovered by Ruth, a novelist on a remote island, who then wonders if she should take action on it.


A. The Wisdom of Your Body
Finding Healing, Wholeness, and Connection Through Embodied Living
by Hillary L. McBride

Even though I know better, I still fight feelings of shame about my body’s imperfections. This book helped me make more peace with my body instead.


B. All That Fills Us
by Autumn Lytle

Mel Ellis has an eating disorder. To recover, she decides on the spur of the moment to hike across America. My ordered mind had quite a few problems with the logistics of this premise. But it opened my eyes to the complexities of eating disorders.


A. Cultish
The Language of Fanaticism
by Amanda Montell

This fascinating book focuses on how words can heavily influence people for good or for bad, and in this case, for bad.


B. Sins of the Tribe
by Mark A. Salter

The fictional Bastille University has a powerhouse football team. And its fans are cultish in their devotion. But what happens to the tribe when they lose their long-time coach?


A. Shaking the Gates of Hell
A Search for Family and Truth in the Wake of the Civil Rights Revolution
by John Archibald

John Archibald’s father Robert Archibald was a Methodist preacher. When John looks back at his childhood, he has questions about his father’s and the church’s response to the civil rights revolution happening all around them. Beautifully written.


B. The Last House on the Street
by Diane Chamberlain

Kayla Carter’s new house is attracting unwanted attention. When she looks back into the history of the neighborhood, she finds secrets of racism and violence. A riveting story told in dual time periods.

Pair your nonfiction and fiction books

What nonfiction book would you pair with a fiction book? Share your thoughts in the comments.

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11 thoughts on “Pair Your Nonfiction and Fiction Books

  1. Lynn

    What a neat idea; pairing fiction books with non-fiction books. I wonder if we do that more often we’ll see a pattern of how our non-fiction readings may well have the same theme as our fiction readings. After all, fiction is characters wrestling out their questions in life while non-fiction books address those problems directly! I heard about Rob Lowe’s book quite some time ago, and you’ve reminded me about it here. I’ll be putting on my library list!

  2. Maryleigh

    A total coincidence – but I’m leading a bible study, “Aging with Grace,” and halfway through that reading, started reading, “The Dean’s Watch” by Elizabeth Goudge. Both are such encouraging books on flourishing as we age – and the evolution of the soul towards God – regardless of the age. I have been delighted and encouraged!

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