Non-Fiction November: Fiction/Non-Fiction Pairings

This week’s Non-Fiction November topic is fiction/non-fiction pairings. This week is hosted by Sarah at Sarah’s Bookshelves and she’s got a number of great pairings waiting for you on her site.

I’ll be honest – I’m still not 100% myself. I find myself distracted and emotional (not unusual to well up over a tweet these days) and focusing on non-fiction hasn’t been easy. I’ve actually taken a one-book break from non-fiction, just to try and get my bearings back.

That said, I did put together a couple of fiction/non-fiction pairings. They may be a little more serious than I would have come up with had things turned out differently last week.

Fiction: The Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll. Ani FaNelli has worked really hard to build her new life on the ashes of what happened to her at a prestigious high school. But as she prepares to marry the perfect man, she starts to come to terms with her past and her facade starts to crumble.

Non-fiction: Missoula: Rape and and the Justice System in a College Town. Jon Krakauer looks at the very real ramifications of the astounding rates of (reported) sexual assaults on college campuses. This epidemic had seemed to gain ground in the right direction in the past 12 months. Let’s hope that that wasn’t all for nothing.


Fiction: A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman. I’ve recommended this charming story many, many times. Even as recently as last week. If you haven’t already, please read this lovely tale about an old man who is so very done with the world, only to be confronted with the good in humanity.

Non-fiction: The Nordic Theory of Everything: In Search of a Better Life by Anu Partanen. This book is a great way to begin to understand the Scandinavian mindset. The author leaves Finland for love in America and finds it difficult to adjust to her new life. Her book focuses on four key relationships – parents and children, men and women, employees and employers, and government and citizens – and how they shape America and the Nordic countries. I just read today that the Swedish government wants to provide tax incentives for those that fix their possessions rather than tossing them. I would caution those of you living in the States to read this one right now. It might be really tough on you.

26 thoughts on “Non-Fiction November: Fiction/Non-Fiction Pairings

  1. I didn’t realize Luckiest Girl Alive dealt with rape…I thought Missoula was fantastic. And though I bailed on Ove (sorry, he just drove me crazy!!), Nordic Theory sounds fascinating. I love reading about cultural differences and foreigners impressions of America.

    • Luckiest Girl Alive is DEVASTATING but wrapped up in shiny chick lit-ness. Do not be fooled.
      Ove is the worst. Until he isn’t. Also recommend My Grandmother Sends Her Regards and Apologizes – perhaps that is more your speed. That one also made me cry.

  2. Great pairings. A Man Called Ove sounds like a book that a lot of people should pick up this year. I will check that novel out further.
    I didn’t get far enough in Luckiest Girl Alive to see it deal with rape. Even though I am usually a fan of unlikeable characters, that girl drove me to the brink. I keep telling myself that I didn’t give it enough of a try, so maybe I will pick it up again at some point. Admittedly, timing is a factor for me.

    • If you go back and give Luckiest Girl Alive, I bet you will see Ani differently. She was totally horrible but when you go back and meet her as a teenager, it starts to make sense.
      Timing is totally a factor! You have to be in the right frame of mind for some books.
      I hope you do end up reading A Man Called Ove. It remains a favourite.

  3. I’m in the middle of The Nordic Theory of Everything. I’m amazed at what they’ve been able to accomplish and saddened that we are no where close (and probably now moving farther away from) ever achieving the equivalent in the States. It’s been a week and I’m still bummed.

    • I think it’s totally normal to not have bounced back right away. I think it’s abnormal to be OK by now. I’m sure this book is not helping. They have some incredible programs in the Nordic countries and I think a lot of them are worth modelling in other countries. But yeah, now there’s more work to do eh?
      Hang in there.

  4. All four books sound great! The rape books would be heavy, but maybe necessary to read. Krakauer writes great books, so that is certainly a plus. The Nordic book would be interesting as a Canadian. I always feel we are somewhere between the US and Scandanavia. (socially and actually physically!)

    • Krakauer *does* write great books – I read Prophet’s Prey last year and it was also excellent. Haunting and horrible, but well written and researched.
      I agree with you about being in the middle – but reading more in depth about the Scandinavians shows that we could still do some more work!

  5. Missoula was a tough, but excellent book. I’ll have to try Luckiest Girl Alive. A Man Called Ove has been on my kindle for ages, and I like the sound of The Nordic Theory of Everything, too. Great pairings!

    • It’s full of great ideas but there is also a lot about the author’s frustrations with access to services and within relationships in America. That part might be difficult right now.
      I’m so heartened to hear that so many people have read Missoula – I feel like it’s a really important book.

  6. Pingback: Links I Loved This Week – 11/18/16 – Novels And Nonfiction

  7. I hear you on the inability to feel better. I’m in the same place, but am slowly moving from being shell-shocked to thinking about what I can do to help those who are really going to need it in the next four years.

    Having said that, I really want to read Missoula, but know now that a sexual predator is president I’m going to have to wait until I can handle it.

    • Oh god. I’d thought about that too. I can’t imagine having been the victim of sexual assault and looking at the leader of my country and seeing a rapist. Whenever you’re ready for it, Missoula will be worth the read. But maybe have a wine on hand for the experience…

  8. This is my favorite week of Nonfiction November! I’ve never read A Man Called Ove, but I’ve seen it around. You make it sound very appealing. Perhaps I’ll pick it up some time next year.

  9. Pingback: Nonfiction November 2017: Fiction / Nonfiction Pairings Round-Up - Sarah's Book Shelves

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