Thursday, 12 November 2020

Non-Fiction November - Week Two

 

Week 2: (Nov. 9 to 13) – Book Pairing (Julz of Julz Reads): This week, pair up a nonfiction book with a fiction title. It can be a “If you loved this book, read this!” or just two titles that you think would go well together. Maybe it’s a historical novel and you’d like to get the real history by reading a nonfiction version of the story.

I'll start with the book pairings I have actually managed to combine in recent times.

But now comes your part!

I have some book pairings that I would like your feedback on. 
  • This year I watched The Great (tv series) - a tremendously fun romp around the court of Catherine the Great before she became Great! I would love to pair this book with some great non-fiction about her. Can you recommend any?
  • In an opposite pairing request, I loved Hisham Matar's Month in Siena a lot earlier this year. I would love a good literary fiction also set in Siena, possibly about the art world or historical in nature. Can you recommend any?

22 comments:

  1. I loved Robert K. Massie's biography of Catherine the Great. I chose it for a book group a few years ago and it was a great hit, which was a huge relief as it's more than 600 pages long (though a lot of it is endnotes and index.) My library also had an audio download which was excellent.

    I look forward to your thoughts on Elizabeth von Arnim, one of my favorite writers.

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    1. That is the one I have put on order, I confess Karen, so glad it has your good word as well.

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    2. Yes, Massie is a biography GOD, so that would be the one you'd want!

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    3. Wow! Now I have to find out if he wrote any other bio's!

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  2. Also forgot to mention there's an excellent Russian miniseries about Catherine called Ekaterina, it's available on Amazon Prime in the US. I haven't seen The Great or the HBO series with Helen Mirren yet but I really enjoyed Ekaterina.

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    1. Thanks Karen, I’ll look out for both those shows.

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  3. I'm very interested in reading Elizabeth and the German Garden. I'm adding Only Happiness Here to my wishlist, though I bet I won't find it here in the US.

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    1. It was utterly delightful Deb. I just have to finish my review for it.

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    2. Elizabeth and the German Garden is a wonderful book. Since reading it, I wanted to read more by von Arnhim, but I think you really have to look for her books these days. I have put Only Happines Here to my wishlist as well.

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    3. A few of her books can be found on Project Gutenberg Lisbeth.

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  4. I really enjoyed both Fathoms and Intimiations, so I'm excited to see you pair them with some classics! Great selections :)

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  5. Definitely fun to see we share one common pairing. I'm going to look into Intimations

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  6. Really good pairing here. I was not so fascinated by Moby Dick so can't imagine reading any nonfiction. Although, having just read The Gospel of the Eels, I found the facts very fascinating. Should maybe read a nonfiction on whales...hm?
    I am reading The Plague as well, just some 30 pages left. It describes a lot of features that we have gotten used to today, but I still find it somewhat depressing to read. Maybe it is just the times.

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    1. The times we're living through certainly affect our reading habits. I certainly could not have read this book early in the pandemic, but then I got to a point when I wanted to know if we could learn something from history - or more to the point - why we hadn't learnt anything from history!! I get so frustrated at our collective inability to learn from the past.

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  7. I can't offer any suggestions on your two questions, although Siena is one of my favorite places in Italy so I'll be interested to see what others suggest. I just read The Fire This Time and The Vanishing Half and highly recommend both. Thanks for the recommendations.

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    1. The only book set in Siena that I know about right now is Alexander McCall Smith's My Italian Bulldozer.

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  8. Lovely pairings. I once read an interesting novel and then two books about the same topic: tulips. Goes with my Dutch history.

    My post on Week 2.

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    1. Was one of the tulip books by Michael Pollan? The Botany of Desire? If you haven't already read the tulip section of this book, you should! It was very memorable.

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    2. No, I have not read that one. Those I listed in my post are also very good, if you're interested in the topic, I highly recommend them. And, of course, I'll look for the one you suggested. Thanks.

      Happy Reading.

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  9. These are some interesting pairings. Elizabeth+Garden is on my TBR, so thanks for those recs. And I see you paired up The Plague too with a Zadie Smith, going to check that as well. The Great is an awesome show, completely agree -- have you tried the Helen Mirren version?

    Also, thanks for the tips on blogger commenting -- greatly appreciated :)

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    1. We've yet to get to the Helen Mirren version, but looking forward to it...and fingers crossed for a second season of The Great!

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  10. Intimations is on my TBR. I love your pairings here!

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