19 Must-Read Book Pairs: Fiction and Nonfiction Examples

19 Must-Read Book Pairs: Fiction and Nonfiction ExamplesThe world of literature offers a wealth of captivating stories, and sometimes the most intriguing connections can be found when we explore fiction and nonfiction book pairings. In the 2023 Reading Challenge, the goal is to read a fiction and nonfiction pairing that shares a common thread – be it the topic, author, setting, or even the title. This approach not only adds depth to your reading experience but also provides a fascinating perspective on the different ways authors can approach a subject or theme.

To help you embark on this literary adventure, we’ve curated a list of 19 must-read book pairs that showcase the best of fiction and nonfiction. Each pairing offers an engaging and thought-provoking journey, enabling you to dive deeper into the stories and gain a richer understanding of the themes that connect them.

Here’s a list of 19 must-read book pairs with fiction and nonfiction examples:

  1. “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee (Fiction) and “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” by Maya Angelou (Nonfiction) – Both books address themes of racial injustice and coming of age in the American South.
  2. “The Nightingale” by Kristin Hannah (Fiction) and “Code Name: Lise” by Larry Loftis (Nonfiction) – Both books focus on the courageous acts of women during World War II.
  3. “The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald (Fiction) and “Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald” by Therese Anne Fowler (Nonfiction) – Both books explore the lives and relationships of the characters during the Jazz Age.
  4. “Jurassic Park” by Michael Crichton (Fiction) and “The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs” by Steve Brusatte (Nonfiction) – Both books delve into the fascinating world of dinosaurs and their eventual extinction.
  5. “The Martian” by Andy Weir (Fiction) and “The Case for Mars” by Robert Zubrin (Nonfiction) – Both books explore the challenges and possibilities of human colonization of Mars.
  6. “1984” by George Orwell (Fiction) and “The Origins of Totalitarianism” by Hannah Arendt (Nonfiction) – Both books examine the dangers of totalitarianism and its impact on society.
  7. “The Devil in the White City” by Erik Larson (Fiction) and “The Monster of Florence” by Douglas Preston (Nonfiction) – Both books focus on the chilling stories of real-life serial killers and the investigations that brought them to justice.
  8. “The Handmaid’s Tale” by Margaret Atwood (Fiction) and “The Second Sex” by Simone de Beauvoir (Nonfiction) – Both books explore the themes of feminism, gender roles, and the subjugation of women in society.
  9. “Moby-Dick” by Herman Melville (Fiction) and “In the Heart of the Sea” by Nathaniel Philbrick (Nonfiction) – Both books tell the story of the whaling industry and its impact on the lives of sailors and the environment.
  10. “The Road” by Cormac McCarthy (Fiction) and “The World Without Us” by Alan Weisman (Nonfiction) – Both books explore a post-apocalyptic world and the consequences of humanity’s actions on the planet.
  11. “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” by Rebecca Skloot (Nonfiction) and “The House of the Scorpion” by Nancy Farmer (Fiction) – Both books explore the ethical implications of scientific research and the exploitation of individuals.
  12. “Frankenstein” by Mary Shelley (Fiction) and “The Science of Discworld” by Terry Pratchett, Ian Stewart, and Jack Cohen (Nonfiction) – Both books delve into the relationship between science, technology, and society.
  13. “The Help” by Kathryn Stockett (Fiction) and “Coming of Age in Mississippi” by Anne Moody (Nonfiction) – Both books explore the lives and struggles of African American women in the segregated South.
  14. “Dracula” by Bram Stoker (Fiction) and “The Vampire: A New History” by Nick Groom (Nonfiction) – Both books explore the origins and cultural impact of the vampire myth.
  15. “The Lost City of Z” by David Grann (Nonfiction) and “The Lost World” by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (Fiction) – Both books focus on the exploration of uncharted territories and the mysteries that lie within them.
  16. “The Art of Racing in the Rain” by Garth Stein (Fiction) and “Inside of a Dog: What Dogs See, Smell, and Know” by Alexandra Horowitz (Nonfiction) – Both books provide unique perspectives on the lives and experiences of dogs, with one being a heartwarming fictional story and the other offering scientific insight.
  17. “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho (Fiction) and “The Hero with a Thousand Faces” by Joseph Campbell (Nonfiction) – Both books delve into the concept of the hero’s journey and the pursuit of one’s personal legend or life purpose.
  18. “The Glass Castle” by Jeannette Walls (Nonfiction) and “All the Ugly and Wonderful Things” by Bryn Greenwood (Fiction) – Both books showcase the resilience and strength of characters facing adversity and dysfunctional family dynamics.
  19. “Water for Elephants” by Sara Gruen (Fiction) and “The Circus Age: Culture and Society under the American Big Top” by Janet M. Davis (Nonfiction) – Both books explore the fascinating world of the circus, with one being a captivating fictional story and the other providing a historical overview of the American circus.

By exploring these fiction and nonfiction book pairings, you’ll not only broaden your literary horizons but also gain a deeper appreciation for the art of storytelling. Whether you’re an avid reader or just looking for a fresh approach to your reading list, these book pairs offer a compelling and enriching experience that will challenge your perspectives and expand your understanding of the diverse and captivating worlds found within the pages of fiction and nonfiction.

So, as you embark on your 2023 Reading Challenge, consider diving into these must-read book pairs and discover the intriguing connections that await you. Happy reading!

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