Sometimes when you are reading a novel, you realize you want to learn more about the subject. That’s when it would be nice to have a nonfiction book to go along with the novel. Here are some suggested “book pairings.”
Housekeeper and the Professor by Ogawa Yoko with Fermat’s Enigma by Simon Singh
Ape House by Sara Gruen with Bonobo Handshake by Vanessa Woods
Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver with King Leopold’s Ghost by Adam Hochschild.
Girl With a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier and Vermeer’s Hat by Timothy Brook
Virgin Earth by Philippa Gregory with The Brother Gardeners by Andrea Wulf
Triangle by Katherine Weber with Triangle : the fire that changed America by David Von Drehle.
The executioner’s song by Norman Mailer with Shot in the Heart by Mikal Gilmore
Nineteenth Wife by David Ebershoff with Under the Banner of Heaven by Jon Krakauer
Masters of Illusion by Mary-Ann Tirone Smith with The Circus Fire: A True Story by Stewart O’Nan
In Sunlight in a Beautiful Garden by Kathleen Cambor with The Johnstown Flood by David G. McCullough
Agincourt by Bernard Cornwell with Agincourt by Juliet Barker
Many of these combos were suggested by members of Fiction-L.
I am a big fan of gentle British television and books such as Mapp and Lucia by E. F. Benson, Lark Rise to Candleford, Cranford and Alexander McCall Smith’s Sunday Philosophy Club series. This summer I listened to a new novel that fits into this niche:
Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand by Helen Simonson. The Major — a widower — falls in love with the Pakistani widow who runs the shop in town. The story is introspective as it is told from the perspective of this man who does not like change. But change comes to his sleepy town and to his family. It’s funny and touching.
Other books you might like in this niche are:
The Guernsey Potato Peel Pie and Literary Society by Mary Ann Shaffer
84 Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff
The French Gardener by Santa Montefiore
Do you have any other suggestions?