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Fiction/Non-Fiction Pairings

It’s time for the second instalment of Non-Fiction November, and this week is hosted by Sarah @ Sarah’s Book Shelves. For week two, we’re pairing up Fiction and Non-Fiction books. I found this prompt kind of hard actually – I didn’t realise how much the topics I read varies between fiction and non-fiction. I managed to find three pairings that I don’t think are too much of a stretch though, so let’s get into it!

News of a Kidnapping // Fruit of the Drunken Tree
Gabriel Garcia Marquez // Ingrid Rojas Contreras

Of my three pairings, this one is definitely the strongest. I borrowed News of a Kidnapping from a good friend of mine and it was my first Gabriel García Márquez book, and a very early non-fiction read of mine. It examines Pablo Escobar’s practice of kidnapping journalists and other prominent figures in for leverage against the Colombian government, mainly focusing on the experiences of those kidnapped. Fruit of the Drunken Tree also takes place in Colombia during the time of Pablo Escobar, whose kidnappings, car bombs, and killings form the backdrop of the characters’ childhoods. Both of these books received five-star ratings from me, so I would highly recommend either if this is a topic that interests you! Fruit of the Drunken Tree is also semi-biographical so there’s a lot of truth in the fiction.

Off the Beaten Track // The Word for Woman is Wilderness
Dea Birkett // Abi Andrews

I picked up Off the Beaten Track: Three Centuries of Women Travellers at a library sale years ago and had so much fun reading about all the fantastic women travellers from years past. I think it may be out of print now, as it was published in conjunction with an exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery, but you can find plenty of secondhand copies on eBay or Amazon. Abi Andrews’ debut, The Word for Woman is Wilderness, is a great fictional pairing for this book. It brings us back to the present day, where nineteen year old Erin wonders why we only hear about the Bear Grylls-es of the world. She sets off on a solo trip that takes her through the Arctic Circle, eventually arriving in a remote cabin in the Alaskan wilderness. Documented in her diary and on video, Erin recounts her journey along with musings on all sorts of topics, from space travel to contraceptives. This was one of my favourite reads of 2018.

London: A Short History // A Stranger City
A. N. Wilson // Linda Grant

Now for a pairing in which I haven’t read either of the books. This one might be a stretch, and I have no idea about the quality of either (though I’ve heard good things about the fiction choice). On my shelves I have A. N. Wilson’s London: A Short History, which gives a brief overview of the capital from early Roman times to the Millennium, whilst Linda Grant’s A Stranger City situates its narrative in the tumultuous heart of Brexit London, examining the role the city plays in different lives.

Have you read any fiction/non-fiction books
that pair up well?

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