It’s been awhile since I’ve done a book pairing! Check out my other posts similar to this one here:
- Fiction + Nonfiction Book Pairings
- Book Flights Vol. 1
- 6 Books to Read if You Liked The Night Circus
Imagine Me Gone by: Adam Haslett + Marlena by: Julie Buntin
Imagine Me Gone is really about mental illness, but it also deals heavily with prescription medicine and how it seems to be overprescibed to some patients. It’s a slow, slow burn with an explosive ending that really gave me an inside look at the prescription drug epidemic. Marlena is a dark and gritty novel about two young girls who are seemingly opposites of each other. When Cat moves to Marlena’s rural town, they quickly become friends and Cat is exposed to a whole new world of drugs and addiction.
***Only got time for one? This is tough…I think Marlena is more readable, but Imagine Me Gone (my review) packs a punch if you don’t mind a slow burn.
This Is How It Always Is by: Laurie Frankel + Sissy: A Coming-of-Gender Memoir by: Jacob Tobia
What happens when your son (anatomically speaking) comes to you and says she wants to be a girl? This Is How It Always Is is the story of how one (fictional) family handles that scenario. As one of my all-time favorite books, it pairs perfectly with the memoir, Sissy: A Coming-of-Gender Story where Jacob Tobia tells their story with a fierceness and vulnerabilty that I admire so much.
***Only got time for one? Again, tough call. I really loved the family in This Is How It Always Is (my review), but Sissy (my review) is great beacause nothing beats an #ownvoices book based on real life.
The Night Circus by: Erin Morgenstern + The Orphan’s Tale by: Pam Jenoff
While The Orphan’s Tale is the book that actually presents a story that’s engaging, I think pairing it with The Night Circus allows the circus to truly come to life. Morgenstern writes so atmospherically – it’s as if you are actually witnessing the circus in person! Again, if you’re looking for a story and characters with depth and set in WWII, The Orphan’s Tale is a great book!
***Only got time for one? The Orphan’s Tale (my review) if you love historical fiction and stories centered around the Nazis. The Night Circus (my review) if you love an atmospheric novel with amazing world building and you don’t mind it lacking in character and story development.
Beartown by: Fredrik Backman + Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town by: Jon Krakauer + Know My Name by: Chanel Miller
At the heart of Beartown (my review) is a town obsessed with their high school hockey team. When their star player is accused of rape, the team and town are torn apart. Missoula is a narrative nonfiction book that takes it a step further and examines a college campus (Univeristy of Montana) riddled with rape and sexual assault. Lastly, Know My Name (my review) give the reader a survivor’s perspective and an insightful look into our broken justice system and how society seems to be immune to toxic masculinity.
***Only got time for one? I sound like a broken record right about now, but all three of these are worth reading!
All That You Leave Behind by: Erin Lee Carr + The Rules of Inheritance by: Claire Bidwell Smith
Both of these memoirs are ruminations on the authors’ relationships with their deceased parents. In All That You Leave Behind (my review), Carr relays valuable lessons and pieces of advice given to her by her father. It’s clear they had a close relationship and David Carr (a former New York Times journalist) was inspirational to Erin Lee Carr as she followed in her footsteps to become a writer. While Carr’s book is much more professionally balanced, Smith’s book, The Rules of Inheritance, is much more wild and rebellious, though no less nuanced and depth – really just a difference in writing style. Smith lost both of her parents at a young age and has become a grief expert, helping others through their grief over lost loved ones.
***Only got time for one? Read The Rules of Inheritance!
What are some of your suggestions for book pairings?