It happens almost every time I read a book…as I’m reading, another book I’ve read previously pops into my head. Whether it’s similar themes, topics, or feelings, connections are always being made in my mind. Does that ever happen to you?
It’s one of my favorite things about reading – making connections between books, and to my own life’s experiences as well. Any time I can help further my understanding or viewpoint, it enhances my reading life so much.
I hope you feel the same, so I’m offering you a few books to read together to enhance your reading experience as well.
If you enjoy this post, I have a few other just like it that I’d love for you to check out as well!
American War + The Water Will Come: Rising Seas, Sinking Cities, and the Remaking of the Civilized World
I read American War in 2017 – long before a global pandemic and political divisiveness were common parts of every day life in America. I remember thinking that the plot of this story could easily turn into reality if our country didn’t take a different direction, and now, three years later, here we are…a future so uncertain that a lot of people feel on edge.
The year is 2074 and the second Civil War has broken out. Parts of the United States are under water, oil is outlawed, a plague is ravishing the population, and American citizens are being confined to displaced persons camps.
Paired with the nonfiction book, The Water Will Come, it provides a realistic look at what the lower part of the United States will look like if we continue on the environmental path that we’re currently on. It gives the reader a terrifying look at what could become reality verrrry soon.
The Vanishing Half + White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism
Unintentionally, I read these two books back to back and it was a great experience. Brit Bennett’s ficitonal account of the racial topics DiAngelo addresses in her nonfictional book help to solidify the issues in my mind. Though I will never understand all the layers of racial and social justice, I appreciate books (both ficitonal and nonfictional) that can help me gain more insight and compassion.
When you think about identical twins, what comes to mind? Sameness, right? But the Vignes twins are anything but alike. Raised in an incredibly racist town in Louisiana, the twins run away when they’re sixteen years and shortly thereafter, their lives separate and they become lost to each other. One twin returns back home to raise her daughter, while the other one “passes” as white elsewhere. Their lives eventually cross paths again, and The Vanishing Half becomes a book you won’t soon forget!
What White Fragility did for me while I was reading The Vanishing Half was add nuance to Bennett’s fictional world. I was shown blind spots that I had due to my white privilege in a world designed to benefit people like me. It challenged me, not only to acknowlege those blind spots, but to change my viewpoint of why that privilege is problematic. These two were great companion books.
The Overstory + Lab Girl
Little did I know what I was getting into when I picked up The Overstory. I wouldn’t personally describe myself as a super nature-y person or an environmental activist, but this story is truly a love letter to nature, and more specifically, trees.
There are multiple characters throughout the story and what I really enjoyed was the way Powers weaved their personal stories with elements of trees and their silent contributions to our world. In addition, there is an activist element to it that totally took me by surprise, and by the end of that section, I literally had tears in my eyes. It was heartbreaking, but beautiful, and I was completely taken by surprise by this book.
Lab Girl totally complements The Overstory. Jahren writes about trees and nature with the same passion that Powers does. It’s clear that Jahren is incredibly smart and I really appreciated learning more about women and science, trees and all the various ways they communicate with other trees around them, and how underappreciated science is as a whole.
I hope you enjoyed these companion books and I hope to have another installment soon, I’d also love for you to share some book flights with me as well!