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Nonfiction November 2022: Book Pairing

It’s time for round two of Nonfiction November, and this week’s prompt is brought to us by Rennie over at What’s Nonfiction. This year she has a fun addition to a classic topic, so prepare to grow your to-be-read pile, and let’s dive into some nonfiction.

Book Pairing (November 7-11): This week, pair up a nonfiction book with a fiction title (or another nonfiction!). It can be a “If you loved this book, read this!” or just two titles that you think would go well together. Maybe it’s a historical novel and you’d like to get the real history by reading a nonfiction version of the story. Or pair a book with a podcast, film or documentary, TV show, etc. on the same topic or stories that pair together.

In the past, I’ve struggled with this topic. I love the idea of book pairings. So often when I finish a great book, I wish I could find something that expands on what I’ve just read—either a sequel, companion, or tangentially connected piece that expands on what I’ve just read. But that’s often hard to find! So I love the potential addition of podcasts, TV shows, etc. this year.

However, for once, I actually had a bookish idea before November!

For as much as I love nonfiction, I also love children’s books. So children’s nonfiction? Perfect. I’m amazed by picture books authors and illustrators who are able to explore difficult concepts in the traditional thirty-two page model with minimal words and a lot of art. And honestly, even as an adult, they can serve as great primers on a wide array of topics—just ask a certain Jeopardy! champion.

So for this week, I’m showcasing some nonfiction picture book biographies and pairing them with their subjects’ works. How do you contain a life in a few short pages? It’s not easy, but these artists manage it beautifully.


  • Amphigorey by Edward Gorey | Goodreads
  • Nonsense: The Curious Story of Edward Gorey by Lori Mortensen and Chloe Bristol | Goodreads

  • Babies by Gyo Fujikawa | Goodreads
  • It Began with a Page: How Gyo Fujikawa Drew the Way by Kyo Maclear and Julie Morstad | Goodreads

  • Frankenstein by Mary Shelley | Goodreads
  • She Made a Monster: How Mary Shelley Created Frankenstein by Lynn Fulton and Felicita Sala | Goodreads

  • Maud Martha by Gwendolyn Brooks | Goodreads
  • Exquisite: The Poetry and Life of Gwendolyn Brooks by Suzanne Slade and Cozbi A. Cabrera | Goodreads

  • Selected Poems by William Carlos Williams | Goodreads
  • 16 Words: William Carlos Williams & “The Red Wheelbarrow” by Lisa Rogers and Chuck Groenink | Goodreads

What nonfiction pairings are you making this week?

If you’re interested in participating in Nonfiction November, be sure to head over to What’s Nonfiction and link-up to this week’s prompt. And if you’re on Instagram, Jaymi @theocbookgirl is planning a ton of fun stuff starting November 1. She’s also the one who made all of the amazing Nonfiction November graphics, which you can find and share from here.

As always, happy reading!


38 responses to “Nonfiction November 2022: Book Pairing”

  1. This is a great take on this prompt – and I am always looking for books to give my goddaughter, so I will keep a note of the post! Thanks for sharing your book pairings.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hope your goddaughter will love some of these! I think they’re all charming. Thank you so much for reading!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Children’s books….lovely! I did not realise how expensive they are. Unfortunately my library (in The Netherlands) will probably not have this gems on the shelves!

    Like

    1. Ugh, that is the one downfall of many picture books: the price. Sometimes you can find librarians and educators who have posted storytimes on YouTube, which can be a great way to see these texts when access isn’t so easy.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Marianne Maurer Avatar
    Marianne Maurer

    Some great combinations there, Christopher. Absolutely wonderful. The only book I have read from your list is Frankenstein but some others sound totally interesting. Amphigorey, for example.

    Book-Paring is one of my favourite weeks of Non-fiction November. My Week 2.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Amphigorey might be my favorite on this list. I’m such a fan of Edward Gorey’s work, though. One of my favorites!

      Like

      1. I have not read anything by him, so I will have to look into his writing. Another great recommendation from you, thanks.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Love your idea of using children’s titles. I enjoy reading them so much as well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Always happy to see someone else who can appreciate some good kidlit!

      Like

  5. Oh these are brilliant – good thinking and well done! I managed a few pairs this year, because I wrote my post as I went through the year!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s such a smart way of doing it. I usually am stumped until the last second and then it takes me forever to pull pairs together.

      Like

  6. This is a wonderful take on this topic. As a children’s lit lover, it doesn’t get better than this.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I could not agree more with that. It was genuinely so much fun to dig through kidlit for this week.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. A really creative take on this prompt, thanks for sharing your pairings!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for reading! This was a lot of fun to put together.

      Like

  8. Oh, I love this twist on the topic. Yes, picture books are brilliant and underrated. Sadly I don’t have access to English-language picture books here and on my B&W e-reader they won’t come across well. But I’ll put these in my back pocket for later.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is the one major drawback for me when it comes to checking out new picture books. They don’t translate great on e-readers. One fun way of finding them: some librarians and educators record storytimes and post to YouTube and other sites. I’ve used that as a resource when I’ve had a hard time accessing works, especially when they’re out of print.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. What a creative idea! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I love this idea. And I’m super interested in the Frankenstein pairing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s a really good exploration of the story behind the story. Can’t recommend it enough!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I love your unique pairings! Maybe I’ll remember to think more outside the box next year as I come up with my pairings. They’re always a bit hard for me. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I totally understand! I think this is the hardest topic, but that makes it a lot of fun seeing what other people have come up with. I always say I’m going to think a little different, but this is the first year I’ve actually done it. Hopefully next year is easier for us both!

      Like

  12. This is a great idea for this prompt! I don’t read children’s books, but this all look really cute.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Katie! I’m a total sucker for cute kidlit, so I felt like adding that into Nonfiction November this year.

      Like

  13. Love your take on the topic 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Great pairs. I think I feel like reading children’s books again.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m of the firm opinion that you can never go wrong with some quality kidlit.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Kidlington is something magical and wise. And illustration are just..

        Like

  15. I love reading children’s nonfiction, and those are some great suggestions! Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Always love seeing someone else who appreciates kidlit. Thanks for reading!

      Liked by 1 person

  16. This is absolutely ingenious. I love each one of these pairings. I don’t have anyone to give the books to but I think I will gift them to my inner child. Love each of these!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes! You can never go wrong giving a book to your inner child.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Great take on this prompt, Christopher!

    Liked by 1 person

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