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I don’t know about you, but I’ve already collected loads of new titles just from the first week of Nonfiction November. Week 2’s topic is my favorite, book pairings, where we tie together a nonfiction book and a fiction counterpart that either have similar themes or would make great reading partners. Nonfiction November is hosted this week by Sarah at Sarah’s Book Shelves, so if you haven’t already, head over there and add your own link or (even better) find links to lots of other great bookish sites. I know I’m excited to share my pairings this year.
Getting to Know Yourself
- Both took place in East Coast beachside communities.
- Though the main person/characters in the book struggled with money, they were surrounded by wealth.
- There was a lot of partying going on.
- Regrets, both big and small surfaced.
- Anguish abounded.
- Each featured young people who were struggling to understand who they were.
- By the end of Glynn’s Montauk summer he was a different person and so were Effie and Henry by the time their Cape May honeymoon ended.
I actually listened The Book of Polly by Kathy Hepinstall a couple years ago (my review), but the whole time I listened to Southern Lady Code by Helen Ellis (my review), I kept thinking about it. The two have as many differences as they do similarities, but what they shared stood out most for me.
- Both books feature women from the south, one has left and one has stayed.
- In her life Helen and Polly both had to find ways to navigate completely new territories.
- The two lived by their own codes, neither easily influenced by others.
- Saying what they thought was part of their personalities, though Hellen Ellis did it a little more nicely than Polly.
- I sort of wanted to be friends with both women.
- The books were laugh-out-loud funny!
Parents Behaving Badly
Parents. We’ve all got them. Sometimes they’re amazing; other times they’re not. Adrienne Brodeur’s memoir Wild Game (my review), shares the later sort of parents with this fall’s All This Could be Yours by Jami Attenberg (my review), and Ann Patchett’s Commonwealth from three years ago (my review).
- Family dysfunction at its peak!
- All three feature one or more parents who are completely self-absorbed.
- Affairs abound.
- In all, kids need to learn to rely on themselves because the parents can’t be bothered.
- Though Wild Game‘s Malabar wins the prize for selfish moms, Commonwealth‘s Bev and All This Could Be Yours‘ Barbra aren’t far behind.
- Wild Game and Commonwealth share a disengaged father, to whom the kids stay loyal.
- All feature children who even as adults are still trying to disentangle their lives from their parents’ mistakes.