A month-long celebration of favourite non-fiction reads
Nonfiction November is an annual challenge to read, critique and discuss non-fiction books through the most autumnal of months. The five hosts will each in turn post a different themed discussion prompt every Monday. This week’s topic is introduced by Sarah at Sarah’s Book Shelves (5th–9th November).
Sarah has asked us: “…to pair up a nonfiction book with a fiction title. 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.”
As usual, I am disobeying the rules and have chosen two non-fiction titles!
NONFICTION BOOK PAIRING
Two books I believe make a perfect pair are:
The Pike: Gabriele D’Annunzio, Poet, Seducer and Preacher of War
In Lucy Hughes-Hallett’s magnificent biography of the debauched and preposterous Italian poet and playwright Gabriele d’Annunzio, she examines his passions for art, politics, war and women – skilfully representing his journey from romantic idealist to right-wing revolutionary, inspiration to Mussolini and national hero. It was a worthy winner of the 2013 Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction.
War in Val d’Orcia : An Italian War Diary 1943-1944
First published in 1947, Iris Origo’s popular diaries recording the effects of World War II on a small corner of Tuscany depict a country torn apart by German armies, civil war and the eventual Allied invasion. An English woman married to an Italian aristocrat, she wrote in vivid detail about the survival of a rural farming community.
You may also like to turn this into a trio of titles by reading A Chill in the Air: An Italian War Diary 1939–1940 by Iris Origo – published by Pushkin Press for the first time in 2017.
Categories: Readathons / Challenges
Interesting! I haven’t heard of either of these. The Italian war diaries sound especially intriguing, though d’Annunzio sounds like a fascinating character.
Thank you, Allison. So utterly bizarre was the life of d’Annunzio, and so outrageous was his personality, it would be easy to mistake him for a cartoon character – but he was all too real. Hughes-Hallett did a superb job on his biography.
Such a creative pairing, love the sound of these!
Thank you so much, Rennie. I was rather naughty selecting two non-fiction titles. Hope Sarah doesn’t mind!
They go together so well though! Mine was way more off topic, but we do what we can 🙂
Currently reading a book on evolutionary psychology and how it matches alot of what Buddhist philosophy has to say. Great reading for non-fiction November
Many thanks for the info, Mike. Your book sounds intriguing. Happy reading to you, too.
Awesome. Still chewing thru but I’ll be done by sat afternoon. And do another wrap up post on it. Thx
I’ll look forward to that.
The Origo sounds interesting. The effects of the war on the people of France are familiar but I e seldom seen anything re Italy.
It’s a really interesting and engaging read, Karen.
You had me at debauched and preposterous 😀 Great choices Paula!
Hah! He was definitely both those things, Madame B – but utterly fascinating for all that! 🤣
“debauched and preposterous” really makes me want to read more. 🙂
Go for it, Lory. It’s a superb biog!
Imaginative pairing, Paula! I’ll have to add the Origo to my list: it sounds and looks wonderful.
Many thanks, Michael. I really hope you enjoy the Origo.
Ooh. I just picked up the d’Annunzio biography at a charity book sale this fall. I’m glad to hear you liked it. The Origo does look like it would make a great pairing. Thanks!
Thank you, Reese. Lucy Hughes-Hallett really did her homework on d’Annunzio. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
nice! here’s my post https://wordsandpeace.com/2018/11/07/nonfiction-november-2018-book-pairings/