It’s week 2 of Nonfiction November! If you haven’t had a chance to read my week 1 post, you can read about my 2017 in Nonfiction here!
This week is one of my favorite weeks in Nonfiction November, because we are talking Book Pairings! The discussion is being hosted by Sarah at Sarah’s Bookshelves. Here is the prompt:
This week, 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.
This prompt is perfect for readers like me, who always want to ‘read more about it’! Google is my friend when I am reading nonfiction and historical fiction! I love to read historical fiction that teaches me something. Really good historical fiction inspires me to continue learning either with my friend Google, or when I’m really lucky, I come across a nonfiction book on the same subject.
Because I didn’t participate in Nonfiction November last year, I am jumping back to a pairing I read in 2016. Early that year I read a historical fiction novel, Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly . I was drawn to the book by the beautiful cover, but don’t let that fool you; this is not a light read! This is a fictional version of the story of the young women of the Polish resistance during WWII. These women were captured by the Nazis and sent to a women’s prison camp, Ravensbrück, where they became the human subjects of medical experimentation. Many were crippled as a result of these medical experiments. Because they walked with a limp, they became known as the ‘Polish rabbits’.
A few months later I came across a nonfiction book, Ravensbrück: Life and Death in Hitler’s Concentration Camp for Women by Sarah Helm. This is an account of Ravensbrück, the only Nazi camp specifically for female prisoners. The book includes information on the Polish rabbits.
However, the women of the Polish resistance were by no means the only women held at Ravensbrück. The book goes into detail about many of the other prisoners from many other countries. For this reason, the book would also pair well with The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah, which was a fictional story about women involved in the French resistance.