Nonfiction November Week 2
Hello Friends! It’s time for the next blog prompt hosted by Katie from Doing Dewey. Make sure to visit her post and link up your post too! This one is such a fun one, people get so creative!
WEEK 2 – Book Pairings
This week, pair up a nonfiction book with a fiction title. It can be an “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.
These first two books feature mothers who have very sick children. Or do they? (I’ve read both so I must emphasize each mother had very very different motivations.)
Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon
Maddy, about to turn eighteen, lives in Los Angeles. She has spent her whole life indoors, due to a diagnosis of Severe Combined Immunodeficiency (SCID). Any contact with the outside world puts her at risk of a fatal infection or allergic reaction. The house is elaborately sealed, with an airlock at the front door. Maddy is cared for by her mother, who is a doctor, and by a full-time nurse, Carla.
What if you couldn’t touch anything in the outside world? Never breathe in the fresh air, feel the sun warm your face . . . or kiss the boy next door? In Everything, Everything, Maddy is a girl who’s literally allergic to the outside world, and Olly is the boy who moves in next door . . . and becomes the greatest risk she’s ever taken.
Sickened: The True Story of a Lost Childhood by Julie Gregory
A young girl is perched on the cold chrome of yet another doctor’s examining table, missing yet another day of school. Just twelve, she’s tall, skinny, and weak. It’s four o’clock, and she hasn’t been allowed to eat anything all day. Her mother, on the other hand, seems curiously excited. She’s about to suggest open-heart surgery on her child to get to the bottom of this. She checks her teeth for lipstick and, as the doctor enters, shoots the girl a warning glance. This child will not ruin her plans.
From early childhood, Julie Gregory was continually X-rayed, medicated, and operated on–in the vain pursuit of an illness that was created in her mother’s mind. Munchausen by proxy (MBP) is the world’s most hidden and dangerous form of child abuse, in which the caretaker–almost always the mother–invents or induces symptoms in her child because she craves the attention of medical professionals. Many MBP children die, but Julie Gregory not only survived, but she also escaped the powerful orbit of her mother’s madness and rebuilt her identity as a vibrant, healthy young woman.
Historical fiction is a favorite genre, and it makes sense that authors must spend a large amount of time researching and reading nonfiction so as to get their details as accurate as possible. Susan Meissner is an auto-buy author for me and her books are excellent. Here is her latest title along with one of the nonfiction books she used in her research. LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW IF YOU WANT TO WIN THESE TWO BOOKS!
The Nature of Fragile Things by Susan Meissner
April 18, 1906: A massive earthquake rocks San Francisco just before daybreak, igniting a devouring inferno. Lives are lost, lives are shattered, but some rise from the ashes forever changed.
Sophie Whalen is a young Irish immigrant so desperate to get out of a New York tenement that she answers a mail-order bride ad and agrees to marry a man she knows nothing about. San Francisco widower Martin Hocking proves to be as aloof as he is mesmerizingly handsome. Sophie quickly develops a deep affection for Kat, Martin’s silent five-year-old daughter, but Martin’s odd behavior leaves her with the uneasy feeling that something about her newfound situation isn’t right.
1906 San Francisco Earthquake: Images of America by Richard & Gladys Hansen
More than 4.5 square miles of San Francisco burned and crumbled into a windswept desert of desolation during the unparalleled disaster of the Great Earthquake and Fire of 1906. This illustrated volume covers scenes before, during the fire, and into the rebuilding of the city.
If you enjoy historical fiction, I highly recommend reading The Woman at The Front by Lecia Cornwall. This book has it all – heroism and courage and a female doctor who saved many lives during WWI.
Her main character Eleanor Atherton doesn’t appear to be based on any particular person in history from the interviews by the author I was able to find. However, when I researched nonfiction titles about female doctors who served such as Dr. Caroline Sandford Finley, Dr. Rosalie Slaughter Morton, Dr. Olga Stastny, Dr. Alice Weld Tallant, Dr. Anna Tjomsland – I couldn’t find any!
The untold story of women who risked their lives to do good — and get their rights — CNN
Elizabeth Blackwell did not serve in the war (I need to confirm that when my copy gets here!) but her story of being the first female MD in America is still significant.
The Woman at the Front by Lecia Cornwall
A daring young woman risks everything to pursue a career as a doctor on the front lines in France during World War I and learns the true meaning of hope, love, and resilience in the darkest of times.
When Eleanor Atherton graduates from medical school near the top of her class in 1917, she dreams of going overseas to help the wounded, but her ambition is thwarted at every turn. Eleanor’s parents insist she must give up medicine, marry a respectable man, and assume her proper place. While women might serve as ambulance drivers or nurses at the front, they cannot be physicians–that work is too dangerous and frightening.
The Doctors Blackwell: How Two Pioneering Sisters Brought Medicine to Women and Women to Medicine by Janice P Nimura
Elizabeth Blackwell believed from an early age that she was destined for a mission beyond the scope of ordinary womanhood. Though the world at first recoiled at the notion of a woman studying medicine, her intelligence and intensity ultimately won her the acceptance of the male medical establishment. In 1849, she became the first woman in America to receive an M.D. She was soon joined in her iconic achievement by her younger sister, Emily, who was actually the more brilliant physician.
Exploring the sisters’ allies, enemies, and enduring partnership, Janice P. Nimura presents a story of trial and triumph. Together, the Blackwells founded the New York Infirmary for Indigent Women and Children, the first hospital staffed entirely by women.
**Archive Post – Week 2 Book Pairing, 2019
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I’ve had Everything Everything on my TBR list ever since it came out. Now I want to read it and Sickened! I need to give more thought to this pairing meme and see what I can come up with. I have a feeling my TBR list is about to explode!
Great pairings! I’m not a historical fiction reader so I find this week hard – except this year I happen to have read two historical novels so could weave them into my post, hooray!
Great pairings! I would like to read (and win) The Nature of Fragile Things and San Francisco Earthquake.
The Doctors Blackwell is on my TBR. I’m currently reading Women to the Front by Heather Sheard and Ruth Lee which is a nonfiction title about Australian women who served as doctors in WW1
Ok now I have to read Sickened! I have not heard of that book before and your snippet makes me want to read more!
Love the pairing of The Woman at the Front with The Doctors Blackwell! Right up my alley…
Great pairings! I love pairing up a historical fiction book with a nonfiction book about the same event/person.
Your second two pairings both sound like books I’d really enjoy. Having lived in the Bay Area, books set there always grab my attention and I love reading about interesting women in history too.
Great pairings. The one on the earthquake sounds particularly good.
Here is my post: https://wordsandpeace.com/2021/11/08/nonfiction-november-2021-book-pairings/
I also read about Munchausen by Proxy this year – I think it was in The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog by Bruce D. Perry. Frightening that a mother’s instincts can go so wrong!
These are all fantastic pairings, but I’ve never heard of Sickened and now I can’t wait to get a copy. Just wow. It’s going to be horrifying, but thank you for putting it on my radar.
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