Nonfiction November- Book Pairings

I have decided to participate in Nonfiction November! Here is a link to the announcement if you want to join.

Sarah’s Book Shelves is the host for this week and here is the prompt:

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.

If you loved Educated by Tara Westover: 

Educated has been wildly popular, for good reason. Tara Westover is incredibly inspiring and I am in awe of her bravery and perseverance despite her childhood. The following memoirs are also written by women who reflect on their traumatic childhoods. The novels follow main characters who do much the same.


Moonlight on Linoleum: A Daughter’s Memoir by Terry Helwig

This coming of age memoir is very much in the same vein as Educated, but what I loved about Moonlight on Linoleum is that it largely focused on the author’s relationship with her mother. It is a very complicated relationship and her childhood was far from traditional. I am thankful for this prompt because it made me realize that this is a book I should talk about more.

North of Normal: A Memoir of My Wilderness Childhood, My Unusual Family, and How I Survived Both by Cae Sunrise Person

There is a lot to unpack in this memoir. Cae Sunrise Person grew up in the 60s, and her moved off the grid into the Canadian wilderness. They were happy for a time, until her mother found a new boyfriend. Person grew up to be a fairly successful model, but she does not hide the fact that her past continues to affect her present.

The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls

The Glass Castle is a common pairing with Educated, and for good reason. I can almost guarantee that if you enjoyed one you will also enjoy the other. Both woman had extremely difficult childhoods with shall we say “eccentric” fathers, and both grew up to be brave women and incredibly talented writers.


Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate

Before We Were Yours is told in two timelines so we are able to see what these characters experienced in their childhood and how it affected them as adults. It is heartbreaking to know that this novel is based on real events. It is incredible how resilient humans can be.

Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward

In Sing, Unburied, Sing we are following a young boy, Jojo, as he is growing up in a tumultuous household. His mother comes in and out of his life, and is father is currently in prison. There is a magical realism element to the story that makes it unique and that much more powerful.

The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh

The Language of Flowers follows Victoria, a foster child who just aged out of the system. It was an eye opening read for me. I can not imagine turning eighteen and being thrust into adulthood in such a way. There are also flashbacks to her childhood, so the reader has a better understand of what shaped Victoria into the woman she is today.


I hope you found this helpful! If you have any suggestions for read-alikes I would love to hear them. I am drawn to books like this. kkbLogo

19 thoughts on “Nonfiction November- Book Pairings

  1. Great pairings and you’ve really piqued my interest in Moonlight on Linoleum. It’s one I’d not heard of before.

Leave a Reply