NonFic November 2020, Wk 2

Julie @ Julz Reads is hosting week 2:

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.

Week 2 of NonFic November is always a challenge, but especially since I haven’t read too many magic books this year!

I realized as I finished reading Moby-Dick earlier this year that I’ve become one of those people: I’m going to reread the novel over and over again for the rest of my life and I’ll tell you about it if you ask me. As I reread this last time, I also read Dive Deeper: Journeys with Moby-Dick by George Cotkin. Cotkin has a chapter for each chapter of Moby-Dick, each riffing on a theme, a piece of history, or (most interestingly to me) how the novel has become a part of pop culture.

This might be a slightly controversial pairing because The Amityville Horror by Jay Anson has come to be considered, let’s say, less than factual. But when I read it in my teens, it was a true, account of a haunting. To some extent, the ambiguity makes it the perfect pairing for Home Before Dark by Riley Sager.


One of the magic books I did read this year was The Life and Afterlife of Harry Houdini by Joe Posnanski. Since it’s all about how Houdini has become as much of a character as he was a person, I figured I’d pair that book with one of the many team-ups of the magician with the world’s most famous detective: Sherlock Holmes and The Escape Artist by Fred Thursfield. I haven’t read this one yet, but it’s on my rainy day TBR list.


10 thoughts on “NonFic November 2020, Wk 2

  1. DoingDewey

    I have to admit that I didn’t enjoy Moby Dick enough that I’d want to re-read it or read about it, but I am really interested in reading more literary criticism. Did you enjoy reading Moby Dick with its nonfiction pair? And did you read them simultaneously or one after the other? I’m interested to hear more about the experience 🙂

    Reply
    1. Katherine Nabity Post author

      I mostly read them together. Since I was reading a chapter-a-day and Dive Deeper was set up to respond chapter by chapter, I’d read Moby-Dick and then the corresponding chapter in Dive Deeper. I love “annotated” editions of books that offer tangents and extra readings within the text, so reading them together was like having a footnote at the end of every chapter.

      Reply
      1. DoingDewey

        Thanks! That makes a lot of sense and I may have to try to pick up some annotated editions. They seem like a great way to slow down and really think about what you’re reading.

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