Pairing up fiction and non-fiction on my TBR!

I want to read more non-fiction this year, and something I thought could be a fun challenge for myself is to pair a non-fiction book with a novel and read the two side-by-side!

So today I have ten books, five non-fiction and five fiction, that I’ve paired together, and I thought I’d share them with you…


The Invisible Orientation: An Introduction to Asexuality by Julie Sondra Decker // City of Strife by Claudie Arseneault

I’ve mentioned quite a few times on my blog that I don’t like labels for myself when it comes to sexuality, and sexuality is too fluid for me to have an exact label, but this year I’ve felt very at home describing myself as somewhere on the aroace spectrum. Sadly, though, there was no information about asexuality and aromanticism when I was a teenager, and people on the aroace spectrum often aren’t welcomed in the LGBT+ community, so it’s something I’m still learning a lot about myself and The Invisible Orientation sounds like the perfect place to start.

Claudie Arseneault is an author I’m dying to get to because she’s an aroace-spec author herself and she writes SFF that centres aroace characters. City of Strife is one I’d like to try really soon; it sounds wonderful.


Black Tudors: The Untold Story by Miranda Kaufmann // A Book of Secrets by Kate Morrison

What better pairing than two books about Black people in Tudor England? Black Tudors looks at several Black people who lived in 16th and 17th century England – from trumpeters to divers – while A Book of Secrets follows a Black woman who marries a printer and ends up becoming part of the Catholic resistance during the reign of Elizabeth I. I actually picked up A Book of Secrets after hearing Miranda Kaufmann recommend it on a podcast, so I need to read these two together!


Dark Archives: A Librarian’s Investigation Into the Science and History of Books Bound in Human Skin by Megan Rosenbloom // The Book of Human Skin by Michelle Lovric

Let’s face it, these two are a match made in heaven. My friend Elena adored The Book of Human Skin so it’s one I’ve been meaning to try for years – especially as it’s historical fiction set in Italy, and I love Italy – and it sounds like the perfect novel to pick up this autumn. Dark Archives (which I keep calling Darchives in my head) sounds so grim but so fascinating, and I’ve been lucky enough to receive a review copy from NetGalley which I’d like to read and review close to Halloween. It would be fun (if that’s the right word) to read these two together!


Joan, Lady of Wales: Power and Politics of King John’s Daughter by Danna R Messer // Here Be Dragons by Sharon Kay Penman

I’ve been a slightly obsessed with Joan, Lady of Wales, known as Siwan to the Welsh, ever since I learned about her about seven years ago, so Here Be Dragons has been on my TBR since I came across it in a charity shop. I’ve heard so many good things about Penman’s historical fiction, and now that I’ve been lucky enough to receive a copy of Joan, Lady of Wales via NetGalley I have no excuse not to read it at last. These two would be really interesting to read alongside each other, and I’m so glad to see Joan get her own book!


In Search of The Color Purple: The Story of an American Masterpiece by Salamishah Tillet // The Color Purple by Alice Walker

Though parts of the story are harrowing, I love the 1985 adaptation of The Color Purple. I’ve never read the book, though, and I’d really like to – especially having received a copy of In Search of The Color Purple via NetGalley which sounds fascinating in its own right. I’m planning to borrow the audiobook of The Color Purple from the library, so it’d be really interesting to read these two together.

Do you ever pair up fiction and non-fiction when you read?

20 thoughts on “Pairing up fiction and non-fiction on my TBR!

  1. Time for tales and tea says:

    Great idea! Especially when I read historical fiction, I like to get some background about the time period of the book. After reading The Lost Sisterhood I went to an exhibition in a museum about the time period. It was very interesting. I never paired a fiction and non-fiction book together, but I want to try it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hadeer says:

    This is such a great idea! I kind of do this sometimes in my head, but I’m never so meticulous about it.

    I’m so excited to read Dark Archives – I also have an ARC that I’ve been dying to get to. The Book of Human Skin sounds so strange, but I just added it to my TBR. Also added The Invisible Orientation, since I’ve been meaning to learn a bit more about asexuality as I explore where I lie on that spectrum myself.

    (Also I very much appreciate that you link the books to Goodreads lmao, makes things much easier!)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. acquadimore says:

    This is such an interesting format! I’ve never thought of doing this, because usually the fiction and the (very little, so far) nonfiction I read cover completely different topics, but that might change…
    and I hope you like City of Strife, I’ve heard great things!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. dinipandareads says:

    What a fun and creative post! I don’t think I’ve ever thought to do this but these are some pretty awesome pairings that I think would be awesome to read in parallel. The Book of Human Skin and Dark Archives sounds kind of sickening but also colour me REALLY intrigued πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ Really interested in the Colour Purple pairing as well. I hope you enjoy all of these!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. proxyfish says:

    What a great idea for a post! I should definitely read more non-fiction as it has dropped off considerably lately!

    I started The Book of Human Skin a couple of years ago and didn’t get very far in. I’ve heard great things but I found the animal cruelty at the start distressing and I put it down. Fictional battles, duels, maiming and death I can deal with – grimdark is one of my favourite genres after all – but when it comes to animals I just can’t deal with it.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Emer @alittlehazebookblog says:

    I don’t think I’ve ever purposefully paired two books together. Typically my non-fiction reads are memoirs and science; I would be monogamous with the memoir πŸ˜‚ but sometimes would read a very light fiction alongside the science theory πŸ˜ŠπŸ˜ŠπŸ˜Šβ€οΈπŸ’œπŸ§‘

    Liked by 1 person

  7. notesbyj says:

    I really want to start reading more non fiction. I fond history really interesting! Black Tudors: An untold story sounds like a really interesting read as does In search of the color purple. Great post

    Liked by 1 person

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