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#NonficNov: Book Pairing

#NonficNov: Book Pairing

This week’s Nonfiction November prompt is hosted by Sarah’s Book Shelves and the topic is book pairings, matching fiction to non-fiction books. I often seek out books on a topic covered by a novel, even if I don’t get round to reading them! Here are two pairs I really do recommend though:

If you read The Ballroom by Anna Hope…
…try Inconvenient People: Lunacy, Liberty and the Mad-Doctors in Victorian England by Sarah Wise.

It’s really quite shocking how asylums were used to lock people away, for all sorts of reasons. The Ballroom follows a couple in a Yorkshire asylum and the doctor with very Victorian ideas on what should be done with mad people. Sarah’s Wise’s well researched book on the same subject, follows lots of difference cases of lost liberty and using madness as an excuse.

If you read Am I Normal Yet? by Holly Bourne…
…try The Man Who Couldn’t Stop by David Adam.

Am I Normal Yet? actually does an amazing job at dispelling myths about OCD but it’s also eye-opening to read David’s memoir, where OCD took over his life. He tries to explain how unwanted thoughts happen and, in the case of OCD, spiral out of control, as well as his coping mechanisms.

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  1. Anonymous

    Both of these subjects fascinate me, but I have had some really good luck reading asylum stories. It is unthinkable that people were just put away like that, so often without even being insane. Oddly, I never thought to seek out a nonfiction book on the subject, so I will will sure to do that now.

  2. Lit Addicted Brit

    I loved The Ballroom and really like the sound of Inconvenient People…I recently read Bodies of Water by V. H. Leslie and that had a similar focus on treatment of women for "mental health issues" in Victorian England (albeit with a ghost story thrown in for good measure!) so I'm going to keep an eye out for this non-fiction.

  3. raidergirl3

    Great pairings! English asylums sound fascinating if a little depressing.

  4. JoAnn

    Inconvenient People sounds like one for my list… cannot resist Victorian Asylums, lol! The Ballroom also sounds excellent and has been recommended by a few of my blogging friends.

  5. looloolooweez

    Ooh, 'Inconvenient People' looks fascinating. I recently discovered that an ancestor lived the last part of his life in a mental ward, so I'd love to learn more about that kind of thing (although of course it probably wasn't a great experience for him…).

  6. A Bookshelf Monstrosity

    I haven't heard of any of these yet! Awesome pairings. I'm especially interested in The Ballroom.

  7. DoingDewey

    Ooh, fascinating picks! I've not read any of these, but I'm completely intrigued by the topics.

  8. Rachel

    All four of those books look great. The Man Who Couldn't Stop is supposed to be pretty good.

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