Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Nonfiction November: Book Pairings

This week for Nonfiction November, our fearless leaders have asked us to pair fiction and nonfiction books that would complement each other.

I read Lost on Planet China, by J. Maarten Troost, earlier this year, and definitely enjoyed this honest, quirky, far-reaching look at a country that is, by turns, wonderful and horrible. From massive pollution to incomprehensible working conditions and the sheer density of people to majestic landscapes and enclaves practically overlooked by the modern world. China has a bit of everything, and while Troost is a seasoned traveler he still runs into plenty of challenges.

I would pair this nonfiction book with The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck. This classic historical fiction novel examines the life of a Chinese family in a small village before World War I. It's such a great account of the family's good times and the hard times...their poverty and rise to riches. I think it could be an insightful peek at China's past and add some context to Lost on Planet China even though it's only a very small portion of China's vast and rich history.

Have you read either of these books? 


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25 comments:

  1. I've been cleaning out my bookshelves and re-organizing and realized I forgot I had a copy of The Good Earth. I need to read it!

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    1. Yes! It's a surprisingly quick, involving read. Definitely an "easy" classic, which is what I needed when I picked it up.

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  2. I love The Good Earth and have heard great things about J. Maarten Troost's books, too.

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    1. Troost is so great. Funny but still reverent if that makes sense.

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  3. I read The Good Earth years and years ago - probably before you were born - and should probably read it again.

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    1. It's one of those books I will re-read one day.

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  4. I read The Good Earth in high school and it was one of the few required reading books that not only did it stick with me but I really enjoyed it. I've really enjoyed J. Maarten Troost's first 2 books and I have this one on my nonfiction shelf. I love the pairing of these two.

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    1. Thank you! So glad to have another Troost lover around. I always get sucked right into his books.

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  5. Oh gosh, I still haven't read The Good Earth but I've been meaning to do it for years.

    Looks like a great pair of books!

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    1. Thanks, Lindsey! Definitely give it a try if you have a chance!

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  6. I feel ashamed to admit that I have never read The Good Earth!! :( Definitely on my Classics list to read someday...

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    1. It's a quick, easy classic in comparison to some others I've read. Just a great story.

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  7. I adored The Good Earth and I adore Troost. Just haven't read that one. YET. I will. Definitely. I can only imagine how great it is.

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    1. Oh gosh, you just don't even know!!!! So many great facets of China.

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  8. It's been many years since I've read The Good Earth, but I remember really enjoying it, Estella; thanks so much for the great pairing recommendation! This is great!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

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  9. The Good Earth is a popular one on this fiction/nonfiction pairings. It makes me want to reread it!

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    1. So good! I haven't visited everyone's posts yet, but I will!

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  10. I'm going to China this Christmas (ahhhhh!) and Lost on Planet China sounds fascinating!

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    1. OOOOH! Lucky! I hope you take ALL the pics and share them with us!

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  11. What a fascinating pairing! I know next to nothing about China, so I'm sure I'd enjoy learning from both of these :)

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  12. My husband went to China and he keeps bugging me to go there. He loved the landscape, the people, the food. I could at least do some armchair traveling - thanks for the recommendations!

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  13. I've had Troost on my TBR list for years! Probably, ever since you mentioned The Sex Lives of Cannibals. I've read The Good Earth and agree with you that it's a fairly easy classic. I thoroughly enjoyed the story and keep meaning to read more by Buck.

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  14. I've been enjoying reading the different book pairings! I love travelogues so will have to add Lost on Planet China to my list.

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  15. I was utterly stymied by this prompt but I'm loving reading everyone's ideas!

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