Nonfiction November 2018: Book Pairing
It's time for week two of Nonfiction November! I'm thrilled to be joining in again this year, thanks to hosts Katie at Doing Dewey, Rennie at What’s Nonfiction?, Julie at Julz Reads, Kim at Sophisticated Dorkiness, and Sarah at Sarah’s Book Shelves.
This week’s prompt is the pairing of nonfiction with fiction - either a single title or several selections - and I let my current reading list guide me toward an idea. I currently have a subscription to a monthly book selection from independent book store The Bookshelf in Thomasville, GA; as a member of their Shelf Subscription, I received a copy of Meg, Jo, Beth, Amy: The Story of Little Women and Why It Still Matters by Anne Boyd Rioux, early in September, and decided to save it for Nonfiction November reading.
This may be a sacrilegious statement, but Little Women is not likely to ever make my all-time favorites list; it’s not that I don’t like it, I truly do and have read it 3-4 times, I simply did not feel as affected by its subject matter as some have been. Having said that, I have always been able to acknowledge its literary significance and appreciate its importance.
Whether you have read Little Women at any time, recently or many years ago, or not at all, author Anne Boyd Rioux’s examination of Louisa May Alcott’s classic is worth reading, especially as women continue to reinvent their roles in times of cultural change.
I love the journalistic and research-based approach that Boyd Rioux utilizes to provide new insight and a fresh perspective on the way in which Little Women not only impacted those who read it during the time of its initial publication, but also those who read it today.
Fascinatingly, Boyd Rioux also details many objections to the novel, both then and now, as well as authors who attempted to benefit from the popularity of the story by attempting to craft their own versions and piggy back off of its success.
In addition, Little Women has been very influential in many international countries, even as propaganda during the Cold War, and has often attempted to bridge a gap between culture in the United States and the coming-of-age experiences of young women internationally.
If you’re looking for an interesting nonfiction selection to jumpstart (or revitalize!) your Nonfiction November, I’ve been recommending this one quite a bit and it is definitely worth a try…even if Little Women is not on your all-time favorites list.