Share If You Loved These Novels, Read These Fascinating Nonfiction Books

If You Loved These Novels, Read These Fascinating Nonfiction Books

Erin Flaaen is a corporate marketing coordinator at Simon and Schuster. She loves dark stories, devours historical fiction, and still has a soft spot for great YA. (A short list of her favorite authors would include Emma Donoghue—not just for ROOM—Lisa See, George Saunders, David Ebershoff, Jeannette Walls, Shirley Jackson, Scott Westerfeld, David Levithan, and Libba Bray.) Originally from Arizona, she moved to New York in 2014 and now spends her days being constantly confused by the weather, craving Mexican food, and reading books on buses.

Whenever I read novels, I’m always fascinated by the ties the fictional stories have to the real world. When I read historical fiction, I want to know more about that period in history. When I read dystopian novels, I want to know if anything similar has already happened. If your curiosity is also easily piqued by fiction, then I highly recommend picking up these nine works of nonfiction, especially if you loved these other novels.


Southern Discomfort
by Tena Clark
If you loved THE HELP by Kathryn Stockett

If you loved THE HELP and are wondering what life was really like during the civil rights era in the South for black nannies and the white children they cared for, SOUTHERN DISCOMFORT should be next up in your TBR pile. Clark’s powerful memoir is set in rural Mississippi beginning in the 1950s, and it tells the story of a white girl coming of age in a repressive society and the black nanny who helped her forge her own path.
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Southern Discomfort
Tena Clark

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If You Loved These Novels, Read These Fascinating Nonfiction Books

By Erin Flaaen | January 8, 2019

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Redemption
by Stacey Lannert
If you loved THE MARS ROOM by Rachel Kushner

After having read THE MARS ROOM, you might be interested to know how accurately the book portrays life in a women’s prison. REDEMPTION is a memoir by Stacy Lannert, who, after years of abuse by her father, shot and killed him and was sentenced to life in prison without parole. This is the story of Stacy’s life leading up to her sentencing, her time in prison, and her release after her sentence was commuted in 2009.
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Redemption
Stacey Lannert

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Readers’ Choice: The Top 10 Most Shelved Books in January

By Off the Shelf Staff | January 25, 2019

If You Loved These Novels, Read These Fascinating Nonfiction Books

By Erin Flaaen | January 8, 2019

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Escape from Camp 14
by Blaine Harden
If you loved THE ORPHAN MASTER’S SON by Adam Johnson

THE ORPHAN MASTER’S SON was the first novel I read that really exposed me to life under North Korea’s totalitarian regime. It is a riveting book, and I immediately wanted to learn more. That’s how I came across ESCAPE FROM CAMP 14, a true story from the only known person to have been born inside a North Korean prison camp and who managed to escape.
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Escape from Camp 14
Blaine Harden

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MENTIONED IN:

If You Loved These Novels, Read These Fascinating Nonfiction Books

By Erin Flaaen | January 8, 2019

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A Stolen Life
by Jaycee Dugard
If you loved ROOM by Emma Donoghue

ROOM is one of my favorite novels, and while it is a completely fictional account of a woman being kidnapped, held hostage, and forced to conceive a child, it is also a story that reflects several true accounts. Jaycee Dugard’s memoir is the harrowing account of her kidnapping in 1991 and the eighteen years of captivity that followed.
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A Stolen Life
Jaycee Dugard

A STOLEN LIFE is Jaycee Dugard’s raw and powerful memoir about being kidnapped in 1991, when she was 11 years old, and held captive for more than 18 years.

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If You Loved These Novels, Read These Fascinating Nonfiction Books

By Erin Flaaen | January 8, 2019

13 Banned Books That Will Always Have a Place on Our Shelves

By Off the Shelf Staff | September 29, 2016

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Lost Names
by Richard E. Kim
If you loved PACHINKO by Min Jin Lee

PACHINKO is an epic historical novel that follows four generations of a Korean family through the Japanese occupation of Korea, World War II, and the Korean War. PACHINKO mainly takes place in Japan, but if you want to learn more about the experiences of people in Korea during this period, LOST NAMES is the book you need to read. Originally published in 1970, this memoir depicts a character whose boyhood and early adolescence were spent in Korea during the height of the Japanese occupation.
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Lost Names
Richard E. Kim

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MENTIONED IN:

If You Loved These Novels, Read These Fascinating Nonfiction Books

By Erin Flaaen | January 8, 2019

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Orphan Trains
by Stephen O'Connor
If you loved ORPHAN TRAIN by Christina Baker Kline

The first time you heard about orphan trains may have been when you read ORPHAN TRAIN, but there is so much more information available about this time in American history. O’Connor’s ORPHAN TRAINS is part biography of the man who proposed the orphan train solution to an overpopulation of orphans in eastern cities and part firsthand accounts from the orphans themselves.
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Orphan Trains
Stephen O'Connor

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If You Loved These Novels, Read These Fascinating Nonfiction Books

By Erin Flaaen | January 8, 2019

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The Faithful Executioner
by Joel F. Harrington
If you loved A GAME OF THRONES by George R. R. Martin

Maybe after watching or reading A GAME OF THRONES, you were inspired to learn more about chopping off heads and torture. We understand and have the perfect book for you. THE FAITHFUL EXECUTIONER is based on a rare journal kept by a sixteenth-century executioner. It tells the story of Meister Frantz Schmidt, the original owner of the journal, an outcast who sought to prove himself worthy of honor and free his children from the stigma set by his profession.
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The Faithful Executioner
Joel F. Harrington

A fascinating, unique, and intimate view of crime during the Renaissance in Germany from the perspective of the man whose job it was to violently punish lawbreakers. Based on an executioner’s actual journal, you can discover how crime and punishment were carried out and consider how far we’ve come (or how little we’ve changed).

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If You Loved These Novels, Read These Fascinating Nonfiction Books

By Erin Flaaen | January 8, 2019

8 True Crime Stories from Around the Globe

By Kerry Fiallo | April 28, 2017

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The Great Influenza
by John M. Barry
If you loved STATION ELEVEN by Emily St. John Mandel

After reading STATION ELEVEN, you may have wondered if it’s really possible for such a pandemic to prevail against modern medicine. To learn more about the possibility of such a dystopian future, we must look to the past, specifically to the deadliest pandemic in history, which occurred much more recently than one would think. In 1918, a lethal influenza virus appeared in an army camp in Kansas; over the next two years, it killed more than 100 million people. THE GREAT INFLUENZA is the gripping account of how mankind barely survived.
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The Great Influenza
John M. Barry

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If You Loved These Novels, Read These Fascinating Nonfiction Books

By Erin Flaaen | January 8, 2019

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The Dressmaker of Khair Khana
by Gayle Tzemach Lemmon
If you loved A THOUSAND SPLENDID SUNS by Khaled Hosseini

A THOUSAND SPLENDID SUNS is no doubt the novel to read about Afghan history and family. Following the reading of this incredible chronicle, we recommend you pick up Lemmon’s THE DRESSMAKER OF KHAIR KHANA, the true story of a young female entrepreneur who brought hope to dozens of women in war-torn Kabul in the wake of the Taliban’s rise to power.
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The Dressmaker of Khair Khana
Gayle Tzemach Lemmon

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MENTIONED IN:

If You Loved These Novels, Read These Fascinating Nonfiction Books

By Erin Flaaen | January 8, 2019

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