Nonfiction November – Book Pairings


Let’s play a little game of read this? Read that. Shall we?

Beryl Markham

Beryl Markham was one interesting lady. I haven’t read Circling the Sun (yet) but West with the Night is fantastic. I read it all the way back in 2008 and I’ve never forgotten it. Markham was truly a revolutionary of a woman, becoming the first licensed female horse trainer in Kenya, marrying several times (and having a couple affairs besides), and became the first person (not woman, PERSON) first to fly solo and nonstop across the Atlantic from east to west, which is against the wind. You guys, trust me when I say she was one of hell of an interesting woman.

I plan to read both of these in January for a project I’m doing. More on that later.


I read In the Heart of the Sea earlier this year and dude. It is EDGE. OF. YOUR. SEAT. Made all the more so because it’s a true story AND the story that INSPIRED Moby Dick. About 14 years ago, I tried to read Moby Dick. My eyes cross just thinking about it. I made it through 200 pages and, while it hurt to do it after all that work, I had to put it down. I just couldn’t go any further. Now, I surprise no one more than myself when I say I’m tempted to try again. Now that I know the story that inspired it, I can’t help but be more interested.

Have you read any of these books? Do you maybe want to now?

14 thoughts on “Nonfiction November – Book Pairings

  1. I haven’t read any of these, though sometimes it FEELS like I’ve read Moby Dick. That happens with classics, I think. They are quoted so much you think you’ve read them!

  2. Heather, I had no idea that In the Heart of the Sea was a book; I’ve seen the trailer for the movie and just assumed that it was a movie version of Moby Dick – ha! Guess I should’ve done more searching on that, huh? Thanks so much for sharing this; I was never a big Moby Dick fan, but this looks much more interesting.

  3. I think I’ll skip Moby Dick and go right to In The Heart of the Sea and save myself the headaches. Really, I have never had a desire to read MD anyway, but I am curious now about the story that inspired it!

  4. Haha, I think I did make it through Moby Dick a while ago, but I can’t say that I enjoyed it enough to want to read the book that inspired the story! Circling the Sun and West With the Night both sound awesome though 🙂

  5. I actually enjoyed Moby Dick when I read it in college, but I think it was mostly because I was also reading Tristram Shandy at the time and that was so horrible. I’m intrigued by In the Heart of the Sea — I like reading true adventure stories from the safety of my armchair. Great recommendations!

  6. I have a theory that Moby Dick (like Les Miserables) could be a really terrific book as long as you give yourself permission to skim/skip the parts that are boring. Like if I’d made myself plow through all the Waterloo sections of Les Mis, I’d never have loved it. Whereas I had to read Moby Dick for school so I COULDN’T skip any of that whaling stuff, and I hated the book despite quite liking the writing.

    (I’d try again, with skipping, except, yeah, I really don’t want to. Had to read that damn thing twice in college. It and me are dunzo.)

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