Nonfiction November 2022: Book Pairing (with Documentaries)

Nonfiction November 2022: Book Pairing (with Documentaries)

When I’m not reading, there’s a good chance I’m watching a documentary. I’m using Nonfiction November’s Week 2 prompt, Book Pairing, as an excuse to share my favorites with you!

Here’s the prompt from Rennie of What’s Nonfiction?:

This week, pair up a nonfiction book with a fiction title (or another nonfiction!). It can be a “If you loved this book, read this!” or just two titles that you think would go well together. Maybe it’s a historical novel and you’d like to get the real history by reading a nonfiction version of the story. Or pair a book with a podcast, film or documentary, TV show, etc. on the same topic or stories that pair together.


For this post, I’m doing something a little different than my usual recommendation posts. Instead of droning on and on about each documentary I’ve watched and every book that pairs with it, I’m giving you this beautiful collection of movie posters for the documentaries/docuseries (and the occasional biopic) I recommend about cults, reproductive rights, religious scandals, criminal justice, right-wing mania, and more.

To be sure, some are better than others. My favorites are:

  • 13th
  • The Eyes of Tammy Faye
  • The Family
  • Four Hours at the Capitol
  • Jackson
  • Just Mercy
  • Keep Sweet
  • Pray Away
  • Procession
  • The Way Down
  • When They See Us

Book pairing

Now for the fun part: matching up each documentary with a nonfiction book! I’ve watched all of the documentaries listed in this post, but I haven’t actually read most of these books. Some I’ve read, some are on my TBR, and some I just found after researching the documentaries. A few of the books are identical to the docs, some are memoirs from people with similar experiences, and of course some are books I know anyone interested in these topics would love.

DocumentaryNonfiction Book
The 13thThe New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander
AftershockKilling the Black Body: Race, Reproduction, and the Meaning of Liberty by Dorothy Roberts
Boy ErasedBoy Erased: A Memoir of Identity, Faith, and Family by Garrard Conley
The Eyes of Tammy FayePTL: The Rise and Fall of Jim & Tammy Faye Bakker’s Evangelical Empire by John Wigger
The FamilyThe Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power by Jeff Sharlet
Four Hours at the CapitolThey Want to Kill Americans: The Militias, Terrorists, and Deranged Ideology of the Trump Insurgency by Malcolm Nance
God ForbidOff the Deep End: Jerry and Becki Falwell and the Collapse of an Evangelical Dynasty by Giancarlo Granda
Heaven’s GateCultish: The Language of Fanaticism by Amanda Montell
JacksonUndivided Rights: Women of Color Organizing for Reproductive Justice by Jael Silliman, Marlene Gerber Fried, Loretta Ross, and Elena Gutiérrez
Just MercyJust Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson
Keep Sweet: Pray and ObeyBreaking Free: How I Escaped Polygamy, the FLDS Cult, and My Father, Warren Jeffs by Rachel Jeffs
Knock Down the HouseTake Up Space: The Unprecedented AOC by the editors of New York Magazine
Murder Among the MormonsThe Mormon Murders: A True Story of Greed, Forgery, Deceit and Death by Steven W. Naifeh
Pray AwayOutlove: A Queer Christian Survival Story by Julie Rodgers
ProcessionBehind Sacred Walls: The True Story of My Abuse by Catholic Priests by Michael Roberts
RBGMy Own Words by Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Reversing RoeNo Choice: The Destruction of Roe v. Wade and the Fight to Protect a Fundamental American Right by Becca Andrews
Slay the DragonOne Person, One Vote: A Surprising History of Gerrymandering in America by Nick Seabrook

How many of these documentaries have you seen? Do you agree with my book pairing recommendations? Let me know in the comments and come back for next week’s prompt, Stranger than Fiction with Chris! And if you post for Book Pairing, don’t forget to link up here so I can read your post.

9 thoughts on “Nonfiction November 2022: Book Pairing (with Documentaries)

  • November 9, 2022 at 2:31 pm

    Excellent post that I will SAVE as a great reference for documentary viewing. Thanks so much!

  • November 9, 2022 at 3:01 pm

    I’m going to save this post as a good guide for future documentary viewing, thanks!

  • November 9, 2022 at 3:34 pm

    Wowee, that must have taken you ages to put together. Good work!

  • November 11, 2022 at 4:43 am

    Thanks for the recommendations, I’ll definitely be adding a few of those documentaries to my watchlist.

  • November 11, 2022 at 10:31 pm

    I do love a good docuseries! And I think the format choice you made here was really effective. I enjoyed spotting posters that interested me and then finding your pairing for them in the table 🙂

  • November 19, 2022 at 10:39 pm

    Holy moly….my mouth is literally hanging open. This is the best pairing post I have seen. I am bookmarking the page. Thank you for pairing all of these!

  • February 21, 2023 at 4:44 am

    Great post, which I will Keep as a useful resource for watching documentaries. Thanks a lot!


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