Nonfiction November Week 2: Book Pairing

First, thanks to Sahi at My World of Books to alerting me to yet another bookish event occurring during November. I saw her response to the Nonfiction November second week prompt pop up Twitter and thought I’d give it a go. Consider me on the fringes of several of the events ongoing this month–Nonfiction November, NetGalley November, and SciFi Month.

So what is Nonfiction November? It’s a month long (approximately) event that runs from October 31 to December 2 during which we celebrate nonfiction reads. There are five hosts: Katie at Doing Dewey, Rennie at What’s Nonfiction, Jaymi at The OC Bookgirl, Christopher at Plucked from the Stacks, and Rebekah at She Seeks Nonfiction. Social media hashtags to use are #NonficNov and #NonfictionBookParty.

Now, let’s get to the prompt.

Week 2: (November 7-11) – Book Pairing: 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. (Rennie @ What’s Nonfiction)

Nonfiction Book

Luckily, I recently finished a couple of nonfiction books in the past month. One of those I literally finished tonight and is called EJACULATE RESPONSIBLY by Gabrielle Blair. It’s a fast-paced read that presents a series of short, succinct arguments about why abortion is a men’s issue. It covers topics like:

  • “Ovulation is involuntary, ejaculation is not” (chapter 4);
  • “Birth control for men is easy to access and easy to use” (chapter 6);
  • “We expect women to be responsible for their own bodies AND for men’s bodies” (chapter 14);
  • and many others.

I haven’t yet written a review for it (nor have I decided if I will), but overall I thought the author made many very good points. Data are also presented within, which are cited on a separate website mentioned at the end of the book.

Official Synopsis

In Ejaculate Responsibly, Gabrielle Blair offers a provocative reframing of the abortion issue in post-Roe America.

In a series of 28 brief arguments, Blair deftly makes the case for moving the abortion debate away from controlling and legislating women’s bodies and instead directs the focus on men’s lack of accountability in preventing unwanted pregnancies.

Highly readable, accessible, funny, and unflinching, Blair builds her argument by walking readers through the basics of fertility (men are 50 times more fertile than women), the unfair burden placed on women when it comes to preventing pregnancy (90% of the birth control market is for women), the wrongheaded stigmas around birth control for men (condoms make sex less pleasurable, vasectomies are scary and emasculating), and the counterintuitive reality that men, who are fertile 100% of the time, take little to no responsibility for preventing pregnancy.

The result is a compelling and convincing case for placing the responsibility–and burden–of preventing unwanted pregnancies away from women and onto men.

Fiction Book

The fiction book to pair with the aforementioned nonfiction one is THE AUCTION by Elci North. I put this on my TBR back in June, I believe, and I still have yet to read it. It’s a dystopian novel about government oversight of women’s reproduction. It sounds darker than THE HANDMAID’S TALE by Margaret Atwood, of which I think many are familiar. (The official synopsis below also mentions some content warnings.) I’m due for another dystopian tale as I haven’t read one in a while. Unfortunately, I don’t have time this year to read it, but hopefully I will in early 2023.

Official Synopsis

America 2272 – Women are dominated by the government Office of Reproductive Oversight.

In a society where babies have become a source of government income, laws designed to push up the birth rate are enacted that strip women of the most basic of human rights: The right to choose when to have a child, the right to choose who to marry, and the right to raise her biological child.

Logical computer programmer Jane overindulges at a graduation party, winds up pregnant, and is forced to marry a near-stranger. Drama queen Angelica bets a gay guy in a bar that he couldn’t “do it with a woman.” Pregnant Angelica loses her job and the love of her life. And after 13 years of trying, Millie finally conceives, but sitting vigil at her severely injured husband’s bedside takes priority. Fifteen-year-old Wendy loves school and art, but an ex-convict breaks the glass from her window and rapes her.

Their paths cross when they are sentenced to the same pregnancy prison. But as lawmakers know, putting women together can lead to ideas. Ideas that could end the baby auction and bring down the government.

6 thoughts on “Nonfiction November Week 2: Book Pairing

    1. I know! There is way too much stuff going on this month to keep track of. I just found another one today called NordicNoirNovember or something like that. I guess a lot of things start with “N”! Looking forward to seeing what you come up with for your post.

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