Two Books on the Same Topic by Different Authors: Picks for the TPL Reading Challenge 2020

December 7, 2020 | Despina

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Have you ever sifted through library or book store displays and it seems every author under the sun is writing about the same city, the same war, the current US president, the same historical figure, the same current event? At least it means there are many options for "two books on the same topic by different authors".

And have you noticed that there are so many books on orphans lately?!

Here are some titles on orphans, in case you've missed out:

Paris orphan

The Paris Orphan by Natasha Lester

Before we were yours

Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate

Home for unwanted girls

The Home for Unwanted Girls by Joanna Goodman

Forgotten home child

The Forgotten Home Child by Genevieve Graham


The past few years, I have also noticed multiple authors writing books set in Paris, about Paris, Paris during WWI, or WWII, decor in Paris, architecture in Paris, how to dress in Paris, how to raise your kids in Paris and more.

So here are two fiction books set in Paris, by two different authors. In both, the story revolves around the building of the Eiffel Tower, step by step.

To capture what we cannot keep

To Capture What We Cannot Keep by Beatrice Colin


Paris by Edward Rutherfurd


We know that some authors are experts on war. We may want to read these books for our own information and from different perspectives. Knowing history is key, otherwise "we are destined to repeat it." Or are we already repeating history? That’s another blog.

Here are two fiction books set in the World Wars I and II that I would like to read. They are, of course, set in France: Somewhere in France by Jennifer Robson and The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah.

Somewhere in france

Robson is a popular historical fiction Toronto author, and yet the covers of her books look like they belong in the romance novel section. There is romance in them, but the historical fiction is paramount in her books. Ms Robson is a WWI history buff. This one is set in WWI France.

The nightingale

The Nightingale is set in WWII, yes, in France, and is on its way to becoming a movie.


Lately, Winston Churchill has been written about repeatedly. What is there not to write about him? Long reigning Prime Minister of England, during WWII, first PM to work with the current Queen Elizabeth the Second. Oh, and let’s mention the multiple movies based on his life, and having a major role in the smash hit Netflix series, "The Crown". Here are two book recommendations published in the last two years:

Winston churchill

Winston Churchill: A Life in the News by Richard Toye

The churchill complex

The Churchill Complex by Ian Buruma 


Indifferent to him, like him, despise him, authors and people around him love to write about US President Donald J Trump. We’re inundated! Here are two books also published the last two years:

Trump america first

Trump America First: The President Succeeds Against All Odds by Lewandowski, Corey R

Too much and never enough

Too Much And Never Enough by Mary Trump


Looking for more? Here are some recommendations from our staff. Each offer suggestions for a different topic!


Horse-Riding Librarians

The book woman of troublesome creek

The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson

The giver of stars

The Giver of Stars Jojo Moyes

After reading an article last year about the similarities and overlap of these two books, I've put both of these titles on my reading list. They apparently both portray fictionalized accounts of horse-riding librarians that delivered books to remote areas.

– Sagal, Librarian


Visible Mending and Eco-Fashion


Mend! : A Refashioning Manual and Manifesto by Kate Sekules

Joyful mending

Joyful Mending: Visible Repairs for the Perfectly Imperfect Things we Love! by Noriko Misumi

Recently I've been more and more concerned about the impact of fast fashion on our environment and the amount of clothes that wind up in landfills. I've also been reinventing my style to be more gender- or self-affirming. But I don't want to buy new things. So, now I'm remaking and repairing my clothes in an effort to be more eco-conscious. I recommend these two books for anyone who is new to sewing or anyone who believes repairs should be invisible. There's great tips and techniques for beginners, and also a lot of information to make you rethink how you treat your clothes. I've been sewing, making costumes and doing repairs for over 20 years... but I've only really thought about visible mending for the past two or three! The first book I read on it was Mending Matters, also highly recommended!

– Amy, Communications Officer


Contemporary Romance with a South Asian Twist

The chai factor

The Chai Factor by Farah Heron

Ayesha at last

Ayesha at Last by Uzma Jalaluddin

For this category I read two contemporary romance novels by two different Toronto based authors with a South Asian twist. 

Both of them were cute and easy reads, just what I needed this past April during the depths of the pandemic.

– Nalini, Branch Head


#Metoo and Law Enforcement

A false report

A False Report: A True Story of Rape in America by T. Christian Miller and Ken Armstrong

Had it coming

Had it Coming: What's Fair in the Age of #metoo? by Robyn Doolittle

Two disturbing books about the failure of courts, law enforcement, etc. to support (or even believe) the victims of sexual assault. A False Report documents the story of Marie, a teenager who reported a rape to police and was browbeaten until she recanted – and was charged with false reporting, ruining her credibility and destroying her life. Happy ending, though – two police officers (women!) realized that her description of the crime matched a number of other crimes and realized there was a serial rapist attacking women in a number of states. Ok. Maybe not a happy ending...

Robyn Doolittle takes a look at how rape cases are handled by police and the courts system in Canada. She is especially concerned with how the #metoo movement has changed the fight for justice for sexual assault victims. (spoiler alert: not enough).

Not cheerful reads but important.

– Margaret, Librarian



Dragon hoops

Dragon Hoops by Gene Luen Yang


Rapture by Nick Nurse

I read two terrific, recently published books about basketball for this category. Gene Luen Yang's Dragon Hoops is an all-ages graphic novel about a phenomenal high school varsity team and the importance of taking that first step. Nick Nurse's memoir, Rapture (plus a super long subtitle), is a look at his unconventional, but captivating career path- and his deep knowledge and love of the game.

Both are thoughtful reads that had me missing those Raps!

– Jennifer, Librarian


Recommendations from the Facebook Group

These are just some of the recommendations from our Facebook TPL Reading Challenge 2020 discussion group.


What books did you read for this category, "two books on the same topic by different authors"? Tell us below in the comments!

If you took part in the TPL Reading Challenge 2020, please fill out our feedback survey. If you completed the main challenge, you can also enter to win a prize draw! Details are available on the Reading Challenge webpage.