Book pairings: sociopaths

Nonfiction November rages on, and today’s topic is… 

Book Pairing, hosted by Sarah of Sarah’s Bookshelves : This week, pair up a nonfiction book with a fiction title. 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.

Today we’re getting grim, my friends, because: sociopaths. 

Yes, we’re talking about the true story of Elizabeth Holmes and Theranos, the totally bogus biotech company she led — and the people whose lives she damaged because they crossed her. It’s creepy, it’s chilling, it’s disturbing as all get-out. And the fact that it’s true makes it all the more unsettling. 

So our nonfiction title today is Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup by John Carreyrou. 

Bad Blood pairs nicely with My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite. While this novel has a bit of a cheeky tone, it’s suspenseful and all too maddening to watch the sociopathic sister (yes, an actual serial killer) get away with murder. 

Both books contain situations that are downright infuriating, because the gall! The audaciousness of their behavior is shocking. They also both deal with issues of integrity and loyalty and complicity. And both can be deeply disturbing. 


So if you’re a sensitive soul, these books are not good for bedtime reading. While they’re not scary, they’re unsettling. (I had a troubled night of sleep after reading a chapter of Bad Blood at bedtime — and afterward would read it only during daylight hours. Because this stuff is true, and it’s seriously messed up.)


Anyone else moderately (yet not unpleasantly) disturbed by these books?

14 thoughts on “Book pairings: sociopaths

  1. Monika @ Lovely Bookshelf

    This is a GREAT pairing! I haven’t read either, but you’ve convinced me to add both to my list. I like unsettling reads. ?

  2. thecozyreadingnookblog

    Oh man, I can see how these would be scary or disturbing! And honestly I think I’m more afraid of Elizabeth Holmes than a serial killer!

  3. I’ve not heard of the Elizabeth Holmes/Theranos scandal but on the basis of the info you shared, just had to do some digging. It’s curious that this book has come out now when apparently she isn’t due to stand trial until 2020 – maybe the US laws are different but in the UK any author would have to be very careful in case they prejudiced the case.

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