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Novel Pairings

Arts • Leisure

Welcome to Novel Pairings, a podcast dedicated to making the classics readable, relevant, and fun. As two nerdy bookworms, we appreciate the role of classic lit, but we but we won’t get too academic about it. We’ll talk about the books we love and the books we loath, and help stock your TBR pileRead more

Popular episodes

88. A new-to-us and nuanced novel of manners: There is Confusion by Jessie Redmon Fauset

Nov 23 • 56:45

We love revisiting our favorite books for episodes of Novel Pairings, but there’s also something truly special about finding a new-to-us classic that becomes a forever favorite. There is Confusion by Jessie Redmon Fauset was a book neither of us had read or even knew much about before deciding to cover it on the podcast. ...

87. Perfectly paired gifts for every bookworm

Nov 16 • 46:36

Our penchant for pairings goes far beyond books and in today’s gift guide rerelease we’re offering a variety of suggestions for what to give the literary minded loved ones in your life. Each book and gift pairing is put together with a particular type of reader in mind to help you find the perfect holiday gift no matter who you’re shopping for this season. ...

86. Palpable tension and shocking twists in Passing by Nella Larsen

Nov 9 • 01:02:08

When we first released our episode on Passing by Nella Larsen in June of 2020, we were already professing our excitement for the new movie starring Tessa Thompson and Ruth Nega. This month, the film is finally releasing on Netflix. ...

85. The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman and perfectly psychological pairings

Nov 2 • 01:10:03

Today, Sara and Chelsey discuss “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. We’ve read this story more times than we can count—as students and as teachers, and today we’re sharing new insights and appreciation for its themes, tone, and terrifying ending. We cover connections to Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s biography, historical context, and deeper analysis as we talk...

84. Literary terms, book recommendations, and learning about the horror genre with Raelyn Torngren

Oct 26 • 43:36

Today, we welcome Raelyn Torngren to the podcast to educate us on the horror genre. From defining tropes to engaging in literary criticism to offering excellent book recommendations, we cover a lot of ground! This episode is excellent for readers who are ready to lean into their darker tastes this season or readers who are new to the genre. You can find Raelyn on Instagram...

83. Revisiting Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

Oct 19 • 01:08:55

This season we’ve been getting into the autumnal mood with Gothic short stories, Victorian fiction, and an upcoming exploration of horror literature. Today, we’re rereleasing our episode on Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, a work that fits perfectly into our seasonal theme. We hope listening or relistening to our discussion about this classroom staple will be enhanced by all t...

82. How to read a BIG book: an introduction to Middlemarch by George Eliot

Oct 12 • 36:25

In case you missed it, we're reading Middlemarch together! We're both excited (and, let's be honest) a little apprehensive about diving into George Eliot's Middlemarch with you this fall and winter. This is a BIG book filled with lots of historical references and Eliot's signature attention to the smallest of details. It's also a cozy and thoughtful depiction of a small to...

81. The Fall of the House of Usher by Edgar Allan Poe and creepy fictional houses to explore

Oct 5 • 01:05:40

Today, Sara and Chelsey discuss “The Fall of the House of Usher” by Edgar Allan Poe. This delightfully creepy story ushers in (that pun was NOT intended, but let’s go with it) chilling fall breezes, spooky October vibes, and atmosphere galore. We walk through a close reading of this classic horror story and cover Poe’s signature writing style and the horror tropes he plays...

80. Forecasting our fall reading with anticipated backlist titles from our shelves

Sep 28 • 42:26

Today, Sara and Chelsey share the backlist books they’re putting on their To Be Read lists for the next few months. We speculate on which books will carry us through the early days of motherhood and which reading formats might work best in a totally unpredictable season. This episode is for anyone who wants to read more backlist, readers who have a hard time focusing right...

79. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë Part Two

Sep 21 • 01:14:11

Today, Sara and Chelsey discuss chapters 27 through the end of Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë. We discuss Jane’s journeys from coming of age to literally hiking on the moors, the juxtaposition of Rochester and another romantic interest, the ending (of course), and whether or not we think this qualifies as a “feminist text.” Plus, we offer six pairings that touch on the tone...

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