Readers, today’s episode is inspired by Helene Hanff’s love of books, nonfiction, and observation. We’re sharing a bunch of nonfiction books about books, reading, and readers. Some of these are longtime favorites and others are on our endless TBR lists. This episode is extra nerdy, a little nostalgic, and supremely bookish. We hope you find a title to add to your TBR today.
Today Chelsey and Sara are discussing 84 Charing Cross Road by Helen Hanff, the ultimate comfort read for bibliophiles. Chelsey can’t believe she hadn’t read it sooner, and Sara revels in her rereading experience. We cover everything from the epistolary form to Helene’s unique reading habits to the satisfaction of a bittersweet ending. Plus, as always, we’re recommending six contemporary books to pair with our classic, with a mix of charming memoir and plucky historical fiction.
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Today Chelsey and Sara are ready to topple your TBRs with highly anticipated winter releases and backlist books. Our goal is to hype up the buzzy new books and under-the-radar releases while offering pairings that are easier to get at the library (or more affordable in paperback).
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Today in Short Story Club, Chelsey and Sara are discussing “The Hunter’s Wife” by Anthony Doerr. This wintry, atmospheric story is absolutely absorbing and highly discussable. We talk about the beautiful writing, the unique structure, and some problematic aspects of the characters and plot. We do discuss spoilers in our Short Story Club episodes; you can find a copy of the story to read online from The Atlantic to join in and read before listening. Plus, as always, we’re recommending a few pairings that fit the atmosphere, themes, and setting of today’s short story.
Today Chelsey and Sara are discussing Sister Outsider by Audre Lorde. This collection of essays, speeches, and other writings is highly discussable and totally re-readable. We loved diving into this seminal Black Feminist text, though our conversation today barely scratches the surface of all there is to learn from Lorde’s ideas, language, and poetry.
Plus, as always, we’re recommending six contemporary books to pair with our classic, including a beautiful novel in verse and one of Chelsey’s recent favorite YA reads.
Instead of the “best books of the year” or our “favorite reads from 2020,” we’re sharing 12 bookish superlatives to highlight some underrated gems, popular favorites, academic reads, and more. Whether you love dark and moody literary fiction or genre-bending contemporary stories, we hope you find a new title to add to your TBR list today.
Today Chelsey and Sara are discussing Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. We share what we admire about Alcott and her iconic children’s classic, as well as the reasons why it doesn’t hold a fond place in our readerly hearts. We know that many readers adore this sisterly, warm-hearted book, so we’ve backed up our opinions with extra-nerdy analysis.
Plus, as always, we’re recommending six contemporary books to pair with our classic, including books about the writing life and one of Sara’s favorite moody books from this year.
Today Chelsey and Sara are discussing My Antonia by Willa Cather with a special guest: Michelle Timmins, English literature student and Novel Pairings assistant extraordinaire. There’s plenty to discuss in this wintry classic, including stunning imagery, surprising connections to an American Girl Doll, and where Cather’s novel fits into the American literary canon. Plus, as always, we’re recommending six contemporary books to pair with our classic, including a Western, an arctic memoir, and a nonfiction book about grief.
Have we mentioned how much we love audiobooks? We’ve both been avid listeners for a long time, but between pandemic life and Sara’s Aspen Words reading, this has been a banner year for audiobooks. Today, we’re each sharing twelve of our favorite listening experiences. With a mix of literary fiction, romance, nonfiction, and YA, today’s episode has an audiobook recommendation for every reader.
Today, we reflect on our favorite reads from the last three months. These quarterly reflections might be our favorite episodes to record. It’s lovely to take time to consider our favorite episodes, our favorite reads, and what we’ve learned over the course of the season. We’re sharing a bunch of book recommendations in this episode; shop our recs here.