57. Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut and science fiction stories for literary fiction lovers

Today Chelsey and Sara are discussing Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut. We take some conversational bunny trails to explore our high school reading experiences, our relationships with science fiction, and our philosophical ponderings inspired by Billy Pilgrim’s story. As usual, we’re recommending six contemporary books to pair with Vonnegut’s most famous work, including anti-war satire and sci-fi  short stories.

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Skip to the pairings with this timestamp: [28:45]

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Chelsey

Sara

Also mentioned:

56. Speech Sounds by Octavia Butler, a short story club discussion

Today in “Short Story Club,” Chelsey and Sara are discussing “Speech Sounds” by Octavia Butler. This post-pandemic story about the importance of language and communication feels incredibly prescient and relevant, like all of Butler’s work. “Speech Sounds” is a highly discussable, quick read. We’d love to hear your thoughts on it!

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Chelsey’s Pairings:

Speak by Laurie Hals Anderson (Amazon)

Octavia’s Brood: Science Fiction Stories from Social Justice Movements  (Amazon)

Sara’s Pairings:

Vox by Christina Dalcher  (Amazon)

Severance by Ling Ma  (Amazon)

Picks of the week:

Chelsey: Why Octavia Butler’s novels feel so relevant today

Sara: Blindness by José Saramago

55. Giovanni’s Room by James Baldwin and modern pairings with evocative writing

Today Chelsey and Sara are discussing Giovanni’s Room by James Baldwin. We both loved this evocative, ground-breaking classic and couldn’t wait to dig into its setting, themes, and stunning writing. As usual, we’re recommending six contemporary books to pair with Baldwin’s classic, including poignant YA novels, memoir, and essays.

Listen to the episode in your web browser with this link.

For access to our upcoming  class on literary theory and a book club style discussion of Baldwin’s novel later this month,  join our Classics Club: patreon.com/novelpairings.com.

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Use our Libro.fm affiliate code NOVELPAIRINGS to get an audiobook subscription and support independent bookstores.

Skip to the pairings with this timestamp: [31:00]

Books mentioned:

These links are affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, Novel Pairings will earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Thank you for your support!

Chelsey

Sara

Also mentioned:

The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin (Amazon)

If Beale Street Could Talk by James Baldwin (Amazon)

Go Tell It on the Mountain by James Baldwin (Amazon)

Picks of the week:

Chelsey: Paris Blues (1961)

Sara: I Am Not Your Negro

40. The joy of nostalgic reads and books that Jo March would love with Annie B. Jones, owner of The Bookshelf

Today, Chelsey and Sara talk about favorite books from childhood, Little Women fashion, and family stories to read this winter with Annie Jones, owner of The Bookshelf in Thomasville and host of the bookish podcast From The Front Porch. There’s lots of nostalgia, laughter, and book recs in this episode, plus tips for helping your favorite local bookstores thrive during trying times. Note: this episode includes some spoilers for Little Women

A special treat: Right now, listeners of Novel Pairings can get 10% off their purchase of a shelf subscription with the code NOVELIDEA2020. This 10% off code applies to shelf subscriptions only, and it lasts through January 31, 2021. 

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Find show notes on our blog

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Books mentioned:

Our book list includes a mix of affiliate links and links to The Bookshelf inventory. If you want to own one of the books we talked about today, we hope you consider supporting The Bookshelf with your purchase. 

East of Eden by John Steinbeck

Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

An Old Fashioned Girl by Louisa May Alcott

The Baby-Sitters Club Box

A Place for Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza

The Mothers by Brit Bennett

Franny & Zoey by J.D. Salinger

From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konig

Bloomability by Sharon Creech

Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy: The Story of Little Women and Why It Still Matters by Amy Boyd Rioux

Jo & Laurie by Margaret Stohl and Melissa de la Cruz

What Kind of Woman by Kate Baer

Musical Chairs by Amy Poeppel

House Lessons by Erica Bauermeister

Nobody Will Tell You This But Me by Bess Kalb

The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett

Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid

Ex Libris by Michiko Kakutani 

HRH by Elizabeth Holmes

Passing by Nella Larsen

Emma by Jane Austen

Also mentioned:

The Baby-Sitters Club Taught Me Everything I Needed to Know About Literary Fiction