97. Romance in Marseille and postcolonial novels to expand your world

Today, Sara and Chelsey discuss Romance in Marseille by Claude McKay. We discuss the classic nature of this novel along with some of its modern elements, as well as our own personal impressions and individual reading experiences of the book.. This Harlem Renaissance novel touches on important themes that pushed the boundaries of its time: disability, the physical body, race, migration, post-colonialism, Marxism, economics. If you’re looking for a short classic novel that covers many important topics, consider this one alongside some of our pairings.  

Listen HERE

Books Mentioned 

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Romance in Marseille by Claude McKay (Penguin Classics) 

Listen to our pairings: [41:05]

Chelsey: 

Sara: 

Also Mentioned 

The Best New Novel Was Written 90 Years Ago by Molly Young (Vulture) 
A Book So Far Ahead of Its Time, It took 87 Years to Find A Publisher by Tayla Zax (NYTimes)

96. Must-read books of the summer paired with beach-worthy backlist titles

It’s that time of year, readers! Pull out your favorite book tote and get thee to pre-ordering (or library requesting) because we’ve got an episode full of our most anticipated reads for summer 2022. Since we can’t help ourselves, we’ve paired each buzzy new title with a backlist pick. We’re also talking about summer reading hopes (not goals), our favorite summertime genres, and what’s happening in Classics Club this season. 

LISTEN HERE.

If you’re enjoying our content, please write a review on Apple Podcasts, share an episode with a friend, or shout us out on social media. Growing this show (as our families have grown, too) is only possible because of our lovely listeners. Thank you!

Books Mentioned

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May

5/3 The Murder of Mr. Wickham by Claudia Gray

5/3 When Women Were Dragons by Kelly Barnhill

5/17 We Were Dreamers: An Immigrant Superhero Origin Story by Simu Liu

5/17 Son of Elsewhere: A Memoir in Pieces by Elamin Abdelmahmoud

5/24 Nightcrawling by Leila Mottley

5/31 Half-Blown Rose by Leesa Cross-Smith

June

6/7 Woman of Light by Kali Farjado-Anstine

6/7 Fibbed by Elizabeth Agyemang

6/14 Horse by Geraldine Brooks

6/28 American Royalty by Tracey Livesay

July

7/5 Life Ceremony by Sayaka Murata

7/5 Night of the Living Rez by Morgan Talty

7/12 The Crane Wife by C.J. Hauser

7/12 Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevinn

7/19 Just Like Home by Sarah Gailey

Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn

95. Love and Freindship by Jane Austen and adding pure FUN to your TBR list

Sara and Chelsey discuss Jane Austen’s silly, ridiculous, and absolutely delightful work of juvenilia: Love and Freindship. From fainting spells to the history of parody, this episode is full of nerdy information and fun Austen context. If you’re looking to lighten up your reading life with irreverent novels and humorous romance, these pairings are for you, regardless of whether you’ve picked up Love and Freindship

Listen HERE.

Books mentioned:

Love and Freindship by Jane Austen

Chelsey:

Sara:

94. Ask Us Anything with Sara, Chelsey, and a special surprise guest

How did Sara and Chelsey meet? What goes into making a Novel Pairings episode? And how do they find time to read with busy, curious babies in their lives? Today’s episode holds all the answers to YOUR questions about classic literature, teaching English, baby bookworms, reading habits, and more. (Plus plenty of book recommendations. We can’t help it.)

Some links are affiliate links. Every time you make a purchase through one of these links, it helps us keep the podcast running. Thank you!

Books Mentioned:

Also Mentioned:

Don’t forget to:

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

91. Bookish superlatives from an unprecedented reading year

After a few months off, we’re back in your feeds to discuss some of our favorite (and least favorite) books of 2021. We’ve organized this episode into bookish superlatives that let us share books you may not hear us talk about otherwise. We also offer a reflection on our reading year as a whole, including what it’s been like to read with newborns around. It’s great to be back at the mic talking all things books!

Books Mentioned:

  • Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir
  • A Psalm for the Wild Built by Becky Chambers
  • Beautiful World Where Are You by Sally Rooney
  • The Plot by Jean Hanff Korelitz
  • Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid
  • How the Word is Passed by Clint Smith
  • My Monticello by Jocelyn Nicole Johnson
  • Wintering by Katherine May
  • Insurrecto by Gina Apostol
  • Like a Love Story by Abdi Nazemian
  • The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark
  • We’re All in This Together by Amy Jones
  • Good Moms Have Scary Thoughts by Karen Kleiman
  • Kid Gloves by Lucy Knisley
  • Detransition, Baby by Torrie Peters
  • The Secret Lives of Church Ladies by Deesha Philyaw
  • The Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Highsmith
  • Olympus, Texas by Stacey Swann
  • Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro
  • Seven Days in June by Tia Williams
  • A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki
  • The Other Black Girl by Zakiya Dalila Harris
  • Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner
  • Swimming in the Dark by Tomasz Jedrowski
  • Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals by Oliver Burkeman

92 & 93. Novel Pairings for Middlemarch by George Eliot

In Episode 92, Sara and Chelsey check in and discuss Middlemarch by George Eliot. What does this 800-page Victorian novel have in common with Love is Blind on Netflix? Tune in to hear literary analysis, pop culture connections, and personal reflections on reading this giant tome. Plus, Sara and Chelsey reveal plans for a new episode format and which classic they’re reading next. 

Listen here.

Books mentioned:

Picks of the week:

Chelsey: Love is Blind (Netflix)
Sara: My Life in Middlemarch by Rebecca Mead 

Also mentioned:

It Can Be Embarrassing to Love Dorothea” The Paris Review

In Episode 93, Sara and Chelsey consider Middlemarch by George Eliot through a contemporary lens with paired books about marriage, community, and time-tested advice. You don’t need to read Middlemarch to put a book recommendation in your pocket today, so enjoy this unique collection of titles and a spoiler-free conversation. 

Listen here.

Books mentioned:

90. Our love/hate relationship with Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

“Christmas won’t be Christmas without any presents.” So begins the book that launched a million little girls’ love affair with reading. While we here at Novel Pairings have pretty mixed feelings about Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women, our discussion of this beloved childhood classic is one of our favorites. 

Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without some discussion of Little Women, so whether you love them or loathe them, we hope you enjoy today’s rerelease as we deep dive into the world of Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy.

For more bonus episodes, nerdy classes, and extra book talk,  join our Classics Club: patreon.com/novelpairings.com.

Connect with us  on Instagram or Twitter. Subscribe to our weekly newsletter to get updates and behind-the-scenes info.

Get two audiobooks for the price of one from Libro.fm. Use our Libro.fm affiliate code NOVELPAIRINGS and support independent bookstores.

Books Mentioned:

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott (Amazon)

Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery (Amazon)

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

So We Read On: How the Great Gatsby Came to Be and Why It Endures by Maureen Corrigan (Amazon)

March by Geraldine Brooks (Amazon)

Also mentioned:

Episode 40 with Annie B. Jones

Skip to the pairings with this timestamp: [36:14]

Shop the pairings with our affiliate links below:

Chelsey’s Pairings:

Sara’s Pairings:

Picks of the week:

Home Cooking Podcast

Why the British Tell Better Children’s Stories

89. Behind the scenes of the shop around the corner with Annie B. Jones

Here at Novel Pairings, if there’s one thing we love almost as much as reading it’s supporting independent bookstores. Today, we’re re-airing an interview with one of our favorite indie bookstore insiders, Annie B. Jones, owner of The Bookshelf in Thomasville, Georgia. Annie shares a little about her own reading life and tastes, and offers some sweet and moving book pairings for one of her favorite classics: Little Women

Remember, you can support The Bookshelf or your favorite local indie bookstore and the Novel Pairings podcast by signing up or gifting a Libro.fm membership. Use our code NOVELPAIRINGS when you join, and help boost business at your favorite bookstore through another difficult holiday season.

For more bonus episodes, nerdy classes, and extra book talk,  join our Classics Club: patreon.com/novelpairings.com.

Connect with us  on Instagram or Twitter. Subscribe to our weekly newsletter to get updates and behind-the-scenes info.

Get two audiobooks for the price of one from Libro.fm. Use our Libro.fm affiliate code NOVELPAIRINGS and support independent bookstores.

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

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

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. 

What we found was a beautiful and nuanced novel of manners that both echoed many of our favorite works while offering something wholly original. We keep this episode spoiler-free to encourage more readers to give this novel a chance. We hope you’ll listen and then pick up this too long neglected Harlem Renaissance classic.

Click here to listen or download the episode in your favorite podcast app.

For more bonus episodes, nerdy classes, and extra book talk,  join our Classics Club: patreon.com/novelpairings.com.

Connect with us  on Instagram or Twitter. Subscribe to our weekly newsletter to get updates and behind-the-scenes info.

Get two audiobooks for the price of one from Libro.fm. Use our Libro.fm affiliate code NOVELPAIRINGS and support independent bookstores.

Skip to the pairings with this timestamp: [33:15]

Shop the pairings with our affiliate links below:

Books mentioned:

There is Confusion by Jessie Redmon Fauset (Amazon)

Passing by Nella Larsen (Amazon) [30:39]

Chelsey’s Pairings

Pride by Ibi Zoboi (Amazon) [36:06]

This Lovely City by Louise Hare (Amazon) [42:23]

Becoming by Michelle Obama (Amazon) [49:18]

Sara’s Pairings

On Beauty by Zadie Smith (Amazon) [33:33]

No One is Coming to Save Us by Stephanie Powell Watts (Amazon) [39:35]

Black Buck by Mateo Askaripour (Amazon) [45:52]

Picks of the week:

Chelsey: How WWI Sparked and Artistic Movement that Transformed Black America [53:30]

Sara: New Yorker article on Fauset (by Morgan Jerkins) [52:09] and Women of the Harlem Renaissance by Cheryl A. Wall [52:40]

87. Perfectly paired gifts for every bookworm

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. Listen to the episode wherever you get your podcasts, and shop our gift guide below:

Our Gift Guide: https://novelpairings.com/2020/11/10/35-a-2020-gift-guide-for-every-literary-taste/

For more bonus episodes, nerdy classes, and extra book talk,  join our Classics Club: patreon.com/novelpairings.com.

Connect with us  on Instagram or Twitter. Subscribe to our weekly newsletter to get updates and behind-the-scenes info.

Get two audiobooks for the price of one from Libro.fm. Use our Libro.fm affiliate code NOVELPAIRINGS and support independent bookstores.

Books mentioned:

Luster by Raven Leilani (9/1)

Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney

Normal People by Sally Rooney

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi (9/1)

The Mothers by Brit Bennett

Daddy by Emma Cline (9/1)

The Girls by Emma Cline

Florida by Lauren Groff

Sabrina & Corina by Kali Farjado-Anstine

Lot by Bryan Washington

Recommended for You by Laura Silverman (9/1)

Tweet Cute by Emma Lord

By the Book by Amanda Sellet

Punching the Air by Ibi Zoboi and Yusef Salaam (9/1)

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander

Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds

Pride by Ibi Zoboi

His Only Wife by Peace Adzo Medie (9/1)

Queenie by Candace Carty-Williams

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston

Never Look Back by Lilliam Rivers (9/1)

Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie

When No One is Watching by Alyssa Cole (9/1)

The City We Became by N.K. Jemisin

Jack by Marilynne Robinson (9/15)

Lila by Marilynne Robinson

Gilead by Marilynne Robinson

The Dearly Beloved by Cara Wall

Grown by Tiffany D. Jackson (9/15)

Let Me Hear a Rhyme by Tiffany D. Jackson

Monday’s Not Coming by Tiffany D. Jackson

The Midnight Library by Matt Haig (9/29)

How to Stop Time by Matt Haig

Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan

Ties That Tether by Jane Igharo (9/29)

The Best Worst Man by Mia Sosa

Magic Lessons by Alice Hoffman (10/6)

Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman

The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman

The Witches: Suspicion, Betrayal, and Hysteria in 1692 Salem by Stacy Schiff

The Invisible Life of Addie Larue by V.E. Schwab (10/6)

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

She Come by It Natural: Dolly Parton and the Women Who Lived Her Songs by Sarah Smarsh (10/13)

Natural Acts: Gender, Race, and Rusticity in Country Music by Pamela Fox

Plain Bad Heroines by Emily M. Danforth (10/20)

Dare Me by Megan Abbott

Jane in Love by Rachel Givney (10/27)

The Jane Austen Project by Kathleen A. Flynn

Austenland by Shannon Hale

Cobble Hill by Cecily Von Ziegesar (10/20)

Gossip Girl by Cecily Von Ziegesar

The Gifted School by Bruce Holsinger 

I Wanna Be Where the Normal People Are by Rachel Bloom (11/17)

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (and Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling

Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling

Wow, No Thank You by Samantha Irby