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.
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.
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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.
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.)
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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!
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
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.
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.
“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.
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.
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.
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.
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: