Novel Pairings

Welcome to Novel Pairings, a podcast dedicated to making the classics readable, relevant, and fun. Each episode we’ll discuss one classic book and share some recommendations for more contemporary reads that feature similar themes. 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 pile with old and new reads for every literary taste.


All Episodes

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…

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…

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

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.  We can’t…

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

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,…

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

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…

83. Revisiting Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

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…

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

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…

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

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….

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

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…

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