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

30. The Crucible by Arthur Miller and witchy books to read this fall

Today Chelsey and Sara are kicking off the spooky season by discussing The Crucible by Arthur Miller—a play about the infamous Salem witch trials. We get pretty nerdy in this episode. Full of drama, history, and high school English class nostalgia,…

29. Campus novels to read in the fall and why we love books about school

Today Chelsey and Sara are  toppling your TBRs with campus novels. We know this back to school season is weird for students, teachers, parents, and the rest of us as we navigate new seasons during a pandemic. So let’s go back to school safely…

28. Love Medicine by Louise Erdrich, books by Indigenous authors, and intergenerational family stories

Today Chelsey and Sara are discussing by Louise Erdrich, which we selected for our back-to-school season as “a book we wish we read in high school.” Love Medicine is a novel made up of  interconnected stories that span generations of two…

27. Anticipated Fall 2020 Reads and backlist books to pair with them

Today Chelsey and Sara are back to  topple your TBRs with highly anticipated fall releases and backlist books. We know hardback books are pricey and library waitlists for the hottest new releases are long, so we’re going to be pairing the books…

26. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald and books about The American Dream

Today Chelsey and Sara are discussing by F. Scott Fitzgerald. We both read this in high school, had mixed feelings, came back to the text later, and still have mixed feelings! Plus some pretty strong opinions about Gatsby himself, Fitzgerald’s…

25. Quarterly Favorites: The Best Books We Read in Summer 2020

We love to take time to reflect here at Novel Pairings. Each season, we stop and consider our favorite episodes, our favorite reads, and what we’ve learned. Today we’re sharing some personal updates, gushing about our favorite reads of the summer,…

24. The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien and fantasy novels for readers who love strong characters and complex worlds

Today Chelsey and Sara are discussing The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien. We’re not shy about sharing our lack of experience with the fantasy genre. It’s not the go-to genre for either of us, but we love to branch out and try new…

23. On Campus with Novel Pairings, a preview of our back to school fall season and books that feel like Autumn

Today Chelsey and Sara are sharing the lineup for Novel Pairings’ fall season. We share our plans for an extra nerdy back-to-school-inspired season and which books we selected to feature. The books include a book seemingly everyone read in high…

22. Like Water for Chocolate and mouth-watering fiction books about food, cooking, and romance

Today Chelsey and Sara are kicking off Women in Translation Month by discussing Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel. This romantic, sensuous novel was so much fun to discuss, and our pairings include some of our absolute favorite books! We…

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