Welcome to Novel Pairings, a podcast dedicated to making the classics readable, relevant, and fun. 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.
A new-to-us and nuanced novel of manners: There is Confusion by Jessie Redmon Fauset
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.
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.
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 wait to watch and see how the palpable tension and twisty tone translate to the screen. This episode contains spoilers, but we give you ample warning so feel free to listen before or after watching.
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, and terrifying ending. We cover connections to Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s biography, historical context, and deeper analysis as we talk through this 1892 classic and classroom staple.
Learning about the horror genre (and picking up book recommendations) 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 are ready to lean into their darker tastes this season or readers who are new to the genre. You can find Raelyn on Instagram @reading.reverie and follow her Youtube channel, Reading Reverie for video essays and book recommendations.
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 into our seasonal theme. We hope listening or relistening to our discussion about this classroom staple will be enhanced by all the additional Gothic content in the Novel Pairings feed this fall.