152. The Custom of the Country Book One Recap
Novel Pairings
by Novel Pairings
1w ago
In today's recap episode, we discuss Book One of The Custom of the Country (that's chapters 1-10 if your book is not divided into books). This episode includes detailed discussion of the plot and characters introduced in this first section of the novel, so spoilers abound. We discuss our initial impressions of the unforgettable character that is Undine Spragg, how well this book would translate to the screen, a close read of a mythology reference, and what we've learned about parenting from this portion of the novel because we desperately want to avoid raising Undines! Some more background on ..read more
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151. Introduction to The Custom of the Country by Edith Wharton
Novel Pairings
by Novel Pairings
1w ago
Today’s episode is a special one! Twice a year, we choose a big bucket list classic to read together as a community. For every big book we read, Chelsey and Sara dust off their English teacher skills to break down plot, themes, style, and more in recurring recap podcast episodes. We have our Big Book Summer Read Along of Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables on the horizon and we’d love for you to join us! We do know that it can be hard to sign up for a subscription community if you don’t know what you’re getting so we wanted to give you a taste for what we do in our Patreon Classics Club by putting tw ..read more
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150. Ten classic novels you should read this summer
Novel Pairings
by Novel Pairings
2w ago
We’re taking it back to the classroom in today’s episode! Chelsey and Sara reflect on their experience with high school summer reading as both students and teachers: the good, the great, and the hot takes. While we aren’t assigning any reading in this episode, we are sharing 10 classics that would make for great summer reads at any age! For an enhanced reading experience, pair a past Novel Pairings episode with each of these classics to listen as you go.  Of course, our main summer reading recommendation is Les Miserables by Victor Hugo, our BIG summer readalong hosted in Patreon with cla ..read more
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149. On Beauty by Zadie Smith
Novel Pairings
by Novel Pairings
3w ago
Today, we’re wrapping up our spring season with Zadie Smith’s On Beauty, a theme-driven novel that recreates the social world of an elite liberal arts college, exploring issues through nuanced satire on race, class, and beauty. We dig into the stories of the Belsey and Kipp families and Smith’s use of the academic setting to discuss identity and social satire. Our pairings for On Beauty include callbacks to previous classic episodes, essays by Zadie Smith, and surprising historical fiction. Our Slow Down Summer Read Along of Les Miserables by Victor Hugo is starting soon! Just like our readalo ..read more
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148. We can't wait to read these brand new summer 2024 books and backlist pairings
Novel Pairings
by Novel Pairings
1M ago
Get ready for your summer TBR to pile high as we share our most anticipated titles releasing this summer! Plus, each new release that we preview in today’s episode is perfectly paired with a backlist book or two, giving us plenty to read while waiting for pre-orders and library holds to come in. If you enjoy our recommendations on today’s episode, we have even more book suggestions to explore in our Novel Pairings Patreon community. Our Patreon is a great place to discuss books with a smart group of readers, and now is the perfect time to join as we're about to start our Slow Down Summer Read ..read more
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147. The limits of satire & A Modest Proposal by Jonathan Swift
Novel Pairings
by Novel Pairings
1M ago
On today’s Modern Readers episode, we’re placing “A Modest Proposal” by Jonathan Swift in context with pieces of contemporary political satire. We'll explore how satire is being used today to comment on politics and social issues, and the power, or limits, of its influence. Throughout our discussion, we discuss the lasting legacy of Swift’s essay, the rise of satirical media, and how satire is used as a rhetorical tool. Listen to the end for contemporary satirical examples in TV, online media, and comedy. We’re also excited to  announce our Summer Big Book Read Along: Les Miserables by Vi ..read more
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146. The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde
Novel Pairings
by Novel Pairings
1M ago
In today’s episode, we’re discussing The Importance of Being Earnest by the ever-delightful Oscar Wilde. A classic example of British theater, this play is known for its biting social satire and brilliant comedic dialogue. Throughout our conversation, we dive into the play’s themes, discuss Wilde’s mastery of wordplay, and his ability to write characters that satirize Victorian society in the cleverest ways. As always, we share our complementary pairings, and we hope this episode adds a few books to your TBR pile!  If you love our extra nerdy discussion on the podcast today, we have a hun ..read more
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145. Measure for Measure by William Shakespeare with Traci Thomas
Novel Pairings
by Novel Pairings
2M ago
We're thrilled to welcome back Traci Thomas, host of The Stacks Podcast, for a thought-provoking discussion on one of Shakespeare's darkest comedies, Measure for Measure. In this conversation, we'll dive deep into the play's timeless themes including punishment, gender, power, and politics. We discuss how these themes continue to resonate with modern audiences, revealing the parallels between the play and our contemporary world. We also talk about how Shakespeare masterfully uses this satire in this work, even when satire doesn't necessarily equate to laugh-out-loud humor. Listen to the end fo ..read more
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144. Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh
Novel Pairings
by Novel Pairings
3M ago
If aesthetics, British aristocracy and nostalgia sounds like an appealing combination, Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh is the book for you. In today's episode, we talk through the key themes, relationships, Waugh's stated purpose for writing Brideshead, and we ask: is Brideshead Revisited a satire or a novel with satirical elements? Plus, today’s pairings include a fantasy novel, historical fiction and a psychological thriller. If you love our extra nerdy discussion on the podcast today, we have a hunch that you would also love our Novel Pairings Patreon community. Our Patreon is a great ..read more
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143. Seasonal book pairings for new releases in spring 2024
Novel Pairings
by Novel Pairings
3M ago
Today, Chelsey and Sara share their most anticipated spring book releases paired with backlist selections. After  listening today, your TBR will be filled with delightful fiction, thrilling mysteries, historical romance and literary books from favorite writers, all releasing between late February and May. As always, our go-to pairings will keep your spring both entertaining and engaging.    If you love our recommendations on the podcast, we have even more books to share over in our Novel Pairings Patreon community. Our Patreon is a great space to take part in public scholarship ..read more
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