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Novel Pairings

Apr 7, 2020

Today Chelsey and Sara are chatting about The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro. Set in 1954, this Booker Prize winning novel follows a quintessential English butler named Stevens on a road trip to visit his manor’s former housekeeper Miss Kenton. This is the perfect novel for Downton Abbey fans, but it’s darker and more introspective than the show. In addition to the historical context of this modern classic, we discuss character-driven novels and four of Sara’s all-time favorite books.

 Our discussion includes:

  •  Personal reading preferences and the appeal of character-driven novels (6:55)
  •  The theme of regret (20:00)
  •  Connections to Downton Abbey and why fans needs to read this book  (28:28)

Plus, as always, we’re recommending six contemporary books to pair with our classic including a time-hopping literary fiction novel and a cozy historical mystery.

Today’s episode is brought to you by, the only audiobook company that allows you to purchase audiobooks directly from your favorite indie bookstore. You can get THREE audiobooks for $15 by clicking this link or by using code NOVELPAIRINGS at checkout.


Bookshop List:






Contemporary Pairings & Timestamps: 

Chelsey’s Pairings: Atonement by Ian McEwan (33:45), Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear (39:24), Americanah by Chimamamnda Ngozi Adichie (46:15)

Sara’s Pairings: The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes (36:37), The Garden of Evening Mists by Tan Twan Eng (42:08), Life After Life by Kate Atkinson (49:07)

Sara’s Pick: You’re Wrong About Podcast (52:38)

Chelsey’s Pick: The Plot Against America on HBO (55:10)