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Novel Pairings: Comforting Classics and Other Engaging Reads

Sara and Chelsey of Novel Pairings share their favorite comfort reading classics along with lots of contemporary book pairings. These books range from cozy communities, to page turners, to comedies, to big books to keep you occupied during the pandemic. We hope you find something that soothes your spirit.

Playlist Tags: mood: funny mood: comforting audience: all-ages mood: cozy

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The Hating Game

A Novel

By Sally Thorne
Narrated by: Katie Schorr
Length: 11 hours 29 minutes

Debut author Sally Thorne bursts on the scene with a hilarious and sexy workplace comedy all about that thin, fine line between hate and love.

Nemesis (n.) 1) An opponent or rival whom a person cannot best or overcome.

                       2) A person’s undoing

                       3) Joshua Templeman

Lucy Hutton has always been certain that the... Read more »

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The Duchess Deal

Girl Meets Duke
Girl Meets Duke

By Tessa Dare
Narrated by: Mary Jane Wells
Length: 7 hours 56 minutes

When girl meets Duke, their marriage breaks all the rules…

Since his return from war, the Duke of Ashbury’s to-do list has been short and anything but sweet: brooding, glowering, menacing London ne’er-do-wells by night. Now there’s a new item on the list. He needs an heir—which means he needs a wife. When Emma Gladstone, a vicar’s daughter turned... Read more »

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News of the World

A Novel

By Paulette Jiles
Narrated by: Grover Gardner
Length: 6 hours 17 minutes

Soon to be a Major Motion Picture Starring Tom Hanks 

National Book Award Finalist—Fiction

In the aftermath of the Civil War, an aging itinerant news reader agrees to transport a young captive of the Kiowa back to her people in this exquisitely rendered, morally complex, multilayered novel of historical fiction from the author of Enemy Women that... Read more »

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The Night Circus

By Erin Morgenstern
Narrated by: Jim Dale
Length: 13 hours 38 minutes

The Night Circus

“Scintillating, ethereal, and utterly captivating. And with narration by Jim Dale, who could say no? Morgenstern writes in sparkling prose, slowly weaving tapestries that come together in beautiful, unexpected ways, though when you look back, the stage had been set from the beginning. The Night Circus is a beautiful tale of being open to the magic in the world and choosing your own path through it all. Now if only I knew where the Cirque was making its next stop. Perhaps I'll email the proprietor... ”

Second Star to the Right image Britt, Second Star to the Right
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Death Comes to Pemberley

By P. D. James
Narrated by: Rosalyn Landor
Length: 9 hours 46 minutes

A rare meeting of literary genius: P. D. James, long among the most admired mystery writers of our time, draws the characters of Jane Austen’s beloved novel Pride and Prejudice into a tale of murder and emotional mayhem.
 
It is 1803, six years since Elizabeth and Darcy embarked on their life together at Pemberley, Darcy’s magnificent... Read more »

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The Heart's Invisible Furies

A Novel

By John Boyne
Narrated by: Stephen Hogan
Length: 21 hours 9 minutes

The Heart's Invisible Furies

“This is the novel John Boyne was born to write: A brilliant book of identity and redemption, both heartbreaking and humorous, intimate and expansive. Cyril Avery has been constantly reminded he doesn't belong, first by his adopted parents, then by the church and his country. As we follow him on his journey to acceptance, we are shown the cruelty of fate and the surprising kindness of ordinary people. Boyne perfectly constructs every story told, unveiling the humor and hypocrisy of humanity in each character and illuminating how the arc of Cyril's story is also the arc of modern times. An amazing feat from the first page to the last.”

Book Passage image Luisa Smith, Book Passage
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Trick Mirror

Reflections on Self-Delusion

By Jia Tolentino
Narrated by: Jia Tolentino
Length: 9 hours 45 minutes

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • “From The New Yorker’s beloved cultural critic comes a bold, unflinching collection of essays about self-deception, examining everything from scammer culture to reality television.”—Esquire
 
Book Club Pick for Now Read This, from PBS NewsHour and The New York Times • “A whip-smart, challenging book.”—Zadie Smith • “Jia...
Read more »

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The Likeness

A Novel
Dublin Murder Squad: Book #2

By Tana French
Narrated by: Heather O'Neill
Length: 22 hours 17 minutes

New York Times bestselling author Tana French, author of the forthcoming novel The Searcher, is “the most important crime novelist to emerge in the past 10 years” (The Washington Post) and “inspires cultic devotion in readers” (The New Yorker).

“Required reading for anyone who appreciates tough, unflinching intelligence and ingenious plotting.”...
Read more »

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Here for It

Or, How to Save Your Soul in America; Essays

By R. Eric Thomas
Narrated by: R. Eric Thomas
Length: 7 hours 34 minutes

NATIONAL BESTSELLER • Read with Jenna Book Club Pick as Featured on Today • From the creator of Elle’s “Eric Reads the News,” a heartfelt and hilarious memoir-in-essays about growing up seeing the world differently, finding unexpected hope, and experiencing every awkward, extraordinary stumble along the way.

“Pop culture–obsessed, Sedaris-level... Read more »

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Anne of Green Gables

Anne of Green Gables

By L. M. Montgomery
Narrated by: Kate Burton
Length: 10 hours 19 minutes

Listen to the timeless classic about the beloved Anne Shirley, a red-haired orphan with a fiery spirit, before the new NETFLIX series premieres. This audiobook includes a foreword by Margaret Atwood, author of The Handmaid’s Tale, celebrating the 100th anniversary of this children’s favorite! 
 
Eleven-year-old Anne Shirley has never known a... Read more »

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The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

A Novel

By Annie Barrows & Mary Ann Shaffer
Narrated by: Paul Boehmer, Susan Duerden, Rosalyn Landor, John Lee & Juliet Mills
Length: 8 hours 5 minutes

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • NOW A NETFLIX FILM • A remarkable tale of the island of Guernsey during the German Occupation, and of a society as extraordinary as its name.

“Treat yourself to this book, please—I can’t recommend it highly enough.”—Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love

“I wonder how the book got to Guernsey? Perhaps there... Read more »

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Fangirl

By Rainbow Rowell
Narrated by: Rebecca Lowman & Maxwell Caulfield
Length: 12 hours 47 minutes

In Rainbow Rowell's Fangirl, Cath is a Simon Snow fan. Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan, but for Cath, being a fan is her life—and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving.

Reading. Rereading. Hanging out... Read more »

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The Magicians

A Novel
Magicians Trilogy

By Lev Grossman
Narrated by: Mark Bramhall
Length: 17 hours 23 minutes

The New York Times bestselling novel about a young man practicing magic in the real world, now an original series on SYFY

The Magicians is to Harry Potter as a shot of Irish whiskey is to a glass of weak tea. . . . Hogwarts was never like this.”
—George R.R. Martin
 
“Sad, hilarious, beautiful, and essential to anyone who cares about modern...
Read more »

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What Alice Forgot

By Liane Moriarty
Narrated by: Tamara Lovatt Smith
Length: 13 hours 32 minutes

FROM THE #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF THE HUSBAND'S SECRET AND BIG LITTLE LIES.

A “cheerfully engaging”(Kirkus Reviews) novel for anyone who’s ever asked herself, “How did I get here?”

Alice Love is twenty-nine, crazy about her husband, and pregnant with her first child. So imagine Alice’s surprise when she comes to on the floor of a... Read more »

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The Other Typist

By Suzanne Rindell
Narrated by: Gretchen Mol
Length: 10 hours 6 minutes

A haunting debut novel set against the background of New York City in the 1920s…

Confessions are Rose Baker’s job. A typist for the New York City Police Department, she sits in judgment like a high priestess. Criminals come before her to admit their transgressions, and, with a few strokes of the keys before her, she seals their fate. But while... Read more »

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Red, White & Royal Blue

A Novel

By Casey McQuiston
Narrated by: Ramon de Ocampo
Length: 12 hours 15 minutes

If you enjoyed The House in the Cerulean Sea, then you’ll love Red, White & Royal Blue.

“This book is so much more than a captivating romance—it's a bubble bath, a warm hug, a delicious dessert, a catharsis full of feeling and hope and queer joy that still makes me cry and laugh even as I've reread it 10+ times! The audiobook is skillfully narrated, and de Ocampo does far better British and Texan accents than my brain could come up with on its own reading the book in print. Recommended for listeners no matter your gender identity or orientation, but this truly is chicken soup for the queer soul.”

Phoenix Books image Miriasha, Phoenix Books
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You Are Not Alone

A Novel

By Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen
Narrated by: Barrie Kreinik & Dylan Moore
Length: 11 hours

You Are Not Alone

“Yup... They did it again. The dynamic duo of Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkhan have another fabulous hit thriller on their hands. I hope these two fabulous writers never stop writing. Poor Shay - her life is not what she wants it to be. She would be so much happier is she had a challenging, fun job to go to every morning. She also is secretly/subconsciously in love with her roomie. One problem though - roomie is in love with someone else and she is always at their pad. Shay is tired of being the third wheel. Shay witnesses a woman who jumps to her death in the Subway. She begins an exhaustive search to find out as much as she can about the dead woman. She meets the woman's friends at the memorial service and all of a sudden, Shay's life changes in the blink of an eye. In a matter of days, Shay falls in with the popular girls. Before she knows it, she is living in a gorgeous apartment. How did that happen, you ask? You will have to buy the book. That's as far as I can go with this review without releasing some juicy spoilers. I will tell you, however, that there are plenty of twists and turns and I never saw the ending coming. Hats off to the fabulous narrator.”

Buttonwood Books and Toys image Melinda, Buttonwood Books and Toys
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Like Water for Chocolate

By Laura Esquivel
Narrated by: Kate Reading
Length: 5 hours 52 minutes

Like Water for Chocolate

“I love impossible love and heartbreaking romance, so that would be enough to get me reading, but this novel has so much more. Published in 1990, it was a huge success in Mexico. It was an international best-seller, and with good reason. Food has magical powers in this book, as do tears and sexual attraction. This story is a delight. It will surprise you at every turn. And the ending is unpredictable and perfect. I loved it when I was 20 and I love it still.”

East City Bookshop image Claire, East City Bookshop
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Eloquent Rage

A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpower

By Brittney Cooper
Narrated by: Brittney Cooper
Length: 6 hours 57 minutes

"...Cooper delivers a frank, conversational-style examination of the importance of black female friendships, respectability politics, and harmful stereotypes, among other topics. She blends candor and humor as she roots out toxic behaviors and beliefs we use in America to tear ourselves and each other down, while also offering paths forward.... Read more »

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Outlander

Outlander (Gabaldon): Book #1

By Diana Gabaldon
Narrated by: Davina Porter
Length: 32 hours 37 minutes

Outlander, Diana Gabaldon’s landmark novel of Scottish lore has captured the hearts of millions of readers around the world and catapulted her to the top of the New York Times best-seller list. Intrigue, danger and desire merge in this lush novel of loyalty and time travel. In 1945, Claire Randall, a former combat nurse, is back from the war and... Read more »

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