Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

Novel Pairings

Jun 6, 2023

Today we are re-airing one of our very first episodes of Novel Pairings: Episode 18 on Homer’s Odyssey, in which Sara reveals her nerdy middle school obsession, Chelsey has strong opinions on defining “the classics,” and we have a LOT of fun discussing the complicated character of Odysseus. You don’t need to have any knowledge of mythology or The Odyssey in order to enjoy this episode. This episode is mostly spoiler-free, except for a brief discussion of the ending. We’ll warn you in advance before we get into it, and timestamps are listed below. 

 If, after listening to today’s rerelease, you’re interested in joining us for a Slow Down Summer Odyssey, head over to the Novel Pairings Patreon page and join us at the $8 literature scholar tier. In addition to weekly podcast recaps of each section of The Odyssey, you’ll also get invitations to monthly book club discussions and classes to help you get more out of this epic poem, along with our regular Friday bonus episodes and access to our entire back catalog of bonus episodes and class recordings. Perhaps most exciting of all, Patreon supporters will get first access to our limited edition merch shop opening this month! We’d love to explore The Odyssey and beyond with you this summer so head to to join our classics crew.

Our discussion includes:

  •  What is a “mythology girl?” [13:08]

  •  Analyzing Odysseus: a larger-than-life character [20:10]

  •  More on Odysseus as a complex, flawed and nuanced hero [29:30]


Plus, as always, we’re recommending six contemporary books to pair with our classic,  including a business book and a book in translation.



Edith Hamilton’s Mythology

“Siren Song” by Margaret Atwood

“ Penelope” by Carol Ann Duffy

The World’s Wife by Carol Ann Duffy

Madeline Miller: Circe and The Song of Achilles

Gareth Hinds graphic novel The Odyssey

Bull by David Elliot



The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffeneger [40:35]

The Martian by Andy Weir [46:06]

Dare to Lead by Brene Brown [53:05]

The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood [37:10]

The Songs of the Kings by Barry Unsworth [42:55]

Signs Preceding the End of the World by Yuri Herrera [48:35]

Also mentioned:

 Chelsey: A Song Below Water by Bethany C. Morrow recommended by Bezi @beingabookwyrm

Sara: Rick Riordan Presents