The Novel Tea

Neha & Shruti

Welcome to The Novel Tea, where your favorite English class meets your neighborhood book club. Join us as we go beyond the traditional classics, exploring books from diverse authors and backgrounds. Each episode, we'll talk about a book through different themes, analyzing characters, plot, and writing styles, to determine: does it stand the test of time?

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Episodes

The Novelties: 2024 Mid-Year Reading Spotlight
3d ago
The Novelties: 2024 Mid-Year Reading Spotlight
It's time for the best, the worst, and everything in-between: in the 2024 Novelties, Shruti and Neha give awards to their favorite reads of 2024 so far. Ranging from classics to new releases, we share our picks for most unexpected, best character, worth the hype, best page-turner, weirdest book, and more! Books Mentioned:Emma of 83rd Street by Audrey Belleza and Emily HardingMy Death by Lisa TuttleMy Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth RussellPiranesi by Susanna ClarkeThe Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor HugoThe Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar WildeSea of Tranquility by Emily St. John MandelThe Illness Lesson by Clare BeamsJames by Percival EverettBirnam Wood by Eleanor CattonThe Heaven and Earth Grocery Store by James McBrideThe Women by Kristin HannahThe Little Stranger by Sarah WatersThe Membranes by Ta-Wei Chi weiTomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow by Gabrielle ZevinDial A for Aunties by Jesse Q. SutantoThe Villa by Rachel HawkinsThe Secret History by Donna TarttCuckold by Kiran NagarkarIf you would like to get more in-depth analysis, book recommendations, and cultural commentary, subscribe to our free newsletter.We love to hear from listeners about the books we discuss - you can connect with us on Instagram or by emailing us at thenovelteapod@gmail.com.This episode description contains links to Bookshop.org, a website that supports independent bookstores. If you use these links we may earn a small commission (which helps support our work) at no additional cost to you. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
The Secret History by Donna Tartt: aesthetics and paranoia
Feb 21 2024
The Secret History by Donna Tartt: aesthetics and paranoia
Neha and Shruti discuss The Secret History, a book that has gained a cult following in the last few decades - and as we discuss the book, we start to see why. We talk about the characters, the atmospheric setting, and how Tartt brilliantly creates and sustains tension. We also provide some background for the book's classical allusions, and share all our theories about the book's shocking climax. And as always, we provide recommendations in our Shelf Discovery segment for books to read next if you loved The Secret History, based on the aspect of the novel that you loved most.What is the significance of the line 'Beauty is terror'? Which character functions as a cult leader? What is dark academia? You'll find all this and more in this episode. True spoilers start at 19:20If you would like to hear more in-depth literary analysis, curated book recommendations, and cultural commentary, you can also subscribe to our free newsletter.Books Mentioned & Shelf Discovery:Wuthering Heights by Emily BrontëPassing by Nella LarsenThe Starless Sea by Erin MorgensternThe Idiot by Elif BatumanEither/Or by Elif BatumanBabel by R.F. KuangMy Cousin Rachel by Daphne du MaurierEuphoria by Lily KingThe Shining by Stephen KingNinth House by Leigh BardugoLinks:Once Upon a Time... at Bennington College*We mistakenly stated that Icarus is a god; Icarus in Greek mythology is the son of a craftsman.We love to hear from listeners about the books we discuss - you can connect with us on Instagram or by emailing us at thenovelteapod@gmail.com. This episode description contains links to Bookshop.org, a website that supports independent bookstores. If you use these links we may earn a small commission (which helps support our work) at no additional cost to you. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
Was it Worth the Hype? 2023 Reads in Review
Dec 22 2023
Was it Worth the Hype? 2023 Reads in Review
In this bonus episode, Shruti and Neha share the most popular books they've in 2023, including Bookstagram favorites, award-winners, and Tik Tok darlings from the past few years. We summarize the books and give our honest opinions on whether or not these books were worth the hype - and for the books we didn't like, we give some recommendations for books that we thought were better.Listen in to find out if these books are worth reading - and if you loved a book that we hated (or vice versa), tell us why we're wrong! You can connect with us on Instagram or by emailing us at thenovelteapod@gmail.com.If you would like to hear more in-depth literary and cultural analysis, curated book recommendations, and critical commentary, subscribe to our free newsletter.Books and Articles Mentioned:Normal People by Sally RooneyConversations with Friends by Sally RooneyThe Idiot by Elif BatumanShadow and Bone by Leigh BardugoNinth House by Leigh BardugoA Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J MaasGirls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa BashardoustThe Invisible Life of Addie Larue by V.E. SchwabBook Lovers by Emily HenryI've Got Your Number by Sophie KinsellaWhere the Crawdads Sing by Delia OwensVictory City by Salman RushdieDaisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins ReidThe Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins ReidBabel: An Arcane History by R.F. KuangYellowface by R.F. KuangMilk and Honey by Rupi KaurDead Stars by Ada LimónTrust by Hernan DiazNYT Review of Trust by Hernan Diaz Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
Season 2 Wrap: Global Reads, Trauma Narratives, and International Books to add to your TBR
Dec 20 2023
Season 2 Wrap: Global Reads, Trauma Narratives, and International Books to add to your TBR
In this (mostly) spoiler-free* episode, Neha and Shruti reflect on the experience of reading books from around the world. We zoom out and talk on a broad level about narrative voice, villainy, disability representation and its portrayal in literature, and post-colonial writing. We also do a deep dive into trauma narratives - why are they so popular nowadays? What stories are being promoted, and how does this limit the stories being told by authors of color?We had so much to say on these topics, that we just couldn't get to all of it in the episode! We decided to continue the discussion in our upcoming email newsletter - subscribe for free to join the conversation. You can also connect with us on Instagram, or email us at thenovelteapod@gmail.com.*We mention some minor plot points for The Murmur of Bees, Fruit of the Drunken Tree, and Pachinko (10:26-12:05), but we don't think these spoil the story in a significant way. Still, if you prefer to read books without any prior knowledge, make sure to check out these books before you listen to this episode!Links:The Case Against the Trauma Plot by Parul Sehgal in the New YorkerBooks mentioned:Illness as Metaphor by Susan SontagTess of D'Urbervilles by Thomas HardyThe Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne BronteI'm Glad My Mom Died by Jennette McCurdyRegarding the Pain of Others by Susan SontagLetters to a Writer of Color edited by Deepa Anappara and Taymour SoomroLike Water for Chocolate by Laura EsquivelSea Monsters by Chloe AridjisThe Bone People by Keri HulmeCry, the Beloved Country by Alan PatonBeasts of a Little Land by Juhea Kim Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.