The New Book To Read, Based On Your Favorite Fall Drink
The rooftop bars have all closed. The denim jackets have returned from their months long hibernation. The drug stores have begun aggressively pedaling skeleton decor. Now that we have, at long last, entered the season of decorative gourds, I know that there's one burning question on everyone's mind: which new book release to pair with your favorite fall drink? Drinking while reading while wearing a scarf is one of the fall's greatest joys. I mean, sure, technically you can just drink and read whatever you want at any time of the year. But if you're looking for a truly autumnal, multi-sensory literary experience, here are some expertly curated book and beverage pairings for your reading and drinking pleasure.
Of course, we're barely scratching the surface of the wide world of fall beverages, here. Lattes and hot chocolates and warm fall punches come in a variety of flavors (mostly, but not entirely, pumpkin-related). And this is certainly not a comprehensive list of every new book coming out this fall. But if you're looking for an excuse to curl up after a long day of work with a great new read and a steaming mug of something delicious (and potentially alcoholic), then here you go:
Pumpkin Spice Latte: 'Vox' by Christina Dalcher
The pumpkin spice latte is a controversial beverage: on the one hand, it's a delightful, over-sweetened coffee drink that tastes like pumpkin pie and childhood. On the other hand, women like it and therefore it is a stupid, vapid drink that is ruining society (weird how that only happens with things that women enjoy). If you just want to drink your fall-flavored coffee in peace, without the barrage of sexist vitriol, you'll probably enjoy Vox. In this dystopian novel, women are only allowed to speak 100 words a day. It may sound far-fetched, but the more you read of Dr. Jean McClellan's story, the more Vox feels like a natural extension of a culture that barely hides its disdain for all things feminine.
Hot Apple Cider: 'The Sisters of the Winter Wood' by Rena Rossner
Hot apple cider (with a cinnamon stick, of course) is pure autumn. You can drink it free of alcohol and caffeine and still feel like you are wandering through a small orchard village in the distant, semi-folkloric past. The Sisters of the Winter Wood is the perfect fairy tale pairing. It introduces us to Liba and Laya, two sisters who live near the woods, and who find themselves pulled into a world of fantastical shape-shifters, old stories come true, and very real dangers.
Hot Toddy: 'The Witch Elm' by Tana French
A traditional hot toddy is basically just spiked tea with honey. It's the perfect, bittersweet drink for unwinding on a brisk fall evening, or for solving a possible murder. The Witch Elm is the newest mystery from Tana French, starring the happy-go-lucky Toby as he recovers from a nasty run in with two burglars. He seeks refuge at his family's ancestral home—but when a skull is found in the old elm tree, it starts to look like Toby's past is not quite what it seems in this exquisitely suspenseful thriller.
Hot Chocolate: 'The Proposal' by Jasmine Guillory
Of course, if you prefer a sweet fall drink that isn't coffee or alcohol (unless you really want it to be), then you just can't go wrong with a classic hot chocolate. For an all-around sweet experience, pair with marshmallows and The Proposal by Jasmine Guillory. This lovely romance novel follows freelance writer Nikole Paterson, who doesn't except to have to say no to a public marriage proposal when she attends a Dodgers game with her actor boyfriend. Luckily, a hot doctor, Carlos Ibarra, comes to her rescue during the most awkward moment of her life. He even sticks around when the video goes viral — in a bad way. She knows that Carlos probably isn't looking for anything serious, but a rebound might be fun, right?
Caramel Latte: 'The Dinner List' by Rebecca Serle
The caramel latte is an indulgent fall staple. Sure, it may not be greeted with the same outpouring of emotions as the pumpkin spice latte, but it's a longstanding grown up treat. Pair your delicious latte with an equally delicious book, like The Dinner List by Rebecca Serle. You know how people are always asking who you'd invite to a dinner party, living or dead? Well... in The Dinner List Sabrina arrives at her 30th birthday dinner to find that her guests include her best friend, three notable people from her past, and Hollywood icon Audrey Hepburn. It's a fun, romantic read to warm you up on a chilly, gray day.
Mulled Wine: 'Ponti' by Sharlene Teo
Mulled wine is a delicate, complex combination of flavors (I mean, I usually throw in a lot of spices to make up for the fact that I'm using $5 wine). It's warm and comforting, sweet yet slightly bitter, and a perfect match for a book like Ponti, which follows three women over the course of several years. Young Szu has grown up in the shadow of her actress mother, but her intense relationship with a girl called Circe offers her a way out in this book about haunted friendships and emotionally fraught horror movie remakes.
Hot Buttered Rum: 'She Would Be King' by Wayetu Moore
Hot Buttered Rum is a sweet, traditional cold weather drink — and like most "traditional" things, it has a fairly complicated colonial history. If you like historical beverages, then you might like a work of stunning historical fiction, such as Wayetu Moore's debut novel, She Would Be King. This story re-imagines the founding of Liberia with a slightly more fantastical slant. We follow three outcasts as they struggle to find a new home for themselves: the exiled Lai, the escaped slave June, and the inexplicable Norman, who can fade from sight when called by the earth.