Which Novel You Should Read Next, Based On Your Favorite Starbucks Order
Sometimes, you just need a hot beverage and a good book to make your day a little bit brighter. So if you are on the lookout for new reading inspiration, I have an idea of which novel you should read next, based on your Starbucks order.
I can't name two acquaintances who order the same thing at a coffee shop, and I'll bet you can't either. Everyone takes their coffee, tea, or cocoa just a little bit differently, and you probably have friends who will argue for days over which creamer and marshmallow brands are the best, or what sweetener is — hands down — the best for hot tea.
That's what makes the humble coffee shop such a magical place. There is literally something for everyone because you have free rein to customize your drink however you see fit. You would be hard pressed to find a situation in which your friend says they don't want to go to your favorite java spot because it doesn't serve X, Y, or Z, because even if an item doesn't appear on the menu, your barista can often make whatever you desire, or perhaps suggest something better. That was the case when I ordered a pumpkin spice latte at a local coffee shop and was told, "We have those year-round, but you should try the pumpkin pie latte instead." Which I did, and here's my pro-tip for you: order your next PSL with an extra pump of cinnamon and some vanilla. You can thank me later.
Just like no single drink is for everyone, there is no one book that everyone will love, either. It is entirely possible that you will hate the novel or story collection I've picked out for you below, although I hope that will not be the case. You might also have read it before — and if so, there is no time like the present for a good re-reading — but I have aimed to pick books that, while they are critically acclaimed and have title recognition, aren't necessarily already crossed off of your TBR.
Now, obviously, because everyone likes something different at Starbucks, I probably have not included your favorite potable among the 15 drinks listed below. If you don't spot your Starbucks order on the list, be sure to share your regular order and your current or favorite book pairing with me on Twitter!
If You Ordered a Caffè Misto, Read 'Three Strong Women' by Marie NDiaye
You might know Starbucks' Caffè Misto better by its French name — café au lait — so why not pair it with a great French novel? Marie NDiaye's Three Strong Women takes place in France and Senegal, focusing on women who must forge their own paths when the men in their lives fail them.
If You Ordered a Caramel Macchiato, Read 'My Brilliant Friend' by Elena Ferrante
The Caramel Macchiato might be an American invention, but the macchiato itself hails from Italy. If you haven't read Italian mystery-author Elena Ferrante's Neapolitan Novels yet, pick up a copy of My Brilliant Friend with your next Starbucks order and get cracking.
If You Ordered a Chai Latte, Read 'The God of Small Things' by Arundhati Roy
Your Chai Latte is a smooth, nuanced blend of tea, milk, and spices. For the same effect in book form, check out Arundhati Roy's debut novel, The God of Small Things, which tells the tale of fraternal twins growing up in Kerala during the tumult of the 1970s.
If You Ordered an Espresso con Panna, Read 'The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven' by Sherman Alexie
The Espresso con Panna is a delightful and diminutive treat, consisting of a serving of espresso topped with a rich dollop of whipped cream. Since it's gone so fast, you should pair it with some digestible literature, like one of the short stories in Sherman Alexie's 1993 collection, The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven.
If You Ordered a Flat White, Read 'People of the Book' by Geraldine Brooks
Although this beloved beverage from Down Under has swept the Starbucks scene, Australian literature is surprisingly hard to come by. Luckily, Australian-American author Geraldine Brooks comes to the rescue with People of the Book, which centers on an Australian woman whose expertise with rare books lands her the job of preserving the Sarajevo Haggadah.
If You Ordered an Iced Coffee, Read 'Women of Algiers in Their Apartment' by Assia Djebar
Now found throughout the world, iced coffee originally hails from Algeria, where it is known as mazagran. To learn more about the North African country, check out Assia Djebar's Women of Algiers in Their Apartment, a story collection that centers on women's narratives during the mid-20th century, when Algeria was fighting for independence from French colonizers.
If You Ordered a Green Tea Crème Frappuccino® Blended Crème, Read 'The Vegetarian' by Han Kang
The traditional tea of Japanese tea ceremonies, the leaf powder known as matcha is consumed throughout East Asia, including in South Korea. If a Green Tea Crème Frappuccino® Blended Crème is your go-to Starbucks drink, check out The Vegetarian, Han Kang's award-winning novel about a woman who gives up meat, and eventually eschews food altogether.
If You Ordered a Nariño 70 Cold Brew, Read 'One Hundred Years of Solitude' by Gabriel García Márquez
Your Nariño 70 Cold Brew uses coffee beans from the Nariño region of southwestern Colombia, so you should consider pairing it with a great Colombian novel. I suggest picking up Nobel Prize-winning author Gabriel García Márquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude in anticipation of your next coffee run.
If You Ordered a Peppermint Mocha Latte, Read 'The Hottest Dishes of the Tartar Cuisine' by Alina Bronsky
If you're the type of person who waits all year to get their hands on a holiday latte, you should check out a quirky book like this one. Alina Bronsky's The Hottest Dishes of the Tartar Cuisine centers on a heroine who tries to prevent her daughter from having a baby, only to fall in love with her first grandchild.
If You Ordered a Pumpkin Spice Latte, Read 'Anna Karenina' by Leo Tolstoy
Fall is the time for Pumpkin Spice Lattes and bittersweet romance narratives. Pair your next PSL with Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy's classic novel about a woman who puts everything on the line to pursue her love.
If You Ordered a Red Eye, Read 'Jazz' by Toni Morrison
If you're ordering Red Eyes left and right, you're probably stretching yourself pretty thinly. Take the time to enjoy a short novel, like Toni Morrison's Jazz, a 1992 novel about a woman who bonds with the aunt of her husband's dead lover.
If You Ordered a Starbucks® Signature Hot Chocolate, Read 'The House of the Spirits' by Isabel Allende
When you're sipping on your next Starbucks® Signature Hot Chocolate, be sure you have a novel in-hand that's just as sweet and steamy as your drink. If you haven't already read it, Isabel Allende's The House of the Spirits is a poignant family saga rich with life and magic.
If You Ordered a Strawberry Acai Starbucks Refreshers® Beverage, Read 'Sag Harbor' by Colson Whitehead
Strawberry Acai Starbucks Refreshers® Beverages are the perfect summer treat, so why not savor your next one with a beachy novel? Colson Whitehead's Sag Harbor is the coming-of-age tale of 15-year-old Benji Cooper, a black student in a nearly all-white prep school, who spends each summer at the eponymous Hamptons retreat for black professionals and their families.
If You Ordered a Teavana® Shaken Iced Green Tea, Read 'The Land of Green Plums' by Herta Müller
Pair up your next Teavana® Shaken Iced Green Tea with a "green" novel, such as The Land of Green Plums: Herta Müller's story of university students living in Nicolae Ceaușescu's Romania.
If You Ordered a Vanilla Bean Crème Frappuccino® Blended Crème, Read 'Drinking Coffee Elsewhere' by ZZ Packer
No judgment, Vanilla Bean Crème Frappuccino® Blended Crème fans, but what you're drinking isn't coffee. Perhaps you should drink coffee elsewhere, maybe with a copy of 5 Under 35 honoree ZZ Packer's Drinking Coffee Elsewhere?