Calling All Book Reader-Drinkers: A Grown-Up Reading List

Imagine this: You sit down and start reading a section in a novel where the characters are having some food or drinks, and you realize: “That’s in my fridge, too…I should join them!”  Or, you were already drinking a glass of wine, when the novel you’re reading starts to describe the taste and smell of a drink, and now you feel even more transcended into the scene.

For me, I like to experience things from at least two senses.  For example, after I write a post, I read it aloud to myself to make sure it sounds OK (as well as to catch any errors I might have missed the first time).  Also, there is at least one report out there that I have heard of which says if you eat something while studying, this can help you memorize things more easily.  And, even though you might be reading for just pure entertainment, you may get more out of it—or have more vivid memories of it—the more your senses are engaged.

So just to pique your curiosity (and mine, rather), I decided to look into what books and drinks complement one another, due to a number of reasons/opinions such as the book’s setting, author’s preference, genre, etc.  Whether you want to try one out, have a themed book discussion/happy hour, or simply are reading this for fun and curiosity’s sake, the choice is yours.

So below are just a few, but at any time if you have additional suggestions or comments to the ones I post, or requests for ideas regarding other books, please let me know, and I will add yours to the list and will also give you credit if you’d like. (You can follow me on Twitter if you’d like to know if/when I add more.)

If you’re into more modern books:

Book: One of my favorite light fiction reads, The Night Villa, by Carol Goodman
Drink: An Italian wine (perhaps a smoky or earthy one) as the book mostly takes place at an Italian villa, and there is plenty of talk about the Mt. Vesuvius eruption.

Book(s): A Song of Ice and Fire series (or more commonly known as the Game of Thrones series)
Drink: A dark red wine or mulled wine: This recommendation is based on all of the blood and gore you’ll find in these books (or the show if you decide to watch instead of read).

In the same note as the previous, how about when reading Stephen King’s novels, such as The Shining and Carrie, and enjoy with it a red wine, a bloody mary, or some other rich red drink?

Feeling Southern? Then check out Interview With the Vampire, Gone With the Wind, or the Sookie Stackhouse series, and drink a Mint Julep or sip some Southern Comfort while you’re at it.

Book: Bel Canto by Ann Patchett
Drink: A South American wine (such as Malbec), due to the fact that this brilliant book is based in South America and there’s an opera singer, which is classy.

Book: Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
Drink: Beer, because that’s what the boys drink in the book.

Book: Yes Please by Amy Poehler
Drink: The Cape Codder, because she’s from Massachusetts.

Book: Bossypants by Tina Fey
Drink: The Pennsylvania, because that’s where Tina is from.

Book: Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert
Drink: Absinthe: an interesting, odd, unusual, “magical,” romanticized, some might say crazy drink for a book that in my opinion fits at least one of those words….

Book: Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay
Drink: Rediscover feminism as the author breaks down all of the bad stigmas around the term.  One drink I found to complement this is: Rosé The Riveter.  Or drink any other drink you want, because you have equal rights to do that.

If you’re more into the Classics, then here’s a few choices:
Book: The Catcher in the Rye, by J. D. Salinger
Drink(s): Rye Whiskey and Coke, or a Scotch and Soda.  (At one point, Holden attempts to order a Scotch and Soda, but he’s under age, so he ends up with a Coke.)  Scotch and Soda also happened to be Salinger’s drink of choice, and he was known to enjoy a whiskey from time to time.

Book: Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery
Drink: As mentioned in the book, a Raspberry Cordial

Book: The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Drink: Well, Gin Rickeys were Fitzgerald’s cocktail of choice, or you could try a Long Island Iced Tea since the novel takes place in Long Island.  Another popular drink of the 1920s was the Mint Julep.  Or, if you want to stay classy like the characters in the book, then you can always have a little (or a lot, I’m not judging) of Champagne.

Book: A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams
Drink: Due to his name alone, how about having something with Jack Daniels whiskey in it? If you need a better reason than that, the lead character also drinks whiskey at some point.


Please note: I’m not promoting alcoholism and I’m not a lush…this is just all in good fun.  Please drink responsibly, and if you’re under age, make a mocktail version or enjoy a nice cold soda. 🙂  If you want nonalcoholic ideas or substitutions, feel free to let me know!


One Comment Add yours

  1. “if you eat something while studying, this can help you memorize things more easily” – oh, so that’s where my freshman 15 came from!

    Oh and I love your drink pairing with Big Magic! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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