Stave off the winter’s chill with a piping hot beverage in one hand and its ideal literary companion in the other. From warm cocktails and spiked hot cocoa to nonalcoholic teas and coffee, this list has a little bit of everything! Whether you are settling in for a long winter’s night, searching for the perfect mood booster, or looking for an extra dose of holiday cheer, we’re sure you’ll find just the right book to pair with the winter warmer of your choice.
Warlight by Michael Ondaatje
Perfect for a frosty winter’s night, stay in and read this absorbing, slow-burning tale of Nathaniel and Rachel, two teenage siblings in post–World War II London, whose mysterious mother has left them in the care of an enigmatic figure they call The Moth. Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize, this magnificent story—told through reality, recollection, and imagination—pairs flawlessly with a spicy cup of simmering mulled wine with cinnamon sticks.
A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler
From the beloved Pulitzer Prize–winning author comes the story of Abby, Red, and their four grown children, who have accumulated not only tender moments, laughter, and celebrations, but jealousies, disappointments, and carefully guarded secrets. Like a hot toddy with lemon, this is the perfect brain and mood booster. So if you’re feeling a little sluggish, lift your spirits with this enchanting novel and honeyed beverage.
The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern
Pair this timeless love story from the New York Times bestselling author of The Night Circus with a steaming mug of Irish coffee and cream. Set in a secret underground world, a place of pirates, painters, lovers, liars, and ships that sail upon a starless sea, this book and brew are both bold and sweet—the perfect indulgence for a holiday morning.
Hot Buttered Rum
Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri
These eight stories by beloved and essential author Jhumpa Lahiri take us from Cambridge and Seattle to India and Thailand, as they explore the secrets at the core of family life. Hearty and rich with substance, be sure to read this book between satisfying sips of your hot buttered rum.
Hot Chocolate Spiked with Baileys
Wow, No Thank You. by Samantha Irby
Samantha Irby never fails to tell the most rip-roaring and riotous stories, and her instant #1 New York Times bestselling essay collection is no different! Told from the perspective of a queer comedian in her forties who is becoming increasingly uncomfortable in her own skin, this book, along with a few splashes of Baileys in your cocoa, is sure to bring plenty of laughs and double the holiday cheer.
The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith
The beloved first novel in The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series tells the story of the delightfully cunning and enormously engaging Precious Ramotswe, who is drawn to her profession to “help people with problems in their lives.” Join Mma Ramotswe as she navigates her cases and her personal life with wisdom, good humor, and the occasional cup of red bush tea.
Pumpkin Spiced Latte
Uncommon Type by Tom Hanks
With great affection, humor, and insight, Tom Hanks’s first work of fiction captures the human condition in all its foibles. Maybe it’s his iconic line from You’ve Got Mail about New York in the fall; maybe it’s the craftsmanship, beauty, and individuality he continues to infuse into the modern world, but Hanks and his typewriters give us all the festive fall feels—just like a venti-size indulgent pumpkin spiced latte.
Year of the Monkey by Patti Smith
Patti Smith draws us into her private wonderland as she embarks on a year of solitary wandering and reckoning with the changes in life’s gyre: with loss, aging, and a dramatic shift in the political landscape of America. Sprinkled with songs, memories, and obscure cafés, this book is strong and bold, like the many cups of black coffee that fueled Patti’s transformative journey.
The Story of More by Hope Jahren
In concise, highly readable chapters, Hope Jahren, an award-winning scientist, brilliant writer, and passionate teacher, explains the current and projected consequences of global warming—from superstorms to rising sea levels—and the actions that we all can take to fight back. At once an essential primer on climate change and a lively, personal narrative, this book seeks to restore energy and life to the earth, just like a wholesome, robust cup of nutrient-dense matcha tea.
Warm Old Fashioned
Brown by Kevin Young
These thirty-two taut poems and poetic sequences remind us that blackness and brownness tell an ongoing story. A testament to Young’s own—and our collective—experience, Brown offers beautiful, sustained harmonies from a poet whose wisdom deepens with time. Linger over each of these poems and savor their beautiful complexity while sipping a steaming cup of bourbon flavored with orange and bitters.