Not only will we be lugging totes full of books to our local beaches this summer, we’ll also be hitting up our favorite cafés, where we’ll undoubtedly spend hours enjoying air conditioning, comfy sofas, and our current read, all while sipping on our go-to drink order. In case you were wondering, here’s what we’re ordering and the books we’re recommending to go with them.
Colombian drip coffee
Perhaps it’s a little too on-the-nose, but why not curl up with a cup of Colombian coffee while you enjoy a masterpiece from one of Colombia’s greatest writers? ONE HUNDRED YEARS OF SOLITUDE is a multigenerational epic swirling with magical realism and subtle nuances in language, character relationships, and repetition. Like a good cup of black drip coffee—no cream, no sugar—it’s a reliable classic worth savoring.
“Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buendía was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to discover ice.”
DARK MATTER tackles scenarios I didn’t think were possible to express in written form, nonetheless flush out into an exciting, mind-bending narrative—like encountering other versions of yourself, life on other planes, the depth of love and the need for other humans. Like a jolt of black coffee, this book awakens all the senses, providing an experience that will linger throughout the day and settle into the strangest corners of your overthinking mind.
Iced Strawberry Green Tea
What an interesting flavor combination, strawberry and green tea, just like fantasy thrillers. Iced, unsweetened green tea is the perfect chilled drink for any thriller fan. It’s cold, a little bittersweet, and has just enough caffeine to keep you up at night. But when you add in that little strawberry twist, you get the perfect amount of whimsy that comes along with a dark fantasy thriller. AN UNKINDESS OF MAGICIANS is just that, as it tells the story of a young magician, Sydney, who has a rare ability that may be able to destroy the darkness that is threatening magic. This supernatural fantasy thriller is set in a magical version of New York that is sure to hook you right away.
“A remarkable writer.” —Neil Gaiman, bestselling author of American Gods
An Alex Award Winner
There is a dark secret that is hiding at the heart of New York City and diminishing the city’s magicians’ power in this fantasy thriller by acclaimed author Kat Howard.
In New York City, magic controls everything. But the power of magic is fading. No one knows what is happening, except for Sydney—a new, rare magician with incredible power that has been unmatched in decades, and she may be the only person who is able to stop the darkness that is weakening the magic. But Sydney doesn’t want to help the system, she wants to destroy it.
Sydney comes from the House of Shadows, which controls the magic with the help of sacrifices from magicians.
Dark Roast with Almond Milk
SUPERMARKET made the cuts of my book selection for this pairing because, like a dark roast coffee, it is robust and packs a punch. The novel gets real with the reader in the way it sheds light on mental illness through the main character, Flynn. This psychological thriller gets as dark as the coffee, but the dash of comedy and romance in the novel offsets it, as does the almond milk. Regardless, with either pick I’m buzzing by the time I reach the end!
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
The stunning debut novel from one of the most creative artists of our generation, Bobby Hall, a.k.a. Logic.
“Bobby Hall has crafted a mind-bending first novel, with prose that is just as fierce and moving as his lyrics. Supermarket is like Naked Lunch meets One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest—if they met at Fight Club.”—Ernest Cline, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Ready Player One
Flynn is stuck—depressed, recently dumped, and living at his mom’s house. The supermarket was supposed to change all that. An ordinary job and a steady check. Work isn’t work when it’s saving you from yourself. But things aren’t quite as they seem in these aisles. Arriving to work one day to a crime scene, Flynn’s world collapses as the secrets of his tortured mind are revealed. And Flynn doesn’t want to go looking for answers at the supermarket. Because something there seems to be looking for him. A darkly funny psychological thriller, Supermarket is a gripping exploration into madness and creativity. Who knew you could find sex, drugs, and murder all in aisle nine?
Sweetened Iced Tea Lemonade
Iced tea is my go-to drink year-round, but it’s particularly refreshing in the hot summer. And few novels transport you to those dog days of summer as effortlessly as Peter Benchley’s classic thriller, JAWS. The book that will make you afraid to go into the water, JAWS is an electrifying wild ride, with one of the scariest first chapters in modern literature.
Iced Caramel Macchiato
Oh, iced caramel macchiato. The sweet, oh-so-decadent dessert of a drink that keeps me feeling refreshed even with its indulgence. It’s my summertime go-to from Starbucks. And its perfect literary pairing is BEAUTIFUL RUINS by Jess Walter. There’s nothing like reading about a romance between an actress and an innkeeper that starts on the Italian coastline while sipping one of the richest and fullest sweet drinks out there. If you’re looking for me, I’ll be drinking one in my large hat, near a river, pretending I’m someone who lives in Cinque Terre and reminisces about my youthful and passionate loves. Ciao!
Hailed by critics, loved by readers of literary and historical fiction, and featuring what is arguably one of the most iconic covers of recent years, Beautiful Ruins is the story of an almost-love affair that begins on a rocky patch of the sun-drenched Italian coastline in 1962. Funny and romantic, the beauty and wisdom of Jess Walter’s writing in the last chapter alone will leave musical lines of prose engraved in your memory.
Soy Matcha Latte
Whatever the weather, I like to start my day with some matcha. While the rich green color is alluring and the beverage can be enjoyed hot or cold, matcha has a powerful aromatic flavor, and it’s the perfect source for caffeine that won’t make you jittery. Add the sweet creaminess of some soy milk and a touch of vanilla flavor, and this latte becomes deliciously complex. The perfect pairing is Yangsze Choo’s multi-layered novel THE NIGHT TIGER. Set in 1930s colonial Malaysia, this novel follows Ji Lin, who stumbles upon a mirror world of secrets and superstitions—after a dance partner leaves behind a “gruesome souvenir”—and 11-year-old Ren, who is on a quest to find his master’s missing finger and bury it with him so that his soul won’t be doomed to wander the earth forever. A cultural, multigenerational, historical, magical read for the summer? Matcha-pproved.
Cool Lime Refresher
Water, ice, magic lime flavor . . . that’s about it, but there’s nothing more instantly satisfying than a Cool Lime Refresher from Starbucks to really beat the heat. Since summer has officially commenced, you can always find me walking down the city streets with a CLR in one hand and a good book in the other, and no book would pair better with this beloved beverage than GIRL IN SNOW by Danya Kukafka. Investigating the ripples tragedy has on a small town, this book is so much more than a typical thriller in all the best ways. Taking simple ingredients from typical thrillers, GIRL IN SNOW finds a way to be startlingly refreshing with unflinching prose and genuinely surprising twists.
When you’re craving a sweet, cool treat on a hot summer day, you can’t go wrong with a caramel frappe paired with an equally delicious rom-com like TROUBLE BREWING by Suzanne Baltsar. Craft-beer brewer Piper Williams has a lot riding on her new business, and she’s willing to do whatever it takes to succeed in the male-dominated industry. That includes enforcing a strict no-dating rule with Blake Reed—the owner of a gastropub that’s going to stock four of her brews—until her company’s more established. Of course, that’s easier said than done when the tension between them keeps building. . . . Trust me, you’ll savor every sip of this one.
Iced Quad Skim Latte
My mom’s coffee order is an iced venti quad skim latte—that’s four shots of espresso for an extra-jittery caffeine rush! It keeps her energy up for reading intense survival adventures, like INTO THIN AIR, Jon Krakauer’s breathless (sometimes, literally) account of his harrowing ascent of Mount Everest. It’s a gripping story of strength, determination, and an unforgettable battle against the elements.
Jon Krakauer’s been through the book-to-film process before (2007’s Into the Wild garnered substantial acclaim and award-season buzz), but this time, it’s personal. Into Thin Air details his presence on Mount Everest during the 1996 storm that left eight climbers dead and stranded several others. Adapted under the name Everest and starring Josh Brolin, Robin Wright, Keira Knightley, and Jake Gyllenhaal, it promises to bring the harrowing disaster to life.
Release date: September 25, 2015