The Perfect Blend: 12 Book and Tea Pairings

February 25 2020

In February, it’s easy to fall into the winter doldrums.  To combat them, I love to get cozy on the couch, steep some tea, and crack open a good book.  If you’ve already read and sipped through our last book and tea pairings, here are some delicious, fresh combinations to keep you warm and entertained through the rest of the winter months. 

The Diplomat's Daughter
by Karin Tanabe

Tea to Pair: Matcha 

This strong, vegetal powdered green tea is a perfect match for this novel that takes place in the turbulent months following the bombing of Pearl Harbor.  Emi Kato, the daughter of a Japanese diplomat, is sent to an internment camp, where she meets and falls in love with Christian Lange, the son of German immigrants who have been arrested for un-American activities.  Their paths diverge; Emi returns to Japan and Christian enlists in the US Army, heading for the Pacific front and hoping to reunite with her.  But Emi’s first love, a Jewish refugee in Shanghai, may still have her heart.

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo Bookshop logo
The Diplomat's Daughter
Karin Tanabe

For fans of All the Light We Cannot See and Orphan Train, the author of the “thought-provoking” (Library Journal, starred review) and “must-read” (PopSugar) novel The Gilded Years crafts a captivating tale of three young people divided by the horrors of World War II and their journey back to one another.

During the turbulent months following the 1941 bombing of Pearl Harbor, twenty-one-year-old Emi Kato, the daughter of a Japanese diplomat, is locked behind barbed wire in a Texas internment camp. She feels hopeless until she meets handsome young Christian Lange, whose German-born parents were wrongfully arrested for un-American activities. Together, they live as prisoners with thousands of other German and Japanese families, but discover that love can bloom in even the bleakest circumstances.

When Emi and her mother are abruptly sent back to Japan, Christian enlists in the United States Army, with his sights set on the Pacific front—and, he hopes, a reunion with Emi—unaware that her first love, Leo Hartmann, the son of wealthy of Austrian parents and now a Jewish refugee in Shanghai, may still have her heart.

Fearful of bombings in Tokyo, Emi’s parents send her to a remote resort town in the mountains, where many in the foreign community have fled. Cut off from her family, struggling with growing depression and hunger, Emi repeatedly risks her life to help keep her community safe—all while wondering if the two men she loves are still alive.

As Christian Lange struggles to adapt to life as a soldier, his unit pushes its way from the South Pacific to Okinawa, where one of the bloodiest battles of World War II awaits them. Meanwhile, in Japanese-occupied Shanghai, as Leo fights to survive the squalor of the Jewish ghetto, a surprise confrontation with a Nazi officer threatens his life. For each man, Emi Kato is never far from their minds.

Flung together by war, passion, and extraordinary acts of selflessness, the paths of these three remarkable young people will collide as the fighting on the Pacific front crescendos. With her “elegant and extremely gratifying” (USA TODAY) storytelling, Karin Tanabe paints a stunning portrait of a turning point in history.

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo Bookshop logo

MENTIONED IN:

5 Historical Fiction Novels About WWII’s Lasting Impact on Japan

By Maddie Ehrenreich | May 22, 2020

The Perfect Blend: 12 Book and Tea Pairings

By Sarah Jane Abbott | February 25, 2020

Close
Tipping the Velvet
by Sarah Waters

Tea to Pair: Earl Grey 

This fragrant black tea, named for a nineteenth-century British prime minister, will enhance the experience of reading this captivating novel about Nan King, an oyster girl who becomes captivated by Kitty Butler, a male impersonator performing at the music hall.  They have a mutual attraction, and when Kitty asks Nan to accompany her to London as her dresser and companion, Nan embarks on a journey of self-discovery through a richly crafted, endlessly surprising Victorian world.

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo
Tipping the Velvet
Sarah Waters

Provincial Nan King’s world is forever changed when she falls in love with a cross-dressing music-hall singer and follows her to London as her dresser and secret lover.

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo

MENTIONED IN:

The 10 Most Popular Books We Escaped Into This November

By Off the Shelf Staff | November 30, 2020

A WWII Historical Novel of Hope and Resistance to Light Up the Darkness

By Holly Claytor | November 27, 2020

10 Family Novels as Warm and Fuzzy as Your Favorite Sweater

By Maddie Ehrenreich | November 26, 2020

Readers’ Choice: The 10 Best Book Recommendations You’ve Ever Received

By Off the Shelf Staff | November 25, 2020

5 Workplace Thrillers to Make You Miss Your Office (or Not!)

By Maddie Ehrenreich | November 24, 2020

20 Life-Changing Books We’re Gifting to Everyone We Love This Year

By Off the Shelf Staff | November 23, 2020

Close
Gold Fame Citrus
by Claire Vaye Watkins

Tea to Pair: Orange Pekoe 

While orange pekoe does not actually have an orange flavor, despite its name, it will pair well with this novel, also named for citrus.  In the drought-ravaged wasteland that is near-future California, Luz and her partner Ray have refused to be evacuated.  They are squatting in a starlet’s abandoned mansion and subsisting on whatever they can scavenge.  But when they come in contact with a mysterious child, they start to want a different kind of life.

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo
Gold Fame Citrus
Claire Vaye Watkins

An unrelenting drought transformed Southern California into a barren and depleted landscape and forced most residents to evacuate into internment camps. But Luz and Ray stay behind, squatting in an abandoned mansion, until they encounter a mysterious child and start a perilous journey east in hopes of a better future.

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo

MENTIONED IN:

The 10 Most Popular Books We Escaped Into This November

By Off the Shelf Staff | November 30, 2020

A WWII Historical Novel of Hope and Resistance to Light Up the Darkness

By Holly Claytor | November 27, 2020

10 Family Novels as Warm and Fuzzy as Your Favorite Sweater

By Maddie Ehrenreich | November 26, 2020

Readers’ Choice: The 10 Best Book Recommendations You’ve Ever Received

By Off the Shelf Staff | November 25, 2020

5 Workplace Thrillers to Make You Miss Your Office (or Not!)

By Maddie Ehrenreich | November 24, 2020

20 Life-Changing Books We’re Gifting to Everyone We Love This Year

By Off the Shelf Staff | November 23, 2020

Close
Love at First Like
by Hannah Orenstein

Tea to Pair: Fruit Tisane

While not technically a “tea,” fruit tisane is a bright, flavorful delight either hot or iced.  It is the perfect mate for this story about Eliza Roth, who co-owns a Brooklyn jewelry shop with her sister Sophie.  After learning of an ex’s engagement, Eliza accidentally posts a picture of herself wearing an engagement ring to the shop’s Instagram account.  Their 100,000 followers are thrilled for her and sales skyrocket.  Should she explain the mistake or continue the ruse?  Under financial pressure, she seeks out a fake fiancé.

 

Amazon logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo iTunes logo Indiebound logo Bookshop logo
Love at First Like
Hannah Orenstein

Amazon logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo iTunes logo Indiebound logo Bookshop logo

MENTIONED IN:

The Perfect Blend: 12 Book and Tea Pairings

By Sarah Jane Abbott | February 25, 2020

6 Must-Read Books New in Paperback This August

By Off the Shelf Staff | August 12, 2019

Close
Lily and the Octopus
by Steven Rowley

Tea to Pair:  Ginger Lemon Tea 

Ginger lemon tea is warm and comforting, perfect for sipping when you aren’t feeling well.  A perfect adventure of the heart to curl up with when you have a cold is this tale about Ted Flask, a lonely man who fiercely loves his companion Lily, an aging dachshund.  When Lily’s health is threatened, Ted is willing to fight for her, no matter what.

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo Bookshop logo Libro.fm logo
Lily and the Octopus
Steven Rowley

Ted and his elderly dachshund are at the center of this story of steadfast companionship, loss, and longing that will break your heart and put it back together again. The two share a comfortable life spent chatting about boys, playing board games, and ordering pizza just so Lily can bark at the delivery boy. But then the Octopus arrives and their simple little world begins to change. By turns hilarious and poignant, LILY AND THE OCTOPUS is a book you’ll never stop talking (and crying) about.

Read the full review of LILY AND THE OCTOPUS.

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo Bookshop logo Libro.fm logo
Close
Once Upon a River
by Diane Setterfield

Tea to Pair: Elderflower Green Tea

This unusual light, floral blend is a wonderful companion for this novel that combines folklore and science, suspense and romance. On a dark midwinter night in an ancient inn by the Thames, a grievously wounded stranger stumbles in with the dead body of a small child.  But hours later, the girl comes back to life.  Who is she and how has this happened?  As questions mount, three different families step up to claim the girl: a mother who thinks she is her kidnapped daughter, a couple who thinks she is the product of their son’s secret affair, and the parson’s housekeeper, who sees in the child the image of her younger sister.

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo Bookshop logo
Once Upon a River
Diane Setterfield

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo Bookshop logo

MENTIONED IN:

5 Exceptional and Extraordinary Books Unlike Anything We’ve Read Before

By Off the Shelf Staff | October 20, 2020

Quarantine Travels: 10 Books to Help You Escape Your House Without Leaving the Couch

By Maddie Ehrenreich | September 8, 2020

10 Escapist Fiction Books to Read When You Need a Break From Reality

By Alice Martin | March 30, 2020

The Perfect Blend: 12 Book and Tea Pairings

By Sarah Jane Abbott | February 25, 2020

9 Picks Your Book Club Will Love This Winter

By Carrie Cabral | December 20, 2019

6 Captivating Novels New in Paperback This July

By Off the Shelf Staff | July 15, 2019

Close
Queenie
by Candice Carty-Williams

Tea to Pair: Hot Cinnamon Spice Tea 

This bold, flavorful, surprising tea is a perfect mate for this book about Queenie Jenkins, a Jamaican British woman living in London who feels she doesn’t quite belong in either culture. After a messy breakup with her long-term boyfriend, she ends up rebounding with all the wrong men and wondering what she’s doing, who she is, and what she wants in life.

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo Bookshop logo
Three Things About Elsie
by Joanna Cannon

Tea to Pair: Blueberry White Tea 

The juxtaposition of the light flavor of white tea with the strong berry flavor is perfect for this suspenseful, emotional, and warm novel.  Eighty-four-year-old Florence has fallen in her apartment at Cherry Tree Home for the Elderly.  As she waits for help to come, she thinks about her best friend, Elsie, and whether the terrible secret they share is about to be exposed.  And why does the new resident look exactly like a man who died sixty years ago?

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo Bookshop logo
Three Things About Elsie
Joanna Cannon

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo Bookshop logo

MENTIONED IN:

Readers’ Choice: The Top 10 Most Popular Books in February

By Off the Shelf Staff | February 28, 2020

The Perfect Blend: 12 Book and Tea Pairings

By Sarah Jane Abbott | February 25, 2020

5 Fantastic Books That Aren’t About Romance To Read This Valentine’s Day

By Keturah Jenkins | February 13, 2020

Readers’ Choice: Our Most Popular Books in January

By Off the Shelf Staff | January 31, 2020

Readers’ Choice: Our Top 25 Most Popular Books of the Year!

By Off the Shelf Staff | December 30, 2019

The Best of 2019: The Top 10 Reviews of the Year

By Off the Shelf Staff | December 24, 2019

Close
The Rosie Project
by Graeme Simsion

Tea to Pair:  Just Rose Tisane 

There’s something inherently romantic about steeping tiny pink rosebuds and drinking a tea that smells and tastes like a flower garden.  It will go well with this emotional, charming romantic comedy.  Don Tillman is a brilliant yet socially inept professor of genetics.  He decides he wants a wife, so he develops a sixteen-page scientific survey to determine a candidate’s viability for the position.  But when he meets Rosie Jarman, a woman who in no way, shape, or form meets his specifications, Don may just realize that love isn’t as predictable as he thinks.

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo Bookshop logo Libro.fm logo
The Rosie Project
Graeme Simsion

The protagonist of Graeme Simsion’s romantic comedy THE ROSIE PROJECT is the most refreshingly unique, honest, and hilarious character I have read in a long time. I don’t generally read romantic comedies, but this one stole my heart right from the first paragraph.

Read Sarah Jane Abbott’s review here.

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo Bookshop logo Libro.fm logo

MENTIONED IN:

Influential Fiction: 9 Popular Books Our Readers Can’t Get Enough Of

By Off the Shelf Staff | May 14, 2020

6 Books with Happy Endings That Give Us Hope for a Brighter Tomorrow

By Maddie Ehrenreich | April 21, 2020

The Perfect Blend: 12 Book and Tea Pairings

By Sarah Jane Abbott | February 25, 2020

11 Swoon-Worthy Love Stories for Non-Romance Readers

By Danielle Bucco | August 1, 2019

12 Perfectly Bodied Book-and-Wine Pairings

By Sarah Jane Abbott | May 23, 2019

Love Is In the Air and These 13 Books Are On Our Minds

By Off the Shelf Staff | February 14, 2017

Close
The Wolf and the Watchman
by Niklas Natt och Dag

Tea to Pair: Swedish Söder Tea 

This quintessentially Swedish blend is a match for this novel taking place in Stockholm in 1793. Watchman Mikel Cardell and lawyer Cecil Winge team up to identify and solve the mystery of a bizarrely mutilated body found in a bog.  Their investigation will immerse them in a brutal world of guttersnipes and thieves, mercenaries and madams, as  they peel back layer upon layer of the city’s labyrinthine society. 

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo Bookshop logo
The Wolf and the Watchman
Niklas Natt och Dag

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo Bookshop logo

MENTIONED IN:

The 10 Most Popular Books We Added to Our TBR This August

By Off the Shelf Staff | August 31, 2020

8 Unsettling Historical Thrillers That Will Haunt You Until the Last Page

By Maddie Ehrenreich | August 11, 2020

The Perfect Blend: 12 Book and Tea Pairings

By Sarah Jane Abbott | February 25, 2020

The Best of 2019: The Top 10 Book Lists of the Year

By Off the Shelf Staff | December 27, 2019

Readers’ Choice: Our 10 Most Popular Books in November

By Off the Shelf Staff | November 29, 2019

Books and Brews: 7 Books to Read While Enjoying Your Favorite Beer

By Amy Cardoza | October 24, 2019

Close
The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane
by Lisa See

Tea to Pair: Chinese Pu’er Tea 

This delicious Chinese tea plays an important role in this novel about tradition and mother-daughter bonds. Li-yan and her family are tea farmers who live in a remote mountain village.  When a stranger arrives, the villagers are exposed to the modern world for the first time. Li-yan begins to reject the customs she’s been taught all her life, and when she has a child out of wedlock with a man her parents don’t approve of, she refuses to allow the baby to be killed, as tradition would dictate, and leaves her at an orphanage.  As years pass, mother and child both search for meaning through the study of pu’er, the tea that has shaped their family’s destiny for generations.

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo Bookshop logo
The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane
Lisa See

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo Bookshop logo

MENTIONED IN:

The Perfect Blend: 12 Book and Tea Pairings

By Sarah Jane Abbott | February 25, 2020

6 Books So Compelling We Almost Missed Our Train Stops

By Off the Shelf Staff | February 24, 2020

A Menagerie of Books: 9 Reads for Animal Lovers

By Sarah Jane Abbott | April 22, 2019

Off the Shelf’s Favorite Books from the Last 5 Years

By Off the Shelf Staff | March 27, 2019

A Conversation On Lisa See, Female Friendships, and Dumplings

By Off the Shelf Staff | March 5, 2019

Enter for a Chance to Win a Luxurious Reading Oasis

By Off the Shelf Staff | November 27, 2018

Close
The Braid
by Laetitia Colombani

Tea to Pair:  Chai Tea 

This warming, spiced tea is a perfect pairing for this moving novel about womanhood and the power of connection across cultures and borders.  It follows three women: Smita, an untouchable who flees her small Indian village to find a better life for herself and her daughter; Giulia, a woman who works in her father’s wig shop in Sicily who discovers the company is in a dire financial position and must find a way to save her family’s livelihood; and Sarah, a successful Canadian lawyer and mother whose life is shattered by a cancer diagnosis.

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo Bookshop logo Libro.fm logo
The Braid
Laetitia Colombani

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo Bookshop logo Libro.fm logo

MENTIONED IN:

9 Books with Floral Covers That Will Brighten Your Mood — and Your Bookshelf

By Off the Shelf Staff | April 27, 2020

The Perfect Blend: 12 Book and Tea Pairings

By Sarah Jane Abbott | February 25, 2020

10 Book Club Picks to Cozy Up to This Fall

By Keturah Jenkins | September 24, 2019

Close

Photo Credit: TanyaJoy/iStock

You must be logged in to add books to your shelf.

Please log in or sign up now.