There is perhaps nothing that coffee can’t cure. First thing in the morning it’s a remedy for sleepiness. At lunch it’s the pick me up that keeps your day ticking along. After dinner it’s an opportunity to keep chatting long into the night with friends. Whether it’s a strong espresso, an iced latte or a trendy cold brew, one thing is for certain. A cup of fresh coffee is one of our most delightful daily rituals.
But what if you combine the awesome power of coffee with the singular beauty of a brand new book? Here we decided to do just that. We’ve paired each of our eight favourite coffee orders with one shiny new book, hot off the presses. Your next cup of coffee just got a new best friend. You’re welcome.
ESPRESSO x A Manual for Cleaning Women by Lucia Berlin
Fierce and sharp, this posthumous collection of 43 Lucia Berlin short stories is the perfect compliment to your afternoon’s fresh coffee. A Manual for Cleaning Women explores a stream of richly developed working-class characters as they drift across detox wards, downtrodden laundromats and sundrenched Mexican beaches. Fiercely rendered, this stunning new collection packs all the intensity of full-length novel into a short story. Consider it the literary equivalent of an espresso.
CAPPUCCINO x Today Will Be Different by Maria Semple
The cappuccino is by now an everyday indulgence that borders on the ritual. So it follows that any book worthy of its ranking alongside this staple should have similar components: dark espresso, warm milk, and just a hint of pressurized steam. From the author that brought us Where’d You Go, Bernadette, her latest work, Today Will Be Different, launches us into the dynamic world of character Eleanor Flood. A woman who wants simply to begin living her best life, Eleanor doesn’t count on life getting in the way, making other plans. A light, frothy read to page through as you spoon the foam off your next cappuccino.
MACCHIATO x The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter
Perhaps a lesser known but no less delicious variation on the espresso, the Macchiato adds a dash of foamed milk to the basic espresso. Translating literally as “stained”, writer Angela Carter’s The Bloody Chamber is the perfect counterpart to this broody little caffeine kick. Reimagining classic fairytales with a fantastical feminist tilt, here we meet Little Red Riding Hood and Puss in Boots, but not as we know them. Instead they’ve been given a dark, sensuous makeover. Just like a Macchiato, these stories aren’t for kids.
PUMPKIN SPICE LATTE x Autumn by Ali Smith
Pumpkin spice and everything nice! With the changing seasons we can count on a few things: the yellowing leaves, pumpkin spice lattes, and a thought provoking new Ali Smith novel to snuggle up with indoors. Her latest release, Autumn, is a rich and timely reflection on the current state of the world – one that is increasingly bordered and exclusive. Encouraging us to reflect upon what the harvest really means in this day and age, Smith’s novel is best enjoyed with a Pumpkin Spice Latte in hand.
COLD BREW x A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara
Although cold brew coffee first appeared in Algeria during the 1840s, known then as Mazagran, it has recently become particularly popular with New Yorkers. All this makes Hanya Yanagihara’s New York based novel, A Little Life, a very fitting accompaniment for a cold brew coffee. Because this fresh coffee variation takes 12+ hours to make, only a captivating book that is really more of a tome will do. Tracing the complicated and intersecting lives of four university friends, Yanagihara probes the limits of human endurance. Your own limits might similarly be tested as you wait it out for this latest coffee craze.
AMERICANO x The Sellout by Paul Beatty
If there’s one book everyone is talking about right now, it’s Paul Beatty’s Man Booker Prize winning epic, The Sellout. Truly the Americano of contemporary literary fiction, this celebrated book is incisive satire about a young man’s disenchanting upbringing in the outskirts of Los Angeles and the race trial that sends him to the Supreme Court. Equal parts compelling and absurdist, this is a book about a narrator who lands himself in a lot of hot water. Not unlike his Americano counterpart.
A FRESH COFFEE “CORTADO” x Hot Milk by Deborah Levy
A Spanish coffee needs a Spanish story, and there’s none more enticing on the shelves right now than Deborah Levy’s Hot Milk. Depicting the strained relationship between a mother, confined to a wheelchair by a strange illness, and her daughter, this dazzling new novel is cut through with violent desires, rage and heat. It’s the perfect match for a fresh coffee espresso literally “cut” with the addition of warm milk.
A DECAF COFFEE x The Little Book of Hygge by Meik Wiking
Not all of us are craving our next caffeine kick. That’s why there’s decaffeinated fresh coffee and this charming little book about Hygge, otherwise known as the Danish art of living well and simply. Almost imperceptible, Hygge is that sense of wellbeing when everything in life is just so. It is mild tempered and intimately familiar, just like the decaf version of our favourite hot drink. Coziness awaits.