So now that summer is officially upon us, some of you may be wondering, “Sara, what books do you recommend for summer reading? And what libations should I enjoy while reading these books?”
Or maybe not.
At any rate, I can certainly make a few suggestions, whether you really wanted to know the answer to that question or not.
1.The Historian (Elizabeth Kostova)
Engrossing, complex and more than a little dark, this book makes for an absorbing read, one that certainly might make you long for a little sunshine to chase away the shadows. It has plenty of two of my favorites: history and vampires. Everyone likes vampires.
Drink suggestion: Red wine. Obviously.
2. The Secret History of the Pink Carnation (Lauren Willig)
A fun combination of chick-lit and historical romance, this is the first book in a great series if you are looking for something that might be described as a “romp”. Flowery named spies in Napoleonic France? Yes, please. The Pink Carnation is just the first book in a series that is just absolute fun. Although, I have discovered since finishing this series that that description is apt for all of Lauren Willig’s books. You can’t lose.
Drink suggestion: Lemonade. Just kidding. Try a Lavender Lemon Drop. A much more fun version of the lemonade Amy insists on (sort of) with a flowery twist to tie into the books.
3. The Diviners (Libba Bray)
Set in 1920s New York with a paranormal angle, this was one of those books I just couldn’t put down. This book felt like what I wanted the 1920s to be like. Add in a cast of fascinating paranormal characters and it was just about perfect.
Drink suggestion: A Sapphire 75. This drink has gin (which just feels right for a book set during Prohibition) and Prosecco, for a little sparkle I feel is perfect for Evie’s bubbly personality.
4. The Thorn Birds (Colleen McCullough)
If its drama you’re looking for, forget crappy reality TV and grab this oldie-but-goodie. It tells the story of the Cleary family, in particular their daughter Meggie, over the course of years. Mostly set on a sheep station in Australia it has all the drama you could ask for: mean spirited plots, forbidden love, dramatic deaths! There is even a great 80s miniseries if you need more.
Drink suggestion: A Wildfire martini. Not only is this a drink with a fair amount of its own drama, but there is wildfire in the books. It had tragic results, so perhaps a nice martini might help.
5. Beautiful Creatures (Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl)
I know what you’re thinking: another YA series? Yes. Another. I may be in my thirties now, but many of the best books being written these days are for young adults and I’m still happy to pretend that I am one. Anyway, this whole series was one I really enjoyed reading. It was dark, Southern and full of magic. There is also a spin off series, Dangerous Creatures, if you enjoy this one. However, I can’t really recommend the movie. It was pretty awful. Although, it does have Alden Ehrenreich (a.k.a. the new Han Solo), who is pretty dreamy.
Drink suggestion: The Charleston Bog. Summery and Southern, a perfect drink to help lighten up the darker moments in the book.
This list is really just scratching the surface. What are your favorite summer books (or drinks, for that matter)? Let me know in the comments!