One beautiful long weekend when I was 9, I hopped on my bicycle and pedaled to the local convenience store. I skipped inside and grabbed the following: an Archie comic book, a Coke slurpee, and a package of Nerds. Yup, I had pretty refined tastes back then. When I brought my loot up to the cashier I remember he smiled and said, “Huh. Something to read, something to drink, and something to eat—sounds like the perfect weekend!”
For some reason that friendly man’s comment stuck with me, and I was inspired to create following list of book pairings, which will help provide the perfect escape this Canada day long weekend. For each book below, I have chosen a food, drink, or music to go with it. And, to help you plan your weekend and manage your time (after all, there are a lot of books on this list) I have also provided a handy timeline. Enjoy!
The Painted Girls by Cathy Marie Buchanan
Kick off the long weekend right with some champagne and a great novel. Set in Paris during the Belle Époque, The Painted Girls follows two sisters who find their lives forever altered after the death of their father. It was during the Belle Époque that Champagne first became a subject of mass culture and an icon of the high life. Sounds to me like the perfect excuse to splurge a little.
Big Brother by Lionel Shriver
Pairing: Healthy snacks
After all that champagne last night, it’s time to go healthy. In Big Brother, Lionel Shriver explores marriage, siblings, and the highly complex issue of obesity. When reading about such a (ahem) weighty issue, it’s probably best to go with a light snack. Check out these delicious (but healthy) summer salads and snacks.
The Son by Philipp Meyer
Pairing: Texas Tea
Recently chosen by the Globe and Mail books editor Jared Bland as one of the top 5 summer books, The Son is an epic tale of the American West that follows the rise of an unforgettable Texas family from the Comanche raids of the 1800s to the oil booms of the 20th century. For this book, I think a cocktail is in order, so how about the aptly named Texas Tea. Looking for a non-alcoholic beverage? Why not try some sweet tea instead? Either way, pull up a chair on the patio and enjoy a lovely afternoon.
NOS4A2 by Joe Hill
I can’t think of a better combination for a Saturday night than a scary book and some popcorn. From the master of horror, Joe Hill, NOS4A2 is chilling and suspenseful and the perfect end to your day of reading.
J’adore Paris by Isabelle Lafleche
Pairing: French-inspired desserts
Get in the Paris state of mind this long weekend with some delectable Parisian desserts and a good read. In J’adore Paris, readers are transported to Paris for an exhilarating journey through the world of high fashion (both real and counterfeit). This is the perfect patio read, and also provides a great excuse to eat some delectable desserts!
Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberly McCreight
As the sun goes down, crank up some Coldplay and curl up with a good book. McCreight’s first novel, Reconstructing Amelia covers themes of love, loss, and friendship. Reconstructing Amelia is full of angst (in a good way), and is the perfect read for a quiet Sunday evening.
Consumed by Sarah Elton
Pairing: Local foods
Celbrate Canada Day by going local. Consumed explores the current state of our world’s food and makes the case for sustainable food systems. Elton shares stories of real people working toward a better future for the planet. So head over to your local farmer’s market and pick up some locally sourced cheese, eggs, or veggies to consume while you read!
Born of Illusion by Teri Brown
Pairing: Ella Fitzgerald
Wind things down this weekend with a fun read and some jazz. Born of Illusion, the first in an exciting new YA series, follows Anna Van Housen, the illegitimate daughter of the greatest magician of all time, Harry Houdini. Anna is an expert illusionist, but what no one knows is that she actually has hidden supernatural powers. Born of Illusion is set in Jazz Age New York, so throw on some Ella Fitzgerald and enjoy the final moments before you head back to work on Tuesday.
Do you have any suggestions for a food/drink/music-book pairing? Share your thoughts on twitter @SavvyReader. Happy Canada Day, Savvy Readers! Have a great weekend.
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