It doesn't always have to be a cup of joe to pair with your favourite read

Bouts of afternoon rain and the steady cool weather certainly encourage one to snuggle up with a good old book—cause, let’s face it, screens can lose their charm every once in a while. Treat yourself to some old-world wonder and find your fancy between the pages of these gripping books; top them off with our recommended drinks to guarantee a comforting (albeit buzzy) night in.

Read also: Boozy Bookworm: 2021 Summer Reads; Boozy Bookworm: 2020 Suspense Novels

1. Persuasion (1817) by Jane Austen + a bottle (erm... glass) of red

If you've seen the 2022 film adaptation featuring the ever-sassy Dakota Johnson, you may want to pick up the original novel. Not without its old-fashioned tropes, this Austen book will still prove to be a fetching read as you follow along with Anne Elliot's almost comedic drama as she seeks to get over her TOTGA (the one that got away), Frederick Wentworth. Find out what ghosting meant in the late 1800s as you sip on a fine red wine (as was Anne's choice of tipple) through each chapter.

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2. The Book of Disquiet (1982) by Fernando Pessoa + Ginja

Technically penned by Bernardo Soares (one of Pessoa’s pseudonyms), The Book of Disquiet will probably become one of the most insightful and poetic novels you’ll ever read. Published posthumously, the book follows a man contemplating leaving his humdrum life in Lisbon but realises just what it means to uproot oneself and forsake the mundane comforts that have defined him. Tip your hat to Pessoa’s heritage by enjoying this terrific page-turner with a serving of Ginja, a sweet cherry liqueur that is great all on its own but also pairs beautifully with your choice of semi-sweet chocolate.

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3. Pachinko (2017) by Lee Min-jin + Makgeolli

Published only in 2017, this dazzling tale has already been brought to life by Apple TV, featuring some of Hallyu's biggest names like Lee Min-ho (Legend of the Blue Sea; Eternal Monarch) and Oscar-winning actress Youn Yuh-jung (Minari). If you're into deep dives and losing yourself to a story, Pachinko's 600+ pages will take you through a harrowing coming-of-age tale to Korea's torturous past. Pair this with some makgeolli for a light buzzy pay-off, and perhaps drink it from a traditional aluminium bowl for a little extra drama.

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4. Men Without Women (2014) by Haruki Murakami + beer

This collection of short stories brought to life the award-winning film Drive My Car (2021). While Murakami has been known for his usual top-of-the-shelf sellers like Norwegian Wood, Kafka on the Shore, and more, you'll find that this collection shines a light on the author's more subdued side. His technical skill is much more evident in this series of short-form tales as he navigates stories of love and loss through many iterations of the signature Murakami-esque male leads. Melancholic and hopeless, these 'anti-protagonists' teach us a thing or two about existential dread. Enjoy a straightforward read with an equally straightforward drink, and turn each page with an accompanying gulp of your favourite beer—pilsen, anyone?

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5. The Bell Jar (1963) by Sylvia Plath + negroni

What’s the rainy season without some self-inflicted drama? While Plath was known as eccentric and depressive, she has become one of the defining names in the history of English lyricism. Many say this novel is a thinly veiled autobiography due to its ruthless honesty and self-deprecating storytelling. Following the lead character Esther Greenwood’s personal insecurities as a young woman in the 50s, The Bell Jar underscores the struggles of womanhood, sex, social stature, and familial obligation. Not for the faint of heart, it may be best to bust out the Campari, vermouth, and gin as you mix up a double Negroni while discovering Plath’s deep-seated troubles.

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