Reading a novel with a glass of wine by the fire

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Fun Fall Reads Paired with Wine

There’s nothing quite like settling in with a good book and a glass of wine, especially as the temperatures get cooler. In addition to letting yourself get caught up in a great story or intriguing memoir, regular reading may prevent memory loss — all the more reason to explore some of the best books for reading this fall.
Whether you’re looking to find good paper or electronic books or audiobooks for yourself or for your book club, here are some of the best books for fall reading, paired with wines that help set the mood.

Books that Pair Well with Wine

Hag-Seed, by Margaret Atwood
Pair with: Mulled wine for an Elizabethan flair.
In this retelling of Shakespeare’s “The Tempest,” theater director Felix is ready for revenge for being ousted from his position at a theater festival 12 years ago and left in a backwoods hovel. Now he has a chance to capture the traitors by putting on a production of “The Tempest” at a nearby prison. But will putting on the play heal Felix or only hurt his enemies?

When in French, by Lauren Collins
Pair with: Champagne from the actual Champagne region of France for some authentic armchair traveling.
A funny and surprising memoir about the embarrassments and joys of love and learning a new language, as well as the culture and history behind that language.

A Man Called Ove, by Fredrik Backman
Pair with: Sauvignon Blanc — dry and tart, like the protagonist.
Ove is a curmudgeon with strict rules and a short fuse. He’s withdrawn from the world since his wife’s death and has no plans to change, until a friendly family moves in next door and unexpected friendships alter all their lives for the better.

The History of Bees, by Maja Lunde
Pair with: Moscato — floral, sweet with a buzzy fizz.
This spellbinding story is about three generations of beekeepers. The novel moves between William, a biologist in 1852 England inventing a new kind of beehive; George, a beekeeper in 2007 America who is fighting an uphill battle against modern farming; and Tao, who must hand-paint pollen on trees in 2098 China after the bees have all disappeared.

Please Enjoy Your Happiness
by Paul Brinkley-Rogers
Pair with: Merlot, a romantic wine tasting of red fruits with a soft finish.
This is an evocative and romantic memoir in which a Pulitzer Prize–winning war correspondent chronicles his love affair with Kaji Yukiko, a mysterious older Japanese woman he met at the seaport of Yokosuka in the wake of World War II.

Me Talk Pretty One Day, by David Sedaris
Pair with: Sauvignon Blanc — crisp, elegant and somewhat acidic, matching Sedaris’ sense of humor.
In this book of essays, Sedaris explores the oddities of his own family, his list of deal breakers for potential boyfriends, and the trials of learning French from a teacher who told him that “every day spent with you is like having a cesarean section.”

The Daughter of Time, by Josephine Tey
Pair with: Cabernet Sauvignon for a bold, stately drink to put you in the mood for a royal mystery.
Inspector Alan Grant is trapped in his hospital bed without a mystery to solve. So, naturally, he invents a mystery. He starts with a portrait of Richard III and uncovers an elaborate, royal cover-up years in the making — all without leaving bed. A great read for any history buff or puzzle lover.

Letter to My Daughter, by Maya Angelou
Pair with: Riesling sweet and unassuming, this wine opens up as you sip, just like the story.
Part guidebook, memoir and poetry, this is a beautiful tribute to the daughter she never had. Angelou sees this daughter in all she does, and in writing this, she reveals how her life has meaning.

For more recommendations of books that pair well with wine, see these suggestions by Natalie MacLean, one of America’s leading wine writers:

Classic Pairings

  • Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronte (California chardonnay)
  • The Scarlet Letter, by Nathaniel Hawthorne (pinot noir)
  • War and Peace, by Leo Tolstoy (vintage port)
  • Wuthering Heights, by Emily Bronte (British sparkling wine)
  • A Tale of Two Cities, by Charles Dickens (New Zealand or Oregon pinot noir)
  • Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen (Chilean chardonnay)
  • The Grapes of Wrath, by John Steinbeck (California zinfandel)
  • The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald (Washington merlot)
  • The Good Earth, by Pearl S. Buck (New York riesling)

Contemporary Pairings

  • Memoirs of a Geisha, by Arthur Golden (sake)
  • The Da Vinci Code, by Dan Brown (Italian chianti)
  • Eats, Shoots and Leaves, by Lynne Truss (New Zealand sauvignon blanc)
  • The World Is Flat, by Thomas L. Friedman (Spanish Rioja)
  • The Glass Castle, by Jeannette Walls (Canadian riesling)
  • The Year of Magical Thinking, by Joan Didion (South African sauvignon blanc)

As you search for wines to enhance your reading, consider exploring local wineries such as James River Cellars, Black Heath Meadery and Garden Grove Brewing. They’re all 20-30 minutes away from Lakewood an independent retirement community in Richmond.

Lakewood is inspired, independent living in Richmond the way you envision. You can learn more about what that means by exploring Retirement Living in Richmond at our community. Or simply give us a call today.