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Books and drinks to enjoy in the cold

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Winter is coming back to St. Olaf. Some of the trees have already lost their leaves and there is a definite chill in the air. It’s time to break out all things hygge, from your favorite oversized sweater to your collection of dorm-approved, electric candles. In my mind, no cozy day in is complete without a good book and a hot drink, so I have put together a list of some book and drink pairings to get you through the semester.

Book: “The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes” by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Drink: Lapsong Souchong

Lapsong Souchong is a black tea that is dried over pinewood fires. This drying process gives the tea a unique smoky flavor. I paired the tea with “The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes” because the tea is rumored to be Sherlock’s favorite.

There is no place in the canon that directly states this, although this particular tea is referenced several times. This drink likely gained its reputation because it can taste a bit like smoking a pipe, which is an activity the great detective so famously enjoys.

If you have never read any Sherlock Holmes, this book is a great place to start since it is a compilation of shorter tales to give a sense of the style before jumping into a full novel. The stories are stand alone, so you can jump around as you go.

Book: “Six of Crows” by Leigh Bardugo

Drink: Black Coffee

“Six of Crows” is one of my favorite books of all time. It follows members of the Dregs, an ambitious street gang from the city of Ketterdam as they attempt to carry out a heist that will make them rich beyond their wildest dreams.

One of my favorite things about this story is its incredible world building. The author, Leigh Bardugo, develops a complex magic system and fantastical geography based on recognizable locations in our world. From the chilly, winding canals of Ketterdam – which is very clearly modelled on Amsterdam – to the impenetrable ice fortress in a land with a distinctly Scandinavian feel, this story is begging for you to drink something hot while you’re reading to, well, the dregs. I’m recommending coffee – black, like the crow that serves as the gang’s sigil.

Book: “Artemis” by Andy Weir

Drink: Hot cocoa with one big marshmallow

“Artemis” is another heist novel, but instead of being set in a fantasy world, this one is set on the moon. The story follows Jazz Bashara, a down-on-her-luck, petty smuggler trying to get by through bringing contraband into her lunar colony, Artemis, and delivering it to her often very wealthy clients.

Everything changes when she is offered a job too lucrative to turn down and finds herself in the middle of a conspiracy for control of Artemis itself.

If you are into audiobooks, Rosario Dawson gives a great performance that really captures Jazz’s snarky, wry voice.

My drink for this is hot cocoa (preferably made with dark chocolate) and one big marshmallow. At the risk of stating the obvious, this drink was inspired from the lunar setting against the backdrop of outer space.

Book: “The Hobbit” by JRR Tolkien

Tea: Sleepy Time

Sleepy Time, or some equivalent herbal tea is what I imagine hobbits drink. It’s mellow and relaxing, like walking barefoot through the Shire on a warm summer day – definitely something you’d want to be drinking when it’s snowing and subzero outside.

“The Hobbit” is nostalgic for me since I first heard it when my parents read it to me as a bedtime story. If you’ve never read it, I highly recommend it. The book is very different from the movies, so don’t use those as a basis for comparison. The adventure aspect also makes it great escapist reading for when you are cooped up inside all day.