Coffee in books

Previously I wrote about coffee in movies. But coffee is a popular beverage that is often mentioned also in books. It can serve many different purposes in literature, from adding realism to a scene to symbolizing something deeper.

Book and coffee picture

Here are a few examples of how coffee is used in books:

  1. The Coffee Trader” by David Liss: This historical novel is set in 17th-century Amsterdam and follows the story of a Jewish coffee trader named Miguel Lienzo. Coffee plays a central role in the book. It was a relatively new commodity in Europe at the time and was highly prized.
  2. The Coffeehouse Mysteries” by Cleo Coyle: This cozy mystery series is set in a New York City coffeehouse. It features amateur sleuth Clare Cosi, who solves crimes while running the coffeehouse. Coffee is a major part of the series, with each book featuring a different coffee-themed recipe.
  3. The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald: In this classic novel, coffee is used as a symbol of the differences between the old money elite and the nouveau riche. The old money crowd drinks tea, while the nouveau riche drink coffee. It was seen as a more vulgar and common beverage at the time.
  4. The Unbearable Lightness of Being” by Milan Kundera: In this philosophical novel, coffee is used as a metaphor for the transience of life. The characters are often depicted drinking coffee, which represents the fleeting moments of happiness and pleasure that they experience.
  5. The Coffee House” by Joel Gersmann: This novel follows the story of a group of friends who gather regularly at a coffeehouse in New York City. Coffee is a constant presence throughout the book. It is serving as a symbol of the warmth and comfort that the friends find in each other’s company.
  6. The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle” by Haruki Murakami: In this surreal novel, the protagonist spends much of his time drinking coffee while contemplating his life and the strange events that are unfolding around him.
  7. The Unbearable Lightness of Being” by Milan Kundera: Coffee serves as a recurring motif in this philosophical novel, symbolizing the fleeting nature of pleasure and the transience of life.
  8. Coffee Will Make You Black” by April Sinclair: This coming-of-age novel is set in the 1960s and follows a young black girl as she grows up in Chicago. Coffee is a recurring motif throughout the book. It is symbolizing both the protagonist’s growing independence and her increasing awareness of the racial inequalities around her.
  9. The Sun Also Rises” by Ernest Hemingway: The characters in this classic novel are often seen drinking coffee, especially during the mornings after their wild nights in Paris.
  10. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” by Douglas Adams: In this comedic science fiction novel, the characters rely on a substance called “Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster,” which contains coffee and is said to be the “best drink in existence.”

These are just a few examples of books where drinking coffee is important. In many cases, coffee serves as a symbol of comfort, routine, and community. In others it is a key part of the setting or plot. You may also be interested about article about coffee in movies.

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