Grown Ups

Book Club Comrades – Continuing Virtual Book Discussions with Added Adventures – “Deep & Twisty” Series

January 27, 2022 | Perseverance

Shorter days, chilly weather, and spooky Halloween spiritS set the scene for suspenseful stories this Fall…

The beginning of autumn is always inevitable; but we faced it head on, while having some reading fun! For this blind Book Tasting batch, we tackled various “Deep & Twisty” suspense books and embarked on a new virtual book adventure too.

Unsettled Ground by Claire Fuller was a “tale of sacrifice and hope, of homelessness and hardship, of love and survival, in which two marginalized and remarkable people uncover long-held family secrets and, in their own way, repair, recover, and begin againso you can imagine how deep our Book Club discussions were this first round…

After settling into the storyline, we enjoyed a virtual tea tasting with our book clubbers, since the story takes place in rural England (and many of the characters drink tea regularly). Talk about a perfect event pairing!

Julie, a very talented tea specialist from TeaLula, not only led the tasting and shared many interesting facts about the history and process of making and brewing hot looseleaf tea, but also curated a special collection of rich teas that complimented the story and it’s warm relationships. How she squeezed all of it into our one-hour Zoom event with grace is beyond us – it was amazing!

We’re excited to start carrying a few of Tealula’s unique, high-quality blends in our shop this year to pair with our favorite reads… Check ’em out here!

Of course we couldn’t have an autumn series without feel-good foods, so before our Zoom book discussions for two of our other stories, we were lucky enough to have Jessica (our favorite culinary expert) teach two different virtual cooking classes. Each class spotlighted a recipe that complimented each unique plot.

What else is a must-have for cooler weather? Spiced drinks!

On a crisp afternoon we hosted our fourth and final Book Tasting event, hosted on the beautiful backyard patio by one of our generous book clubbers, and indulged in a fun cocktail class to compliment Local Woman Missing by Mary Kubica.

Our knowledgable barista Shelby demonstrated how to make a few festive hot and chilled cocktails and mocktails that paired perfectly with the spine-chilling story, and even enlightened the group on the unique history of martinis!

After the sun set, we discussed the chilling thriller around a cozy campfire.

We’ve gotta admit, our backs to a dark forest really made the moment for an intense read, but the standing heaters and twinkle lights added just enough warmth to end the night with JOY as everyone treated themselves to goodies from our pop-up shop.

With Halloween right around the corner, candy from Amy’s Candy Bar, Apple Cider candles from Edgewater Candles, and looseleaf tea blends from TeaLula were the most coveted of the bunch.

Stay tuned for our next Blind Book Tasting flight feature, “Sip & Savor”, which highlights a handful of books that include collections of short stories or essays. What a great opportunity to squeeze in some much-needed relaxation during the busy holidays or a wonderful way to begin a New Year reading goal!


If you missed our 500 Followers Giveaway on Instagram and Facebook this Fall/Winter, we featured Unsettled Ground in one of our Pairing Packages too! One lucky winner chose from one of four curated collections of prizes that featured items from a few of our favorite small businesses / local Chicago brands.

To get a glimpse of what our Book Tastings / Pairings are all about without the full commitment to our Book Club, grab one of our Book Pairing Packages from our shop, OR, if you already own the book / want to borrow it from the library, pick up one or all of the paired items individually in the NEW Book Pairing section on our site (links below)!

Unsettled Ground by Claire Fuller

Paired with…

TeaLula Pomegranate Cranberry Tea

Veruca Chocolates Chocolate Bar

MAJAMAS EARTH Polsino Pant in Hope Blooms or Spiced

Edgewater Candles Apple Cider Candle

Mandy G, New Book Joy Founder

NEW BOOK JOY is an affiliate of Bookshop.org and will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. Every order you place through NBJ supports our site and their pool of independent bookstores!


Don’t miss out on NEW BOOK JOY!