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The Blend

Books that pair perfectly with a glass of Avaline

  • Linda Gonzalez
  • Mar, 22 2021

For International Womxn’s Month we spoke with Melissa Sonico, a Filipino American creative writing and composition professor and a short fiction writer, living in Southern California with her husband and two little ones. 

To continue the celebration of International Womxn’s Month, we asked Melissa to list some of her favorite books…

“I’m recommending all books written by womxn, of varied races; most short fiction, some essay collections, and a couple novels. All written for anybody trying to figure it all out (but who probably never will, and that’s okay!). And all pair perfectly with a glass or two—or three—of wine.”


Melissa Sonico sitting on a picnic blanket outside while reading a book with a bottle and glass of Avaline laying next to her.
A glass and bottle of Avaline White next to a pear and book

Women in Their Beds by Gina Berriault

“Berriault is chronically under-read but I think, especially now, her stories would be so well-received. Her writing is both quiet and brutal and worthy of repeat reads.”

Writers and Lovers by Lily King

“Smartly crafted sentences, and there’s so much relatable here (even if you’re not a writer). It made me reminisce about being in the MFA broke and working retail and dating men I shouldn’t be dating.”

How Should a Person Be by Sheila Heti

“The first book I read of Heti’s was Motherhood which blew me away, and this one is just as funny, risky, and resonates with me.”

Intimations by Zadie Smith

“You can’t go wrong with anything by Zadie Smith, especially White Teeth, but Intimations is her latest book of quick essays touching on the pandemic experience, which I think is a nice sort of catharsis at the moment.”

Taking Care by Joy Williams

“She’s so good at strange but effective language in her stories, making them both rooted in the physical and also internally conscious. These—like the Berriault stories—focus on womxn trying to, essentially, take care.”


Melissa Sonico laying in bed, reading a book with a bottle and glass of Avaline Red in the background
Close up of a bed with a bottle and glass of Avaline Red sitting on a nightstand

Some additional recommendations from Melissa:

Everything That Rises Must Converge by Flannery OConnor

Like Life by Lorrie Moore

Meander Spiral Explode by Jane Alison

Severance by Ling Ma

The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender


A glass of Avaline Red sitting on a stack of books

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