Celebrate national sandwich day with a book and a bite

Much like Great British Bake Off contestant Tamal, I think about sandwiches quite a lot. And, of course, I spend most of my time marinating on books. So for National Sandwich Day on Nov. 3, I have put together a books and sandwiches pairing that I hope you’ll enjoy.


The Guncle by Steven Rowley: A fun pairing that seems like light summer fare on the outside, but fresh ingredients and ideas takes them beyond an ordinary sandwich and novel.


Next Year in Havana by Chanel Cleeton: The split-time narrative fits perfectly with the presence of the two main ingredients of roasted pork and ham in this sandwich, and the mustard gives it a little kick, just like romance in the book.

Meatball sub

Angels and Demons by Dan Brown: This book takes place in Italy, birthplace of the humble meatball, and is hearty, comforting, and kind of a mess. Plus dads really like both!

French dip

Beartown by Fredrik Backman: You’ll need this sandwich of sliced roast beef served with hot broth to keep you warm while reading this book about a cold village being split in half over a tragedy.


Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead by by Olga Tokarczuk: This is an immensely satisfying sandwich and read, with a little extra depth from the sauerkraut and the fairy tale elements.

Fried shrimp po-boy

The Wife Upstairs by Rachel Hawkins: There are many twists on both the classic shrimp po-boy and Jane Eyre, but it’s hard to go wrong with either of these.

BEC (bacon egg and cheese)

Seven Days in June by Tia Williams: Deliciously messy and hot, I’ll go back to both again and again and never get sick of them. Plus, the bagel and the buried trauma gives the reader a little something extra to chew on.

Grilled cheese

The Book of Delights by Ross Gay: When you just need something to soothe your soul, both of these are perfect fits.

Tuna melt

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald: Both the book and the sandwich are incredibly polarizing classics that people either love or hate.


The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street by Karina Yan Glaser: Children will love the fun antics, and adults will enjoy the heartwarming family and the feeling of being a kid again. Best enjoyed with a glass of milk.

Bánh mì

The Mountains Sing by ​​Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai: Both the book and the sandwich incorporate years of rich history and have bright, intriguing flavors and storylines.

Sloppy Joe

Crownchasers by Rebecca Coffindaffer: Alyssa (the book’s protagonist), is the best but can be a little (or a lot) messy. Regardless, this is one of those books and one of those meals that I’ll be in the mood for whenever someone brings them up in conversation

Philly cheesesteak

Long Bright River by Liz Moore: An intriguing and heavy book and sandwich that has an underlying warmth — you’ll get lost in both.


The Ones Who Don’t Say They Love You: Stories by Maurice Carlos Ruffin: A quintessential New Orleans writer for a quintessential NOLA sandwich. The many flavors marinate together in the sandwich to create a masterpiece, just like the many stories in the book.

Croque monsieur

The Paris Library by Janet Skeslien Charles: This book has been described as a love letter to Paris, and I feel like you could say the same thing about this sandwich.


The Keeper of Lost Causes by Jussi Adler-Olsen: These Danish open-faced sandwiches are classically prepared on dark, heavy bread, and this police procedural set in Denmark is also dark and heavy.

Cucumber sandwiches

The Alice Network by Kate Quinn: I can picture myself in a London tea room enthralled in this WWII novel and snacking on a cool cucumber sandwich.

Katsu sando

Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro: The sandwich and the book seem simple and even delicate from the outside, but once you get into them, you’ll find that they’re both more than they first appear.

Club sandwich

Nothing To See Here by Wilson: It may seem like there are too many elements in this book or sandwich, but once you read it and once you try it, you’ll find that they all fit perfectly together.

Hot chicken

The Bromance Book Club by Lyssa Kay Adams: A spicy romance and sandwich both found in Nashville — yes please!

Jambon Beurre

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr: There’s so much soul in the story of people fighting to survive WWII and in this sandwich of crusty bread, butter and thinly shaved ham.