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Tea & Books - What are you reading?

1239 Replies

I’m on a mystery kick so I just finished a cheesy chef based mystery, a Laura Lippman, a REALLY good mystery that I found out is a SERIES yay! and now I’m reading a British novel called “The Death List” Haha.

gmathis said

What’s the title of the chef book? Culinary mysteries actually got me hooked on the “cozy” mystery genre.

The one I read was called “simmer down” but it was part of a longer series. it was cute but wasn’t a THRILLER mystery like the one I’m reading now with threats and entrails! HAha

gmathis said

You can have the entrails with my blessing :) I’ll take my mystries “cute—” tea and crumpets and quirky characters and only mild allusions to corpses.

Haha you will like the simmer down one then ;) by Jessica conant park and Susan conant

gmathis said

Ah…familiar with the name(s). Susan Conant, I think, did a series that had a dog-trainer/lover sleuth in it.

Serenity said

I enjoyed the Susan Conant dog books about a trainer named Holly Winter and her beloved malamutes, but my favorite dog mystery series so far as been the books by Carol Lea Benjamin. I can’t say they are in the cozy genre though as they have a kind of dark side, but I really liked that. What does that say about me? ;) But, I’m with gmathis, I really can’t tolerate violence, either in books or tv or movies…heck in real life, too! The Chihuahua of the Baskervilles by Esri Allbritten was a very humorous and light mystery for any little dog lovers out there.

gmathis said

Goofy culinary mysteries — the catering series by Diane Mott Davison is uniformly good, and don’t really need to be read in order.

There is also a cozy tea series of mysteries, I believe, maybe?

gmathis said

Yes, by Laura Childs. The first half of the series is OK, but the latter ones aren’t as good. I read them mostly for the tea descriptions, but in the last one I plowed through, there wasn’t even much of that :(

Lariel select said

There is also the Hannah Swensen Mysteries by Joanne Fluke. It’s like food porn with a mystery in it. At least, that’s what the latest ones seem like, the earlier ones are better.

Haha food porn ;)

gmathis said

It’s sad when a promising series starts to tank; writers love ongoing contracts, but sometimes it’s hard to be creative on schedule.

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Alphakitty said

I am on a fluffy historical fiction kick, currently reading The Other Boleyn Girl. Next up, The Heretic Queen!

Just MJ said

The Other Boleyn Girl is next on my list… I love that kind of reading.

gmathis said

Haven’t read a historical novel in way too long…may have to add these to the watch list. My mom started me on Jean Plaidy novels when I was old enough to graduate from Trixie Belden and asserted that you learn more history from a well-researched novel than you do out of a textbook. I still believe her.

Alphakitty said

I agree! There’s so much detail about the period in a well-researched book, and even the fluffier ones do give you a sense of immersion that no textbook or class could convey.

Josie Jade said

I love all books by Philipa Gregory! I read The Other Boleyn Girl when it first came out years ago and it got me hooked on historical novels! That’s pretty much all I read now.

Serenity said

Not that I only read novels to escape, but there is something so refreshing about historical fiction: you really do get to lose yourself in the past, and get away from current day to day things such as media and technology…well, until we come on Steepster to post about it, but, well, of course! I follow a blog called Peeking Between the Pages, and the writer loves historical fiction and often writes about books in that genre, but if you have any favorites in historical fiction, let me know, because I think I need to start wish list. I’ve read a few novels lately that took place in current time, and I felt a little exhausted by each one; too much like real life, know what I mean? :)

Cavocorax said

Serenity – have you read much Bernard Cornwell? I love his books. I was wary of reading historical fiction because history class is associated with memorizing names and dates and dry accounts, but his books made me interested. I started with a few of the Sharpe novels, then I devoured his Arthur trilogy and now I’m totally engrossed in the Saxon stories. These books are so carefully researched, and the characters so interesting; he always tells you what was historical and what was fiction at the end as well.

Serenity said

Thank you, C.! Will put on my library queue!

gmathis said

I’m a bit of a stickler about profanity (OK, I’m an old fuddy-duddy) so with regrets, I set “The Archer’s Tale” by Cornwell aside. The story itself was promising, except for the language. Are any of his any milder? Recommendations?

JasonCT said

Have you read WOLF HALL by Hillary Mantell?

gmathis said

Just looked at Wolf Hall on Amazon. I believe a used bookstore run needs to be in my future…

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TeaLover58 said

Just started reading Broken Open by Elizabeth Lesser today…a book that’s been on my shelf for several years, and I am just now getting to it.

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THE GOOD EARTH

One of the greatest Chinese books with tea scattered throughout the pages. Also, enjoy Mo Yan who just won the pulitzer this year

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Kamyria said

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien…. I’m just in love with Middle Earth :)

Lariel select said

I just read that last month. Still a great story.

I’ve been itching to get back to some Tolkien ever since I saw The Hobbit at the theater. What a genius that man was.

I read this to my kids (ages 9 and 12) a few months ago. I loved watching them go from barely being interested to begging me to keep reading.

Serenity said

@ Veronica, oh, isn’t that wonderful!
@ Kamyria, I should re-read it as well, such a marvelous tale!

I’d like to re-read the Hobbit…again…

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Holy Cannoli! I finished Pride and Prejudice (which is celebrating it’s bicentennial this year) and thought I’d give Dickens another try as he was another classic English author I was not so fond of. I picked up Great Expectations (one of the few books I had to fake my way through in high school as I simply found it too dull to read) and now I can’t put it down! The characters are so much richer and more complex now that I’m an adult! I love this! Now I have to go back to read all the books that defeated me back in high school! House of Seven Gables and Silas Marner, here I come!

I’m feeling terribly nostalgic at the moment. Why didn’t I appreciate my pre-adult days when I had them! Alas! Who was it that said, “Youth is wasted on the young”?

gmathis said

I think it’s the “want to” factor instead of the “have to” factor. Great Expectations was the one Dickens I enjoyed even back in freshman lit class.

You all are inspiring me to tackle P & P soon.

Maybe so gmathis, but there were numerous times where I tried to pick up Austen and failed. It was only recently that I finally conquered my first Austen novel and enjoyed it. On the other hand, I’ve always loved Oscar Wilde and Mark Twain and so on. You can’t always love everything you read, but thankfully, tastes change and now there’s a whole new world of literature open to me.

Let me know what you think of Pride and Prejudice when you get to it. :)

Claire said

I’m actually taking a single author seminar this semester on Jane Austen, we’ll be tackling 7 of her books. I’m already a fan so I’m looking forward to it!
What makes Austen interesting, to me, is her choice of subject. Who else could pull off a novel about small goings on in little village towns? No major villains, no heroes, no violence.

Cavocorax said

Claire – that sounds like it would be a lot of fun! I imagine if I had taken that I’d be better at defending her books to my bf (who is interested in Napoleon warfare amongst other things), and hates that her books have such isolated settings with no mention (barely) of the war, or the decline of nobility or other big issues at the time. :p

Claire said

Cacovorax – I would tell him that Austen was tackling a huge issue – feminism! Many of her characters (such as Elizabeth Bennett) are strong and self-sufficient women, interested in creating their own destinies. That was not the norm for the 1800s.

gmathis said

Mh, Mark Twain is just lovable on general principles, isn’t he? His short stories “Adam’s Diary” and “Eve’s Diary” are particular favorites.

Serenity said

@ Cavocorax, has he read Persuasion by Jane Austen? She does touch more on those issues in that book, but I understand his point. She described her writing as being on a very small piece of ivory. She was such a marvelous writer.

The bicentennial for P&P is this week, actually! I was already planning on reading this one this year and had no idea it was 200 years old. It will be within the next couple of books! I also really loved Great Expectations. I’m guessing my school had LOW expectations, since the only Dickens we read was A Christmas Carol. No Austen or really any other bigger books, other than Shakespeare which was ridiculous considering every other book was such a low reading level.

teawing said

I recently read Great Expectations myself and I would heartily recommend
The 1946 film adaptation. Very close to the book and free on YouTube.

Cavocorax said

Claire and Serenity: thanks for the tips!

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Lazey said

I’ve been reading “The Picture of Dorian Gray” by Oscar Wilde. I’ve been meaning to read it for years but since I’ve been drinking so much Dorian Grey tea I figured it’s high time I read it. It’s pretty interesting. I’ll have to try to see the movie when I finish.

I read it last summer and loved it. Lord Henry made me laugh more than once just because he’s so over the top.

Lazey said

Heh, Lord Henry was terrible.

Just finished it, great book.

This is one I’ve wanted to read for a long time. I’d also like to try the Dorian Grey tea one of these days.

Lazey said

It’s a pretty quick read for a classic.

Dorian Grey tea is pretty good, I’ve tried the Metropolitan Tea blend but there are several different versions out there http://lazeysdailycup.blogspot.com/2012/12/dorian-grey.html I want to try Sympathy for the Kettle’s Dorian Grey.

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gmathis said

Mentioned it parenthetically in a tea post…a book called “The Almond Tree” by Michelle Cohen Corasanti. It was an author giveaway from librarything.com and has grabbed my attention since the early chapters. A young Palestinian refugee, mid-1950’s, his family has been ripped apart by the Israeli occupation and at 12 he finds himself head of the family. Hat-tip to the author for interesting me enough to Google historical detail to understand the setting better.

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Ecclamw said

One of my favorite periods in time is the events leading up to and the American Revolution so I am reading Rise to Rebellion by Jeff Shaara.

gmathis said

I loved R to R and the next one … Our Glorious Cause? (It’s been a while.)

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I’m reading Walden by Henry David Thoreau. I started it a couple of years ago but set it aside. This time I’m enjoying it much, much more.

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