Book Club with a Tea Tie-In

322 Replies
Serenity said

This is reminding me of a little girl I knew, growing up, from Russia. Her name was Galina. One evening I was invited to a Russian tea party at her home with her family. Since I loved tea even as a young girl, I was happy to be served tea at the party. Everyone was served tea in glasses. I was thrilled by this difference, since I always drank milky tea in mugs. The tea was black tea, without milk, and sweetened with sugar. I wish I could remember the food served: unfortunately I was a cautious eater back then and did not have a sense of culinary adventure, outside of tea!
I have a book called Tea by Sarina Jacobson. It is about tea being celebrated all over the world. Each chapter discusses tea from a certain country and suggests recipes for a tea party. The chapter Teatime in Russia has some mouthwatering recipes, such as spiced honey cake, blini and chocolate covered strawberries (which is why I searched for a TRoT selection featuring strawberries and chocolate). Since I can’t share the book with you all here, if you’d like to learn about about Russian culture in regards to tea, here’s a link you may enjoy. (And oh, now I want a Samovar! Santa?)
http://www.russian-survey.com/culture-a-customs/43-traditional-russian-tea-party

Josie Jade said

What a fun memory! I’ve always loved stories and history from Russia. I wish we could have a big fancy tea party like that now. :)

I loved the article, lots of fun little facts. Thanks for sharing that!

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I would love to join in on this endeavor

Serenity said

Yay!

Josie Jade said

Hooray! Just message either Serenity or I depending on which type of tea sample that you’d prefer, or if you are using your own Anna Karenina-ish tea, that’s great too! Thanks for participating :)

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Cavocorax said

This is a great idea. Count me in! I’ve never done the book club thing before but I’d love to give this a shot, especially since this is a book I’m interested in. I’ll PM my info.

Also, thank you for being so generous with the samples! :D

Serenity said

Kewl!

Josie Jade said

This is my first book club also :)

Mine too, actually!

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Cavocorax said

Are we trying to switch with this exact edition to make sure we all have the same translation? I haven’t read the book before so I don’t know how much that will make a difference.

Serenity said

Cavocorax, that’s a great question. What are people’s thoughts? My initial response is: read whatever edition you would like. I have ordered two copies, different editions, from my local library and I’ll do a bit of comparing.

Josie Jade said

Hmmm, I didn’t even think about this beforehand. I haven’t read the book before either, so I will probably just stick with the little paperwork edition that I have and hope it follows closely to the original. If anyone sees any major differences please feel free to recommend a specific edition for us to read!

Em said

I was planning to read the free Kindle edition.

Serenity said

Great idea, Em. And for anyone who wants to read it free online:
http://www.literatureproject.com/anna-karenina/index.htm

Josie Jade said

Oh, wow I didn’t even think to look for a free Kindle edition. I have the Kindle app on my phone, so maybe I’ll download the book just in case I have time to read on the go. :)

Em said

I couldn’t help but start reading after I downloaded it. The free Kindle version is a very readable translation!! It is a HUGE book though :) Everyone might want to start now ;)

I am reading the free kindle edition as well:) I have not looked to see how big the book is…right now I am in the middle of the hobbit, so when I finish that I will have to start. Thanks for the head’s up:)

Em said

Ooo, I wanted to reread the Hobbit again too! Are you planning to see the new film when it releases? They are doing a showing of all the LOTR movies at the theater too. I plan to go to ALL :) So excited!

Yes, I do want to see the hobbit movie. My daughter said Walmart had all of the LOTR DVD’s for cheap. I may have to look. I don’t think I could sit through all of that in one sitting.

Serenity said

I admit: I am already thinking ahead to the NEXT book/tea club selections! Note to self: stay in the moment.

Free kindle edition? Yay!
I was also planning to reread the Hobbit, it’s been years since the last time I read it!
And of course, Bilbo Baggins is a tea drinker too, as I recall…

True.

Cavocorax said

I checked with a friend who has read a lot of Russian lit and she says this is a great translation: http://www.amazon.com/Karenina-Oprahs-Russian-Classics-ebook/dp/B0023EFB1O/ref=sr_1_4?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1354069301&sr=1-4&keywords=anna+karenina

Apparently it’s a husband/wife team that did the translation and the wife speaks Russian as a first language. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with the other translations but I’m interested in checking this out (especially if I can find it for a cheaper price – I don’t care about the Oprah edition – I just want those translators.)

Serenity: I’m also excited about the next book too, whatever it is. How do you pick though?

Serenity said

Cavocorax, Miss SweeTea got an email about this pairing, if I’ve got that right? The Republic of Tea has also released tea in conjunction with The Number One Ladies Detective Series, so there’s another pairing to consider! But, I love all kinds of books and I would be happy to consider any suggestions. : )

Josie Jade said

Yes, I did get an email from TRoT about the Anna Karenina blend. They do several different movie or book related teas every year. I find their teas pretty good quality for the majority of them being in teabags. I love reading so I would be happy with any future book/tea pairings. :)

TROT also did a blend to commemorate the Mermoirs of a Geisha. I saw the movie, but never read the book. That tea is no longer available, but was basically a spring cherry sencha type. Just saying.

Josie Jade said

Ohhh, I’ve heard Memoirs of a Geisha is good. And a spring cherry sencha sounds delicious too!

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Jaz said

This sounds wonderful, Im definitely in!

Serenity said

I’m so glad!

Josie Jade said

Great, just send either Serenity or myself a pm about which tea sample you’d like. Or if you have a tea already picked out that pairs well with the book thats fine too. :)

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Check out this Pinterest board!
http://pinterest.com/annakmovie/

Serenity said

Gorgeous!

Josie Jade said

Ohhhh I just got even more excited. I can’t wait to start reading this, just have to make myself finish my current book first

I spent a good amount of time tonight searching for a Russian tea cup. They are Pricey, but I will keep looking!

Josie Jade said

Russian teacup? I’m curious!

Serenity said

Russian tea cup? :: swooning:: In the tea book I mentioned in a previous post, there are lovely photographs of glasses set into decorative, metal holders for Russian tea drinking. They are so pretty! Oh, I wish we could all meet up at Samovar tea house in San Francisco! : )

Josie Jade said

How pretty and very fancy! I love them!

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darby select said

Awesome idea! I had been wanting to order the tea and they had a cyber Monday deal so I’m in too! I also have the kindle edition.

Serenity said

That’s great, darby! Glad you are joining.

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Cavocorax said

I just wanted to update my previous post. I ended up going with the translation by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky instead of going with the free one translated by Constance Garnett because of what I’d heard about the quality of their translation.

Also I found the ebook for $7.50 here if anyone is interested: http://amzn.to/UbcTTv.
If it was more than that I would have just gone with the free book, but I like that this edition also has a list of characters, footnotes, and a prologue to help me out. I tried to read Russian lit before and failed, so anything to help me keep things straight seems like an advantage!

This is definitely a good one for the ereader though. I saw my friend’s trade paperback version and decided I’d rather not carry that around. :D

Serenity said

As someone who has worked as an ASL/English interpreter, I have an absolute fascination with how words (written, spoken, signed) are translated, and the choices the translator(s) make. I look forward to hearing about the differences between editions: how various sentiments are expressed and translated and how that influences the shades of meaning.
Thank you, Cavocorax!

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Serenity said

http://pinterest.com/pin/93801604708933034/

An Anna Karenina inspired tea cozy? Too cute!

Josie Jade said

So cute!

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JasonCT said

Is there a reading schedule?

There are many Russian Caravan teas we could add to the tasting.

As for translations, I’m a great lover of the Constance Garnett translations of Russian lit. While the language is somewhat dated, it’s much more lyric in my opinion.

Serenity said

Hi Jason, yes, to all the Russian Caravans we can possibly taste! Please let us know what teas you enjoy while reading Anna Karenina, and if you’d like samples of either TRoT just let us know.

I am reading the one that has been “edited and Introduced by Leonard J. Kent and Nina Berberova; The Constance Garrett Has Been Revised Throughout by the Editors; The Modern Library, New York; Stated First Modern Library Edition, September, 1965”
In reading the introduction, I was reassured that Garnett’s translation has been kept intact except in the case where she did not fully express Tolstoy’s intent (sounds like she made some things PG that were R rated, because of the time in which she worked). There were some more changes to reflect the Russian-ness of the original, in that Russian names were not anglicized, nor were terms relating to money, and quotes were restored to their original language, such as French, and so on, if I’m remembering correctly.

I am looking forward to hearing about some differences within translations; everyone is encouraged to enjoy whatever edition he or she has.

Let’s all try and complete our reading by January 25th and meet back here for discussion. Meantime, we all can write about what we are reading as we go along, if that strikes our fancy. Penguin has a reading group guide for this book and I thought it may provide a good jumping off point, if anyone is interested in that around Jan. 25th.

Read & sip on, my friends!

JasonCT said

Thanks! How are you enjoying it so far?

Serenity said

I just got Anna Karenina yesterday (Saturday); I had been waiting for it after I requested it at my local library and it finally arrived. I plan to start it tonight. I had to finish The Drowning Girl by Caitlin R. Kiernan (which was aMAZing) first.

Have you started it, or have you read it before?

Cavocorax said

I can’t wait to start. I just have to finish A Game of Thrones first, and hopefully I can move to Anna Karenina before moving back to that series.

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