Tea & Books - What are you reading?

1944 Replies
Just Me said

Started reading Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen but it’s not doing much for me. I might just set it down for a while and read a Hermann Hesse book I picked up recently (“Peter Camenzind”).

Herman Hesse is great! We read his Siddhartha in my philosophy class.

Just Me said

Yeah I liked that one too. :) I’ve only read that, Demian and a collection of short stories, so I’m looking forward to getting into more of his work.

Bonnie said

I read Siddhartha when I was 15 in 1963 and had no idea it was about Buddah!
(I just read it on my own along with Tennessee Williams and Eugene O’neil)

Hehes! I’ve read a lot of Tennessee Williams and Eugene O’Neill lately. Wonderful American playwrights :)

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erik_s said

I haven’t been reading much lately due to a small baby that keeps me pretty busy, but I thought I would suggest a great book called “The Empire of Tea” by Alan and Iris MacFarlane. It’s an amazing account of how tea changed history.

Ooh I have to add this one to my reading list!

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mortava said

I just finished reading Let’s Pretend This Never Happened (a Mostly True Memoir) by Jenny Lawson (aka The Bloggess) – now I’m back into the Chronicle of Amber series by Roger Zelazny as well as American Gods by Neil Gaiman.

I loved American Gods — especially the part about the House on the Rock. Keep in mind that is a REAL place. I wish I could go.

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At my husbands request I’m trying to read American Gods by Neil Gaiman again. It might not be my read. But we’ll see. I’m also in the middle of Blood Orange Brewing by Laura Childs. I enjoy her Tea Shop books.

Spot52 select said

I read that HBO is using this book for a series on their channel.

Though American Gods is supposed to be Gaiman’s magnum opus, I think Stardust is his greatest novel. It’s like a fairy tale/romance/thriller all mixed into one. The movie version doesn’t do the book any justice.

I also loved Gaiman’s ‘Neverwhere’. Though the plot was a bit cookie cutter, I love the characters — both heroes and villains. Oh wait, that is Richard Mayhew sipping a cup as my picture thingy.

I liked The Graveyard Book by Gaiman. Still have to pick back up with American Gods. BUT now my husband wants my help with some contest. So I “have” to read Ready Player One…oh darn!

Lynxiebrat said

Neverwhere is the only full length book ogf Gaiman’s that I’ve been able to get thru. (Tried quite a few times with American Gods…sniffle) I enjoyed it but have had no urge to read it again. (I tend to read books over and over…saves me $$.) I also read the story Coraline, which I enjoyed immensely. Neverwhere was fairly predictable, but still an interesting perspective.

Psyck said

I enjoyed the movie Coraline, I haven’t read any of his books or comics I think, except for Good Omens that he wrote with Terry Pratchett.

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Great thread- I am savoring Borges with my sheng pu’er. This thread reminds me of an ongoing project. I have seen tea and food pairings, but how about tea and book, or tea and music pairings? I am working on a basic list to put up on my blog.

As an aside, I just finished Tea Horse Road by Freeman and Ahmed. Definitely worth looking at if you love pu’er culture.

Bonnie said

Will look that book up! I have discussed tea and movie pairings which is fun WITH food pairing in a small group of friends. Foreign films, classics, mysteries and so on.
I want to have The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel viewing and serve curry …and serve my favorite Chai’s!

JasonCT said

I couldn’t agree more David (I’m a former professional classical musician and have enjoyed a lot of tea with a lot of music) – maybe I’m taking the easy way out, but I’m enough of a geek to say that all books go with tea!

Absolutely- All books do go with tea, the fun part is figuring out which teas will best create the mindset appropriate to each book. My mother is an oil painter, so she has also given me the mindset of appreciating visual art with tea. Any way to bridge aesthetic experiences happening in different senses is worthwhile. Interesting sense synergies can occur. Jason, do you find that some tea makes more sense with some music than other teas?

JasonCT said

David – I absolutely could see certain teas going with certain types of music. Especially in the classical realm. Dark and smokey teas, think Mahler, Rachmaninoff, Brahms – Bright/sweeter/lighter teas think baroque Vivaldi, Handel, or Mozart, etc.
Tea would be a great way to introduce new senses into the already sensory experience of music!

Lynxiebrat said

The rare times I want to listen to classical, I usually pick Baroque…as for tea…hmm depends on the time of day, what I’m doing. (Cleaning-something with a kick, caffeine and spice…like a chai. Writing-light caffeine..since I often write at night. uncomplicated and not distracting. So nothing that I havn’t tried before.

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Judge me ALL you want, but I just finished the 50 Shades of Gray trilogy (and I LOVED every second of it!) I am an English major, AND an English teacher, so I know all about good books, but sometimes some good old fashioned smut is just needed in between intellectual reads :) I would highly recommend the trilogy, though (just NOT to my students!!!!!!!) I’m moving onto Sarah Silverman’s “Bedwetter” next, which was given to me by a friend who LOVED it. I can’t read anything TOO intellectual right now, as all my reading is done out in the 90* sun on puppy duty, as one puppy has parvo but the other doesn’t so they have to be separated at all times (for only 1 more week now, whew!)

Let me modify that- the puppy with parvo does NOT stay in the 90* sun all day, she just has to use the bathroom on the penned off side yard, as we have to bleach anywhere she uses the bathroom because it can stay parvo-contagious for up to 7 years in the soil. So I take her out for puppy duty and she lays in the shade and chews on her toys (or my book) while I am not small enough to fit in the fence shade! The other puppy uses the front yard for right now to use the bathroom.

I did not know that about Parvo!

Oh I’ve learned more than I ever wanted to learn about Parvo from this experience…

So I went to the pound because there was two puppies abandoned on the bike path and it’s not a fluffy no-kill shelter, it’s a straight animal control facility where they’ll euthanize them if they’re not adopted. So I brought two sister puppies home the following afternoon after they were spayed. ALL NIGHT, Lexi was throwing up and having awful, bloody diarrhea. Took her to vet ASAP next morning and she had parvo, but MIRACULOUSLY, Dobyns did not have it (which is SO surprising because in 1oz of poop, there is 35,000 times the contagious amount of parvo virus!

SO, 15 hours after I picked them up from getting spayed, Lexi costs me $650 and spends almost a week at the vet getting parvo IV treatment. Then when I pick her up, I find out that I can’t have puppies together AT ALL for 2-3 weeks. I ask how I am supposed to keep two PUPPIES apart (furthermore, it’s contagious in fabric for 6 months, so puppy has to stay only on hard surfaces that can be bleached). I ended up blocking off the entryway of my brand new house (just moved in June 10th) to keep Lexi and Dobyns stays in the loft for the most part (where I am all day). So to take Lexi out, I have to: Change into Lexi clothes, take her through the front door through the gate and into the backyard fenced off portion, bleach wherever she goes, take her back in, bleach my shoes, shower, and change back into Dobyns clothes… Oh 3-5 times a day. I’m so sick of showering!!! Luckily Lexi is 2.5 weeks past parvo sickness and vet said she should be fine. So puppies get SUPERVISED play time, but that’s it. Still showering in between touching puppy poop/pen. I got a HUGE bleach burn on my foot, though, from not diluting the bleach enough, so I stopped bleaching. SUCH A HASSLE! All I wanted was a relaxing summer. This is what I get for letting my boyfriend talk me into getting 2 puppies! I wanted an older dog!!!!

That sounds like a horrible way to spend the day! :(

MadelineAlyce, it sucks that you’re going through this right now. I’m sure the puppies love and appreciate you for it! Perhaps two puppies at once is a bit overwhelming to start with though. I have two doggies myself, but we got them several months apart. I cannot imagine having to watch out for two untrained pups at the same time. And two puppies teething at the same time too!

But you saved two lives! One day, Karma will reward you. Some might say the loving puppies themselves are the reward. :) What kind of pups are they?

Madeline, how exhausted you must be. I’d never heard of this disease. We got a new dog from the shelter last month, so I know about puppy duty. Ours seems so clingy, which I kind of like, but we worry about separation anxiety when we have to go back to full-time work (we’re college teachers).

Thank you so much for your devotion to these furry babies:)
I have rescued animals for years now and currently have 3 rescue kitties and 3 rescue puppies.
Your puppies will thank you for the rest of their lives for your care for them!

You are truely a special person to not only adopt rescue pups but to lovingly and correctly take care of the little sick one. Thank you.

Thank you all for your kind words! It’s been an interesting battle but I just think of how the pound would have put them both down without a moment’s hesitation (especially being sick) and it makes me nauseated to think about! They are “terriers” is what the pound said, but we think they are Jack Russell and Chihuahua. They are about 7-9 pounds now. My boyfriend wanted a dog to go jogging with… Oops, shouldn’t have sent me to the pound alone then! When my friends/family found out Lexi had parvo after having her such a short time they all told me to just take her back to the pound. I was like there is NO way I could have done that!!!

So, here we are, 4 weeks later and Lexi is almost free from Parvo prison! Which is good, because she’s going stir crazy in isolation! Final vet visit this Friday then she’s home free! She’s going to love being able to get the run of the house with her sister! :)

Also, Looseleaves, we worry about the same thing… I’m home now because it’s summer vacation, but they’ll be alone when I go back to work next month… But at least they will have each other! (Which was kinda the plan to begin with, hence the double doggy duty!!!)

Kally Tea said

Yes, we have to agree… Hat’s off to you and your steadfast care of the puppies.
Quick story…
We adopted a second dog to be a “friend” to our Shih Tzu (also a stray, who wondered up to our 5 acre property some years ago). She is a VERY sedentary dog. So when we were adopting the new one, we asked what they thought his mix was and they said, “Oh, a terrier mix we guess” so we thought, Oh, OK… and after we had him home for a day or two, we discovered exactly what kind of terrier he has to be.. “Jack Russel”!!
What a holy terror for that first year! We had one that eats and sleeps alllllll the time and another that bounced off the walls! We had to work so hard at keeping him under control. So your boyfriend will have a real fun time jogging with the Jack.
But we hated it too, when people said “Why don’t you take him back to the pound?” Yeah, right. We are so glad we didn’t as he is the most wonderful loving pet we have ever had. And they do get along OK, but she really doesn’t do much with him. Just think that someday you will look back at this and will really cherish the bond you have created with the puppies. They really do know what you’ve done for them!

Haha oh dear. We already had to switch from a pen to a crate because miss escape artist climbed out of her pen (luckily it was right when other puppy came home so we used it for her and apparently she’s not as bright… Now we’re trying to find a gate tall enough and wide enough to hold them in our (all tile) entryway for work purposes….

P.s. their names are “Dobyns Shimano” and “Lexicon Judy”. Free tea samples for the first person who correctly identifies the meaning behind both names ;)

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I too have completed Fifty Shades of Grey & am now onto Fifty Shades Darker. I can hardly wait to get home from work to continue it! SQUEAL

I finished all but 50 pages of the third one yesterday and finished the rest on puppy duty today! I am thoroughly disgusted that it’s a direct result of Twilight, because I despise Twilight, but I love Ana and Christian!

I won’t watch or read Twilight. But so far head over heels for this trilogy. There’s is so much more to it than the sex aspect which seems some critics can’t get past.

Uniquity said

I’ve gotta say, I have a hard time seeing Twilight in those books. It does explain why I hate Ana though. : ) I still think they’re terribly badly written and lacking in story but I’ll be reading the third this weekend.

I too have read all three. I am not ashamed to say I liked them. For me they were a nice break between the other books I’m reading this summer like American Gods and the Game of Thrones books.

I gotta say, I enjoyed all three books as well while I was reading them. But I didn’t like Ana’s character either. Christian, on the other hand, I liked. The entire series felt rather more like a draft than a finished product though. If I were the publisher, James would have had a ton more homework to do before I agreed to publish the series.

Ah well, I suppose some things are more compelling than polished writing and consistent characters. :) After all, I read them all even on the subway where I constantly looked over my shoulder to make sure no one knew what I was reading. Anticipation wouldn’t let me wait until I got home. haha

Agreed if Anna’s “inner goddess” got up off her lounge chair one more time… Christian on the other hand was more thought out. I also would not have published this one either as I think more editing could have been done. But I bought it didn’t I? It was a fun read and an escape from my usual choice of books.

Uniquity said

I was under the impression taht it was self-published, at least initially? Editing was a definite concern, though as you say – I read them anyway! For me, it was the “Katherine Kavanaugh inquisition” and repetition phrases that makes me crazy. You can tell that she LOVES the names she picked out for characters because she uses the full names at least once a chapter. : )

At first I liked Ana for her quirky tea habit, but then I got to know her inner personalities. I couldn’t help but wish I could meet her just so that I could show her better teas. If she likes her English Breakfast light and black, it’s probably because she doesn’t actually like the flavor of bagged tea to start with. Perhaps some quality looseleaf…

I was thinking the same thing about her tea drinking!!

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Kally Tea said

This is a great thread!
Guess I’m a big fantasy buff, just don’t have time to read as much as I would like. So have reverted to audio books. Luv Em’!
“Read” through 3 Game of Thrones series, had to get away for a while… recently finished all of the Dresden Files. Which has to be up in my favorites. All while drinking my Earl Grey or Ceylon Lover’s Leap.

Uniquity said

My Grammy has been devouring audio books for the past year or so. She gets 3 “romances” (:D) a week from the CNIB and frequently stays up late to finish them. It’s so lovely – and so smutty!

JasonCT said

Have to throw my hat into the ring for audiobook love! I’ve been fortunate to work with a lot narrators and some of the large audio publishing houses as I used to review professionally for AudioFile magazine.
Audiobooks are a great way to add more ‘read’ books to your total.

Helena said

The Dresden files are pretty good. I haven’t read Ghost Story yet. It’s on my to read list. I miss the tv series…

Kally Tea said

I’ve read Ghost story when it came out. Can’t say much as to spoil anything, but it was not my favorite, but I bet it’s a lead-in to the continuing saga. So in that case, it should be read. Maybe wait until the next one comes out and do a marathon two-book read… just a thought.

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Helena said

I’m currently re-reading Patricia Briggs novels. I’m on Hunting Ground now and am almost finished. She’s my most re-read author. I’m using a kobo touch but I used to have a kindle. I switched becuase it was a bit cheaper and my mom was kindle hexed. Drinking Pumpkin Chai by David’s tea while reading :D

Uniquity said

What sort of things does she write? I love an author that writes well enough to enjoy again and again. For me, Jasper Fforde is my big re-read. I just read all his books again this spring and loved every minute of it. There are certain books that I try to read at least once every few years too, like The Princess Bride and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

I like her Mercy Thompson series.

Helena said

She writes urban fantasy mostly but does other fantasy type novels as well. Her most popular is the Mercedes Thompson novels (six of them) and this is a spinoff called the Alpha and Omega series. I’m now on the newest Fair Game and am enjoying it alot! :D I’ve read all of the Mercedes Thompson novels as well :D If you like her you can also try Kim Harrison and Kelley Armstrong they are also very good.

Others that you might like that are similar but not as well known are the Anna Strong series by Jeanne C. Stein; and the Jane Yellowrock series by Faith Hunter. Another series I have heard is good but I haven’t personally read is the Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews.

Helena said

I’ve heard of the Jane Yellowrock but haven’t tried it yet. I’ve also heard of the Kate Daniels series but again haven’t gotten around to it. Anna Strong however is new to me and I’ll add it to my list of things to try :D I love this thread for book lovers <3

Vanyahiril said

I absolutely love Briggs! And Harrison comes in at a very close second. I think one of the two is due for a new release soon. (Briggs?)

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JasonCT said

I finish Dostoevsky’s NOTES FROM THE UNDERGROUND last night. God I love Russian lit. Something about the punch in the gut it can give while describing the human condition so eloquently.

Listening to MADAM BOVARY by Flaubert and THE WOMAN IN WHITE by Wilkie Collins right now.

I think my next read is going to be THE THREE CHRISTS OF YPSILANTI.

Uniquity said

Oh, The Woman in White, yay!

JasonCT said

Yeah – it’s been on my “to read” list for a while, and AudioGo is offering as a free download this week so I saw it as a sign :)

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