My week in books and tea 3.31.19

Spring is underway with beautiful blossoming trees and singing birds. All wonderful with the exception of the pollen haze which is terrible for allergy sufferers. Staying in doors with a good book and tea are ways to minimize exposure to the allergens. But when friends come in town, you play games, enjoy lots of laughs and of course, good food.

What I finished reading this week

The Trial of Lizzie Borden by Cara Robertson this nonfiction book revolves around the trial of Lizzie Borden, accused of brutally murdering her father and stepmother with an ax. This book felt a bit clinical at times but overall an interesting lesson in trial proceedings over 120 years ago. Thank you Simon Books for the free review book.

“What a wonderful web of obscurity the legal mind can contrive to weave over the simplest matters!”

The Double Comfort Safari Club by Alexander McCall Smith – I’m making good progress with this series especially as I now have the option to pick them up on audio at my library. Mma Ramotswe and Mma Makutsi feel like old friends of mine at this point, so when Mma Makutsi’s fiancรฉ, Phuti, is involved in an accident and his aunt tries to keep them apart, help comes in from another female character in the series.

Mma Ramotswe has a case of tracking someone down but also an indirect case of sorts when a friend ask her to find out if her husband is having an affair. Get a cup of bush tea (rooibos) or if you fancy regular tea, like Mma Makutsi and find out what happens.

The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides – this thriller was another audiobook I picked up from my library because the premise sounded like a nice departure from my current reads. Alicia is a famous artist who murdered her husband and hasn’t spoken since that time. The parallel story is from Theo, a criminal psychotherapist, who takes a job at the institution Alicia is being kept at. He has his own complicated childhood like Alicia. Theo grew up with an abusive father, so it seems he and Alicia will be break ground with this common denominator. But that’s not it. Theo still sees his own therapist as his life begins to unravel and in this, lies the key or connection between him and Alicia, The Silent Patient. As the story unfolds, when she final speaks, I’m shocked by what she reveals and how Theo and Alicia’s stories collide.

Cane by Jean Toomer – this book is nothing like what I expected. Toomer presents a vignette style mixture of poetry, short stories, and play-like diagolue, that at times is very beautiful and yet brutally honest. These stories are slices of African American life in the Southern US, with a brief intermission in the North, before returning to the South. One reason I decided to read this was because I wanted to read African American writers from the Harlem Renaissance Era. Thank you Penguin Classics for the free book.

“Like her face, the whole countryside seemed to flow into her eyes. Flowed into them with the soft listless cadence of Georgia’s South.

What I have been drinking

โ˜• The Cup: Pear | ๐Ÿƒ Tea Type: Green | โœ‰ From: SensibiliTEAs by way of a friend

As the weather warms, I believe this tea will be perfect as a cold brew or an iced tea. With just a bit of a pear this green tea has a nice, refreshing flavor.

โ˜• The Cup: Formosa Bai Hao | ๐Ÿƒ Tea Type: Oolong | From: Field to Cup

This oolong gave me an excuse to use my gaiwan for gongfu style steeping, but the steep in this picture was in my tea pot, poured into the gaiwan for the sake of the picture. This oolong delivers a floral note but I couldn’t pick up on the muscatel flavors on the first steep. If at first you don’t succeed, steep, steep again! Please note- The link to Field to Cup is an affiliate link. I will earn a small commission if you use it to place an order.

March Reads

Going forward, I’ll share a monthly update of how my reading aligns with my reading goals in the last weekly post of the month. I’m happy with this month in relation to my goals; 2 classics, 2 nonfiction, 1 fiction, 3 mystery/suspense, and 3 historical fiction. Half were from my shelves, one of which, has been waiting on the shelf for a few years. I’m still working on reading more of my older books so maybe I should create a mind map to organize and prioritize.

It’s also been a productive month on the blog. Book discussions and reviews, weekend shenanigans, along with more ‘by the cup’ segments, and a tour of a fun used bookstore.

๐Ÿ“– Roots by Alex Haley – Discussions Week 5| Week 6
๐Ÿ“– The Autobiography of an Ex-Coloured Man by James Weldon Johnson

By the Cup (Tea Time)
โ˜•๏ธBattle of the Hazelnut Teas
โ˜•๏ธMy Week in Books and Tea Week 1| Week 2 |Week 3

Weekend Shenanigans

When friends come in town for a visit, you want to take them somewhere they really want to go, which easily includes a restaurant of their choosing. This week we enjoyed some great food at Pappadeux. I enjoyed this delicious Pan-grilled Tilapia with toasted hazelnuts and brown butter sauce, with spaghetti squash.

April Plans

I have a few books to finish I’m carrying over from March–The Island of Sea Women and A Mountain of Crumbs.

The Tea Challenge – I still need to decide on which teas I’m going to start with. I received a great suggestion from Sandra @ A Corner of Cornwall to start with teas I have the smallest quantity of to give me a greater sense of accomplishment throughout the month. I like that idea along with finishing the time sensitive teas. Any other suggestions? Check out the challenge post and tell me what you think. I’ll share any teas I finish in the weekly wrap up!

The Enchanted April by Elizabeth von Arnim  – a spring read for spring! I’m excited to read this one after enjoying Elizabeth and her German Garden last year.


Published by booksbythecup

Lover of good books and tea

15 thoughts on “My week in books and tea 3.31.19

    1. Thank you! I still have to get back to my short story and poetry goals but I think April is National Poetry Month in the US so that is good to know at the beginning of the month. I have a few collections I can start with.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve had a chance to read a few chapters in The Enchanted April and I think we are in for a good one.

      You must spend some time with Mma Ramotswe, I feel like she comes into my life at the perfect time. My goal is to catch up to the current book in the series. I’ve taken to reading the series with a few cups of bush tea and sometimes something else just for Mma Makutsi. I know the books don’t have to be read in order but I am excited about the next one!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I also like Sandra’s suggestion for drinking tea that you have the least of. I wrote a post about having “homework” goals for reading that you can check off daily. Lots of people scoffed at my idea, but feeling a sense of accomplishment really feeds into positive mental health.

    I really love the fun, lighthearted tone of this post, Shell. I think your blog posts are getting better and better all the time!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I did my tea homework yesterday on the mind map to plan the teas based on Sandra’s suggestion. I remember your homework post and I think you are right about purposeful positivity!

      ๐Ÿ˜Š Is this the blushing emoji! Because I’m doing that but also smiling happily because
      1) I’ve been trying a conversational approach & the wrap ups have allowed me to do that
      2) I’ve received some encouragement from you and others which has been especially helpful


      1. It IS the blushing, smiling emoji! I’m so glad you’re having a nice time blogging and been welcomed into the community. New bloggers often find they have a hard time locating a community!

        Liked by 1 person

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