This week is about books of mass distraction. Many of the books I read this week are not from my monthly TBR, but I’m completely OK with that. I’ll tell you why soon….
What I finished reading
The Moorland Cottage by Elizabeth Gaskell was a perfect book to snuggle up with this rainy weekend. I couldn’t help but feel such an overwhelming longing for our main character, young Maggie, to be happy. Her brother and mother have treated her as poorly, as the person who should cater to their every whim. They’ve never nurtured her or treated her with any real love and affection. They’re very self-absorbed. Why the mother dotes on Edward I can’t understand. He’s selfish. As they grow up, Maggie recognizes this about her brother, but when her chance for true love is potentially damaged by her brother’s greedy ambition, what will she do? Gaskell proves again why she’s a favorite author of mine. Her ability to pull you into the hearts of her characters and leave me in a state of unexpected surprise in the end. Oh Maggie!
I also remember reading somewhere, The Moorland Cottage was a precursor for George Eliot’s The Mill on the Floss. Maybe I should read it soon. Or maybe I should read another novella from Gaskell.
What I’m reading
The Count of Monte Cristo is quickly coming to a conclusion, I’m 17 chapters from the finish. I picked it up early this week and got to a point where I just had to know what happened, so I kept reading. The way Dumas builds tension and suspense with this portion of the book, unraveling connections and mysteries, was splendid. When Caderousse shows up again, then again! Very climactic. When Caderousse finds out who the Abbè really is…!!!!! The character who continues to surprise me over and over is Noirtier, Villefort’s father. I am sure I’ve cheered for him every time he does something!
Wunderland by Jennifer Cody Episten is a historical fiction book I won recently in a giveaway with 2 bookish friends, who also won a copy, we decided– buddy read. Set in alternating time periods, Isle and Renate in 1933 Berlin, best friends, until Renata learns about her Jewish ancestry. Isle is drawn into the Hitler Youth movement, abandoning her friend in view of being a good German. The second story line, in 1989, is about Isle’s daughter, Ava, in and their fractured relationship. Things are getting interesting.
If You Want to Make God Laugh by Bianca Marais is a highly anticipated read for me! After reading and enjoying Marais’ debut novel, Hum if You Don’t Know the Words last year, I couldn’t have been more thrilled to win an early copy in a giveaway from the publisher (Putnam Books). I decided to read a few chapters and that turned into a few more chapters. Three women—Zodwa, Delilah and Ruth—have drawn me into post-apartheid South Africa in 1994 and I’m having a hard time leaving them.
The Stationery Shop by Marjan Kamali is an early review copy (available in the US on June 18) from the publisher (Gallery Books) that has drew me in based on the cover and the title. The writing between the pages has been beautiful. We begin the story with seventy-seven year old Roya. Her husband Walter, is taking her to an assisted living facility to meet Bahman, the person she loved in her youth but somehow disappeared. What separated them in their youth? I’m in the process of finding out. The setting young Roya and Bahman meet, a stationery shop in Iran, 1953 has me mesmerized.
What I have been drinking
☕️ The Cup: Kukicha | 🍃 Tea Type: Green-ish | ✉ From: Zhi Tea
I received a sample of this tea from a friend during a tea swap. It’s categorized as a green tea, but comes from toasted twigs and branches from the camellia sinesis plant, where all true teas come from (white, green, oolong, black). It’s brews a nice brown color and is smooth like a milk oolong, with a wonderful roasted chestnut flavor. A delicious tea to enjoy as I switched from book to book (those mentioned above) on a rainy afternoon.
In the Works
Reviews: OMG or should that be OMTea! I have several reviews in draft but need some finalizing and proofreading. Others need to be written. Life has been especially busy and if I’m honest, sometimes all I feel like doing after work is just relaxing with stacks of books and tea. I went to bed very early one evening because I just didn’t have the energy to do much else.
Tea: As the temperatures start to soar higher, I’d like to start a summer tea series. I have a few ideas but would like to know what sort of things you’d like to see in a summer tea post. Please let me know.
You had a look at my makeshift tea bar in my tea challenge post, so you know there’s a lot of tea. Which means there’s a lot of teaware, pots, cups, etc, all over the place. So I have exciting news I can’t wait to share about the tea nook I’ve been dreaming about creating. It may have a direct bearing on why I’ve been reading so many books not in my TBR this week! Maybe a sneak peek? SOON!
Buddy Reads: The Wayward Bus and My Àntonia are both from my growing collection of Penguin Classics, to read this month for buddy reads. I’ve been a fan of John Steinbeck since reading East of Eden several years ago and I’ve never read Willa Cather, so I’m starting with My Àntonia!
So tell me, am I trying to tell you too much in my weekly wrap up? I feel like I’m having a conversation with you guys so let me know. Some weeks there’s more books than tea, more tea than books, with some weekend shenanigans from time time time. A lot of thoughts floating in my head, which translate into a branch on one of my mind maps.