My week in books and tea 6.23.19

Why don’t I just stop already and finish some books! I’m trying, believe me. I’d hoped to finish 2 books this weekend, but when family comes to visit, you are asked to put your books away (temporarily) lest they be wrestled from your hands (I see that as impossible so I’ve hidden them in my purse in case I have to run off and read in a corner when no one’s looking). So while the books are down (hidden in random places), I introduced my aunt and cousin to some teas of their choosing served happily from my tea nook/bar/station. They know how to nudge me away from one passion to the other. 😉


What I finished reading

Outer Order, Inner Calm was a book I decided to pick up sooner rather then later after winning a copy in a giveaway. Gretchen Rubin offers some realistic and practical advice on how we can approach decluttering, or simply getting rid of things that are going to cost us time in the future if we don’t examine why we accept freebies we don’t really need. What happens, those things sometimes get stuffed in a junk drawer somewhere and we will spend time dealing with it later. Could we perhaps say no and save ourselves that time and effort?

After a couple hours with this book, I created a mind map (on paper) of some areas of my home I can take a power hour approach to tackle. I started with my book shelves but plan to tackle my closet next.

The Saturday Big Tent Wedding Party was my feel good read. I needed time with my friends Mma Ramotswe and Mma Makutsi; Mma Makutsi got married! The long time apprentice mechanic Charlie appears to have gotten himself into another predicament, this time involving twin children.

Convenience Store Woman was a short and candid surprise. Can a 36 year old woman who has been working at a convenience store for the past 18 years be ‘normal’? But really, what’s your definition of normal and if you don’t fit society’s standard of normal, how will you be viewed by others? Keiko as the convenience store woman was convenient food for thought, while conveniently fitting into my audiobook experience this month (say yes to library holds).

Black Beauty is a book I missed during my childhood. How? Probably because I had my head stuck in one of many Beverly Cleary books. Learning about Black Beauty’s life places emphasis on how we shouldn’t mistreat others, even animals. I especially enjoyed my favorite narrator, Ralph Cosham, doing what he does best, making a story come to life. I will listen him narrate a phone book. Had to add another audiobook in because it’s audiobook month!


What I’m reading

I’m about halfway through 4 books; The Wayward Bus, My Ántonia, The Stationery Shop, and White Like Her: My Family’s Story of Race and Racial Passing. Gail Lukasik, PhD relates her journey of discovering her mother’s racial background, her mother’s decision to pass, or cross the color line during the time of racial segregation and discrimination. Lukasik’s mother asked her to keep this a secret until after her death. I read Nella Larsen’s, Passing, and James Weldon Johnson’s, The Autobiography of an Ex-Coloured Man, so I’m always interested to discover what influences a person’s decision to cross the color line.


Steep of the week: lessons learned

This week has been all about the cold brew, paired with a book or 2 or 3…well books.

☕️ The Cup: Caribe | 🍃 Tea Type: Green & Black | ✉ From: Harney and Sons

I’ve underestimated this tea. My initial impression of this tea was dismissive. In my tea journal, I noted it had a fruity flavor, maybe guava based on the description. With just enough tea left, I tossed this in the fridge and when it was ready, I thought what a difference a steep makes, a cold brew that is. This tea wins steep of the week.

Lesson: If at first you don’t succeed, steep again.


☕️ The Cup: Pineapple Earl Grey aka Aloha Blend| 🍃 Tea Type: Black | ✉ From: Plum Deluxe

Thanks to Plum Deluxe for sending me a free sample of their tea to review. Since June is Earl Grey month at Plum Deluxe, they shared this blend of Earl Grey with tropical flavors. With most black teas, I jump in steep first, steeping for the max time on the packaging, for this one 5 minutes.

The first steep wasn’t for me as I found the pineapple and bergamot competing for attention. Second steep at 3 minutes was much better, the bergamot wasn’t as prominent but there was a hint of pineapple. Much better! I’ll have to try it as a cold brew and report back.

Lesson: Steep again, a little less.


I have some buddy reads scheduled but since this has gotten a wee bit long, I’ll share them in another post.

ICYMI: Seasons by the Book Q&A with Martha Hall Kelly, author of Lilac Girls

4 thoughts on “My week in books and tea 6.23.19

  1. Grab the Lapels says:

    “maybe guava based…”

    “pineapple and bergamot competing…”

    What is this thing happening to your taste buds that is SUPER not happening to mine?! I mean, I’m more like “that was spicy” only to discover there is nothing considered even remotely hot in the dish (the Buffalo Wild Winds garlic Parmesan wing sauce comes to mind).

    Also, I’m glad to read that you listened to the audio book of Convenience Store Woman like I did. Maybe you can add something insightful to my review, because that book made me so kerfuzzled about other readers.

    Liked by 1 person

    • booksbythecup says:

      I try to make notes on what I taste because that will help me figure out if I’d reorder the tea. I don’t know much guava since I’ve only had it in one other tea but both time I think I liked it best cold. 😉

      Bergamot is classic early grey so easy to recognize. I still learning to identity (or try) in my tea. I want to take some tea classes one day.

      Comments left on Convenience Store Woman. I thought it was a satire that was very surprised me in a good way

      Liked by 1 person

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