Steeped in Books and Tea 7.31.2020

I’m back this week to give you a recap of my week in books and tea. How is it the last day of July already?


One of my favorite teas this week come from Brooklyn Tea. I ordered 3 teas from them in mid June. I took a chance and ordered Hojicha, a roasted green tea I’ve heard about but never tried. Many have raved about this one particularly because of its roasted and nutty flavor, recommend as a tea latte. I cold brewed over night and made my own iced hojicha latte for the win. I added a little hazelnut creamer and it was fantastic.

Pouring Iced Hojicha Latte

Books I finished

Self-Made, Inspired by the Life of Madam C.J. Walker (formerly titled On Her Own Ground) has been on my radar since I read Black Fortunes: The Story of the First Six African Americans who Survived Slavery and Became Millionaires. I was particularly interested in a couple things.

Self-Made Inspired by the Life of Madam C.J. Walker ​
Self-Made Inspired by the Life of Madam C.J. Walker

“I am not merely satisfied and making money for myself, for I am endeavoring to provide employment for hundreds of the women of my race.”

Self-Made, Inspired by the Life of Madam C.J. Walker, A’Lelia Bundles

Walker is well known and celebrated as a pioneer in the Black Hair Industry but there was another woman named Annie Malone who also left a mark. I’d never heard about Malone until I read a book called Black Fortunes: The Story of the First Six African Americans Who Survived Slavery and Became Millionaires.

I wanted to see what I’d find out in Self-Made about their relationship, did Walker take Malone’s hair formula and repurpose it as her own? I also learned about Walker’s relationship with Booker T. Washington and was surprised by the seemingly dismissive tone he had towards Walker, when she approached him about marketing her products.

More on this book later.

In Memorial Drive, A Daughter’s Memoir, Natasha Tretheway shares the story of her mother, murdered by her former stepfather when the author was nineteen years old. The range of emotions while reading (+ listening author narrates) for what Trethewey has carried with her for so long. Seeing her during a virtual book event discussing the book and seeing her shed tears. All of which make it difficult for me to say anything then and now as my own tears flow…

Memorial Drive   A Daughter's Memoir
Memorial Drive: A Daughter’s Memoir

“Perhaps this division is a metaphor [sleep paralysis] for the way I’ve lived all these years: the conscious mind struggling to move on, but the body resistant. The mind forgetting, the body retaining the memory of trauma in its cells.”

Memorial Drive: A Daughter’s Memoir

Reviews for both books coming soon. I would recommend both books but before reading Self-Made, I’d also recommend picking up Black Fortunes.

Any of these books on your radar? What great books did you read this week or this month?

Published by booksbythecup

Lover of good books and tea

7 thoughts on “Steeped in Books and Tea 7.31.2020

  1. A’Lelia Bundles was supposed to come to my library this spring, but COVID cancelled the event! I did watch the Madam CJ Walker limited series on Netflix. I didn’t love how it kept having modern segments/dream segments because they took me out of the setting and made me extremely aware that I was watching actors. I was also peeved when I learned about Walker and Malone’s relationship. They were both horrible to each other, in my opinion, based on the show.


    1. I’ve been tying to find virtual events to make up for the book events canceled due to COVID. I posted some initial thoughts on the book (while I was still reading) and Bundles left a comment about the book vs the series and the historical inaccuracies. I have lots of thoughts about the Malone/Walker relationship but will keep them to myself until you read this (that is if you are planning to read it?)


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: