Along with the heat and humidity of summer comes downtime to enjoy my favorite activity of reading. My favorite books happen to be mysteries, especially cozy ones; although any beautiful book cover can peak my interest. One cannot just sit and read a book without some refreshment, right? My preference is tea, making that iced tea during these hot humid Pennsylvania summers. Keeping with the quote that . . . what keeps you warm can also keep you cool.
My passion for tea has also enhanced my love of books and this summer has not been any different except we have also been involved in a major downsizing project. No matter what the required activities I still find time to indulge in my favorite past times — books and tea.
Here were some of my 2017 summertime favorites:
What She Ate (Laura Shapiro) — probably should be titled “What She Didn’t Eat!” The six fabulous women chosen by the author were Dorothy Wordsworth, Rosa Lewis, Eleanor Roosevelt, Eva Braun, Barbara Pym, and Helen Gurley Brown. Not exactly women known as epicures during their life times. Although interesting and accomplished women in their own rights only Rosa Lewis had culinary interests. Dorothy Wordsworth, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Eva Braun’s eating choices were centered on pleasing or penalizing the major male-type person in their life. Barbara Pym’s major interest in food was research based — mainly what people were eating and discussing during meals.
Although it may not sound like I enjoyed this book, I truly did but then I am a foodie in disguise as a tea enthusiast. I have always thought that of all the people in history I would enjoy having afternoon tea with — it would be Eleanor Roosevelt. Now I am thinking that her words would certainly be enlightening but, even if she even had the time, would she truly enjoy the presentation and extreme deliciousness offered.
Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane (Lisa See) — Definitely my favorite summer read of 2016. In fact, I enjoyed it so much that I read it twice and now own it in both ebook and audible formats. You cannot claim to be a “tea person” (even if in disguise) and not read this book. The book is a detailed story about a Mother and Daughter that have been separated by circumstances. Their lives and destinies are shaped by their families involvement in and with tea. One is evolving into modern Chinese life while the other is searching for her origins and the role tea may have played.
The story line details the involvement of tea, specifically Pu’erh tea, in each woman’s search for life’s unanswered questions.
While the above two books were great, I also discovered several authors that are now listed among my “go to authors” when searching for a new read. For a easy fun read I have found H.Y. Hanna’s Oxford Tearoom Mysteries to be entertaining. Of course, anything with a tea connection is a must read for me. The protagonist is a strong, independent woman who has returned home to fulfill a dream - - - owning and operating a tearoom — although, the mystery of murder dose seem to be part of the new business. I have read the first two and will happily read the third soon.
And last, but never less, Beatrix Williams’s trilogy about the Schuyler sisters. I was unaware that I was starting a trilogy until I was half way through my second Beatrix Williams book — Along the Infinite Sea. My first Beatrix Williams book was — The Secret Life of Violet Grant. The books parallel two story lines in two different time periods. The excitement of each book was discovering each woman’s secret and their connection.
Now that I have shared my summertime readings with you, add a comment on what books you have read during your Summer downtime.
Wishing you delicious tea and exciting books,
The Tea And Hat Lady