Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Books to Read While Sipping Tea

I am a huge fan of reading Agatha Christie and Sir Conan Doyle while enjoying my tea these days, but there are a lot of books from more contemporary authors that also compliment a good cup of tea! So here's a list of suggestions to enjoy while sipping your tea.

1. Laura Childs's Tea Shop Mystery series. 
I love this series. Seriously. The main character Theodosia is lovely, and I really enjoy Drayton, the shop's tea genius, and his dry humor. I've jumped around a lot in the series because it's rare that I happen to pick them up in order, but that actually hasn't really affected my reading. You can pick up any of these books and read it as a stand-alone, if you prefer. I do recommend the entire series though, so you can catch some of the smaller connecting details!
What's really great about these books is that they include recipes and tea party how-tos at the end. Perfect for someone who wants to throw a tea party after reading one of these!

2. Meet Me at the Cupcake Cafe 
I picked this book up in the Heathrow airport last summer when I was coming back from my England trip. I had just run out of books to read, and the idea of spending a seven (or nine) hour flight without anything to read was terrible. This book caught my eye; and, boy, am I glad it did! Like the Tea Shop Mystery series, this book includes recipes. What's different, though, is that most chapters begin with the recipes as opposed to all of the recipes being at the end of the book. These recipes are written to the main character, Issy, from her grandfather. The recipes are written in a very engaging style because they are part of the correspondence between her and her grandfather, and they are really enjoyable with their little quips and stories.
After being laid off at her job by her boyfriend, Issy decides to return to her roots and open a cafe using the recipes taught to her by her baker grandfather. Of course, starting a business is never easy, and Issy has to deal with competing offers on the perfect space, a manipulative ex, and the mind-fogging attentions of the dreamy bank officer.
I've actually read this book two or three times now, and I love it every time. I give it five out of five stars. And I would even throw in one of Issy's cupcakes. I'm still dying to try half of the recipes!

3. The Forgotten Garden
Okay, so technically this book has nothing to do with tea. But I don't care. And neither will you, if you enjoy mysteries and fairy tales! This book does a wonderful job of combining the two. Honestly, it's one of my very favorite books of all time. It's a very haunting work, and Kate Morton does a wonderful job telling the story of a woman trying to uncover her family's history and the story of a woman who would do anything for her best friend, even if it means giving up part of herself in the process.

4. Soulless
If you like your books with a little more Victorian Fantasy and a lot more sass, I highly recommend this series. I've only managed to find the first one so far, but I am hooked. This heroine is very inspiring! Though she isn't appealing to many of the men in "good society" because of her late Italian father and her disinterest in social events, I was drawn to her as a reader. Her status as "soulless" makes her even less desirable as a marriage candidate; and, when she accidentally kills a vampire who attacks her, life gets even more complicated as Lord Maccon, a very eligible bachelor and werewolf, comes in to investigate. A hot cup of tea is soothing when you delve into the more intense scenes.

5. The Jane Austen Book Club
Okay, so we all know that the perfect drink while reading Jane Austen is tea. But what do you drink when you're reading about people reading about Jane Austen? Stronger tea, if you're reading that sentence. Really, though, this is a really enjoyable book to read! I happen to love books about book clubs, and this is a good one. Five women and one man get together with the mission of reading all of Jane Austen's books within six months, and they learn more than expected about life in and outside of the pages.
It can be a little trippy reading a book about people reading books, but you will be fine! Just don't watch the movie about people reading the books while reading the book about people reading books.

*These books are in no particular order

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