We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie with Peppermint Tea

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is one of my favorite authors and I love to hear her speak. When I watched the video of her speech at TEDxEuston, I knew that I needed to get a copy of the speech. We Should All Be Feminists is a modified version of that speech from 2012. Each word is moving and honest. When I read I often look for lines that are particularly moving or important, this entire piece is full of moving or important bits.

Everyone should read this because everyone should truly be a feminist. Adichie lays out this point in a way that is impossible to ignore. She also focuses on the need to change out culture, our society, our attitudes more than just our laws. I love the focus on raising not just our daughters but out sons differently.

Peppermint tea was my perfect compliment. The honest straight forward taste of the tea matches the honesty of the text. Allow yourself to be challenged by Adichie.


Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany, & Jack Thorne with Irish Breakfast Tea

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany, & Jack Thorne has taken me awhile to finally decide to read. Harry Potter is deeply important to me as it fostered a deep and constant love of reading. I grew up with the characters and fell deeply in love with their stories. I feared that this new addition would change my characters or change their stories after an ending that I was satisfied or at least had made peace with overtime. Eventually, curiosity and the need to finish their stories made me succumb to the pressure to read  The Cursed Child.

In honesty, my reaction is one of relief. I think I probably need to read it again to draw a true opinion. I am just relieved to find that my characters are as I expected them and their stories generally unchanged. So, if you are a Harry Potter fan, and like me afraid of what this might do to your beloved fictional friends, fear not and enjoy Harry Potter and The Cursed Child.

I liked Irish Breakfast tea with a splash of creamer and sugar as a companion to The Cursed Child.  In all honesty, I barely noticed my tea as I tore through the book in a few short hours. Plays are almost always quick to read and The Cursed Child is not an exception. Welcome back to the Harry Potter universe even if the stop is brief.

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens with Basilur’s Frosty Afternoon Tea

Charles Dickens is an author who people sometimes put off reading expecting the language to be difficult or confusing. Some readers are slow to read ‘the classics’ in fear that it will be too much of a struggle to read. Listen to me now – read Dickens. Charles Dickens is easy to understand, witty, and generally a very enjoyable read. I love reading A Christmas Carol at Christmas time as it embodies the spirit of the season and makes it feel like Christmas time.

A Christmas Carol has been adapted time and time again but nothing beats the original. Dikens paints vivid images, creates unforgettable characters, surprises with wit, and generally entertains the reader. I recommend A Christmas Carol to anyone interested in a first reading of Dickens or simply looking for a good Christmastime read.

Basilur’s Frosty Afternoon tea is my favorite Christmas tea, therefore it is my recommended companion to my favorite Christmas reading. Frosty Afternoon conjures feelings of winter and since my Christmas’ are southern, it is my only connection to the blistery winter described in A Christmas Carol. So cuddle up, sip some tea, and enjoy a Charles Dickens Christmas classic.

Angelo by Luis J. Fagan with Chai Tea

Angelo is interesting and I enjoyed reading. I think I liked it. Yes, I think I liked it. I am honestly not certain. The characters are fairly well-rounded and relatable, the plotline is intriguing, the air of magic or mystery is truly enjoyable, and yet I’m not sure that I liked it. The ending for me was just not quite right. I’m not sure what wasn’t right, but something was just off for me.

My recommendation is to read it and see how the ending works for you. I really enjoyed the narrator as it is unlike any other narrator I have ever experienced in a book. Honest yet possibly untrustworthy, conversational and yet separate. Angelo is truly an interesting read, unlike anything I have ever read.

I liked chai tea while reading as it reflects a little bit of the mystery and magic that the story holds. I prefer my chai tea with a splash of almond milk to make it cozy. I can’t accurately describe Angelo, so I apologize for this rambling review.




Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide by Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn with Ginger Tea

Half the Sky is a book that made me cry, a book that I had to take short breaks from just to process, and a book that confirmed for me my passion for women’s rights. Kristof and WuDunna are respected journalists who provide the hard facts and the honest stories of the oppression of women worldwide. Half the Sky opened my eyes to the scope of the issue and to the overall lack of response throughout the world. I knew that these things were happening and that very little was being done to intervene but having the numbers and the personal stories was life changing.

Kristof and WuDunn also address the issues of the aid that is given to women. They examine what has worked, what isn’t working, and what can be done to be more effective. I love that a major aspect of this book is a call to action for the readers. Often when faced with the vastness of an issue like women’s rights one can feel overwhelmed and unsure of how to be of assistance. Kristof and WuDunn lay out actions that anyone can do and encourage becoming more involved. They urge the reader to not be a bystander to the atrocity in the world.

I found ginger tea to be the perfect companion to Half the Sky. Ginger tea is calming and settles an upset stomach. The information in this book is difficult (but necessary) to read and ginger tea is a comforting companion.

Please take the time to read Half the Sky. Please don’t turn a blind eye to women’s rights – to human rights.


Beowulf with Thistle Tea

Beowulf is a piece of literature that I somehow had never managed to read. As an individual with a degree in English Lit. it seemed inappropriate that I had never taken the time to read what is considered the oldest surviving epic poem written in Old English. In all honesty, I was not overly excited to read Beowulf. It was more a feeling of obligation that made me pick up this thin book.

I was, however, pleasantly surprised by Beowulf. The story moves quickly with enjoyable details that bring the setting and characters to life. Beowulf is a stereotypical protagonist and plays the hero perfectly. I had been worried that the text might be difficult to follow, but I found the only tricky areas were that the same character would be referenced in a variety of ways. Generally speaking, the text was easy to follow and enjoyable to read. It is an undisputed important work of English Lit and I recommend that anyone interested in English Literature take the time to read Beowulf.

I chose to drink thistle tea while reading because I found the earthy nature to fit well with both the story line and the Old English text. I prefer thistle tea with honey or agave nectar over other sweeteners. Thistle tea with honey combines into a sweet but grounded flavor that pairs well with Beowulf.