Tag Archives: Thursday Tea

Thursday (Without) Tea: A Room With a View

I still love the idea of Thursday Tea, so I have been thinking that if I cannot get an actual bookish post written, I might just settle for an update of sorts through this format. Until I arrived back home from work today and realised that there is one problem: The water boiler I use for tea has been moved to the new house already, and here, in this apartment with only the bare essentials (and all the books in boxes) left, I cannot drink any tea anymore!

So instead, I give you: a thursday without tea.

Fortunately, I have been reading in between packing and preparing for a paper presentation (Seriously, WHY did I figure it was a good idea to attempt to write a paper for a conference in between pregnancy and moving, even if the conference theme is perfect?!)

These past few days, I have been reading A Room with a View by E.M. Forster. Another one of those classics that has lingered on my shelves for years and years and years. I never knew quite what to expect of it, but then I read the back cover while packing and decided that I simply must give it a go.

And it is turning out to be rather lovely! The writing is wonderful. The plot might seem predictable, but it is executed very nicely. And I love the themed critique of the power of what imagery of women can do to curtail women from being individuals and instead constantly aiming to live up to an image that society imposes. I also like how it shows that this imagery harms both women ánd men, because both struggle to look beyond it to the person behind the facade that is expected at every turn. The image of the room, used in discourse between Lucy and Cecil as a metaphor for this kind of relationship and between Lucy and George for what might be found beyond societal expectations: it’s simple, but it really spoke to me.

Conclusion: I am enjoying my time with this book very much. Even if I have to read it with plain water instead of tea.

Thursday Tea: Slow Reading

thursdaytea-newThe books (or: which titles I have not been reading):  Remember when last week I posted how I had finished my first book for Long-Awaited Reads Month in under a day, and how I could not wait to get started on my next two booksThe Brides of Rollrock Island and The House of Mirth? Well.. I was excited, and I have been enjoying both books (although Lanagan’s more, but that doesn’t surprise me). The thing is.. working life started again, with social events keeping me up until late at night each evening so far this week. I was lucky to find 15 minutes to read each day, which really, feels like too little. Luckily, I have tonight off, and have been reading for *gasp* over an hour! I really miss being home and settling down with myself for a while and getting lost in a different world.

Anyway. This past week was eventful. I got my eyes checked and it turns out I am in desperate need of new glasses. Just as I was trying to find a new frame (have I mentioned that I hate the part where you have to decide on a frame that you will be wearing every day for the upcoming two years. Finding clothes I feel comfortable in is hard enough and you only have to wear those once in a while), the whole city centre lost its electricity supply.. so that was that. I travelled to where my parents lived because I finally found an optician I liked and trusted.. I guess I will try again soon. Anyway, since finding out I need new glasses and that my left eye in particular doesn’t seem to see much of anything with my current glasses, I have suffered from headaches and continuous tiredness (I did that before but just thought it was the stress of starting a new job a few months ago).

On Monday, I had a nerve-wracking day because I was nominated for a thesis prize that would be awarded in the afternoon. I was not nervous about whether or not I would win (I didn’t really expect to and was proud enough to be nominated), but mostly the thought that if I did end up winning, I had to give a speech in front of the whole faculty, wasn’t very conducive to my peace of mind. In the end, I did win (yay!) and didn’t need to speech, so I had nothing to worry about except still having a lot of attention focused on me that afternoon (I really need to learn to deal with that!).

On Tuesday I went to see Life of Pi in theatres directly out of work, and afterwards was too tired to do anything but sleep. (Have any of you seen it? How did you like it? I’d love to discuss!) And yesterday, I went to a modern ballet class with a colleague to see whether or not we want to take it during the upcoming semester, and afterwards I met up with friends for a few drinks. It was wonderful to dance again, although the formerly sprained ankle still means I have much difficulty keeping my balance, and it’s nice to spent time with kind co-workers outside of “office hours”.

Anyway, as for reading.. Hopefully I will do some more of that during the weekend. I’m almost done with The Brides of Rollrock Island. It is stunning. And there’s so much in there that I’m half afraid I will shrink from writing about it again, just like I did with the beautiful Tender Morsels.

What are you reading today?

Oh, right! As this is Thursday Tea (which I realise I have conveniently kidnapped by babbling on about personal issues), I need to tell you which tea I’m drinking. It’s Lipton’s Green Tea with Jasmine Petals. The weather has been unseasonably soft around here (though very wet), and Jasmine Tea just suits the feel of this “warmth” (yay, 10 degrees celsius!) I’ve been told it’s going to become cold from tomorrow onwards, so I guess next week will find me drinking lots of chai tea.

Thursday Tea is a weekly meme organised by Anastasia of Birdbrain(ed) Book Blog.

Thursday Tea: “The Moonstone” & “Velveteen”

The Books: I am currently reading Wilkie Collins’ The Moonstone, which is my first novel by Collins. I’ve always been hesitant to start reading one of his novels. Somehow the length of them, the overwhelming love for them in the book blogging world.. it just brings the reading pressure with it. But I have to admit I am really enjoying this one! I’m only 50 pages in, but I hadn’t expected it to be so entertaining and even funny in places.

I’m also reading Velveteen by Daniel Marks. I have been reading this one for quite a while now, make that on and off for 2 weeks. I don’t know.. When this title appeared on Netgalley quite a few bloggers told me on twitter that I should see if I would be accepted, as this one of the most promising titles coming out in the fall. The premise did sound promising: Velveteen Monroe, a 16-year-old girl, was kidnapped and murdered by a man named Bonesaw. She ends up in purgatory, where she is willing to bend the rules to be able to give Bonesaw the faith he deserves..

But thus far, the story has been a bit disappointing. Velveteen is interesting at times. She’s definitely a strong-willed female character, which is a plus. But on page 146 we haven’t seen a whole lot of Bonesaw yet. And there have been some hints of her falling in love with a boy on first sight (of the sort where she’s not sure how or why, but she just feels all these feelings). Plus, I’m not sure I’m the right audience for all the strong language and characters who call each other “sluts” and talk about sex all the time. Perhaps this will improve later on in the story. The way Purgatory is painted thus far is interesting, and I’m hoping for a little more explanation on how this life after death thing works in Velveteen.

The Tea: Chai tea, all the way. Isn’t stormy and rainy weather the perfect weather for this kind of tea? Well, except for freezing cold and snow, which is also good weather for chai tea. Last year, Emily (a blogger I miss dearly) sent me a selection of chai tea’s from her local store, and I’m slowly making my way through them.

Do they go together? Well, yes. Because Chai tea for me is the perfect autumn/winter tea, and both The Moonstone and Velveteen have the autumny RIP feel.

Thursday Tea is a weekly meme organised by Anastasia of Birdbrain(ed) Book Blog.

Thursday Tea: “Alif the Unseen” & “Cloud Atlas”

The Books: So, here’s the thing: in what was supposed to be my last week of free reading time before my PhD starts on Monday (Eek!) I didn’t get any reading done. Last week, Thursday morning unexpectedly found me packing for a surprise visit to Disneyland (we still had free access from last year’s visit). In the past week I did manage to finish reading Painter of Silence but apart from that it has been eerily silent on the reading front.

I started Alif the Unseen a few days ago, but unfortunately it is not leaving me with a “must read everything NOW” feeling as much as I’d hoped. Then again my mind has been fairly preoccupied with last minute details that needed to be made in order before Monday [Have I mentioned that I’m nervous?]

I’m also hopelessly behind on my reading for the buddy read of Cloud Atlas that I’m doing together with Amy, Jessica, and Heather. I’m supposed to lead the discussion this Monday, so I’d better hurry up and finish reading sections 3 & 4 (last Monday) and 5 & 6 (upcoming Monday)! Gah, guess I still have a weekend of free reading time to look forward to.

The tea: I’m drinking mostly camomile tea as one of my wisdom teeth has decided to choose this moment to cause me excruciating pain by finally appearing. Yay. *sigh* Not that I do not like camomile tea. I love almost any type of tea, except perhaps for Lapsang Souchong or liquorice tea.

Thursday Tea is a weekly meme organised by Anastasia of Birdbrain(ed) Book Blog.

Thursday Tea: Lots and Lots of Books

The Books: This week has consisted of a lot of reading as I haven’t been able to move around much with my sprained ankle. I finished a large number of books, including The Goose GirlJourney to the River SeaThe Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time IndianTheir Eyes Were Watching God, and Evel Knievel Days.

This morning I could be found finishing up the last pages of Von Arnim’s The Adventures of Elizabeth in Rügen, which like her two books focused on gardening, is lovely. I do admit that I’d like the next Von Arnim I read to be a novel or novella again, outside of the Elizabeth universe. Just for a change.

I am currently reading Tolstoy and the Purple Chair, a memoir about reading a book a day. I have to admit that the book itself might not be as stellar as I had imagined it, but it does make me think about my own reading habits a lot, which is always interesting.

I’m also still reading North and South for the read along, though I have to admit I was done reading the part for next monday’s discussion by Tuesday. I should write up my post so I can continue reading ;).

And.. I am about to start Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell for a buddy read with Amy and Jessica. We are reading it in weekly installments of +/- 100 pages, so this one might be on my night stand for a while yet. Once I saw the trailer for the movie I knew I would have to cave to all of your love for the book and author. Plus, you know, I’d like to watch the movie once it’s released, but I’d like to read the book beforehand. I have a feeling the movie might be difficult to understand if you haven’t read the book – based on the trailer.

Lots of plans for the upcoming week :) And more in the process of being formulated in my head, I’m sure.

The Tea: Um, do you mean the coffee? I have a slight addiction to a kind of chocolate coffee I mix myself: instant dark hot chocolate powder mixed in with coffee. Not that I stopped drinking tea..

Thursday Tea is a weekly meme organised by Anastasia of Birdbrain(ed) Book Blog.