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Five Reasons Why You Should Read Ms Marvel, Vol. 2: Generation Why

Ms Marvel and Bat GirlA few years ago, I was invited to volunteer at Trunk or Treat with an old high school buddy of mine. The theme was “Superheroes”, so the gymnasium of her church was crawling with DC and Marvel characters. She was Batgirl, I was Ms Marvel, and there was even a special appearance by Superbaby. But, I have to admit, I felt like a fraud because I hadn’t actually read a Ms Marvel comic. Ever.

I ended up purchasing and reading a copy of Ms Marvel, Vol. 1: No Normal by G. Willow Wilson, and I was in total awe. She was this nerdy, Pakistani-American teenager grappling not only with her identity as an American and a person of color but also with her newly discovered super power. It was a more powerful story than I could have expected, and I so terribly wanted to read on in this comic series.

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Girl Power! And Other Renegade Ideas | Rebel Sisters by Marita Conlon-McKenna

Upon finishing Rebel Sisters by Marita Conlon-McKenna, I was filled with regret that I didn’t pay better attention in the British Literature class I took my sophomore year of college. The class surveyed Romantic, Victorian, and Modern literature. I happily devoured Romantic literature, which was a reaction to the Industrial Revolution and Age of Enlightenment, and it celebrated nature, spirituality, individuality, creativity, and purity. It’s something that resonated with me, and now that I think about it, that’s probably why I’m so keen on the Steampunk subculture; it seems to celebrate many of the same things. Victorian literature and Modern literature? Puh! That stuff could hardly hold my attention. And…now I find that unfortunate because we definitely studied the Irish identity in Modern literature, and that is a major theme in Rebel Sisters. While I enjoyed this novel, I feel I could have experience a different plane of appreciation had I just applied myself a little harder in that class.

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Pain au Chocolat for the Mistresses of Versailles

Upon finishing the Rivals of Versailles by Sally Christie, two thoughts crossed my mind:

  2. Crap! I forgot to write down the food that was mentioned throughout the novel for my fictional food post.

Perhaps it was for the best because I think I recall reading about some jams or meats seared in other meat fats, neither of which I particularly wanted to experiment with. (Oh, also they ate a lot of asparagus in this book, which can be delicious, but doesn’t really make an enticing blog post).

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Life Lately: another exercise in positivity

I think Life got in the way of me enjoying how awesome this past week really should have been. In hindsight, it wasn’t bad, although every day did feel like a Thursday. And, for some reason I hyper-focused on small, irritating details. Like how I couldn’t find my glasses on Monday morning, and I couldn’t figure out if A. I just couldn’t see them because well…I wasn’t wearing my glasses, B. I put them in an unusual spot, or C. my cat was laying on them (on purpose [to spite me] I’m sure). The answer to this riddle was B; they were in the laundry basket??? And this was just how my week went.

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Adagio Thai Chai Tea and Books

Cozying up with Books & Thai Chai Tea

I think I write about the weather on Books & Tea quite often. It seems strange to me that this frequent topic of awkward small talk earns so much press on my blog, but I cannot help it that weather fills me with both inspiration and nostalgia. I sense that it settles in most often during the changing of the seasons, which is perhaps why I’ve been on a posting frenzy lately. And while I am grateful that Michigan is in the full bloom of Springtime, what I appreciate most are the occasional days we’re experiencing right now that are reminiscent of our Autumn– days that are cool and overcast and even a little rainy. Wintertime is taxing, but I still wish Autumn were right around the corner (hot tea! cozy blankets! apple cider! Oreo cookies with orange filling! soup for dinner every night! colorful crunchy leaves!).

Last weekend was one of those weekends that was chilly and rainy, and sadly I sensed it would be one of the last ones until October finally rolls around (although, when I first moved to Michigan back in 2005, I was greeted by frost on the grass and rooftop…on the 4th of July). Of course I took advantage of the weather by curling up in a chair with a blanket, a new book, and the most cozy blend of tea I could find in my cupboards– Thai Chai by Adagio Tea.

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Celebrate the Moms in Your Life with Tea Crystals!

Mother’s Day is right around the corner, and if you’re anything like me you’re probably wracking your brain over what to buy her now, when you still haven’t even sent her Christmas present OR her birthday present, though it’s been sitting on your dresser forever. Might I offer a suggestion? How about Pique Tea’s Mother’s Day Box?

For $29, the Mother’s Day Box includes:

  • 2 variety pack cartons of Tea Crystals (which includes their Sencha, Mint Sencha, Jasmine, English Breakfast, and Earl Grey teas)
  • a double walled glass
  • 3 Poco Dolce Chocolates
  • a #1 Mom pin

You don’t even have to go to the post office, so hurry! Go here and send one to your mom!

Now, I realize that my mother is already contemplating writing me out of her will any day now on account of I’m stockpiling her presents in my closet, so I’m hoping to buy a little time by momentarily appealing to her ego…

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The Book that Made Me Blush Even More | The Rivals of Versailles by Sally Christie

How do you go about writing a review for a book that is about one of the most influential women of the 18th century? Wait…how do you go about writing an entire book about one of the most influential women of the 18th century? I am talking about Jeanne Antoinette Poisson, more commonly known as Madame de Pompadour, and Sally Christie has brought her to life in the second installment of her Mistresses of Versailles trilogy, the Rivals of Versailles. Readers, prepare yourself for more inappropriate innuendos!

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Biscuits and Gravy for the Ghoul Getters

The first time I ever tasted biscuits and gravy was at a Piggly Wiggly grocery store near Darien, Georgia (population: 1,700). I was about 13 years old, and I had been enjoying a family vacation with the company of my friend, Lauren. She was less than impressed by my family’s style of vacation; we dragged her through one historical-building-turned-museum after another and stuffed our faces with fudge. (What is it with tourist spots and fudge?) She just wanted to lay out by the warm, sandy water of the Gulf of Mexico that were used to, but all we had was a muddy stretch of the Atlantic. The next stop in our trip was St. Augustine, Florida (one of the coolest places I’ve ever visited), but we sought out breakfast before we hit the road.

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Coconut Tea

Hot and Cold for Coconut Tea

Actually, my feelings about Coconut Tea from Adagio Teas are lukewarm, which coincidentally is the temperature that I preferred this tea. It took experimenting with my entire 8 oz. sample bag of Coconut Tea in one day to figure that out though. It’s not that I dislike the tea, I just felt that Adagio has better flavored teas than this. Or, in other words, on a scale of Valentine’s Day Tea (which I didn’t like) and Lemon Soleil Tea or Caramel Tea (which I’m over the moon about), it falls somewhere in the middle.

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Eight Novels about Spiritualism I Want on my Book Shelf

Every once in a while, I will get so caught up on an idea that I will obsessively research it. The rule of thumb seems to be, the more creepy or disturbing an idea, the longer I obsess over it, and most recently, that idea has been Spiritualism. Spiritualism is simply the belief that spirits of the dead have the desire and ability to communicate with the living. During the mid-nineteenth century to early twentieth-century (a time plagued by war and deaths at the hand of the illness, mind you), people in Europe and North America embraced this idea and flocked to mediums who could communicate with the deceased.

I scrolled through pages and pages of images of Victorian mediums with “ectoplasm” oozing out of them like the photograph above. It was of course a hoax (or was it?). It’s so bizarre to think people back then believed these photographs to be genuine when clearly it’s just muslin draped eerily around them. Then, to my chagrin, I read No Ghouls Allowed by Victoria Laurie which gave a brief nod to these Spiritualists. Now, I cannot get enough of it! Here are a handful of novels involving Spiritualism that have piqued my interest:

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