Re-visiting old friends

rereadHere’s an interesting topic (at least for a bookworm) I’ve seen on social media in the last week – the question of re-reading books you love. Do you, or don’t you? With so many books to read, why would anyone spend time reading something they’ve already read? You know the ending, so there’s no suspense, right?

For me, re-reading a favorite book is like curling up with an old friend. Even though my to-be-read list seems miles long, sometimes I want to revisit characters I love, and a story I know I can count on to give me a satisfying plot and ending. Though there isn’t an element of surprise, I often find little nuances in the story that I missed or had forgotten about when I re-read. For me, there’s comfort and pleasure in re-visiting familiar characters. I kind of miss them!

I have several books that I occasionally re-read.

Here are ten of them (in no particular order).

  1. The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood by Rebecca Wells.
  2. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  3. Plainsong by Kent Haruf
  4. Lake News by Barbara Delinsky
  5. Crow Lake by Mary Lawson
  6. Montana Sky by Nora Roberts
  7. Paradise by Judith McNaught
  8. The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
  9. The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
  10. The Mitford series by Jan Karon

Occasionally, I’ll even go waaaay back and read an old favorite from childhood like These Happy Golden Years by Laura Ingalls Wilder. 🙂 And I always keep an oldie-but-goodie in my car for those periods of unexpected down time.

Do you re-read? What is your go-to book that you can always count on?

It’s tea time!

It’s tea for me! Tea is by far my favorite drink, and I consume a rather large quantity of it. As I sit here on a chilly winter evening with my cup of decaf, I thought I’d pass along a few thoughts about . . . tea!
Right now, my favorite caffeinated morning tea is Tropical Green from Harney & Sons. I have several boxes of this shipped directly to my house every few months. It has a light pineapple flavor to it. I drink a couple of cups of that each morning, particularly on winter mornings. Sometimes I’ll also have an Earl Grey, especially if I’m not at home, because that seems to be one that some hotels and restaurants will offer.
In the afternoon, I usually switch to flavored teas. A couple of favorites are Bigelow’s Lemon Green Tea and Blackberry Sage from the Republic of Tea. The Republic has several good ones, including Mango Ceylon and Ginger Peach. The Blackberry Sage is also good as an iced tea.

Ahhhhhh. Iced tea. Nothing better on a warm summer day. Anyone who dines with me on a regular basis knows that iced tea is not iced tea is not iced tea. Iced tea can be ruined. It can, in fact, suck. It has to be fresh. It has to be brewed. Freshly brewed.  I don’t know where the food industry got the idea that tea can be a fountain drink. No. Sorry. It can’t.
It’s interesting how iced tea can vary across the country. When traveling, finding good iced tea often becomes a quest. And, often, a disappointing one. Truly, there are some states in which it simply isn’t safe to order an iced tea. It’s putrid. One state that gets it is California. Yes, one more thing to like about Sunny California. They know how to make iced tea. Some of the best iced tea I’ve ever had – with flavors of apricot and passion fruit – has been in California.

Because of the difficulty, I always carry tea bags in my purse. I also have a stainless steel thermos that often travels with me on road trips. I’ve actually taken it empty as a carry-on, too, when I know I’ll be traveling by car once I get to my destination, or sitting out in the sun at a tennis match or on the beach. It’s my special thermos and can be used for nothing but tea – ever. Have you ever tried to make tea using a machine that’s been used to make coffee? Then you know what I mean. Ew. Grimace. It tastes like coffee.
A quick note on flavored tea. Flavored tea is made when there are bits of organic flavoring in the loose tea or tea bag. The flavor is released as the tea is brewed. Let me repeat that – as the tea is brewed. Flavor is not a syrup that is poured into a cup of tea. Ugh.
My very favorite tea for making iced tea was introduced to me several years ago in Colorado. It’s called Tropicana from Xanadu. I used to be able to get individual tea bags, but for the last few years, it’s only been available as loose leaf. A bit of a pain. But, in this case, totally worth it. Yes, it appears that I am, in fact, a tea snob. 🙂
So now you know why the characters (the women, anyway) in my stories tend to prefer tea to pop or coffee!