Wednesday, September 18, 2013


The wind is buffeting the house and odd spurts of rain and hail are bucketing down. We are close to the end of our epic run of ill health (touch wood), but I'm huddled under the quilts, shivering and feeling decidedly unwell.
So, as in all cases of just-over-everything, I'm returning to the ultimate comfort: the cup-of-tea-book.
I categorise these books thus both because they're perfect for curling up with a cup of tea and because they bring as much warmth and comfort and cocooning familiarity as a good cup of tea.
Cup-of-tea-books are highly individual and I think it unlikely that any two person share the same cup-of-tea-books, but here are mine.

Between Silk and Cyanide - A Codemakers War by Leo Marks. I have no idea why I count this as a cup-of-tea-book, as it's a memoir of the second world war and deeply distressing when agent after agent is captured and killed, but I do. I think it's because Marks' writing style appeals to me so very much. Because Marks' passion and wit and searing intelligence are so very addictive.

Anything by Patricia McKillip - I find her work so very easy to get lost in, beautiful, intricate and dreamlike. This time I read Od Magic and a new one to me, Ombria in Shadow. I am still pondering the ending which wasn't quite as satisfying as I expected. I'll have to re-read it before giving a considered opinion.

J.K Rowling. I re-read Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows this week. Although at times it seems Rowling's determined to kill off a beloved character per chapter, I forgave all for the Snape scene and 'Always'. It's been so very long since I last read the Deathly Hallows that I had forgotten nearly everything and it was like reading it for the first time all over again.

Miss Buncle Married by D.E Stevenson. The first book in this duo, Miss Buncle's Book, about an author who writes a book set in her own village and then sees the village transform as it interacts with its published version is more gripping, but the sequel is also very appealing in a quiet, not-a-lot-happens-but-it's-all-very-cosy sort of way.

Dragonhaven by Robin McKinley was fascinating. This is the first of McKinley's books with a male protagonist, and set in a sort of alternate now... except with Dragons. I was particularly gigglesome at discovering she'd made the dragons Australian-mammal-y and given them pouches. With McKinley's newest (long awaited) release Shadows coming up, I think I'm due a wallow in old favourites. I think Chalice and Spindle's End are first on the list... but The Hero and the Crown... but Beauty...

I've discovered a new cup-of-tea-book, a regency-romance-meets-magic in Sorcery and Cecilia or The Magic Chocolate Pot - by Patricia C. Wrede and Caroline Stevermer, I'm presently halfway through the sequel The Grand Tour and looking forward to book three The Mislaid Magician. They are delightfully frothy and very fun.

Very soon I'll move on to Georgette Heyer and Diana Wynne Jones, particularly Howl's Moving Castle and Castles in the Air.  I might throw in a few Bill Bryson for good measure. Douglas Adams and Gerald Durrell are strong contenders. I'm willing to bet that before long I'll be re-reading Tamora Pierce (Okay, I'll admit it, I just ordered her latest on Amazon pre-order...) And I'll be surprised if I don't read Kipling's Kim and The Jungle Books at some stage in the next few weeks... which will of course lead me to re-reading Pierce's Wild Magic. And yes. I'll probably fit Pride and Prejudice in there somewhere. I mean, what else goes with a cup of Earl Grey quite so well?

I'm not quite sure where everything else is going to fit in around my reading, but sometimes a good-cup-of-tea-book (okay books) is a necessity. Looks like sleep is going to have to go by the wayside.

Do you have any good cup-of-tea-book recommendations?

1 comment:

  1. Cup of tea books (=putting off work books) for me are all of yours plus some Stella Gibbons, Sharon Shinn, Elizabeth Marie Pope (Perilous Gard),Elizabeth Goudge, PG Wodehouse CS Lewis Noel Streatfeild, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Ann Lawrence (the Hawk of May) LM Montgomery, George McDonald, GK Chesterton, Eleanor Farjeon, Gene Stratton Porter, Calvin and Hobbes, the Mowgli stories, James Herriot, Richmal Crompton, Gerald Durrell, Shirley Jackson (life among the savages = kids) Kirsty Anderson, Alexander McColl Smith, the Blue Fairy book etc but this is getting a bit long...