National Tea Day takes place on 21st April – a day to celebrate the drinking of tea! Whether you’re an Earl Grey fan, or maybe a fruit tea fan, whether you like a little bit of milk or a lot of milk, whether you’re a one, two or three sugars kind of person, what better excuse is there than to make a brew right now, grab a biscuit and curl up with a good book?
Today’s blog features some of our favourite reads to accompany your brew – we asked staff what they’d recommend you read with a cuppa and their selections didn’t disappoint! We’d love to know what books you match with a brew so let us know in the comments below. We start with Fiona’s selections and some tea-inspired trivia then join Rachel, Gail, Cheryl and Sue with their choices.
Disclaimer: we know not everyone likes tea – our suggestions will also work with other hot beverages or cold ones too! Remember your snack though – that is key for full enjoyment!
There seems to be a special day for almost anything, from International Safety Pin Day (10th April) and Carbonara Day (6th April) to National Lumpy Rug Day (3rd May) and National Dance Like a Chicken Day (14th May). However, the one I am most looking forward to celebrating is National Tea Day which will take place on Wednesday 21st April.
As a nation we drink more than 60 billion cups a year and all teas come from the same plant which is the camellia sinensis. Ireland has the highest amount of tea consumption per person with 75% of the population guzzling an average of 6 cups per day.
For more interesting tea facts, visit our eInformation resources – search the Encyclopaedia Britannica using your Warwickshire Libraries card and find more trivia, pictures and more on the history of tea production and drinking.
Tea is my beverage of choice. It must be very strong, piping hot and have a scant teaspoon of sugar. I enjoy a builder’s brew (the colour of He-Man ) during the day but swap to decaf after 4pm or I will end up reading all night! AND it must be in a particular mug or it just won’t taste right.
Warwickshire Libraries has an array of tempting tea, biscuit and cake recipe books to get stuck into as well. I recommend:
- Biscuits by Annie Rigg
- Tea with Jane Austen by Pen Vogler,
- Afternoon Tea at the Cutter and Squidge Bakery by Annabel and Emily Lui,
- Bee’s Brilliant Biscuits by Bee Berrie
- Tea and Cake by Lisa Faulkner.
If you feel you need even more tea with your book and beverage, you can ditch the biscuit and bake a fruity tea loaf – I like this recipe or why not browse our many food and cookery eMagazines via the Libby app.
That’s made me peckish so I’m off to check the biscuit cupboard!
The Help by Kathryn Stockett
A story told by three very different women in 1962 America, bound by a desire to break free from the societal confines they face. Between them, these three women illustrate the desire to be true to yourself, not just to what society dictates you should be, and shows how bonds can grow and develop in the most unlikely of situations and circumstances.
Aibileen is a black maid, raising her 17th white child, but with a bitter heart after the death of her son. Minny is the sassiest woman in Mississippi. Skeeter is a white woman with a degree but no ring on her finger.
Seemingly as different as can be, these women will come together for a clandestine project that will put them all at risk.
The Mission House by Carys Davies
This is a book for anyone who is interested in India.
From the blurb: “Fleeing the dark undercurrents of contemporary life in Britain, Hilary Byrd takes refuge in Ooty, a hill station in south India. There he finds solace in life’s simple pleasures, travelling by rickshaw around the small town with his driver Jamshed and staying in a mission house beside the local presbytery where the Padre and his adoptive daughter Priscilla have taken Hilary under their wing.
The Padre is concerned for Priscilla’s future, and as Hilary’s friendship with the young woman grows, he begins to wonder whether his purpose lies in this new relationship. But religious tensions are brewing and the mission house may not be the safe haven it seems.”
Two of my favourite things in the world are tea and books, so when I thought about the perfect book to read with a cuppa I initially thought that any book can only be improved by tea! How lovely is a rainy afternoon with a new book and a pot of tea? However, when trying to narrow it down to my perfect book, I realised that some books are not quite the perfect partner for a cuppa. For example, Scandi noir novels are a bit too cool for tea – they’d be better paired with something edgier, maybe vodka based or depending of the time of day, a strong black coffee. Whilst Agatha Christie lends herself well to tea, I like to imagine that when reading Poirot, one would get a better experience if sipping a crème de Menth.
There’s nothing flash about tea. Nothing to show off about. Just reliable and comforting. You always know where you are with tea. For me the perfect pairing is a book of short stories. My current favourite is ‘Uncommon Type’ by Tom Hanks, who, just like tea, I find reliable and comforting. These stories have a slightly nostalgic feel to them and are perfect to keep ready for a tea break.
A good short story can be read in the time it takes to brew and drink a good cup of tea. An understated partnership that can only be improved by the addition of a biscuit – but which biscuit is a topic for another day…
So Much Life Left Over by Louis de Bernieres
This is a lovely read and would be perfect to enjoy with a cup of tea.
Daniel, a First World War pilot and his wife and young daughter move to 1920s Ceylon to start a new life, but their marriage is struggling and they both have different ideas and needs to make them happy.
The backdrop of Ceylon is, of course, stunning and as the story unfolds Daniel travels to Germany, and his wife, Rosie and their daughter return to England. We meet so many other fascinating and, sometimes troubled characters – trying to live their lives and be happy. This is beautifully written, funny, emotional – it bought tears to my eyes.