This past weekend, I tore through my soulful friend Caroline Leavitt’s Pictures of You, which I absolutely loved. (Ahem, as did Miss Oprah Winfrey. She put it on her summer reading list.) While I’m a writer, I’m also a reader. As a reader, I can tell you firsthand that it’s an altogether different experience when you personally know the author. Then, it feels as if that person—that friend—is over at your house having tea on the couch and saying to you, “Sarah, listen to this. There was once a woman named…” and so the story unfolds. You hear that friend’s imagined voice in your mind page by page. When the story ends, it’s as though your short holiday with that author and his/her characters has concluded, and you’re already eyeing the calendar for when and where you can meet up again. That’s the way I feel when I read books by people I have the privilege of knowing—and it doesn’t just apply to those I have close-close relationships with. I’ve noticed that even if I’ve only had a day, an hour, or a tweet with them, I feel a connection I didn’t before. They’re suddenly more of my world and less of the fictional. This is part of why I believe Twitter is a godsend. It allows us (published and unpublished authors, readers, people of all walks of life) to connect and share a moment. It makes the big world feel more like a neighborhood potluck and less like a campus cafeteria. It reminds us that everyone is just a person, made of flesh and bone, great successes and even greater insecurities. It reminds us that every time a book is read, a new journey begins somewhere with someone. A new friendship blooms.
Today, I’m picking up The Violets of March by another lovely friend, Sarah Jio. I can’t wait to dive in! Meanwhile, I’ve placed my order for the amazingly gifted Camille Noe Pagan’s debut novel The Art of Forgetting. It releases today so of course I have to mention it and hope you all check it out too!
I went to Costco yesterday and bought a bulk package of Kirkland Signature Matcha Green Tea. I’m completely obsessed with this stuff. Little packets of green gold. I’ll admit, when I first tasted this tea about 4 years ago, I was not a fan. It was too earthy for my palate—like sucking a dandelion stem. But somewhere between then and now, it’s become one of my favorites. I can’t tell you if my taste buds changed or if that particular brew was made with too hot water (which can make it bitter) or if I simply wasn’t ready for the power of Matcha. What I do know is that over the years, I’ve tasted a variety of greens and the Kirkland Signature is my preference.
For those who aren’t familiar with Japanese Matcha, it’s the ground green powder of green tea, boasting Vitamins C and A, beta-carotenes, potassium, and loads of iron. All of which are splendidly good for the body. So while you’re drinking, you can kind of pat yourself on the back for doing something healthy. (I.e. I didn’t walk more than five steps today but I did drink my Matcha!)
I typically boil water in my teakettle and let it cool off for 5 minutes before brewing the green tea sachet for 1 minute then dumping the Matcha powder in. I add a little sweetener (stevia) and it’s delicious. Don’t forget to drink all the bits at the bottom—that’s the best part!
Sarah’s Sipping Summary:
Being that Sarah Jio’s debut novel was Costco’s Book Buyer’s pick for the month of May, I think it’s tremendously apt that I’m sipping its tea brand. The novel is set on Bainbridge Island, WA, in the almost-spring month of March. So already my imagination is whispering, “Brew some tea, snuggle, read,” and I can’t help but hear my sweet friend’s voice in it.
Cheers, my dears! Sarah