Greetings tea-drinkers, book-lovers, and shenanigan-doers! As summer comes to an end and we look onward to autumn and winter and the return of sweaters, scarves, boots, and Halloween, it's time we take a look back on this summer. The book club had some growing pains, but Jess has settled on a book supplier, and we learned A LOT about when to order books and how that works, in general. Because the book originally meant for September didn't arrive in time to pass out at our August meeting, our gnomish captain made the executive decision to adjust our reading schedule for the rest of the year. Our books and dates stand thus: Next year, we're trying our experiment in reading an entire series in one year. As we've already read His Majesty's Dragon, and it was arguably the most popular book that we read all year, we're going to dedicate 2019 to reading the rest of the Temeraire series. The series itself is nine books, so we need four more books to round out our year. Two of those spots are taken by Good Omens and Ender's Game. The books up for consideration so far are The Eterna Files, Soulless (Book 1 of The Parasol Protectorate), a Dragonlance book, and Radiance. Any other suggestions are welcome! We can choose on September 29 what we'll add. Last month I wrote about some books that were on my to read pile. I read not a single one of them. I started them, but I did not finish them. I still want to finish Mary B. and Radiance, but I am not beating myself up over not finishing them. Life's too short to do that to yourself. I will say, though, that if you like fanfiction, and you like Jane Austen, and if you've ever wondered what actually became of Mary Bennet -- the plain, forgotten Bennet sister in Pride and Prejudice -- then please read Mary B. What I was able to read of it was so good and so well-written, and I'm so sad that I wasn't able to read it all before it my loan was ended. Now I'm looking at a 12-week wait before I can borrow it again. #bookwormproblems, amirite? If you're into podcasts, one of my favorite is FoodStuff, by the How Stuff Works network. In July and August they had a couple of episodes about tea. The first one was about the history of tea time, that eponymous meal that is standard in most British homes (Presumably. I'm not British, so I can't say for certain.) The second one was about tea itself: its origins, production, and some of the health benefits tea can bring to a person. Both episodes are a good listen, but they both only really scratch the surface about tea and tea culture. Stuff You Missed in History Class also has a few episodes about tea in its archives, and they are definitely worth a listen. I want to take a moment give a big thank you to everyone who is a part of this book club. Whether you're local or able to only join us online, this whole venture would not be possible without you. Jess had an idea, and then she let me run with it, and I am so, so thankful that she did. It's been an amazingly fun year so far, and I've made some friendships that I wouldn't otherwise have done. For that alone, it's been worth it. So thank you, for hitching yourselves to this ride, and for holding on while we get the kinks worked out. Thank you for being enthusiastic about our books, and for being willing to jump into the deep end and read books that aren't in your wheelhouse. Thanks for bringing your insights to our discussions, and for making me look at our books in a different way. I think that I'm a better reader because of this group, and I am so, so excited to see where we take it.
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