Thursday Tea is a weekly meme hosted by yours truly. To play along, all you need is some tea, a book, and the will to answer some very simple questions: what tea are you drinking (and do you like it)? What book are you reading (and do you like it)? Tell us a little about your tea and your book, and whether or not the two go together.
The tea: I found these slightly expensive Tazo iced tea things on campus this week. I’ve only tried the Brambleberry flavor (they also have a regular black tea), which is really good. It kinda reminds me of the iced berry chai infusion at Starbucks, except the Brambleberry doesn’t give me headaches. Ahem.
According to my bottle, the tea has an infusion of hibiscus, cinnamon, peppermint, lemongrass, rosehips, orange peel, and natural lemon essence, plus apple and marion blackberry juices. It’s delicious and refreshing, plus it comes with a free karma boost (by recycling the bottle, apparently).
The book: I was a little worried about starting Sunnyside, Glen David Gold’s new book, because I loved Carter Beats the Devil so much and it’s hard to top anything that I love enough to carry around with me for days after finishing it, flipping randomly through the pages and rereading sentences. But! I’m about 30 pages into Sunnyside and I’m enjoying it. Maybe not as much as Carter Beats the Devil, but it’s early days yet.
Here’s a (rather puke-worthy) summary of the book:
Glen David Gold, author of the best seller Carter Beats the Devil, now gives us a grand entertainment with the brilliantly realized figure of Charlie Chaplin at its center: a novel at once cinematic and intimate, heartrending and darkly comic, that captures the moment when American capitalism, a world at war, and the emerging mecca of Hollywood intersect to spawn an enduring culture of celebrity.
Sunnyside opens on a winter day in 1916 during which Charlie Chaplin is spotted in more than eight hundred places simultaneously, an extraordinary delusion that forever binds the overlapping fortunes of three men: Leland Wheeler, son of the world’s last (and worst) Wild West star, as he finds unexpected love on the battlefields of France; Hugo Black, drafted to fight under the towering General Edmund Ironside in America’s doomed expedition against the Bolsheviks; and Chaplin himself, as he faces a tightening vise of complications—studio moguls, questions about his patriotism, his unchecked heart, and, most menacing of all, his mother.
The narrative is as rich and expansive as the ground it covers, and it is cast with a dazzling roster of both real and fictional characters: Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks, Adolph Zukor, Chaplin’s (first) child bride, a thieving Girl Scout, the secretary of the treasury, a lovesick film theorist, three Russian princesses (gracious, nervous, and nihilist), a crew of fly-by-the-seat-of-their-pants moviemakers, legions of starstruck fans, and Rin Tin Tin.
By turns lighthearted and profound, Sunnyside is an altogether spellbinding novel about dreams, ambition, and the dawn of the modern age.
Do they go together? Sure! Parts of Sunnyside take place in California, and the Brambleberry bottle has so many hippy-ish phrases on it (“SHAKE THIS BOTTLE before opening to the mix the real herbal tea inside in a swirling, joyous dance.”) that it seems to be a good match. (When I think “California,” I thik hippies and yuppies. And redwoods.)
What are you drinking/reading this Thursday?