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Book & Tea Review: Heart of the Curiosity by H.L. Burke

A book with heart, and a hearty tea

I’ve been in a reading slump for a while now. I don’t know whether I’ve just been busy with my new fall releases, or if it’s the social/political/health climate, or what. But I finally finished a book!

I chose this one because H.L. Burke writes fun and snarky characters, and I figured it would keep my interest until the end. And it definitely did. So today I have a book & tea review for you; keep reading to see which tea I chose to go with it and why!

This post contains affiliate links.

πŸ“– The book: Heart of the Curiosity by H.L. Burke

Key points:
πŸŒ‡ Awesome world building
πŸ‘₯ Great characters
🎭 Theater
πŸͺ„ Magic
βš™οΈ Steampunk
πŸ₯ Pastries
🐌 Snails

Having read this author before, I knew I was going to be in for a fun yet heartfelt tale. And it was set in a theater, with characters who can do magic? Sign me up.

Leo and Muse find a home in The Curiosity Theater, their respective “knacks” (little magics) giving them jobs as a dancer (Muse can levitate) and a professional audience member (Leo can influence other people’s emotions).

When the theater becomes in danger of closing after a tragedy, their livelihoods, their home, and their happiness are all threatened.

Leo is a great main character, her scruples about using her knack on other people an excellent point of character development. And her love of pastries… Comes close to her growing love for another certain someone at the theater.

There are so many interpretations of what the title could really mean as you read the book; there is so much heart in this story and these characters. I definitely found myself actually smiling the last two chapters.

Where do the snails come in? I’ll let you read it to find out!

“Yes, people need food and shelter and goods and services, even buttons, but they need art as well. They need to smile and laugh and cry and see ideas expressed in ways that make them think and feel. They need The Curiosity, or at least what it stands for.”

– (Paxton) H.L. Burke, The Heart of the Curiosoty

β˜• The tea: Rooibos Lemon Cloud by Adagio Teas

Tea choice inspired by the somewhat magical pastry shop that Leo frequents, this tea has a bold rooibos flavor with the right amount of creamy lemon. Great hot in this cool weather!

I’m careful not to oversteep this tea, because as with most rooibos teas, the hearty rooibos will overpower any flavor if left too long. I also like to use my disposable tea bags, because, again, the rooibos flavor can get intense, and I’m far too lazy to clean my usual teamaking stuff with soap everytime I use it!

The only thing this tea could be wanting is maybe some lemon peels for added flavor and vibe. But it’s a great decaf tea for anyone who likes lemon, with a hearty rooibos base.

Kirkland Green Tea & Wicked by Gregory Maguire

Today I decided to expand my Instagram books & tea feature to my blog!

🍡 The tea: green tea sachets (from Costco!)
πŸ“š The book: Wicked by Gregory Maguire

It’s far too hot for hot tea. These green tea sachets are pretty much the only “teabag” tea I willingly drink. They’re sold by Costco, but the tea itself is actually from Ito En, a Japanese beverage company that specializes in tea, and produces some excellent green tea.

If you’ve ever been to Japan, you can get cans of green tea (hot, right out of the vending machine), and they’re from Ito En. So it’s a nice throwback to our trips there.

The tea sachets can be brewed either hot or cold. For hot, I steep for under a minute. (Steeping long is how you get bitter tea!) For cold, you can just put a tea sachet in some cold water. I brewed mine for about half an hour to get this nice green hue. Cold water won’t make your tea bitter. Then throw some ice cubes in, and you’re good!

I don’t generally sweeten green tea. It’s such a mild flavor to begin with, I feel like any sweetener would overpower it. But you could always throw in just a smidge of your favorite sweetener–I like stevia the best.

I thought it would pair nicely with one of my All Time Favorite Books: WICKED.

I remember writing a book report on this book in high school, I’ve loved it that long. Getting inside Elphaba’s head and exploring Oz though a whole new lens was fascinating. In fact, I think it’s about time for a re-read of this particular book. Though I have to say, I didn’t quite enjoy the rest of the books in the Wicked Times Series, but I did read them to find out what happened.

Wicked the book is very different from the musical. I’ll admit I’ve never seen it, but I did go to college for theatre, and so have listened to the soundtrack once or twice. The book is dark. It has some very dark themes and adult situations that might be inappropriate for younger readers, so be warned. It’s not all defying gravity.

But the political, social and human elements fascinated me even as a highschooler. And the most fascinating aspect: How did the witch become wicked?

So in honor of miss green herself, let’s sip a glass of some green tea and think wicked thoughts.
πŸ˜‰πŸ΅