Precious and Grace
Author: Alexander McCall Smith
Narrator: Lisette Lecat
Publisher: Recorded Books, 2016
Format: 8 discs, 9.75 hours
Genre: philosophical fiction, mystery
Summary: Mma Ramotswe and Mma Makutsi have a new case. Susan Peters left Botswana as a young child, moving to Canada with her parents. She has returned and has hired the Number One Ladies Detective Agency to find the house she lived in as a child and the woman who looked after her. During the course of the investigation Mma Ramotswe and Mma Makutsi both feel that something just isn't right. What is actually happening here?
Thoughts: This is the seventeenth book in this series and I am still loving these stories. Although they seem to be more and more philosophical and less of mystery solving, they are still just as enjoyable to me. The author, as usual, uses humor, clever anecdotes, and the daily lives of lovable characters to teach life and moral lessons.
The author's writing style is light and clear. His writing takes you right into the setting and you feel like you know these characters. The main plot and side stories are very simple, but he uses these to look at deeper issues in a light and humorous way. One of the main themes of this book is forgiveness, and I found this aspect of the book enlightening.
The narrator was excellent. She spoke in a slow, clear voice. You could tell which character was speaking just by her voice. She definitely helped to bring this story to life. Her voice added to the feeling that you were in South Africa in a slow paced culture. The tracks were short, so it was easy to find my place on the CD if I lost it.
This is the perfect book to read or listen to while you drink a cup of red bush tea and ponder life.
Art of Tea
I received a pouch of organic rooibos tea for Christmas. Rooibus tea, or bush tea, as it is also known, is grown in South Africa. It is a caffeine free herbal tea. I have been enjoying a huge tin of rooibos tea from the Grace Tea Company all through 2016, but my tin is almost empty. So, I was very happy to receive this pouch from Art of Tea. The tea was packaged in a brown resealable bag that was very easy to open. Although not fancy or colorful, the foil-lined bag does an excellent job of keeping the tea fresh.
The tea leaves were small reds, oranges, and browns, reminding me of the leaves on the ground in the fall in New England. Since the leaves of rooibos tea are so small, I recommend using an extra fine tea infuser. The scent was of sweet fresh hay. I put 2 tablespoons of leaves in my teapot and added 16 ounces of water. I let this brew for 5 minutes. The liquid was a beautiful red color and the scent was earthy, yet slightly sweet. The taste was earthy with a nutty after taste. There was a sweetness to the tea both with the original sip all the way to the lingering after taste.
This was a refreshing cup of tea that I enjoyed very much, but I have to admit that I like the rooibos tea from Grace Tea Company more. The rooibos tea from Art of Tea has more of an after taste and seems much sweeter. The one from Grace is more rounded and nutty. The quality and freshness of both are equal, but the taste is definitely different. We all have different preferences, so I hope this helps in deciding where to purchase your rooibos tea.