Friday, September 9, 2016

Watership Down

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Author: Richard Adams

Narrator: Ralph Cosham

Format: 13 cd's, approx. 16 hours, tracks every 3 minutes

Publisher: 2010 by Blackstone Audio, Inc., originally published in November 1972

Genre:  classic, fantasy, adventure

Obtained: library

Summary: A band of rabbits abruptly leave their warren and set out to find a new way of life.  Along their dangerous journey they encounter many new and strange things.

Thoughts:  This book is a masterpiece!  It is amazing that someone could create a story about rabbits that is believable, never mind the whole rabbit culture, history, and mythology that the author brings into the story.  Wow!  There is just so much going on and the attention to detail makes you feel like you are right there along with the rabbits.  On top of that you have these lovable, complex characters that stay with you even when you move on to your next book.
     This book is also unique in that the story is told from the perspective of animals, but the animals have human traits and emotions and even think like humans.  They also have rabbit words for things that we humans don't, for example, "solflay" is the act of grazing or grass itself.
     This story can be read at surface level for the fantasy and adventure, but there are MANY deeper themes, such as leadership, teamwork, roles in society, freedom, responsibility, friendship, loyalty, and survival.  These themes really got me thinking.
     The book can get slow at times, but it is not difficult to continue with it at all.  The book is long, but I didn't want it to end.
     The narrator had a pleasant story telling voice that made the story easy to follow.  His voice was clear and he did a great job giving distinct voices to different animals.  He read at a good pace.
     My kids and I spent the summer listening to this in the car.  It was way over the head of my 8 year old, but my 14 year old really enjoyed it and didn't want it to end either.  I would say it is really an adult book.  Yes, an adult book about bunnies, but the author makes it work!  There is violence and the book deals with adult concepts such as war, survival, ethics, and human nature.  This is a must read.


                                                                  Company: Yezi Tea

Obtained: purchased

     Yezi is the Chinese word for leaf.  Yezi Tea is a company that sells tea specifically from China.  I purchased the Farmer's Favorites Tea Sampler.  It came with samples of 6 different teas and only cost $5.99.  Shipping was free.  This offer is only offered once per customer, but it is a wonderful way to try some new teas!
     White Peony, or Bai My Dan, is a white tea.  According to the Yezi Tea website, their Bai My Dan is composed of "spring leaves dried in natural sunlight on bamboo trays".  It comes from the Jian'ou County of the Fujian province of China.  It has a low caffeine content. 
     The sample came in a pouch.  The pouch was not resealable, but it did not tear easily and could be rolled down and clipped shut with something.  The brown and light gray leaves were long and looked rolled.  They had a woodsy or earthy scent.
     I poured 8 ounces of water over 4 teaspoons of tea.  The tea was hard to measure because of the long leaves.  I let this brew for 1 minute.  The liquid did not have much color.  It was clear with a slight golden tint.  There was a slight floral scent to the liquid.  The taste was mild.  It had a  sweet, almost fruity taste, with a light floral background.  The taste was much different from the scent of both the leaves and liquid.
  This is a delicious, enjoyable white tea that I would most appreciate when relaxing at the end of the day.

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