Friday, July 11, 2008

Book Review: Tea Bliss

I've been reading Tea Bliss by Theresa Cheung. The best thing about this book, in my humble opinion, is the incredible photography. I enjoy thumbing through the photos and taking in all their exquisite detail.

I picked this book up at the library. When I began to read it, I was a bit surprised. The book is more about lifestlye, using tea as a metaphor, than about tea itself. The book's subtitle is, "Infuse your life with health, wisdom, and contentment." Each chapter starts with two short statements, one about tea and the other about life.

Once I began to understand what the book was really about, I enjoyed it more. There is beautiful writing and sentiment in the book. I also enjoyed the quotes sprinkled throughout, many of them ones I had not read before. Here are two of my favorites:

Find yourself a cup; the teapot is behind you. Now tell me a hundred things. -- Saki, British writer
Meanwhile, let us have a sip of tea. The afternoon glow is brightening the bamboos, the fountains are bubbling with delight, the soughing of the pines is heard in our kettle. Let us dream of evanescence and linger in the beautiful foolishness of things. -- Kakuzo Okakura, Japanese writer

If you are interested in this book, here is my advice: Browse it carefully before purchasing. Make sure you're getting what you expect. If, after opening, it resonates with you, it is a book worth keeping. If you were expecting more on tea and less philosophy, then leave it at the store. Or, do as I've done, and get it from the library!

Have you read this book? If so, please share your opinion of it in the comments!


Shannyn said...

Hi, I'm a new reader! I was dissapointed to see that we don't have "Tea Bliss" in any of our County Libraries! It sounds wonderful though, and I love your blog.

I'm quite a tea drinker myself, and have converted my boyfriend to the joys of sipping! Love you posts, they're beautiful and nice to read as well!

artandtea said...

This book sounds wonderful, Steph. I love it when tea is used as a metaphor for life.
I've put it on my library queue already. Thanks for sharing!

crescent said...

It's funny that you should have chosen to review Tea Bliss today. Last night I went to the Monroe County Library website to reserve it! Perhaps my reservation will keep you from renewing it for another 3 weeks? Oops!

When I get a chance to look at it, I'll return and share my thoughts. I've reserved a number of other tea related books as well. I tend to like to steep myself in a subject all at once and this week it is tea.

Shannyn, there's this amazing thing called interlibrary loan. Ask your librarians about it. It requires patience, but if you have some (or want to cultivate a practice of patience), ask them to request Tea Bliss through interlibrary loan and they'll get it for you. Some libraries charge a small fee for this service (a very small fee). It's worth it.

The world is your oyster. Let the universe bring you what you need.

I say save the buying of books for things you really want to savor over and over again. For all the rest, we can think of it as a reading version of tea tasting. Enjoy it at the moment.

in munay,


Steph said...

Thank you all for your comments!

Crescent - you should be getting a notice soon that the book is ready for you! So cool to know that you will have it next.

Shannyn - Thank you for reading, and that's a great picture.

alexis said...

I am always looking for great tea books to page through while enjoying a cup. Thanks for sharing. I'll definitely check to see if any of my local libraries have it! What is your favorite tea book?