Friday Debate: Women and Fantasy

Friday Deabte

Welcome to Friday Debate, a feature on cup of tea with that book, please, where every Friday a question will be posted that tantalize the brain and expands our horizons. For this week’s question:

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Book Review: A Place For Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza

Format: Hardcover

Pages: 385 pages

Published: June 12, 2018

Publisher: SJP for Hogarth

Genre:  Fiction & Literature, Contemporary Fiction, Literary Fiction Continue reading “Book Review: A Place For Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza”

Expand Your Horizons: Great Diverse Books To Read

During Black History Month, we are not only encouraged to celebrate the history and accomplishments of  black people but to read most of their inspirational writings. However, we should also take the time to celebrate the diversity of our culture and society. And there are no better depictions of diversity than the ones illustrated in literature. So if you are looking to “diverse” your TBR shelf, you can’t go wrong with these books:  Continue reading “Expand Your Horizons: Great Diverse Books To Read”

Books to Read For Black History Month

February is Black History Month, the time we celebrate all the achievements and accomplishments of black men and women. We should always celebrate the important acts of many African-Americans but this is time we really take the time to reflect on them. But unfortunately, many figures and events are missing from the history textbooks. Fortunately, there are great books out there, including the list here, that delve more into black history and open our eyes to the history makers we did not know exist. Discover the defining moments that made Black History Month such an important month to celebrate. Continue reading “Books to Read For Black History Month”

Lupita Nyong’o To Publish Children’s Book Celebrating Color — Black America Web

Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o is writing a children’s book that’s slated to drop in 2019. The New York Times reports the 12 Years A Slave actress will title the book Sulwe which means star. The word comes from her native language Luo. The book will be catered to kids between the ages of 5 and 7. It will tell the story […]

via Lupita Nyong’o To Publish Children’s Book Celebrating Color — Black America Web

My Race Does Not Define My Reading




These are some terms that I have been associated with when I was in middle school. I was teased for my musical preference. I was tormented for the way that I talked (and not only for my lisp) and how I presented myself. I never embodied the stereotype of a black person, whatever that is supposed to be. I had to deal with comments from friends, classmates, even from my own family, just because I didn’t live up to their or society’s expectations for the color of my skin. It took me a long time to finally accept me for me and if people don’t like it, that’s their problem.

But the conflict with my personality and societal expectations is on the rise and this time, books are at the forefront.

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Poetry Reverse: Novels Written In Free Verse


There are different forms of poetry in the literary form and one popular form is free verse. Free verse poetry is an open form, free from constraints of rules that deal with rhyme and meter. And the beauty of free verse is that it can turn into a narrative! Now all poetry somehow tell a story but with free verse novels, it is a novel length story told in prose instead of poetic form. You might have heard of them as “epic poems” such as The Odyssey by Homer and Beowolf. 

So for National Poetry Month, instead of reading the basic metered or rhyming poetry (beautiful as they are), why not branch out and try reading some free verse novels? Don’t know any? Don’t panic! Here are some suggestions that will definitely get you started and reading for the rest of the month:


Bronx Masquerade by Nikki Grimes

Using the structure of a poetry slam, Nikki Grimes’ award-winning novel is a powerful exploration of self, an homage to spoken-word poetry, and an intriguing look into the life of eighteen urban teens.”


Crank by Ellen Hopkins

In Crank, Ellen Hopkins chronicles the turbulent and often disturbing relationship between Kristina, a character based on her own daughter, and the “monster,” the highly addictive drug crystal meth, or “crank.”

Continue reading “Poetry Reverse: Novels Written In Free Verse”

Weekly Tea Discussion: Who’s More Realistic, YA or Adult Books?


Hello all!

Welcome to another dose of Weekly Tea Discussion! This week’s discussion question: Who is more realistic, YA books or Adult Fiction?

As we book lovers know, books always manage to reflect the world around us, no matter how fictional they are. But lately there has  been a slew of new books released that tie more closely to the cultural and political events that are happening around us, such as the New York Times Bestseller The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas and All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely, two books that surround the Black Lives Matter movement. There has been a huge cluster of YA books that are becoming more political, albeit becoming more realistic-well, this is an opinion of an article on  With writers (younger writers) representing the younger voice in issues that matter to them, it would be easier to say that YA books are more realistic than literary fiction. But I don’t think that is necessarily true. Continue reading “Weekly Tea Discussion: Who’s More Realistic, YA or Adult Books?”

Top Ten Tuesdays: Ten Diverse Books



Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and Bookish. Today’s post is:

Ten Books That Celebrate Diversity/Diverse Characters (example: features minority/religious minority, socioeconomic diversity, disabled MC,  neurotypical character, LGBTQ etc etc.)”

I am ashamed to say that this took a lot of thinking. I love reading diverse books and for me to take so long to compile a list of only ten shows that we need more of them. But I managed to come up with these top ten (links go to Goodreads):

People of Color (POCs)

1. The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende – Prestigious Spanish family during post-colonial Chile.

2. Kindred by Octavia Butler – features a black female protagonist

3. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie – features a Native American teenager protagonist

4. Lives of Our Own by Lori Hewett – two young girls, one white and one black, dealing with the bias and racial prejudice in their small town.

5. Sula by Toni Morrison – features two black heroines

6. Soledad by Angie Cruz – features a Latina protagonist

7. My Best Friend’s Girl by Dorothy Koomson –  a black female protagonist who gains custody of her former best friend’s daughter, who is white.

8. If You Come Softly by Jaqueline Woodson – Interracial relationship (black guy and white girl)

9. The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison – features an eleven-year-old black female protagonist.

Religious Diversity:


10. Summer of My German Soldier by Bette Greene – a young Jewish girl harboring a German soldier. Also contains a maid who is black and her trusted ally.

Have you read any of these? What would be on your lists? Post your comments below!

Weekly Tea Discussion: Diversity In Books

On this week’s Weekly Tea Discussion, I would like to discuss diversity in books…or in this case lack there of.

When I was young, it really didn’t click with me that I wasn’t reading young adult books that featured black girls. I mean, I was reading great series when I was a kid: The Babysitter Club, Sweet Valley High, Nancy Drew. It just never really occurred to me that I wasn’t reading books with characters that were a lot like myself. However, when the topic of books lacking diversity I started to look back at my reading habits as a child and realized that my childhood reading indeed lacked diverse characters. On the top of my head, I can think of only five books I read when I was kid that featured minority male or female characters (it might be a more but can’t remember that far back).
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