Book Club Pick: The Colour of Tea

“Tea and books: mmmmmm, two of life’s exquisite pleasures that together bring near-bliss.” – Christine Hanrahan

I honestly can’t remember the last time I enjoyed reading a book as much as Hannah Tunnicliffe’s The Colour of Tea. It is as lovely, sweet, and comforting as an afternoon spent in a small cafe, drinking tea or coffee and eating perfect macarons; the restorative power of such experiences lie at the heart of Tunnicliffe’s novel, and for this reason I am thrilled to announce it as Simon & Schuster Canada’s first recommendation for our followers’ Book Clubs.

The Colour of Tea describes the journey of Grace, a young woman who moves with her Australian husband Pete to Macau, China, in order to begin a new life. Grace has recently been devastated by the news that she will never bear children, and she feels helpless to stop her marriage from slowly unravelling. Yet in this new, exotic location, at the heralding of a new year, she resolves to do something bold. Something her impetuous Mama might do. In this pocket of China, filled with casinos and yum cha restaurants, she opens her own small French cafe. This sanctuary of macarons and tea become a place where the women of Macau come together, bridge cultural divides, and share in each other’s triumphs and pain. Infused with the heady aromas of Macau and pepper with what I can only describe as delectable characters, The Colour of Tea is a literally mouth-watering journey of senses as Grace rediscovers what it is to love, to live with hope, and embrace real happiness.
One of the most unique and delicious aspects of this novel is that each chapter is titled after a different macaron, chosen to match that specific part of Grace’s story. Some of my favourites include L’Arrivee — Arrival (sweet and smoky caramel with salted buttery cream filling), Cirque — Circus (lime with chocolate ganache, dusted with blood-orange sugar), Brise d’Ete — Summer Breeze (yuzu with dark cherry filling), and Prenez Ce Baiser — Take This Kiss (honeycomb with milk chocolate ganache). It literally makes your mouth water (or at least it did mine), to the point that I felt inspired to make my own French macarons — Hannah Tunnicliffe even provided us with her favourite recipe! Perhaps you and your fellow book club members could bring your favourite chapter’s macaron to your meeting? What a yummy way to get discussion rolling!

Again: yum.

This book is meant to be shared with others, and as such Simon & Schuster has prepared a handy Reading Group Guide for book club members who might like a few extra questions to talk about, or some neat ideas to “enhance” your regular meeting. I know that I can’t wait to ask my friends about their experiences with men like Leon, or how badly I’d love to go travelling again, or how Grace and Pete’s relationship seems so startlingly familiar, or how much I want to start cooking again (…we’ll see how that one goes). There’s something for everyone in this gem of a read, and I hope you all enjoy it as much as I did.

Below is a great video of Hannah Tunnicliffe talking about her amazing novel!

Browse inside The Colour of Tea.
Visit Hannah’s website.
Win up to 10 copies of The Colour of Tea for your book club.

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Hooked on Hockey

UPDATE: Thanks for participating. This contest is now closed. Congratulations to Justin M., our grand prize winner.

I have never played hockey myself, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t a big part of my life growing up. You see, I had two brothers, one older and one younger, and both played pee wee hockey. As a child I used to have to get up at some ungodly hour on Saturdays, sleep-eat my bowl of Cheerios and head to the hockey arena with my dad and brothers. I’m sure I probably didn’t really know what was going on, except for the fact that I knew once we got to the rink I would get hot chocolate. I would sip my steaming hot chocolate and cheer on my brothers. Whenever my dad hooted or hollered, I did. Looking back now, I cherish this one on one time I got with my dad. Hockey isn’t just a sport, it’s an activity that is associated with memories, feelings and a sense of community and it really does bring people together in many ways.

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Hooked on Hockey is full of fun, heartwarming and inspiring stories for hockey fans and families. Family-oriented stories from everyday hockey players and fans, as well as revealing personal stories from NHLers and hockey insiders, will captivate readers.

Do you have an inspirational, amusing, or encouraging hockey-related story to share? It could be a story about: your first pair of skates, the street where you played ball hockey, tickets to a memorable game, or any thing that makes you think of our favourite national sport. We want to read it!

In 100 words or less, tell us your hockey story to win a copy of Chicken Soup for the Soul: Hooked on Hockey and a $100 gift certificate to Sports Chek to go towards your next pair of skates.

Email your story to audrey@simonandschuster.ca (with the subject line: Hooked on Hockey) or leave it as a comment here and we will draw a winning story on November 1. We’ll also select 5 runners-up who will receive a copy of Chicken Soup for the Soul: Hooked on Hockey. 

Contest is open to Canada only (excluding Quebec). By submitting a story you have agreed to our Official Rules, Terms of Use, and Privacy Policy.

Meet Lisa Genova!

We are extremely lucky to have author Lisa Genova in Canada for not one, not two, but THREE events. Lisa is the bestselling author of Still Alice and Left Neglected. She is touring Canada to promote her new novel Love Anthony. See below for event details and info.

Meet Lisa Genova in Toronto
Friday, October 5, 2012
Indigo Manulife Centre
55 Bloor Street West
6:30pm

Meet Lisa Genova in Ottawa
Saturday, October 6, 2012
Costco Kanata
770 Silver Seven Rd
11am-12pm

Meet Lisa Genova in Vancouver
Saturday, October 13
Chapters Robson
788 Robson Street
2pm

Love Anthony explores the healing power of friendship between two women, each cast adrift by loss, as one woman begins in her fledgling writing, to give voice and meaning to the other’s autistic son.

Lisa talks about her new novel Love Anthony

Read an excerpt

Visit www.lisagenova.com

Fall picture book preview

It’s that time again!  Back to school, back to sweaters, and luckily, back to books too.     This fall, we’ve got a slew of gorgeous new picture books that are perfect for readers young and old.

Have a look at three of our story time favourites.

I’m Bored

There is NOTHING boring about being a kid, but one little girl is going to have to prove it in this anything-but-boring picture book. Fun, quirky and totally hilarious, I’M BORED is written by the one-and-only Michael Ian Black and illustrated by the very talented (and Canadian!) Debbie Ridpath Ohi.
Check out these gorgeous pages:

Bear Says Thanks

Just in time for Thanksgiving, Karma Wilson’s unforgettable character Bear is back with all his super-cute pals. Full of Jane Chapman’s beautiful illustrations and a sweet story about sharing, Bears says Thanks is a perfect bedtime read.


Nightsong

Meet Chiro, the CUTEST bat you’ll ever meet ( just look at him!) who is off to explore the night-time world on his own for the first time. This beautiful and touching coming-of-age story, with mesmerizing artwork from illustrator Loren Long and lyrical text from Ari Berk, conveys a heartwarming and universal message: No matter how far away you go, you can always find your way home.


Need some relationship S.O.S.?

Do you feel like your partner has become your child?

Do you find yourself being his maid, his cook, his manager?

Have romance, respect, fun—and sex—been drained out of your relationship? 

Sara Dimerman and J.M. Kearns might have just the answer you’re looking for. They are the authors of the upcoming book How Can I Be Your Lover When I’m Too Busy Being Your Mother? in which the address the oft occurring but rarely talked about Mother Syndrome. A scenario in which a woman  finds she’s turned into a mother to her man instead of the equal and intimate partner she once was.

She has a day job just like he does, yet at home she finds herself doing most of the housework, running the home, and being in charge of the child-rearing, which makes her his boss in the one place they spend most of their time together. This leaves her feeling angry and resentful—hardly conducive to being lovers. Dimerman and Kearns boldly confront the issues, allowing both sexes to vent in a no-holds-barred exchange that ranges from hostile to hilarious. They deconstruct the problem using real-life examples and lay out a step-by-step path that will enable any couple to get back to being equal partners again.

Read an excerpt

Take our Have You Become a Mother to Your Man? quiz

And for a short time only, we’re running a sweeps where you could win a one hour consultation session with the authors. Click below to enter.

Sara and J.M. will be in Toronto on August 18th for an event with Indigo. Click on the image below for details.

Visit Sara’s website and follow her on Twitter. Visit J.M.’s website.

www.howcanibeyourlover.com