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Q & A With Whitney (Brown Books & Green Tea)

(photo credit Brown Books & Green Tea)

Tell us a bit about yourself!

Hey there! I'm a twenty-something book blogger who happens to have a love for cute puppy Instagram accounts, great literature, and tasty drinks.

What’s your blog about? What inspired or motivate you to create this blog?

My blog, Brown Books & Green Tea is primarily a book blog, meaning I read and review a lot of books to help spread the word about great literature. I focus on diverse literature-- my definition of diversity is rather inclusive, allowing me to pick stuff up from authors of various racial backgrounds, sexual/gender identities, and other marginalized groups. I was motivated to start this blog in order to widen my own awareness of diverse literature, and I think I've succeeded thus far! It was particularly important to me because I was between jobs when I started BB&GT, and this blog allowed me a space where I could continue to think, read, and write critically.

What do you enjoy most about reading?

Considering we met in Uganda, you know I love traveling, but my budget really hasn't allowed for much lately. I find that when my bank account isn't cooperating, reading is a great way to visit Canada, Nigeria, China, and everywhere in between. I absolutely love that I can become familiar with places I've never been, and with groups of people I've never encountered. I feel more prepared to face the world, because I can empathize with people from all places and all walks of life. I'm a strong believer in the idea that reading makes you a better person-- and not just intellectually.

Where is your favorite place to read?

There's no better place to read than somewhere with natural light and a comfy cushion. I'm not a big football lover, so when afternoon games are on television, I curl up beside my boyfriend with a book and headphones while he roots for... whichever team he likes. We share the snacks, which makes it even better.

What’s your current top 5 books to read?

I'll give a mix-- my favorite book is Siddhartha, by Herman Hesse. But there are also a number of new releases that I love, too. I recently reviewed the much hyped "We Should All Be Feminists," by the great Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. There's also The Conjoined, which is a brand new release. If you're looking for simple but poignant poetry, I'd go for salt. by Nayyirah Waheed. Under the Udala Trees, by Chinelo Okparanta was one of very few LGBT books I've read written by an African author. Lastly, A Little Life by Hanya Yanigahara, was probably the most heart wrenching book I've ever read. It's huge, but worth the read if you can get through everything. I'd highly recommend doing some homework first, because it's not a book one can blindly read.

If you could send a message to young readers what would it be?

My top message for young readers is really not too far off from the message I'd give to any other reader: It's worth the search find a book you like. Lots of people are satisfied with saying they're just "not a reader," and I promise it'll be worth it for you to find something you love. There are so many books out there that there has to be something with which you can identify.

Can you recommend any great teas?

Of course! Right now, I'm drinking a great Pomegranate white tea from Plum Deluxe-- it's their tea of the month, and I love it. Not too sweet, and not overly caffeinated, either. If any of you are in the Maryland/DC area, which is where I'm based, I would check out Rumi Tea and Spice in Maryland or Calabash in DC. The bigger tea companies have some great stuff (check out Earl Grey Creme by Teavana or Ginger Beer by David's Tea), but I find that you get just as great a product from small and local tea businesses. Take a chance on your local tea shop! I find that walking in somewhere and asking their recommendations will never go wrong. I tend to ask for low caffeine teas (normally white, herbal, or green), with full flavors and light sweetness.

Anything else we missed?

Thanks so much for interviewing me, and allowing me to be a part of your blogging journey! I know you're still pretty new, but everything looks great. If anyone would like to find me, you can contact me through Twitter, Instagram, or my actual blog comments.

Best, Whitney

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