April 1st 2011 06:40 am

March’s Reads

With the completion of the entire ST:TNG series last month, I spent more time reading this month.  Not that much more time, because this month The Offspring and I started a House marathon.

The Vegan Family Cookbook by Chef Brian P. McCarthy: This is a small book filled with lots of recipes.  Most of them appear to be very simple with not too many ingredients (right up my alley, right?), I only found about a dozen that really appealed to me.  I guess that’s no too bad… there have been cookbooks with more recipes and fewer that I’d actually try to make.

You Won’t Believe It’s Vegan! by Lacey Sher and Gail Doherty: This book has about 200 recipes in it, and I found only two that weren’t too onerous for my lazy cooking ways.  That said, if you like to spend time in the kitchen, there are a lot of recipes in here that look pretty yummy.

The New Vegan Cookbook by Lorna Sass: Again, another book with lots of yummy-looking recipes, but only two that look easy enough for the lazy cook.

Vegan Cooking for Everyone by Leah Leneman:  There are some really delicious things in this book, but again… I’m too lazy to spend the time to make most of them.  I did grab one recipe, but the rest were just overwhelming.  The thing that annoyed me the most about this book was the font the publisher used for the titles… really, really hard to read.  Who does crap like that?

Raven’s Strike by Patricia Briggs: The second book in the Raven duology, this story follows Seraph the Raven and her family’s adventure to rid the world of The Shadowed.  Fabulous fantasy story, and if you like high fantasy, you need to read this (and the preceding) book!

Room: A Novel by Emma Donoghue: This is definitely one of the strangest books I’ve read in a long time.  So as not to be all spoilery, I’m just going to quote from the book jacket.  “To five-year-old Jack, Room is the world.  It’s where he was born, it’s where he and his Ma eat and sleep and play and learn.  There are endless wonders that let loose Jack’s imagination — the snake under Bed that he constructs out of eggshells, the imaginary world projected through the TV, the coziness of Wardrobe below Ma’s clothes, where she tucks him in safely at night in case Old Nick comes.  Room is home to Jack, but to Ma it’s the prison where she has been held since she was nineteen — for seven years.  Through her fierce love for her son, she has created a life for him in that eleven-by-eleven-foot space.  But Jack’s curiosity is building alongside her own desperation — and she knows that Room cannot contain either much longer.  Told in the poignant and funny voice of Jack, Room is a story of unconquerable love in harrowing circumstances, and of the diamond-hard bond between a mother and her child.  It is a shocking, and riveting novel — but always deeply human and always moving.  Room is a place you will never forget.”  It was a tough read in the beginning, but worth the perseverance.  Definitely give this one a try!

200 Projects to Strengthen Your Art Skills by Valerie Colston: This is another of those very handy-to-have books for an artist type.  I tried a couple of the exercises, scanned through the entire book, and immediately placed it on my Amazon wish list.  If you are an artist, or want to practice honing or skills, this is a good book for you!

Night of the Living Trekkies by Kevin David Anderson:  This book is hysterically funny… providing you like Star Trek and have ever been to a Trek convention.  It’s still pretty funny, I think, even if you have just been to any sort of convention or conference.  Since I am a huge Trekkie and have been to many Star Trek conventions in my time, adding zombies to the mix just turns an ordinary run-of-the-mill (to me) weekend into wacky-crazy-fun!  Obviously, if you like Star Trek and/or Zombies, read this book!

Classic Vegetarian Recipes by Jo-Ann Cox (editor): The Spousal Unit brought this book home from work the other day (they were having a book exchange or something) saying, “I was thinking of you!” Bless his little heart, as they say in Texas.  After being married for 12 and a half years, he still can’t remember I hate to cook.  But it is an extremely beautiful book, with mouthwatering pictures.  Sadly, all the recipes either have too many ingredients or would take too much time and effort.  But for someone who enjoys cooking… oh, man!  This book is for you!

The 4-Hour Body by Timothy Ferris:  My friend Ian recommended this book.  I suspect if I didn’t hurt 24/7 from the fibromyalgia, and if the mere thought of eating food first thing in the morning didn’t make me gag, I would actually give this program a try.  But trying to eat 30 grams of protein (as a vegan!) within an hour of getting up is making me a little queasy just thinking about it.  I can manage 10 grams of protein in my morning smoothie… oh but wait!  No fruit either.  NO FRUIT?  Ok, ok, it’s just for a few weeks.  And I already know the exercises (very mild ones) that the author suggests will make me need more drugs, as I’ve tried them.  Well, not the squats because I’d fall over and break my face, but the wall-pushups.  I’d say if your problems are caused by being overweight, or your weight (either over or under) is the only problem you have, have a chat with your doctor about this program and check it out.  It’s not for me, but it could certainly work for other people.

Coyote Rising by Allen Steele:  Just as good as his first one in this series, Steele continues the story of the colonists’ struggle for freedom and independence on the new world of Coyote.  Read the first one, then read this one!

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