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Weeks 10 & 11 Reads: Rural Mysteries, a Cookbook, & a Question

Filed under: Books — Kristi at 12:42 pm on Thursday, March 21, 2013

Well, perhaps I was done with food earlier in the week because I had a bug. Well, I think it is still lingering a bit. I’m starting to feel a tad more human again though plan to stay pretty low key through the weekend I think. I’m looking forward to tonight’s Warehouse 13 marathon on the SyFy channel so we can get caught up on Season 4 before the rest of the season starts airing at the end of April. That should keep me occupied without expending too much energy.

That brings me to my question I guess :-) I’m a tad picky about my science fiction. I don’t care for dystopian things so I don’t think series like The Hunger Games are for me. On TV I’ve really enjoyed Eureka, Warehouse 13, and Lost Girl. Warehouse 13 is probably at the top of that list. Oh, and more steampunk than sci-fi I’ve loved The Murdoch Mysteries out of Canada as well. What books would you recommend along those sorts of lines?

Being under the weather meant I got to do a fair bit of reading this week. Although much of it has been scattered over several books so I don’t have many books to actually review. Just the ones that weren’t quite done last Thursday - Death without Company by Craig Johnson, Cardwell Ranch Trespasser by B.J. Daniels which just released on Tuesday, and True Food by Andrew Weil.

Cardwell Ranch Trespasser by B.J. DanielsTrespasser on Cardwell Ranch by B.J. Daniels - 3 stars. This is the third Cardwell Ranch book I’ve read, having read the first two books of the series. I did not find jumping ahead to be terribly detrimental, though I do suspect this title might have been a tad richer if I hadn’t skipped a couple books.

As I’ve come to expect from Daniels, there is a good bit of danger and suspense taking place. Though I found the situation here to anger me. I think I sympathized with Hilde too much and wanted to slap Dana and Hud upside the head for being so dense most of the time. While my frustration with Dana and Hud spurred me to keep reading because I wanted to see them wake up and see Dee Anna for what she really was, it also took something away from my enjoyment of reading the story. The romance element was not quite strong enough to draw my attention away from the stupidity being displayed.

All in all I’m not sad to have read the book. It was a fine read. I’ve just read better books and definitely better ones by Daniels.

I received an electronic ARC of this book from NetGalley.

Death Without Company by Craig JohnsonDeath without Company (Walt Longmire #2) by Craig Johnson - 4 stars. An older woman dies in an assisted living facility. An equally old, retired sheriff insists it is murder despite little to no evidence of foul play. Turns out it may be and it may be tied to a 50+ year old murder that had been undiscovered until now. Complicate that with a reduced workforce, a Wyoming winter, two different and distinct ethnicities, and you get a really interesting procedural mystery plot. Add in well drawn characters who are unique with distinctive voices and you have a fabulous read.

This second book takes place only weeks after the first book which kind of surprised me. While it may be a tad crazy to think of yet another murder in such a short time span in rural America, I kind of enjoyed the proximity to the previous book (Johnson did kind of poke fun at such a thing in the dialogue as well). It allowed some of the unresolved issues brought up to be carried into this one which lent a bit more depth to the series I think.

This is only my second Walt Longmire book that I’ve read. I’m a bit of stickler for reading series in order. I was in some ways quite surprised to be as drawn into this book as I was the first. I’m not a die hard procedural fan so it takes a really well done one to keep me reading. Keep me reading it did. I’m definitely looking forward to jumping into the next title before too long.

True Food by Andrew Weil True Food: Seasonal, Sustainable, Simple, Pure by Andrew Weil et. al. - 3 stars. This cookbook was not what I was expecting. Firstly, I had thought recipes would be organized by season given the subtitle. While non-traditional, I enjoy cookbooks that are focused on real food and sustainable eating to be organized that way. It makes it easier to meal plan for in-season cooking. I was also surprised by the large number of the recipes that called for really specialized ingredients. Some may be available in specialty grocery stores in middle America, but I’m pretty certain many of them I would have to mail order. To me, mail ordered ingredients are not a sustainable ingredient. There were also many more meat dishes than I had expected. Since we are a mixed household I tend to prefer mostly vegetarian cookbooks and then just add meat as a side for additional protein.

I tried only one recipe that I could easily get the ingredients for, the raw kale salad. It was okay, but not something I would crave. I also kicked it up a bit with some nutritional yeast which did help. I did find that it was indeed better the next day.

That said, I did not see this cookbook as one we need in our collection.

I’m about three quarters of the way through Sara Andrews’ Flesh and Bones and can’t wait to finish that. Then on the Kindle I’m a nearly 2/3 through Cricket McRae’s Wined and Died. I also got an early birthday present from DH this week. He snuck a cookbook into a textbook order, Super Natural Every Day by 101cookbooks.com’s Heidi Swanson. I had checked it out from the library shortly after it was released and it has been on my wish list ever since. I spent the morning flipping through it once again and it may bring back my food mojo once my digestive system is straightened out. I love her first cookbook, even if much of it is more involved than I can handle on a normal day. I think that is what appeals to me about this second book - it really is much more “every day” friendly.

Okay, your turn! What are you reading these days?

3 Comments »

Comment by Teresa

March 21, 2013 @ 4:34 pm

Do you like Fantasy at all?
Space Opera?

Books that have really drawn me in and made me sneak a minute of reading here and there through the day include:
Fantasy: The Raksura Trilogy by Martha Wells.
Dun Lady’s Jess by Doranna Durgin (finally out in e-Book!!!!)

I need to re-read Wen Spencer’s Ukiah Oregon series and the Tinker series. I am holding out for the e-book release of her new book, Eight Million Gods.

Favorite Space Opera book is Once a Hero by Elizabeth Moon.
A great Space Opera series is the Skolian Saga by Catherine Asaro.

Not sure how you classify the Dresden Files by Jim Butcher, but they are really well done.

Urban Fantasy series that I really follow:
Jane Yellowrock by Faith Hunter
Chronicles of Elantra by Michelle Sagara
Walker Papers by CE Murphy

Have you checked out the Baen Free Library? They let you download the first in a series by a large number of Sci-Fi/Fantasy authors, just to get you hooked.

Wow, I need to look for some more Sci Fi books, I am rather heavy on Fantasy/Urban Fantasy.

Teresa

Comment by Anne

March 22, 2013 @ 5:54 am

I can do Steampunk :)

The Gail Carriger series, beginning with Soulless, is fun.
Bec McMaster also has a Steampunk series, beginning with Kiss of Steel.
It’s a little different, but the The Strange Affair of Spring-Heeled Jack, by Mark Hodder is quirky and interesting - I loved how much time the author spent on building the alternative world the characters live in.

Pingback by Fiber Fool » Weekending Crafty and Food Linkity

March 22, 2013 @ 2:06 pm

[…] With the colder, damp weather I think I’ll be diving into my new cookbook from DH and we’ll be enjoying Heidi’s Farro Soup. Although I couldn’t find farro in bulk yesterday, so I think I’ll sub in brown basmati rice which should have a similar cooking profile. We’ll also use preserved lemons in the yogurt rather than adding fresh lemon and salt individually. […]

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