Monday, March 31, 2008

March BAM Challenge - Two for the price of one, but still on the last day of the month

I know, I know. Here I am, writing it on the evening of the last day of the month AGAIN. At least this time I finished my book a week ago.

And turns out, I've got two that I read that count. Well, the first one here sort of counts, but I'm so excited about it that I'm putting it here anyway.

Veganomicon: The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook
Author: Isa Chandra Moskowitz
Genre: Cookbook
Any and all ages.

No, I'm not a vegan or even vegetarian, but I've been working on adding more meatless meals to my repertoire (says the woman who had carnitas tacos for dinner). I've been a fan of Moskowitz's Vegan with a Vengeance, and I saw this one on a blog...maybe over at Slashfood, but I'm not sure. I decided to take a look at it. This one is fantastic. It's got a lot of good basic cooking information - like what's Quinoa and how do you cook it, but also fantastic recipes. I've not made a lot from it yet, but I've been through it several times in terms of reading recipes. I can tell you that the black bean burgers and the chickpea cutlets are things of beauty.

My second book:

The Sunrise Lands
S.M. Stirling
Genre: Fantasy/Science Fiction
Age level: adult, older teen (particularly for violence)

About 20 years after the Change, when some laws of physics suddenly stopped working and the world was plunged back to a time without electricity, cars, or firearms, a messenger arrived from the Sunrise Lands, one who'd traveled all the way to what people believed to be the epicenter, Nantucket Island. He's come seeking the Sword of the Lady, whatever that may be. Rudi McKenzie knows what the Sword is - it's him, and the messenger's coming means he has to travel to Nantucket.

This continuation of the series that began with Dies the Fire doesn't disappoint. An alternate universe with the remnants of the old world all around. How, then, does this book fit in with the March theme of craft?

Wicca is a major theme - the McKenzie Clan, founded by Rudi's mother in the change year is a society where most of the society are practitioners of the Craft, as the founding members of the clan were Wiccans. Further, without any mechanized manufacturing capability, those who can work with their hands are true crafters again - everything that people use, from the bows and arrows that they hunt with to the food that they grow, harvest and preserve themselves is a true craft - but done from necessity rather than pleasure.

This was a good read, and if you like alternate universe stories, it's worth reading. I'm looking forward to the next installment, The Scourge of God, due out in September.