Feature and Follow: Book Preferences

Q: What is your preferred reading format? Hardcover, eBooks, paperback etc?

A: Depends on the type of book. For fiction, it is actually easier for me to read on an e-reader (I have a kindle fire that I love, and my iPhone is great for when I'm waiting for something). But for crafting and cooking, a hard copy (paperback, softcover, or hardback) is preferred because I can actually take it into the kitchen and flip the pages back and forth. Hard to do that with an e-reader. Non-fiction history reads better in a paperback. Don't ask me why. 

Hosted by Parajunkee of Parajunkee’s View and Alison of Alison Can Read. Each host will have their own Feature Blog.

F&F: First you leave your name here on this post using the linky tools, grab the code under the #FF picture and put it in your post, and then visit as many blogs as you want on the list and tell them “hi” in their comments or respond to their question. If someone follows you, it's courtesy to follow back. It's a great way to see what other book bloggers are reading now, and how they feel about the weekly question.

Your turn, what is your preferred reading format?

Bake It Like You Mean It

This is the second cookbook from Gesine Bullock-Prado I've reviewed on my pastry blog. Read my highlights (and lowlights) from the book, try a recipe using croissant bread scraps, and find out where to get the corrections to all the mistakes in previous editions.

Bake It Like You Mean It book review on the Pastry Sampler blog.

Domination: C.H.A.O.S Book 3 by Jon S. Lewis

Book Trailer:
Series: A C.H.A.O.S. Novel (Book 3) Their goal is simple: total domination.
With six arms and jaws that can snap a man in two, the warmongering race of aliens known as the Thule has conquered every planet they’ve attacked. And now their invasion of Earth has begun.
Humanity’s only hope springs from a mysterious Thule legend about a Betrayer, whom they believe will rise up and destroy their people. The American government tried to manufacture their own Betrayer by injecting children with Thule blood but time after time the experiment failed . . . until Colt McAlister.
A decade later, Colt is a 16-year-old cadet at the CHAOS Military Academy where he’s training to defend mankind. But he’s afraid that the alien blood may be turning him into a Thule—and he’s beginning to suspect that fulfilling his role as the Betrayer may cost him everything.
Experience a cosmic battle filled with high-tech gear, gateways to other planets, and ultimate stakes. Not everyone will survive. But heroes will rise up and step into their destiny in this earth-shaking conclusion to the C.H.A.O.S trilogy.

Since this was book three and I didn't read the other two books in the series, I was following along with the story where it left off. The series is YA sci-fi, but has enough action to keep everyone happy. Earth's invasion has begun, and a teenager who has been trained to defend Earth is its one and last hope. It was a good read, and although I would have preferred more action in spots, the author's vivid imagination kept me satisfied.

Book Information:
Book Disclosure: This was provided by the publisher and any opinions are my own.

Wildflowers From Winter by Katie Ganshert

Book Trailer:
A young architect at a prestigious Chicago firm, Bethany Quinn has built a life far removed from her trailer park teen years. Until an interruption from her estranged mother reveals that tragedy has struck in her hometown and a reluctant Bethany is called back to rural Iowa. Determined to pay her respects while avoiding any emotional entanglements, she vows not to stay long. But the unexpected inheritance of farmland and a startling turn of events in Chicago forces Bethany to come up with a new plan.
Handsome farmhand Evan Price has taken care of the Quinn farm for years. So when Bethany is left the land, he must fight her decisions to realize his dreams. But even as he disagrees with Bethany's vision, Evan feels drawn to her and the pain she keeps so carefully locked away.
For Bethany, making peace with her past and the God of her childhood doesn't seem like the path to freedom. Is letting go the only way to new life, love and a peace she's not even sure exists?
Bethany is called back to her humble beginnings and plans on not staying. But after inheriting a farm, she has to make a decision and one that she doesn't really want to make. This is a Christian romance, but has enough background to make it an enjoyable read. Bethany's background is heartbreaking and the ending is fulfilling.

Ganshert did a wonderful job bringing the characters to life, and while Bethany is the main character in the book, Evan for some reason was the person I was rooting for in the end. I look forward to more of Ganshert's books.

Book Information:
Disclosure: This was provided by the publisher and any opinions are my own.

Dead Lawyers Tell No Tales by Randy Singer

Book Trailer:
Landon Reed is an ex-quarterback convicted of organizing a points-shaving scheme. During his time in prison, he found forgiveness and faith and earned his law degree. Now he longs for an opportunity to prove his loyalty and worth. Be careful what you ask for.
Harry McNaughton is one of the founding partners of McNaughton & Clay—and the only lawyer willing to take a chance employing an ex-con-turned-lawyer. Though Landon initially questions Harry’s ethics and methods, it’s clear the crusty old lawyer has one of the most brilliant legal minds Landon has ever encountered. The two dive into preparing a defense for one of the highest-profile murder trials Virginia Beach has seen in decades when Harry is gunned down in what appears to be a random mugging.
Then two more lawyers are killed when the firm’s private jet crashes. Authorities suspect someone has a vendetta against McNaughton & Clay, leaving Landon and the remaining partner as the final targets. As Landon struggles to keep the firm together, he can’t help but wonder, is the plot related to a shady case from McNaughton & Clay’s past, or to the murder trial he’s neck-deep in now? And will he survive long enough to find out?

Landon Reed goes to prison for his crimes-against-sports scheme of points shaving. After prison, he deals with the blowback of his crime all the while finishing up his law degree, and a fight lands him back in the courtroom. A chance meeting with an attorney who took a chance on him to get his law license in the first place results in the case turning in his favor, and a job.

But at the same time Landon joins the firm, a new case is brought on, and the very people he works for are being killed off, one by one. The case he is working on gets messier, and Landon worries if there is a hidden reason to why the law firms' lawyers are being taken out, and if he is the source.

Dead Lawyers Tell No Tales is published by Tyndale, and while there are references to Christianity, it isn't overly Christian. Singer has produced an exciting legal thriller and his storytelling is hard to put to down. The action is paced out well so there are no lulls in the tale. The courtroom drama was riveting, and the ending twists and turns made the entire book incredibly fun to read.

Book Information:
Disclosure: This was provided by the publisher and any opinions are my own.

The Sexual Adventures of Time and Space by Brian Sfinas

Book Trailer:
The Sexual Adventures of Time and Space is an epistolary novel told in the form of excerpts from a young man’s journal. After a group of friends becomes addicted to the concept of lucid dreaming, they find a way to medically induce themselves into comas with the goal of extending their lucid experiences. When things get out of hand and someone dies, the friends must find a way to cover it up.

A brilliant story by a new author on the lives of seemingly disenfranchised and uninspired (and drug abusing) young adults. The main character, Michael, sums it up: Desensitization is inevitable for the youth of America in the 21st century. It is not an erotic tale as the title suggests.

The individuals in the book have found a way to escape the doldrums of reality through lucid dreams and find imaginative ways to reach this state. Michael finds the perfect drug for them to enter in lucid dreaming, each eventually become so detached from the real world they have a need to go under for days at a time. The real world becomes torture.

Chapter one draws you in and keeps you reading with each subsequent chapter providing a sneak peak into their lives. It is violent in parts but the revenge works in the story, and the love affair between Michael and 'Dorothy' is tragic. I hate to admit it, but I found a guilty pleasure reading the diary entries. It also made me look inside my medicine cabinet to see if any medications contained dextromethorphan, and look up who the heck "Stephan Laberge" is.

The Sexual Adventures of Time and Space is a horrifying account of how normal individuals slip out of reality and become so completely addicted to this form of escape. And how far some people will go to get their fix that they have become addicted to. I loved reading every minute of it and look forward to more stories by Sfinas.

Book Information:

Disclosure: This book was provided by the author and any opinions are my own.

Backyard Foraging by Ellen Zachos

Book Trailer:
You don't need to trek into the forest to forage edible plants. Ideal for first-time foragers, this book features 70 edible weeds, flowers, mushrooms, and ornamental plants typically found in urban or suburban neighborhoods. You'll be amazed by how many of the plants you see each day are actually nutritious edibles. Full-color photographs make identification easy, and tips on where certain plants are likely to be found, how to avoid pollution and pesticides, and how to recognize the plants you should NEVER harvest make foraging as safe and simple as stepping into your own backyard.

Okay, I can harvest what I plant in my own yard because I know exactly what is being grown. That is not true for when I take hikes in the local hills, or take walks around parks and in the neighborhood.

One thing about harvesting unknown plants is while they may look tasty or have a great smell, you just never know what is poisonous and what is safe. Backyard Foraging details many of the different edible plants and other stuff that can be found growing natively or naturally from the ground. An excellent read for those interested in learning how to identify which can be eaten and which you should avoid.

Book Information:
Disclosure: This book was provided by the publisher and any opinions are my own.

Amazing Seattle Kick Off to Summer Reading: World's Largest Book Domino Chain

May 31, 2013 at the Seattle Public Library. 2,121 books in all...and the whole time I was watching I kept thinking of all the books they had to put back!

The Liars' Gospel: A Novel, by Naomi Alderman

The Liars' Gospel: A Novel, fictional book on the life of Jesus, is a visually telling read and gives a realistic look into how people lived, thought, loved, and hated back in Biblical times. There are three main sections which are three very different stories, each revolving around a time, place, verse, or person from the Bible.

For example, part one focuses on the life of Jesus from birth to his resurrection and how he was perceived by the family who gave him mortal life. Instead of writing about how his family revered him from the day he was born, the author instead delves into the tough matters of how his differences became too much for his family, eventually breaking it up.

Interesting read for those that have read the Bible or have a little knowledge of who the people where inside the Bible, or for anyone who likes to read period fiction. Biblical times were violent and harsh. These stories bring readers back to these times and make them wonder how they could have reacted under different points of view.

Book Information:

Disclosure: This book was provided by the publisher and any opinions are my own.

The Drunken Botanist

Informative read with lots of recipes to experiment with, The Drunken Botanist is more than a coffee table or a culinary or bar reference book. It truly is a guidebook to all things botanical in both the worlds of new age mixology and classic bartending. Recommended read.

Read the full review on The Cookbook Papers.

The Boater's Weather Guide by Margaret Williams

Weather is an important part of fishing, especially when out on a boat. The Boater's Weather Guide (Margaret Williams, Cornell Maritime Press, ISBN 9780870336249) is a concise and wonderfully illustrated guide for both learning about weather and learning how to predict it when fishing on a boat. Whether inland on a lake in a rowboat or offshore out on the open waters in a pilothouse, weather is an important part of fishing.

Weather: Climate, Temperature, Humidity, and Clouds

The first part of Boater's Weather Guide can be described as a great teaching guide on the fundamentals of weather. Knowing the basics of meteorology and the forces behind weather will help determine and forecast what you think the weather will do. Relative humidity and precipitation are explained, as well as air masses and different kinds of storms. Inside the chapter on clouds, Williams includes a thumbnail view of 17 different types of clouds which are based on the three basic cloud forms: cirrus, cumulus, and stratus.

How Weather Affect Boaters

Wind will have an effect on the ocean by the fact that if there is no wind then there are no waves, and the day will be glassy out on the water. The Beaufort Scale was created by Sir Frances Beaufort in 1805 and it is still used today to look at the surface of the oceans to estimate the strength of the wind. Williams gives the full chart and explanation of this scale, including what the wind speeds and their effects at sea for each number are, which goes from 0 (glassy and flat) to 12 (hard hitting waves and hurricane force winds).

In the book, it states that according to Coast Guard statistics, 63 percent of boating related fatalities are related to weather, so getting a handle on the weather is important such as watching not only the forecasts before you go out but also the tell-tale warning signs when you are out in the water. Among the weather instruments the author talks about and describes are barometers, thermometers, anemometers, wind vanes, and psychrometers.

Book Overview and Chapters

The Boaters Weather Guide is divided into two parts: Forces that Shape Our Weather; and Weather and the Boater. The first part gives an overview on weather forces and explains their relationship to each other. Important topics include: Climate and Weather; Highs and Lows; Heating and Cooling; The Earth's Wind System; and Fronts and Storms. The second part shows how the weather directly relates to boaters of all types, including fishermen and recreational sailors. Chapters include topics such as Handling Heavy Weather; Coastal Patterns; and Weather Planning for the Offshore Voyager.

For those that are into charting weather forecasts, included are examples of different weather logs and explanations of different weather map symbols. All in all, this book makes an excellent reference tool for not only boaters going out in any type of water, but for weather enthusiasts who enjoy tracking and predicting weather trends at home.

Book Information:
Disclosure: This book was provided by the publisher and any opinions are my own.