Review: Critically Endangered by N.S. Austin

Post apocalyptic story–a human survives with the help of dogs

critically-endangered by n.s. austin
Critically Endangered
by N.S. Austin

Series: Endangered #1

Genre: Science Fiction, Post Appocalyptic

Setting: Future Earth

Source: Ebook, purchased

Publishing Date: 2016

342 pages

Synopsis: Karen, a veteran and semi-retired professional demographer, watches from the safety of her home as the world she knows crumbles around her. She views the horror of humanity’s annihilation via cable television and the internet, until they too are gone. There is no time to understand the inexplicable sickness that takes everyone. Karen’s daughter dies in her arms. Her husband and son never return. When she gets sick it is almost a mercy. 

And then she wakes up. Tillie and Raider, her dogs are all that is left. Whatever has caused the near extinction of human life, it has spared the rest of the animal kingdom. On her first trip out she finds a planet that is unalterably changed, not with a bang but with a whimper. Karen gathers a pack of canines as companions and helpers. Among her furry partners are two very special German shepherds that appear to be more than just man’s best friend. 

My thoughts

This is a post apocalyptic book and I haven’t read one for a while. The book is very readable and I quickly read it and enjoyed it. Not everything about why and how were answered by the end of the book, but that’s okay.

I Like the Cover!

The cover of the book is what first drew me in. I’m loving reading books about dogs–especially dogs trained to help humans in various ways. I thought this book might be about a search-and-rescue dog. I found it was a much different kind of book once I read the synopsis, but I was intrigued.

A Few Quibbles

This book does wrap-up the story by the end of the book. I like when a book is a complete story and doesn’t end on a cliffhanger, but I thought this book was a little too neat and gave a lot of information away. Another quibble with the book: I didn’t think it needed a prologue. However, these are minor things and didn’t keep me from liking the book a lot.

The Dogs

The book has lots about dogs and I love that. The dogs are Karen’s constant companions, helpers and friends. They help keep her safe, but they also help keep her sane when she doesn’t find any other survivors. Each dog she finds and helps also help her. I love that aspect of the book.

Self-Published Book

This is a self-published book and I thought the author did a good job with it. The cover is excellent. That’s one of the first things I look at when I see a self-published book. It’s not a deal breaker for me, but too many self-published books have terrible-looking covers. I like that at the end of the book the author talks about her self-publishing process.

My Rating: B

Have you read any books by this author?

Review: Hurricane by Janet Edwards

Hurricane by Janet EdwardsHurricane by Janet Edwards

Series: Hive Mind #3

Genre: Science Fiction

Source: Ebook, purchased

Publishing Date: 2018

394 pages

Synopsis: Being a telepath means there is always a new challenge.

Eighteen-year-old Amber is the youngest of the five telepaths who protect the hundred million citizens of one of the great hive cities of twenty-sixth century Earth. Her job is hunting down criminals before they commit their crimes, but this time a simple case leads on to something far bigger.

This is a case where Amber’s team have to face the unknown and break all the rules they usually follow. Lucas must take centre stage, while Amber has extra burdens she can’t share with anyone. She has a personal mystery to solve, and questions she wants answered, but curiosity is a dangerous trait in a telepath.

My thoughts

I’ve read all three books written in this series so far. Janet Edwards continues to be one of my favorite authors. I love her Earth Girl series which I read a few years ago and am so happy to have found this series. It’s in a completely different world than the Earth Girl series, but no less interesting.

Strong characterization is one of the hallmarks of Edwards’ writing. I like that I feel I “know” so many of her characters. Of course, Amber is the main character in these books and I have the most insight into her and her thoughts. She’s not always happy in her position as one of the five telepaths of the Hive. However, she’s fully aware of her importance to the Hive and that she must put aside any ambivalence and do her job. She’s slowly growing into her role and slowly coming to terms with her new life.

Another of Edwards’ strengths is her strong world building. The Hive is such an interesting place and in each book we find out a little more about this world. In this book we discover that not only are there other Hives throughout the world, but there is also a small community living outside Amber’s Hive known as the sea farm. People at the sea farm may live their entire lives Outside. This is a mind blowing idea for Amber and her team. Amber and some of her team have been Outside in previous books and have gotten more used to working out there, if necessary, but none of them can imagine wanting to live Outside the Hive. The idea that some people actually want to live Outside is very strange to them all.

Crimes are taking place at the sea farm and since Amber and her team are the only telepath unit that can work Outside they have to travel to sea farm. I found the sea farm very interesting. Janet Edwards has expanded the world building to include these people as well as others in other parts of the world who farm and fish and provide food for the hives. There is even some travel and interaction between these groups.

I like that these books are not only science fiction, but also adventure stories and mysteries. Although this isn’t my favorite book of the three books in this series I did like it and look forward to more books in this series. I felt the mystery wasn’t quite as strong as in the first two books. However, I’m looking forward to learning more about this world and maybe why most people live in Hives. And I want more adventures with Amber and her team!

My rating: B

Have you read any books by this author?

Review: Thread the Halls by Lea Wait

thread the halls by lea waitThread the Halls by Lea Wait

Series: Mainely Needlepoint #6

Genre: Mystery, Cozy

Setting: Coastal Maine

Source: Ebook, purchased

Publishing Date: 2017

320 pages

Synopsis: This Yuletide season, there’s no time for Angie Curtis and Patrick West to linger under the mistletoe. Patrick’s being needled by his mother–movie star Skye West–to set the stage for a perfect white Christmas as she brings her costar, screenwriters, and director home for the holidays. With his mother’s long list of wishes, Patrick’s becoming unraveled. To help, the Mainely Needlepointers offer to decorate Skye’s Victorian mansion and create needlepoint pillows as gifts for the guests.

But not long after the celebrity celebrants invade Haven Harbor, an unscripted tragedy occurs. Then some questionable Christmas cookies make Patrick sick. Before Santa arrives at the town pier on a lobster boat, Angie and the Needlepointers need to trim down the naughty list, catch a cold-hearted killer, and wrap up the case . . .

My thoughts

Note: This is a review I wrote at the end of 2018 for a book I read in December. I’m finally getting it posted! And I’m saying that I’m giving people an idea of a book to read for this Christmas…lol.

I wanted to read this book before Christmas 2018 so I’m glad I’ve done that. I enjoy reading holiday or winter mysteries. And I’m liking this series. I read three of the books during the last six months of 2018 and they’re very good.

Samplers and Maine

I love the sampler information and quotes at the beginning of each chapter in all the books. They’re so interesting and often poignant. Most of the samplers were stitched by young women who lived in New England and many in Maine. The Maine coastal setting is also fun to read about. I have relatives in Maine and we have often spent time along the beautiful Maine coast. From what I’ve seen through the years Haven Harbor certainly rings true as a Maine coastal town.

The Mystery

The mystery in this book was interesting. I had some ideas about it, but didn’t quite figure things out which is a good sign. I like when the author is able to keep me guessing. The characters in the books are engaging and interesting–both the returning characters and the new characters who show up in this book.

Hollywood Characters

I did find the actions of some of the Hollywood people off-putting. The lack of feeling for a murdered colleague is probably true-to-life for some of these people so not a bad thing, but sometimes put me in a bad mood! I certainly understood Angie’s feelings about having to set aside her Christmas plans to help out Patrick and his mother Skye. This isn’t my favorite of the three books, but I think I was channeling my own frustrations about not getting some things done for Christmas and could totally feel Angie’s frustration…lol.

My Rating: B+

Have you read any books by this author?

Review: Heartstone by Elle Katharine White

Heartstone by Elle Katharine White

Series: Heartstone #1

Genre: Fantasy, Romance, Dragons

Source: Ebook, Library

Publishing Date: 2017

352 pages

Synopsis: A debut historical fantasy that recasts Jane Austen’s beloved Pride & Prejudice in an imaginative world of wyverns, dragons, and the warriors who fight alongside them against the monsters that threaten the kingdom: gryphons, direwolves, lamias, banshees, and lindworms.

They say a Rider in possession of a good blade must be in want of a monster to slay—and Merybourne Manor has plenty of monsters.

Passionate, headstrong Aliza Bentaine knows this all too well; she’s already lost one sister to the invading gryphons. So when Lord Merybourne hires a band of Riders to hunt down the horde, Aliza is relieved her home will soon be safe again.

Her relief is short-lived. With the arrival of the haughty and handsome dragonrider, Alastair Daired, Aliza expects a battle; what she doesn’t expect is a romantic clash of wills, pitting words and wit against the pride of an ancient house. Nor does she anticipate the mystery that follows them from Merybourne Manor, its roots running deep as the foundations of the kingdom itself, where something old and dreadful slumbers . . . something far more sinister than gryphons.

It’s a war Aliza is ill-prepared to wage, on a battlefield she’s never known before: one spanning kingdoms, class lines, and the curious nature of her own heart.

My thoughts

I saw this book on Goodreads and I was intrigued since I haven’t read a romantic fantasy for a while. This is the author’s debut book and it’s patterned after Pride and Prejudice. That was easy to see and for the most part I thought it worked well. I enjoyed the fantasy world created by the author.

I would have liked more backstory about this world and its creatures–about why they were together on this world. Did they all evolve there or did some of them–perhaps the humans–arrive from somewhere else? Since there are more books in this series perhaps some of these questions are answered.

I liked reading about the dragons, wyverns, gryphons, direwolves and all the other creatures in this world as well as the humans. This is a medieval type world with horses, carriages, fortresses, great estates and prominent people. Aliza Bentaine, Alastair Dared, Akarra and so many others are great fun to read about. I thought the ending was a little rushed, but it’s a satisfying ending and there are more books in the series.

My Rating: B

Have you read any books by this author?

Review: Single Malt Murder by Melinda Mullett

Single Malt Murder by Melinda Mullett

Series: Whiskey Business Mystery #1

Genre: Mystery, Cozy

Setting: Scotland

Source: Audiobook, purchased

Narrator: Gemma Dawson

Publishing Date: 2017

278 pages

Synopsis: When Abi inherits her uncle’s quaint and storied single malt distillery, she finds herself immersed in a competitive high-stakes business that elicits deep passions and prejudices. An award-winning photojournalist, Abi has no trouble capturing the perfect shot—but making the perfect shot is another matter.When she starts to receive disturbing, anonymous threats, it’s clear that someone wants her out of the picture. But Abi’s never been one to back down from a fight.

Arriving on the scene with her whisky-loving best friend, Patrick, and an oversized wheaten terrier named Liam, Abi seems to put everyone in the bucolic village on edge—especially her dour but disturbingly attractive head distiller. Acts of sabotage and increasingly personal threats against Abi make it clear that she is not welcome. When one of Abi’s new employees is found floating facedown in a vat of whisky, Abi is determined to use her skills as an investigative journalist to identify the cold-blooded killer and dispense a dram of justice before he strikes again. But distilling truth from lies is tricky, especially when everyone seems to have something to hide.

My thoughts

Another book I read in 2018, but am finally reviewing now!

I really enjoyed this cozy mystery. It takes place in Scotland and is about a whiskey distillery. The mystery is interesting and kept me guessing. I figured out some of it, but not all of it which is always nice.


I listened to the audio version of this book and the narrator–Gemma Dawson–is excellent. She did an excellent job with all the different voices and really increased my enjoyment of this book.

Abi, Liam and other characters

Abi inherits her uncle’s distillery in Scotland when he dies. Her uncle raised her after her parents died so she was very close to him. However, she had never visited him in Scotland. She was busy with her career as a photojournalist traveling the world and she resented the fact he’d sold their home in London to buy the distillery. After he dies she wishes she had found out more about his life in Scotland and had visited him there.

Abi is a good character–not perfect, but not stupid or irritating either! Her wheaten terrier Liam is a great character, too. I like a number of other characters, too. Abi’s best friend Patrick comes with her to Scotland and helps her. And it’s understandable why some of the distillery employees don’t like Abi since she never visited her uncle in Scotland. They’re also worried about what will happen to the distillery since she doesn’t know anything about whiskey. And there’s a whiff of romance in this first book.

Threats and Sabotage

Even before she travels to Scotland someone delivers a threatening message to her and that continues after she’s in Scotland. She also discovers someone is sabotaging the distillery. Abi doesn’t know anything about single malt scotch, but she’s determined to honor her uncle’s memory and his faith in leaving the distillery to her. She wants to find a buyer for the distillery who will continue to make special single malt scotch. The sabotage at the distillery continues and the threats to Abi escalate. A murder occurs at the distillery. Abi isn’t sure who she can trust. A good mystery indeed!

A good cozy

I like Abi and I like finding out more about the distilling of scotch and about Scotland. I look forward to reading the next book in the series! The fourth book in the series–Died in the Wool (which I featured in a Can’t-Wait Wednesday earlier in March)–is set to publish in June.

My Rating: B+

Narrator Rating: B+

Have you read any books by this author?

Review: The Clincher by Lisa Preston

The Clincher by Lisa Preston

Series: Horseshoer Mystery #1

Genre:  Mystery

Setting: Central Oregon, United States

Source: Ebook, Library

Publishing Date: November 2018

288 pages

Synopsis: Clinching is the technique used to bend a driven horseshoe nail to hold the shoe to a hoof. Rainy Dale is The Clincher, a twenty-something high school-dropout turned farrier (horseshoer) who is haunted by a secret she carries. Estranged from her California d-list actress momma and her ranch hand Texas daddy, she tracked down her childhood horse in small-town Oregon–a land full of cowboys and their horses–then stayed to build a life with her tools, steel, and forge. She’s sleeping in a garage and trying not to fall for her landlord, the hapless and hopeful chef, Guy, who is determined to create the perfect souffle while Rainy would prefer to just stuff her mouth with fuel for her physically demanding job. As the new kid in town, Rainy has an uphill battle to prove herself, especially to her male clients, but when one of her clients turns up dead, Rainy is in over her head as both a suspect and a seeker of the truth. The Clincher is the first in a series of horseshoer mysteries featuring the irrepressible, irreverent, and irresistible Rainy Dale and her loveable and unlikely side-kick (her culinarily inclined boyfriend, Guy).

My thoughts

Such a good book! I really enjoyed Rainy Dale. She has a strong voice plus I’m not sure I’ve read any books about farriers (horseshoers) before. I learned all sorts of things about horses and shoeing. The cover was what first attracted my attention to this book and then that it was also a mystery. When I read a little of the synopsis and realized it took place somewhere in Central Oregon (where I grew up) this looked like a match for me! And it was.

A good mystery

The mystery is good, the characters–especially Rainy and her chef boyfriend Guy–are so fun to read about. I sometimes felt sorry for Guy who is such a good person. He has trouble understanding Rainy who is complicated and troubled. She hasn’t had the easiest childhood since she was shuttled back and forth between her divorced parents (a Hollywood actress and a truck driver ranch hand). She’s trying to be a better person and has many internal dialogues with herself! I sometimes felt like I was eavesdropping…lol.

Rainy is a suspect when one of her clients is found dead. Rainy is the last person known to see her. Rainy feels guilty about the fact the woman invited her for a talk and a drink after Rainy finishes the horseshoe job. Rainy turned her down because she found the woman irritating. In hindsight Rainy realizes the woman was nervous.

A horse and dog? Oh yes!

Rainy’s horse, Red, and Australian shepherd dog, Charlie, are fun to read about. Charlie herds Guy’s goslings and the search Rainy made to find her childhood horse Red help make the book special. The author knows a lot about horses and dogs which I appreciate.

I’m so glad the second book in the series–Dead Blow is set to publish in 2019.

My Rating: B+

Have you read any books by this author?

Review: Splintered Silence by Susan Furlong

Splintered Silence by Susan FurlongSplintered Silence by Susan Furlong

Series: Bone Gap Travellers #1

Genre: Mystery

Setting: Tennessee

Source: Ebook, purchased

Publishing Date: 2017

288 pages

Synopsis: After an IED explosion abruptly ends her tour of duty, Brynn arrives stateside with PTSD and her canine partner Wilco–both of them bearing the scars of battle. With a mix of affection, curiosity, and misgivings, she goes back to Bone Gap, Tennessee, and the insular culture she’d hoped to escape by enlisting in the Marine Corps.

Marginalized and wary of outsiders, the Irish Travellers keep to themselves in a secluded mountain community, maintaining an uneasy coexistence with the “settled” townspeople of McCreary. When Wilco’s training as a cadaver dog leads Brynn to discover a body in the woods, the two worlds collide. Soon it’s clear that and Brynn and Wilco are in danger–and they’re not the only ones.

After the police identify the dead woman, Brynn is shocked to learn she has a personal connection–and everything she’s been told about her past is called into question.

Forming a reluctant alliance with local sheriff Frank Pusser, Brynn must dig up secrets that not only will rattle her close-knit clan to its core, but may forever change her perception of who she is…and put her back in the line of fire.

My thoughts

A good book to read for the last book of 2018! Splintered Silence has lots of favorites for me: a good mystery, a military veteran, a former military dog and a group of people I’d never heard of or read about before–a Irish Travellers.

Brynn Callahan is a former Marine MP who along with her canine partner Wilco was badly injured by an IED explosion. Both are suffering from PTSD. They are each other’s best friend and they help each other when the nightmares become too much. Brynn has come back to Bone Gap, Tennessee where her grandparents raised her. She is part of the Irish Travellers, but she left and joined the Marines after she refused the marriage her grandfather arranged for her. Since leaving the Marines she hasn’t been able to hold a job due to her PTSD. She’s drinking too much and sometimes using pain pills to escape. She comes back to Bone Gap, a place where she hopes she can find some forgiveness and peace.

Wilco is a cadaver dog and soon after they return he finds a body in the woods near Bone Gap. This brings renewed attention to the Travellers from law enforcement and the people of the nearby town. There’s mutual distrust between the Travellers and the “settled” townspeople and that grows as the investigation continues and more mysteries emerge.

Brynn is viewed suspiciously by many of both the Travellers and the “settled.” Even her grandmother whom she loves dearly is suspicious of her talking to law enforcement since Travellers seldom will talk to government officials. Past grievances and secrets threaten to tear them apart. Brynn’s drinking and PTSD don’t help either.

I really enjoyed this book and am so happy to see that the second book in the series was published in December 2018. (That’s how I discovered this series.) A really good first book in this series.

My Rating: B+

Have you read any books by this author?

Review: Feeding the Dragon by Sharon Washington

Feeding the Dragon by Sharon WashingtonFeeding the Dragon by Sharon Washington

Series: None

Genre: Nonfiction, Memoir

Setting: New York City

Source: Audiobook, (Sep 2018 Free Audible Original Member Benefit)

Narrator: Sharon Washington (1 hour, 18 minutes)

Publishing Date: 2018

Synopsis: Sharon Washington’s autobiographical one-woman play, Feeding the Dragon, delighted audiences off-Broadway and is now available exclusively on Audible. The one-act play invites listeners into Sharon’s unorthodox childhood, growing up in an apartment on the top floor of the St. Agnes Branch of the New York Public Library, where her father served as the building’s custodian. A love of literature and boundless imagination helped the playwright as a young woman persevere over dragons of all forms.

Directed by Maria Mileaf, Feeding the Dragon premiered at City Theatre in Pittsburgh and was subsequently produced by Hartford Stage and Primary Stages.

My thoughts

This is a short “Only from Audible” book that I received free on Audible since I’m a member. (This is a fairly new membership perk—members get to choose two Audible exclusives free from six Audible books each month.)

Her family lived on top floor of a New York Public Library!

This book was only 1 hour, 18 minutes long, but it was originally a Broadway play done by the author and narrator Sharon Washington. She talks mostly about the years she and her family lived on the top floor of a New York Public library. When I read that synopsis I knew I had to listen! I loved hearing how she spent time in the library when it was closed looking at and reading books as well as using her imagination to act out scenes. Since she became an actress as an adult I’m sure her years living at the library contributed to that.

Feeding the Dragon

However, there are lots of other parts to her story, too. The reason her family was able to live at the library was that her father had to take care of and fix problems at the library. His main job was to never let the coal-burning furnace go out. That is where the name of the story comes from. When she was a child she imagined the furnace was a fire-breathing dragon! She and her family had other dragons to deal with, too.

More to the story than the library

Sharon was lucky to go to a private school and sounds like she got a great education, but her story isn’t all light and happy. She is African-American and her parents explained the facts of life to her early. Not only is she African-American, but she also doesn’t come from a wealthy family. They made sure very early that she understood that.

She also learns the hard way that her father was a recovering alcoholic. That was very devastating to her—especially since she idolized her father. One morning she and her mother wake up and realize the coal-burning furnace is out and that her father isn’t in the building. Sharon and her mother must do the back breaking work to get the furnace working again because they know that’s the only reason their family gets to live at the library.

When she and her dad take a road trip to visit his family in the South, she begins to understand him better. During the road trip he doesn’t want to stop very often even when she needs to use a restroom at a service station. She finally realizes he’s afraid to stop because he’s African-American and the service station owner is probably white. She meets her grandma and her dad’s aunts, uncles and cousins for the first time. After that visit she understands her dad better and is able to see him more realistically.

So glad I listened to this story

I really like this story and am so glad I listened to it. If I had seen this story for sale at Audible I might not have bought. I’m glad Audible is offering some stories for free each month. I try genres and stories I might not otherwise.

I’m glad Sharon Washington narrated this story. That made the story more real to me.  Since I’m not African-American and don’t know too many people who are I gained a little more knowledge about how different my life in America is.

My Rating: B+

Narrator Rating: B+

Have you read (listened to) this book? It would have been fun to see the Off-Broadway play!

Review: Lake Silence by Anne Bishop

lake silence by anne bishopLake Silence by Anne Bishop

Series: The Others #6; The World of the Others #1

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Source: Audiobook, purchased; (13 hours, 38 minutes)

Narrator: Alexandra Harris

Publishing Date: 2018

402 pages

Synopsis: Human laws do not apply in the territory controlled by the Others–vampires, shapeshifters, and paranormal beings even more deadly. And this is a fact that humans should never, ever forget . . .

After her divorce, Vicki DeVine took over a rustic resort near Lake Silence, in a human town that is not human controlled. Towns like Vicki’s have no distance from the Others, the dominant predators that rule most of the land and all of the water throughout the world. And when a place has no boundaries, you never really know what’s out there watching you.

Vicki was hoping to find a new career and a new life. But when her lodger, Aggie Crowe–one of the shapeshifting Others–discovers a dead body, Vicki finds trouble instead. The detectives want to pin the man’s death on her, despite the evidence that nothing human could have killed the victim. As Vicki and her friends search for answers, things get dangerous–and it’ll take everything they have to stay alive. 

My thoughts

I’ve read and loved all the books in this series and this is no exception. This book is about a new set of characters, but set in the same world as the ones before it. Chronologically it takes place after book 5.

I really like this new setting and the characters in this book. Vicki DeVine, Aggie Crowe, Wayne Grimshaw, Julian Farrow, Ilya Sanguinaty, Sproingers are all great characters. Vicki was damaged by her marriage. Her ex-husband verbally abused her and some of the villains in this story use that knowledge to try to make her feel less than she is. I love seeing her growth to a stronger woman. Aggie Crowe is one of the Others and is quite young, but she’s a great character, too.

Ms. Bishop does a great job showing the characteristics that various Others have when they are shifters from animal to human form. Aggie loves “shinies”–anything small that looks shiny that she can hide in her stash of personal objects. But Aggie is also brave and a good friend to Vicki. Ilya Sanguinaty is a suave, but scary character. And I like the irony that he’s an attorney and literally a “blood sucker!” Very fun to read about. And I’m hoping to read more about the Sproingers in future books. The Murder Game (similar to the board game Clue) in this book is fun to read about, too, especially after some of the Others change it to the way they play it. It’s suddenly a lot more scary and real.

I listened to the audio version of the book and think the narrator–Alexandra Harris–is excellent. She did a great job with the many voices in this book. I especially like the way Ilya sounds!

I highly recommend this book, but think you should read the first five books if you haven’t read them. You will understand the story, world and characters a little better. However, since these are new characters and a new setting it’s possible to read this one without the first series, but I think you will get more enjoyment if you’ve read the first books. And they’re so good you don’t want to miss them.

My Rating: B+

Narrator Rating: B+

Have you read any books by this author?

Sunday Post: December is half gone


Kimberly hosts the Sunday Post each week. I like to take part because it gives me an opportunity to look back at last week and forward to next week in both my personal life and my blog and book life! I also love to see what other people are doing and what books everyone is reading.

Personal life

Still the Christmas prep

I didn’t get too many Christmas activities completed this week. I had a number of appointments to get to and when I would get home I didn’t have too much energy to complete projects. I’m still making Christmas cards and we haven’t mailed any so I’m hoping to get cards made and ready to mail this afternoon.

I still have plans for baking and cooking prep, but time is running out. I need to be happy with what I get done. As one of my uncle’s used to say, “Don’t sweat the small stuff.”

World Food Prize Building

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My husband and I went to the World Food Prize Building Open House yesterday. I love that this building is in Des Moines, Iowa and that this is where the World Food Prize is awarded each year. There were choirs singing, cookies and cider and hot chocolate as well as tours of the building. A wonderful morning!

The building is beautiful. It’s the old public library building in Des Moines which was built in 1900 along the Des Moines River. About the year 2000 it was completely renovated to create the World Food Prize Building. The architects kept the classical style of the building and many of the beautiful parts inside including murals in the basement which were painted on the walls in the 1930’s as part of a WPA project. A beautiful stained glass window was added which depicts a family in the Hellenistic Period bringing in the harvest.

Norman Borlaug

Norman Borlaug was raised in Iowa and  is considered the father of the Green Revolution He  was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize, the U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal. In 1986 Norman Borlaug founded the World Food Prize which is a $250,000 prize given at the World Food Prize Building each year. It’s often called the “Nobel Prize for Food and Agriculture.” He is an especially meaningful person to me since he had a degree in plant pathology as does one of my daughters.


Again, not a lot of work on my blog. I think with everything going on this month that’s probably the way it will be for most of the month of December. I did visit a few blogs and I did comment on a few. Sometimes I visit and get involved reading and following links and then forget to comment! Sorry about that. I hope to visit a few more this week. I do appreciate everyone’s comments and I do love to visit blogs and see what other people are doing.

Last week
Next week
  • Review
  • Can’t-Wait Wednesday
  • Sunday Post

My books

What I’m reading
  • A Lot Like Christmas: Stories by Connie Willis
What I read last week
  • The Clincher by Lisa Preston
  • Lake Silence by Anne Bishop
  • Thread the Halls by Lea Wait
Books I got last week

The Starfighter Invitation by Andrea K. Höst

Hurricane by Janet Edwards

Frontier by Janet Edwards

Hera 2781 by Janet Edwards

Death Comes to the School by Catherine Lloyd

Dead Man Walking by Simon R. Green

Lost Dogs and Lonely Hearts by Lucy Dillon

Treacherous is the Night by Anna Lee Huber

Tempting Fortune by Jo Beverley

The Christmas Hirelings by Mary Elizabeth Braddon

What have you been doing? What are your plans for next week? Do you have winter or holiday traditions?