Sunday Post: March 5

March is here–almost Spring!

Sunday-PostKimba 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.

Home and Blog

Cleaning and planning

I sorted papers this week. Recycled a lot and now I have to file the rest of it. Also unpacking some more boxes that had been left in the garage. That seems to take a lot of time!

We are also planning to build a fence in the yard plus we are putting together a long-term plan of what we want to do with our yard. So now that we have a weekend with some 60 degree weather we went to price materials and measure the yard. We have the utility company coming to mark where the utilities are.

The season for day trips

I feel like I hibernated most of January and February. Now that the weather is warmer some days (we’ve still had days of snow, snow flurries and cold wind!) I am getting out a little more. (February was actually one of the warmest on record for Iowa.)

My daughter and I had a wonderful day out. We drove to Ames, Iowa–about an hour north of us (home of Iowa State University) to have brunch first, then went to Reiman Gardens and finished off at a winery we both like! Reiman Gardens is wonderful (a butterfly room I could have spent all my time in) and we even walked outside in the gardens even though everything was still dormant. We plan a return visit when the garden starts growing again.

My husband, daughter and I also went to the State Historical Museum of Iowa here in Des Moines. It’s in a beautiful building and we’ve wanted to visit for awhile. We all like history and the museum has some great exhibits. The lobby has a wooly mammoth in the lobby which was dug up when they built the parking garage a few years ago. That’s kind of amazing to think it was there for thousands of years and suddenly found when the historical building and parking garage were built. One of the displays we spent quite a bit of time in was the Civil War era. I hadn’t really thought about Iowa and the Civil War, but a lot of men from Iowa joined the armies.

We didn’t get a chance to see everything in the museum so we’ll have to come back another day. We had lunch in the cafe on the top floor. It has a great view of Des Moines and when the weather is warmer we plan to come back and sit on the terrace outside.

On another day my husband and I took a ride through the southern part of Des Moines . . . passed by the zoo, Fort Des Moines (which has a museum) and the fairgrounds (home of the Iowa State Fair). We ended up in downtown Des Moines for an early dinner.

Looking back I see a trend–our trips always involve at least one stop to eat!


I got some blogging done, but didn’t visit many blogs. It seemed like every day I was pulled away from my computer. I’m hoping this next week to catch up on some of my favorite book blogs as well as find some new ones to read.

Blog posts last week
Blog posts planned next week
  • Review: Etched in Bone by Anne Bishop
  • Waiting on Wednesday
  • Book review
  • Sunday Post

My books

What I’m reading

A Bone to Pick by Charlaine Harris

What I read recently

Etched in Bone by Anne Bishop

Heirs and Graces by Rhys Bowen

City of Wolves by Willow Palecek

To Dwell in Darkness by Deborah Crombie

The Merchant’s House by Kate Ellis

Nightshades by Melissa Olson

Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton

What I bought or borrowed

The Body in the Library by Agatha Christie

The Armada Boy by Kate Ellis

Catch the Fallen Sparrow by Priscilla Masters

The Ballad of Black Tom by Victor LaValle

Interesting on the Interest

Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) announce 2016 Nebula, Norton and Bradbury Award Nominees

  • These awards have the following categories: Novel, Novella, Novellette, Short Story, Bradbury and Norton.
  • I have read Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire (Novella nominee) and Arabella of Mars by Daniel D. Levine (Norton nominee). I own several other books, but haven’t read them yet (story of my life!)


What did you do last week? What did you read? What books did you collect? What are you planning?






Review: The Libriomancer by Jim C. Hines

Jim C. Hines is an author I haven’t read before and so it’s part of my New Authors Challenge which is hosted by the Literary Escapism blog. Check out their blog and also the challenge. I’m really enjoying all the new authors I’m reading this year!

BTW, I challenged myself to read 25 new authors this year and with this review I’ve reached my 25 books! And I still have more books to review which are written by new-to-me authors…

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libriomancerThe Libriomancer
by Jim C. Hines
Series: Magic Ex Libris, book 1
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Published by Daw, 2012
E-book, purchased
308 pages
Grade: A-
Synopsis: Isaac Vainio is a Libriomancer, a member of the secret organization founded five centuries ago by Johannes Gutenberg.  Libriomancers are gifted with the ability to magically reach into books and draw forth objects. When Isaac is attacked by vampires that leaked from the pages of books into our world, he barely manages to escape. To his horror he discovers that vampires have been attacking other magic-users as well, and Gutenberg has been kidnapped.

With the help of a motorcycle-riding dryad who packs a pair of oak cudgels, Isaac finds himself hunting the unknown dark power that has been manipulating humans and vampires alike. And his search will uncover dangerous secrets about Libriomancy, Gutenberg, and the history of magic. . . .

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Like any child raised on tales of magical worlds beyond paintings and mirrors and wardrobes, I had yearned to enter Middle Earth, to reach through.


“This presents a serious question.” They both looked at me. “What’s that?” asked Lena. “Whether to start you off with a Doctor Who marathon or dive straight into Firefly.”

What I like about this book:

  • All the literary references are so much fun.
  • Isaac is a science fiction and fantasy enthusiast so that’s where most of the references come from.
  • I love that first quote (see above), because that’s what I’ve always loved about fantasy and science fiction–imagining a whole new world. This is almost like a book-lover’s love letter!
  • Libriomancer has a unique world. It’s so interesting that libriomancers can reach into books and bring forth items to help them. Mr. Hines has created a complete world and explained it well.
  • I like that the book doesn’t begin in the very beginning. Life isn’t like that. Isaac’s life as a libriomancer begins long before this book begins.
  • I like the characters–especially Isaac, Lena (the motorcycle-riding dryad) and Smudge (Isaac’s spider which he pulled out of the pages of a book).
  • Johannes Gutenberg is the “father” of libriomancers–and still alive!

What I don’t like:

  • Really I don’t have any problems with the book. I just hope I like the second book as much!

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My thoughts: 

An excellent first book in a series. I like the world, the characters and the story. I’m very much looking forward to the second book–Codex Born–which I still need to buy.

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Have you read this book? What did you think?