Sara West's blog

Real World Forensics

TV shows like CSI, NCIS, Bones, and Criminal Minds dramatize forensics and criminal investigations, but how do the script writers figure out how to accurately portray different scenes? They ask the experts. 

The Cinderella Horse

The Eighty-Dollar Horse: Snowman, the Horse that Inspired a Nation by Elizabeth LettsThe afternoon auction ended. The leftovers, old horses, were packed tightly into a trailer for the final trip of their lives. These horses were the ones no one wanted. The ones destined for the glue factory.

Harry de Leyer, a stable instructor, planned to attend the auction. He wanted to buy a strong, sturdy horse but a flat tire dashed his plans. He arrived late and the only horses left were the rejects sandwiched together in the trailer.

Planning the Perfect Day

If wedding bells are ringing and you're in the stages of planning that big day, pick up a copy of The Knot
Ultimate Wedding Lookbook
. You'll find over a thousand ideas to make your day unforgettable. The book includes tips for every stage of planning and pictures that are categorized by color. Reading the Knot Lookbook is like flipping through a printed version of Pintrest for wedding ideas. If you're planning a wedding for yourself or someone else, pick up a copy and get inspired.

Forgotten Wisdom

Not long ago, I stumbled upon a book called How to Sew A Button by Erin Bried. The book contains a treasure of practical life tips that were common knowledge for many of our grandmothers but are no longer well-known for many today. You'll find simple tips and tricks for baking bread, writing thank-you notes, planting a vegetable garden, and more.

Gotta Go

Sure, we love Houston and all it has to offer, but sometimes it's nice to get away for a little bit. But what if you don't have the time or the ability to go on a big adventure to a faraway place? That's when you pick up a copy of Quick Escapes from Houston. Choose your direction of escape and jaunt off on a two day Texas journey to places like Brenham,  Fredricksburg, or Port Aransas.

Check Again

Performing an appendectomy, flying a 747, and building a skyscraper are deeply complex tasks that require specialists and the proper tools. Despite the deep knowledge and high-tech tools needed to get the job done safely, complications arise. What is one of the easiest ways to prevent accidents and keep such complex tasks running smoothly? It isn't more training and better equipment, according to surgeon Atul Gawande. It is something simple and often overlooked - the humble checklist. 

I Can't Wait!

Jenny Berggren - To Win the WorldMy 2012 book year started on a high note when I learned that my favorite singer, Jenny Berggren, is set to release her autobiography in English. You may not immediately recognize the name, but if you've ever heard "The Sign", "Don't Turn Around" or "Beautiful Life", then you've heard Jenny Berggren's work as a part of Swedish pop sensation Ace of Base.

War Animals

Many film studios reserve some of their biggest releases for the last two weeks of the year. One of the movies premiering on Christmas day is called War Horse and is based on a historical fiction book of the same name written by Michael Morpurgo. The film is set during World War I but it is not a war movie, according to director Steven Spielberg.

Keeping It All

Many of us exchange gifts this time of year. But what happens when the receiver keeps both the present and the packaging? What does it mean when a person can't bring themselves to get rid of something most people would throw away? The clinical condition of hoarding has recently been highlighted on reality shows such as A&E's Hoarders. It is estimated that there are about six million people with the condition in the US. 

Music Education

Ever find yourself stuck trying to come up with good songs to add to your playlist?  These books will lead you to some of the best recordings ever made.  Use these guides to recall your favorites and discover some new tunes along the way:

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