I had been blogging at Red Room until the site, unfortunately, closed this month. Up until now, I have been posting a blog about my continuing (New Year’s) resolutions there.
I have several continuing resolutions. Most of them have to do with what I am reading, but the other has to do with my continuing use of my pedometer and my goal of 10,000 steps per day as I am a pedometer geek.
In June, this pedometer geek didn’t quite hit my goal of 300,000 steps, but I managed 215,499 steps on my pedometer. This total exceeds all the previous months of 2014, yet there is definite room for improvement. Of the total, 20,945 steps were considered to be aerobic steps. Aerobic steps occur when there are at least ten minutes of continuous walking. During the month, I had four days of 10,000 steps or more and twelve days of aerobic steps.
My reading resolution is to read more books. To achieve this, I also participate in several http://www.bookcrossing.com challenges. The first is the SIY or set-it-yourself challenge; the other is the pages-read challenge. Each of these challenges is self-determined. The SIY challenge is a quarterly challenge; the pages-read challenge is a year-long challenge.
For the SIY challenge, I chose to read ten particular titles from the beginning of April to the end of June. As June began, I had completed seven of the ten books, and I finished the other three handily. In fact, I started compiling a list for the upcoming quarter during the month of June. I decided to read sixteen books in July, August, and September, but because I finished one from my list by the end of June, I have downsized it to fifteen.
For the pages-read challenge, I resolved to read 40,000 pages for the year. During June, I read 2128 pages (I only count those books when they are completed, but I digress) with a year-to-date total of 17,920 pages. I am a bit behind at this point, but plan to get back on track with July’s reads.
In June, I read (completed) only eight books, all of which are categorized as fiction. Of these eight books, five of them were written by authors that I had not previously read. One was the debut novel for the author. The books fit into various genres including contemporary erotic romances, science fiction, YA (or young adult) fiction, and general fiction, making for a very diverse month of reading. One of the books was an e-book.
In the month of June, I read the following books:
In the Mirror by Kaira Rouda *
The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman *
Afterburn/Aftershock by Sylvia Day *
Earth Afire by Orson Scott Card and Aaron Johnston
Misbehaving (a novella) by Tiffany Reisz
The Moon Dwellers by David Estes
The Lemon Grove by Helen Walsh
The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin
Several of these novels I have already extensively reviewed on previous blog posts, but for those that I haven’t, here is a quick look at them. The Light Between Oceans is the debut novel of M.L. Stedman. Set in Australia on a remote island, it tells the tale of a lighthouse keeper and his wife. When a dead man and a baby show up on their shores, a dilemma occurs. She wants to keep the baby; he wants to report the death and the baby. In deference to her (and their anguish over losing several babies to miscarriage and stillbirth), they keep the child and rear her as their own. Returning to the mainland is when the troubles begin for the couple. To continue the lie or not is the crux of the story, and makes for compelling reading.
Earth Afire, co-written by Orson Scott Card and Aaron Johnston, is the second book in the trilogy that occurs one hundred years prior to Ender’s Game, the novel in which a child leads an attack force to destroy the alien race known as the Buggers or Formics, an ant-like creature. The novel tells of the early invasion of the earth by them, and how these creatures land, kill, and destroy China. It leaves the reader hanging as to the response by the citizens of the earth to deal with this invasion as well as how the hero of the first Formic War deals with these creatures. The third book of the series is now out, and will, hopefully, answer many of those questions posed by long-time readers of the science fiction classic, Ender’s Game.
Misbehaving by Tiffany Reisz is a contemporary erotic romance novella. In this novella, Beatriz is a blogger who blogs about sex, orgasms, and sex toys. With a last minute assignment, she is supposed to review a sex position manual, but she doesn’t have a partner. Instead, she is heading to her sister’s wedding where she runs into a former crush. Like her other novels, there are some graphic sexual encounters, but this makes for a light read as she figures out how to deal with wedding plans, the book review, and Ben, the man that got away.
The Moon Dwellers is the first in a YA dystopian trilogy. Estes tells of the Tri-Realms, a society that has broken down into three classes: the Sun Dwellers, the Moon Dwellers, and the Star Dwellers. This one predominately takes place in the middle realm (the Moon Dwellers). Adele, the protagonist, has been unjustly imprisoned for her parents’ crimes, and she must escape if she is to figure out what hold the Sun Dwellers, in particular, Tristan, the son of the president, has on her and her family. Added to this, there is an uprising is going on, and she and her friends find themselves in the midst of it even as they are being hunted down. The first book finishes with lingering questions to be explored and answered in the sequels as Tristan and Adele become good friends.
Gabrielle Zevin’s The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry is a quirky, heartfelt read. It is perfect for light summer reading as it tells the story of an independent bookstore owner who is slowly drinking himself to death after the loss of his wife. However, after the added loss of a prized possession and the arrival of a mysterious package in the form of an unaccompanied minor, his life (and hers) is changed forever. She becomes his focus as a romance between A.J. and Amelia, a sales rep, develops. While the setting of this story is a bookstore, the story itself is about trans-formative relationships and second chances. All in all, it is truly a recommended read (particularly since several friends, Bill, George, and Annette, recommended it to me first).
That’s it for June’s reads. Now, the quest for 330,000 steps and more good books. That is not a bad way to spend the summer.
* SIY (set-it-yourself) challenge books