Continuing with my New Year’s resolutions, this pedometer geek has made some strides, but not as many as desired. Two resolutions, however, are still active. The first is the resolution to put more steps on the pedometer. The ultimate goal is to walk regularly putting at least 10,000 steps a day on my pedometer. In August, I slacked off a bit. Only 188,162 steps were recorded, and only two days of 10,000 steps (or more) were achieved. I fared better with aerobic steps*, though, with ten days that totaled 15,978 aerobic steps. Per usual, there is room for improvement and so far in September, improvement is being seen.
The other resolution is to read more books. In August, I read eight books. These books were a mix of mystery, historical fiction, fantasy, romance, poetry, and general fiction. Genre lines were blurred in a few of them. Of those books, the authors of seven of them were new to me. At least one of them was a debut novel. One of the books was in e-book format.
Included within this resolution are several http://www.bookcrossing.com challenges. The first is the Set-it-yourself (SIY) challenge; the other is the pages-read challenge. In the SIY challenge, I challenged myself to read fifteen particular books by the end of the quarter. I completed four of them in August, bringing the total to eight read. By the end of September, I need to finish the final seven. It is not looking too promising at this point in the quarter, but I don’t intend to give up, either.
In the pages-read challenge, again, the pedometer geek slacked off a bit. Only 2530 pages were read during the month. Overall, the year’s total pages read are 24,345 pages. That is approximately sixty percent of the 40,000 pages I challenged myself to read.
In August, I read the following books:
Fall on Your Knees by Ann-Marie MacDonald **
Pictures of the Past by Deby Eisenberg **
The Paper Magician by Charlie N. Holmberg
There’s a Bat in Bunk Five by Paula Danziger
A Winged Thing, and Holy by Mary Gray Kaye **
Cowboy Justice by Melissa Cutler **
From Grandmother, With Love by Regina Vincent Clark
The Good, the Bad, and the Emus by Donna Andrews
Per usual, it was diverse reading. Several of them (Pictures of the Past, A Winged Thing, and Holy, and Cowboy Justice) have been extensively reviewed on The Pedometer Geek’s Reviews page already, but for those that haven’t been discussed, here are some thoughts about the others.
Fall on Your Knees by Ann-Marie MacDonald is a multi-generational family saga that is set in Nova Scotia prior to World War I and beyond. James Piper and his wife Materia have several daughters, and the story follows the lives of each. This family, like all families, has joys and sorrows, moments of grace, comedy, and tragedy. The family dynamics are warped at times, and no subject is left untouched in this complex novel.
Holmberg’s The Paper Magician is the first novel in a new fantasy trilogy. Engaging characters populate this magical read that blurs the lines between fantasy and romance. Ceony Twill is disappointed to be assigned to be the apprentice of a paper magician, Emery Thane, but she finds that there is more to paper than just folding it. Reminiscent of the practice of origami, Ceony learns how to control the magic of paper. Along the way she finds love as she sets out to save her master from an evil magician who has her own particular power. Based on this one, I look forward to the next one in the series.
Paula Danziger’s There’s a Bat in Bunk Five is classified as a novel for Tweens. As a member of Jennifer Gibbon’s new online book club, this was the suggested read for August. It is the story of an insecure, fearful girl named Marcy who goes to camp as a counselor-in-training. Learning to deal with the younger girls in her cabin, a first boyfriend, bats, gossip, and pranks, it is a coming-of-age novel that shows her transformation throughout the summer. It is a perfect read for pre-teen girls as they deal with these similar issues and learn that not everything or everyone has to be perfect all the time.
Regina Vincent Clark’s book of poetry, From Grandmother, With Love, features poems, photos, and drawings of grandmothers and grandchildren. Some of the poems are humorous, some sad, and some are poignant as the changing roles of grandmothers are explored. Her experiences as both the child and grandmother are shown through her words.
The latest in Donna Andrews’ mystery series, which features Meg Langslow solving another bird-related murder, is The Good, the Bad, and the Emus. Meg’s involvement starts with a trip with a private detective who is trying to find out about the love of her Grandfather Blake’s life. When they arrive, it is only to find out that this woman recently died, and under mysterious circumstance, according to a reclusive cousin. From there, it escalates as Meg’s extended family and friends descend upon this small town to help rescue feral emus. Per usual, someone is unhappy enough with the horde of visitors to kill, and it is up to Meg (with her notebook-that-tells-her-when-to-breathe) to discover who before someone else is murdered. Always humorous, these are fun mysteries with a cast of crazy characters.
Although not included in my list of books, I have to say that I spent much of my reading time proofreading a manuscript. Several times throughout the month, I read, corrected, and re-read Adam Smith’s memoir, My Life in the Cleveland Zoo. It is now available as a book telling of his life as a zoo employee. Hired originally as a tour train driver, Adam recounts tales from summers spent at the zoo. Eventually he became a full-time employee there. First he was a night watchman, and he finally became a keeper in the pachyderm building, and these are his memories of his time spent there.
* Aerobic steps consist of at least ten minutes of uninterrupted walking.
** SIY books