October’s reads of a (slacking) pedometer geek

The year is in its final quarter, but most of my New Year’s resolutions are intact. I have only abandoned one, that of finishing a needlepoint piece that I have owned for over thirty years. I hope to resurrect that one next year, but I digress. This post is about those I have continued to work on.

The first resolution is to put more steps on my pedometer. As a pedometer geek, I strive to regularly record 10,000 steps each day. The reality usually falls a bit short, and October was no exception. In fact, this pedometer geek slacked off and only managed to put 183,559 steps on the pedometer during the month. Averaging a little less then 6000 steps a day, there wasn’t even a day in which I actually logged 10,000 steps. However, though, there were eight days of aerobic steps totaling 11,450 steps. This means that I need to step up to meet the challenge.

The other resolution of reading more (books) continues to be more of a success as this pedometer geek read/completed thirteen books. Of these books, the majority of the books were fiction. Only three of the books were nonfiction. The fiction was divided into various genres which included historical fiction, romance, suspense, and YA (young adult). Several were read on an e-book reader. Ten of the authors were new to me. One novel, which I read as a member of a library book group, was a book that I have previously read. Overall, it was a diverse group of books.

As an avid bookcrosser, I also participate in several http://www.bookcrossing.com reading challenges. The first is the SIY (set-it-yourself) challenge; the other is the pages-read challenge. In the former challenge, I read three of the sixteen books that I have challenged myself to read during the last quarter of the year. Because I fell short of completing my last quarter’s SIY (thus failing it), I added those other books into the mixture of fourteen other books that I had originally selected. At this point, I am a bit behind.

In the pages-read challenge, I fared better than the previous month, yet I am still lagging behind. I challenged myself to read 40,000 pages throughout the year. To date, I have read 30,883 pages in 2014 with 3,394 of those pages read in October. While it isn’t an impossible task to read more than 9,000 pages in the last two months, it will be a bit daunting regardless. Completing this challenge, however, is less important than enjoying what I am reading.

As such, in October I read the following books:
The Puppy that Came for Christmas by Megan Rix
A Triple Knot by Emma Campion
Dinner for Two by Drea Stein
The Year She Left Us by Kathryn Ma *
The 26 Worst Facebook Grammar Mistakes by Marjorie Kramer
The Fog Within by Nick Shamhart
Only Everything by Kieran Scott
The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith
Chocolate Wishes by Trisha Ashley
Teenage Love Spell by Gabrielle dela Cruz
Complete Nothing by Kieran Scott
The Other Wes Moore by Wes Moore *
1001 Nights: Show Me, Baby by Cherise Sinclair *

Several of the books (A Triple Knot, The Year She Left Us, and 1001 Nights: Show Me, Baby) were Advanced Reader Copies; they have been extensively reviewed on my review blog: http://www.pedometergeek.wordpress.com and can be seen there. The rest of my reading material will be briefly discussed.

Megan Rix’s memoir is the story of her and her husband’s struggle with infertility, IVF treatments, and their choice to raise and train Helper/Support puppies through their first year. The pair trains several puppies until they choose a forever puppy. It is both a heartwarming, yet sad, story as they deal with various losses.

Dinner for Two is the first novel in Drea Stein’s Queensbay contemporary romance series. Despite their first awkward, antagonistic meeting, two rival chefs discover they have more in common than they realized and find love in the small coastal city of Queensbay.

Marjorie Kramer’s short (less than thirty-five pages) treatise on common grammar gaffes and how to avoid them is a must-read for all those who are involved in social media sites like Facebook. The author explains the rules in a concise manner and then follows it up with illustrative examples. It’s definitely worth checking out this book and may even prevent guffaws from friends and family.

Nick Shamhart’s The Fog Within is a YA novel about a girl who is severely autistic. Written from her perspective, Megan Cooper describes her life living with “the fog” as a child, an adolescent, and an adult. While I have read it before, it was just as illuminating as the first time. While the story focuses on her life with autism, it makes the reader recognize how similar he may be to the main character. I can’t recommend this one enough even though it has heart wrenching moments.

Only Everything and Complete Nothing by Kieran Scott are the first two YA novels in a series that features a lesser goddess (Eros/Cupid) who is forced to go to earth and make three love matches without her powers in order to save the life of her love, Orion. While the author plays fast and loose with the Greek and Roman myths, she has a way of showing teens in a realistic manner. Moreover, she shows her disdain of teens tuning-out the world for “soul-sucking” cell phone usage. Whether the teens who read these novels catch her not-so-subtle chiding of cell phone overuse, I found it refreshing that she even broached the subject. These are light reads and definitely geared for teens.

The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith, J.K. Rowling’s pseudonym, is the second suspense novel that features Cormoran Strike, a disabled, retired soldier. In this one, a man goes missing after penning a novel that angers many friends and associates in the publishing world. Tracking down the man and figuring which of his enemies wants him dead the most is the gist of this intriguing thriller. Like its predecessor, Strike and his assistant ferret out the truth in a novel that it is worth reading.

Trisha Ashley’s Chocolate Wishes is a contemporary romance set in England (thus there are typical Briticisms throughout). Chocolate maker, Chloe Lyon, has a growing business selling angel-shaped chocolates that are stuffed with fortune cookie sayings and predictions. Unfortunately for her, her love life is not so great having both been jilted at the altar and having been betrayed by her first love. Both men re-enter her life, but whether she’ll trust enough to love again is at the heart of the story. The story starts a bit slowly, but is ultimately a sweet romance for several couples. The chocolate recipes are an added bonus.

Teenage Love Spell by Gabrielle dela Cruz is a lighthearted YA romance novella. The story features, Caitlin, a teenaged witch, who is being bullied for her red hair, casting love spells. Set during Halloween, has her spell caused Angelo, the school’s hottie, to care for her only because of it? This debut novella mixes magic and romance in a cute story.

The true story of two men with the same name is told by Wes Moore. At one time these two boys grew up within a few blocks of each other in Baltimore. They both grew up without the benefit of a father’s love and guidance, but had very different lives (one a Rhodes scholar, the other a convicted felon). Those lives (and choices made by each) are explored and compared in the biography, The Other Wes Moore. It is a worthwhile read that shows how family life and education can make a difference in how a person turns out.

That’s it for October’s reads. Hopefully, results in November will show improvement. Now, it is back to reading.

* SIY challenge

About pedometergeek

A pharmacist by profession, a haiku poet by nature, I read and write. I have a book of haiku, Ohayo Haiku, and another somewhat alternative haiku book, Three Breaths, but write other genres. I also read...lots of novels! My favorite is, and remains, Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged but I am also a big Harry Potter fan. I truly am a pedometer geek strapping on my pedometer as soon as I awaken.
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5 Responses to October’s reads of a (slacking) pedometer geek

  1. rebbthoughts says:

    Hi Nan, I might have to check out the FB grammar. I love grammar books as it is; this one sounds interesting and useful. I remember when you posted about The Fog Within. I still have that on my TBR list. In fact I have the Amazon page permanently open to that book on my iPad, so I don’t forget. I don’t read a whole lot of YA fiction, but I am currently reading The Book Thief, which has completely pulled me in (haven’t seen the movie yet). I didn’t realize this was considered YA fiction until I saw that’s how it is classified in the library system. I did decide to purchase it for my Kindle after sampling it. Since I haven’t read a lot of YA F, I don’t feel like I’m in a position to compare, but it doesn’t feel like what I imagine typical YA F to read like. I love how it’s written.

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  2. I read The Book Thief several years ago, and it wasn’t until I was finished with it that I realized it was considered YA, Rebb. It is not a typical YA because of its mature content in my opinion. Some YA is pretty fluffy, but some YA novels tackle really difficult subjects. I don’t know if you have heard of Thirteen Reasons (I think that’s the title…again I read it several years ago) by J. Asher, but it is another YA that I highly recommend for its content. I almost wish it was required reading for teens as it deals with the subject of suicide and how chance remarks, actions, or lack thereof can affect a person in various ways.
    By the way, do you have a copy of The Fog Within? If not, let me know as I may have an extra copy I could send you. ~nan

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    • rebbthoughts says:

      It sounds to me like I prefer the YA novels that tackle more mature content, which explains why I’m not typically drawn toward the mainstream YA stuff. I’ve heard of Thirteen Reasons, but I haven’t read it. Thanks for the offer, Nan…but that’s ok, I’ll download a copy of Fog Within just as soon as I get myself to reading it. You know how it goes with having so many books in flux…thanks again…so kind of you. : )

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      • Not a problem, Rebb. I prefer more mature content in my YA reading, too, but sometimes I have chosen the book before realizing it is fluffy. Oh well…too many books, too little time.

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