November 2014’s reads of a slacking pedometer geek

The year 2014 is nearly over, and 2015 is right around the corner. With the coming year, people are looking to make changes once again; however, this pedometer geek is still working on the ones made at the beginning of 2014 (and 2013 and maybe even before that).

Basically, there are two major resolutions that I seek to accomplish. The first is the goal of putting more steps on the pedometer, with the hope that the goal of 10,000 steps is accomplished. November was a month in which this pedometer geek slacked off. Only 164,082 steps were recorded throughout the month. Despite the low number of steps, aerobic step totals were the highest of the year at 29,851 over seven different days. Three days of more than 10,000 steps were recorded with the accumulation of 19,051 steps one particular day (with 12,652 aerobic steps), but that was the month’s highlight. This pedometer geek hopes that December will exceed the average of 5,369 steps seen in November.

The second resolution that continues is to read more books. In that, this pedometer geek was a bit more successful as twelve books were completed in November. Only one of the books was nonfiction. The fiction was divided into various categories including romance, suspense, dystopian YA, chick lit, and general fiction. Three of the books were e-books. Eight of the authors were new to me. Overall, it was fairly diverse reading material.

As an avid bookcrosser, I also participate in two http://www.bookcrossing.com reading challenges that are loosely associated with the resolution. The first is the SIY (set-it-yourself) challenge, which is a quarterly challenge to read a particular group of books chosen by the reader. The second is the year-long pages-read challenge. Again, the total is also selected by the reader.

In the SIY challenge, five of these books were completed during the month. With the goal of completing sixteen particular books, I have now completed eight of them in the first two months, leaving another eight to be completed in December. Whether I complete this quarter’s challenge remains to be seen.

In the pages-read challenge, I read 3,351 pages for the month bringing the total for the year to 34,234 pages read. With the goal of 40,000 pages for the year, it will be difficult to complete this challenge. Obviously, this pedometer geek was slacking in earlier months.

In November, I read the following books:
The Matchmakers by Debbie Macomber
New Money by Lorraine Zago Rosenthal
7 Grams of Lead by Keith Thomson *
Just One of the Guys by Kristin Higgins
The Monuments Men by Robert M. Edsel *
Early Decision by Lacy Crawford *
Where Their Hearts Collide by Zoe York
The Christmas List by Richard Paul Evans *
The Mainframe by Simone Pond
Mistletoe on Main Street by Olivia Miles *
The Quiet Little Woman—A Christmas Story by Louisa May Alcott
Life Drawing by Robin Black

Rather than discuss each book, and some of them (7 Grams of Lead, Early Decision, The Mainframe, and Mistletoe on Main Street) have been more fully reviewed at http://www.pedometergeek.wordpress.com, only one will be discussed: The Monuments Men.

Robert M. Edsel’s book is the nonfiction account of the principle group of men of the MFAA, who served during World War II. These men, chosen from thirteen nations, were sent to the European theater of the war to help preserve, find, and save the art treasures of Europe that were looted, stolen, and hidden by Hitler and his Nazi regime. These men, many of them curators of art museums in the United States, were also there to protect and preserve many of the monuments and cathedrals that were being destroyed by bullets and bombs. Often these individuals were working by themselves with only limited resources. Yet, there were some Resistance fighters who gave assistance to these men. In particular, one French woman, who volunteered at a small Paris museum, cataloged where many of the art pieces were hidden and then aided the Monuments men in recovering them. While the book was a bit dry at times, it still was fascinating to read about another kind of hero.

Looking back over the list of books, though, there are a few things to notice. First, there were three holiday-themed books, but all were very different. The Christmas List was a modern story similar to Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. Mistletoe on Main Street was a romance, and the Alcott book had three short novellas of Christmas.

There were four romances in the mix. The Matchmakers, Just One of the Guys, Where Their Hearts Collide, and the aforementioned Miles novel were all contemporary romances. New Money by Rosenthal had some moments of romance, but would probably be considered in the chick-lit genre as the story focuses on a young woman suddenly finding out she is wealthy when her previously unknown father dies.

Rounding out the rest was a general fiction novel, Life Drawing by Robin Black. The most literary of the twelve books, it is the story of a marriage and the lies and betrayals that can weaken the fabric of a relationship.

Now, back to reading as the year rapidly approaches its end.

* 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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