With the beginning of April, the second quarter has started; for many people, their New Year’s resolutions have become onerous or have totally fallen by the wayside. This pedometer geek continues those chosen at the beginning of the year.
The first resolution is to put more steps on the pedometer, and logging 10,000 steps daily is the goal. With participation in the Million Mile Month (see previous blog for greater understanding), this pedometer geek fared better in April. Not only were steps counted, but miles were logged. By the end of the month, I exceeded more than seventy miles although I originally hoped to log one hundred miles throughout the month. April’s numbers were an improvement over the previous three months; I logged 193,446 steps averaging over 6,446 steps per day. There were twelve days of aerobic steps, which totaled 27,933 steps, and three days when I met the goal of at least 10,000 steps. While not stellar, it was hardly slacking, and there is plenty of room for improvement.
The other resolution is to read more books. Along with this resolution are a few http://www.bookcrossing.com challenges in which I participate. Those challenges are the pages-read challenge and the SIY (set-it-yourself) challenge. Much of April’s reading material was made up of short stories. Some were connected to a YA series that I have read; another could be classified as a tween’s chapter book; the last was an anthology that included both short stories and novellas. Besides the short stories and the anthology, there were five other books read that included one nonfiction title. Half were read in an e-book format. Four of the authors, not including the anthology as there were both old and new authors among that mix, were new to me.
In the SIY challenge, I chose fourteen books for the quarter and completed three of them. One was left over from the previous quarter’s challenge (which means that I failed at the last quarter’s challenge, but I digress). However, despite this seemingly dismal performance (leaving eleven books to complete by June 30th), it wasn’t as dismal as it appears. One of my choices is quite lengthy, and it took up much of my time spent reading.
In the bookcrossing pages-read challenge, I managed to complete 2324 pages for the month (which is based on the completion of a piece of writing) bringing my year-to-date total to 12,324 pages read so far this year. With my goal of 35,000 in mind, I have completed over a third of them.
In April, I read the following books and/or short stories:
The Canyon by Simone Pond
The Prepper by Simone Pond
The Hill by Simone Pond
The Gift by Simone Pond
Fog City by Simone Pond
Charm: An Amazing Story of a Little Black Cat by Leyla Atke
In Search of a Love Story by Rachel Schurig
The Big Crowd by Kevin Baker *
The Girls of Atomic City by Denise Kiernan *
Karma Girl by Jennifer Estep *
12 Shades of Surrender (anthology) by various authors
A Gentleman ’til Midnight by Alison DeLaine
April’s reads were less diverse than normal. There were YA stories; there were a few romances; there was some chick-lit. Added to that was some historical, mainstream fiction as well as the nonfiction by Kiernan.
In the mix were the five short stories which are connected to the YA dystopian series, The New Agenda, written by Simone Pond. Each provided background for different characters and events happening away from Los Angeles (the setting for the books in the series), yet still harkened back to the events and effects of the Repatterning. Each will give the flavor of the series.
Leyla Atke’s story of her cat, Charm, was a memoir and is geared more toward children, yet was enjoyable to read. Since I have a particular preference for black cats, it was a perfect read as it centered on an abandoned cat, who became a cherished member of the family.
Rachel Schurig’s contemporary romance featured Emily Donovan, who was always involved with (then dumped by) the wrong men. Her friends, Ryan and Ashley, decide she needs a ‘romance’ intervention so that she can learn the archetypes of romantic males and how to understand them by overloading her on novels and movies. Moreover, they instruct her on how to act and dress more romantically on the dates they provide. Yet, in the end, despite their intervention, romance wins out for her and the right man.
Denise Kiernan’s The Girls of Atomic City: The Untold Story of the Women Who Helped Win World War II was the only nonfiction book I read. Like its long title, there was so much to this untold story of the young women, many of them barely out of high school, who left homes for an unknown, secretive job in Tennessee. This job entailed enriching uranium in order to produce the first atomic bombs dropped on the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Yet, done in a secretive manner, few of these women understood exactly what their jobs really were, nor could they talk about it. It was a time of great secrecy, but for many of them this job transformed their lives. It is a fascinating look back at a historical moment and well worth the read.
Karma Girl by Jennifer Estep is a chick-lit book that is part-romance, part-suspense, and all fun. Betrayed by her best friend (and maid of honor) and her fiancé on her wedding day, Carmen Cole discovers their spandex-covered alter egos and unmasks them. Not content with that, she sets out to unmask all the superheroes and ubervillains around the country including those in the city of Bigtime, New York. With Estep’s characteristic lighthearted writing, this novel provides an escape as Carmen battles the Fearless Five and the Terrible Triad.
The anthology, 12 Shades of Surrender, is twelve novellas and short stories from twelve authors who write contemporary erotic romances. Most of the stories in this collection contain some graphic descriptions of sex, yet, for the most part, provide some romance. The authors all have their own singular style, and some of the stories were more appealing than others; however, it is probably personal taste for each reader if a particular story appeals.
Alison DeLaine’s A Gentleman ‘til Midnight is the first in a historical romance series. In the past, I have read the other two, yet each can stand on their own merit. In other words, they can be read in any order as each romance focuses on just one couple. The other characters from the other two play ancillary roles to the main romance. Like her other romances, the couple is reluctant to admit to a growing love, and the female lead’s role is atypical. As such, this romance was an enjoyable read especially for those who like a bit of history with their romance.
Kevin Baker’s The Big Crowd was omitted from this blog as it was extensively reviewed on my review site, http://www.pedometergeek.wordpress.com Check it out there.
That’s it for April’s reads; now to get back to some of the books that I started in April, but am still finishing up. Suggestions are always welcomed.
* SIY challenge books