August 2015’s reads of a slacking pedometer geek

As August slips into mid-September, this pedometer geek’s resolutions continue. They fit into two categories: walking and reading. The first resolution is to put more steps on the pedometer with a goal of 10,000 steps per day. While July’s totals were the highest of the year, August’s totals took a nosedive. In fact, the drop was almost as bad as the drop in the stock market. The total steps for the month was 171,740 (about 100,000 less than July) with nine days of aerobic steps, which totaled 16,060. Only one day of the entire month was this slacking pedometer geek able to crack the 10,000 step mark. So far in September, the pace has not picked up considerably, and the last half of the month will require some work. On the other hand, some miles have been accumulated on the bicycle in both August and September.

On the other hand, the resolution to read more books offsets the slacking results of the pedometer count. Eighteen novels were read during the month, and they were a mix of genres that included mainstream fiction, women’s literature, romance (both contemporary and historical), YA, and Tween fiction. Among the group was even a classic. Ten of the authors were new to this reader, and a few were part of a series. Two of the authors were husband-wife writing teams. Several of the books were read with an e-reader.

Connected to this resolution are two http://www.bookcrossing.com challenges in which this reader participates. The first is a quarterly challenge called the SIY (set-it-yourself) challenge; the other is a year long challenge called the pages-read challenge.

In the SIY challenge, seven of the fifteen books chosen were completed. With what was read in July as well as these books, only a few books need to be read in September to complete the challenge for the third quarter.

In the pages-read challenge, the results were just as good. With a goal of 35,000 pages to be read, the total at the end of August was 28,556 of which 5,254 pages were read in August. With four months left, this reader may increase the total to 40,000 pages.

For the month, the following books were read:
Ideal: The Novel and the Play by Ayn Rand
The Perfect Son by Barbara Claypole White
Seduced by Innocence by Karpov Kinrade (Alex Lux) *
The Sandpiper by Susan Brace Lovell
Jinx by Jennifer Estep *
Behold a Rainbow by Susan Brace Lovell *
Grey by E.L. James
Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline
The Master Magician by Charlie N. Holmberg
Secrets of a Wedding Night by Valerie Bowman *
Animal Farm by George Orwell
The Magician’s Elephant by Kate DiCamillo
The Future for Curious People by Gregory Sherl
Meet Me at the Beach by V.K. Sykes *
A Paris Apartment by Michelle Gable
A Perfect Fit by Heather Tullis
We Are Pirates by Daniel Trader
The Sound of Glass by Karen White *

A few of the books, Behold a Rainbow, Seduced by Innocence, Meet Me at the Beach, and The Sound of Glass, were received as giveaways and thus reviewed extensively on the review site http://www.pedometergeek.wordpress.com and can be read there. As for the books not reviewed there, here is a brief rundown of the books that vary from romance to fantasy to historical to mainstream, making August a month of diverse reading.

Ayn Rand’s Ideal was her first novel, but until recently it had never been published. She wrote it first as a novel, then decided that it could be turned into a play. This book contained both and shows Rand’s style and philosophy. Some of the characters were reminiscent of her later characters, and having the contrast of the novel to the play made for interesting comparisons especially since the novels of Rand, particularly Atlas Shrugged, rank at the top of my all-time favorite books.

The Perfect Son was a mainstream novel about a family who has a son with Tourette’s Syndrome. When the mother, who has been the central figure in the family, has a health crisis, the father and son find themselves dealing with each other in new ways.

Lovell’s The Sandpiper is the first of the two novels, and this begins the family story that is completed in Behold a Rainbow (see the review).

Jinx by Jennifer Estep is another fantasy romance novel in the Bigtime series. This story is told through another superhero’s perspective except her super powers are more of a jinx. Like the previous ones, the characters from others in the series show up from time to time.

Grey by E.L. James is an erotic romance, and basically is a re-telling of Fifty Shades of Grey from the man’s point of view. For those who enjoyed reading the first, it is a natural fit. It is actually better written than the previous book.

Christina Baker Kline’s Orphan Train is a historical novel about one particular orphan who rode one of the trains to a new life with several sets of new parents. Based on real-life events, it showed the lives of children who were orphaned or abandoned and the program created to resolve this condition in a more positive fashion.

The Master Magician by Charlie N. Holmberg is the last book in a YA fantasy trilogy about Ceony Twill, an apprentice magician. This one, like the previous two in the series, was a delight to read, and this reader looks forward to her next book.

Secrets of a Wedding Night was a historical romance set in the late 1800s while A Perfect Fit was a contemporary romance. Each had the requisite handsome man and the beautiful woman that eventually realized they were in love. Both were the first in their series of romances so that more romance is available from each of the respective authors.

George Orwell’s Animal Farm is a classic about farm animals taking control of a farm, forming a government, and then the disintegration of the rules to fit those in power (the pigs).

The Magician’s Elephant is a fantasy novel for young readers that shows the interconnections of people and events when a magician makes a mistake and conjures up an elephant.

Sherl’s The Future for Curious People is, at its core, a love story. In the near future, there are businesses that allow people to see the future of their romance with a person. Two different people want to make sure that their lives turn out romantically well so begin a series of visits to this one particular business. It is there that they accidentally meet, but their current relationships have to be played out as well.

Gable’s novel, A Paris Apartment, is a mainstream novel of both the past and the present. A woman is charged with cataloging the contents of an apartment, which leads to her discovering the history of the items and the owner herself through reading the woman’s journals. At the same time her own life is in turmoil, and this time spent in Paris helps to make clear her path as well.

Daniel Trader, who has also written under Lemony Snickett, brings a tale of piracy to mainstream fiction in the novel, We Are Pirates. A disenchanted teen connects with an elderly dementia patient as they and a few other friends become modern pirates. Each gives the other hope and a sense of family even if the story is a bit unrealistic.

That’s it in a nutshell for August. Now, back to reading and walking for this pedometer geek.

SIY are marked with an asterisk

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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4 Responses to August 2015’s reads of a slacking pedometer geek

  1. My walking took a nosedive as well. Too much rain and sinus infection. Let’s hope we can step up in September!

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    • I sure hope so, Annette. May your health and weather improve. Nothing worse than a sinus infection in the summer.
      I can’t believe I went from my personal best (since I have been keeping records, that is) and then dropped so much. I need to start moving. ~nan

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  2. rebbthoughts says:

    I’m always impressed with your walking numbers, Nan–and, of course, with your reading numbers as well! I haven’t heard of Ayn Rand’s Ideal book and play. Sounds interesting. I remember loving the Magician’s Elephant. I read it a few years back, so I don’t remember all the details, but it did leave an impression upon me and I want to read more of her young reader books. The Future for Curious People has me curious! I’ve listened to a handful of audio books over the course of these past few months that I’ve wanted to list on my blog and give my small impressions…hope to do that soon. Always enjoy your book summaries!

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    • Rebb,
      My pedometer numbers were better (a personal best since I have been keeping Excel records…I am a pedometer geek) in July.
      I think you may like Sherl’s book so sate your curiosity. He and DiCamillo were two of the new-to-me authors, and I wouldn’t hesitate to read them again.
      Ideal was Rand’s first novel, and she wasn’t satisfied with it so re-wrote as a play. She didn’t even submit it to a publisher at the time. Her estate decided to publish it this year, and of course, I had to read it. It was an interesting contrast of the play to the novel. In some ways it worked better as a novel; in other ways, it was better as the play.
      I’d love to read your book impressions. I am always on the lookout for books and authors that I haven’t read yet. ~nan

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