Despite the fact that October is nearly over, that November (and with it the dreaded time change), is nearly here, this pedometer geek’s resolutions have not been reported. Too many events and expectations earlier have taken precedence over this (in other words, life got in the way); however, that doesn’t mean that resolutions have been set aside. Far from it…the two main resolutions are still on-going.
The first resolution is to put more steps on the pedometer with the goal of achieving 10,000 steps per day. This pedometer geek fell short of the goal (once again), but still managed to put 185,877 steps on the pedometer in September. That averaged out to a little more than 6100 steps per day. The goal of 10,000 steps was met on three days, and seven of the days produced aerobic steps totaling 11,624 steps. Although the total for the month wasn’t stellar, it was an improvement over four other months in 2015 as well as leaves room for improvement.
The other resolution is to read more books. This resolution also involves several http://www.bookcrossing.com challenges: the yearlong pages-read challenge and the SIY (set-it-yourself) quarterly challenge. As an aside, there are a few yearlong book reading challenges this pedometer geek participates in through Goodreads.com.
During September, ten books and five short stories were read. Of these ten books, only one was nonfiction; the rest, including the short stories, were fiction of various genres. The genres included YA, romance, mystery, suspense, and paranormal. A series was completed, another was continued, and two were the beginning of other series. Six of the authors were new to the reader. One novel as well as the short stories were read on an e-reader.
In the first of the two above-mentioned challenges, the SIY challenge, the last remaining books of this quarter’s challenge were read, thus completing the challenge. With the successful completion of the third quarter’s challenge, this reader has elected to participate in the next SIY challenge with another sixteen books.
In the pages-read challenge, the number of pages read totaled 3,246 bringing the year’s total to 31,802 pages. The goal for the year was set at 35,000 pages; if the challenge is met with October’s reading, the goal will be increased, probably to 40,000 pages.
In September, the following books were read:
Crystal Kingdom by Amanda Hocking
The Revival (a short story) by Simone Pond
Safe Waters (a short story) by Simone Pond
Stardust Gone (a short story) by Simone Pond
Shelter Down (a short story) by Simone Pond
The Avenue (a short story) by Simone Pond
Girlfriend in a Coma by Douglas Coupland *
Fire at Twilight by Lila Ashe
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver *
On the Edge by Ilona Andrews
Maurpikios Fiddler: The True Meaning of Magic by M.J. Logan *
The Good Neighbor by A.J. Banner
Lord of the Wings by Donna Andrews
Stolen Child by Suzanne Kelly *
Spider’s Bite by Jennifer Estep
Briefly, it was a diverse set of reads of various genres. The month’s reading included YA, romance, suspense, mystery, paranormal, mainstream fiction, and nonfiction.
Hocking’s Crystal Kingdom is the third in the Kanin Chronicles, a paranormal YA trilogy about the various factions of trolls. It completes the story of Bryn started in Frostfire and Ice Kissed.
The five short stories by Simone Pond are part of the Voices of the Apocalypse, an adjunct to her YA dystopian series, The New Agenda. These stories give a taste of what is happening in different parts of the United States after the collapse of society. Those in power call it the Repatterning, and these are just a few of examples.
Coupland’s novel could be classified as (mainstream) dystopian as well. Having visions of a society breaking down, Karen, a teen-aged girl, falls into a coma only to awaken as the apocalypse she was trying to avoid begins. Over the time she has been in a coma, life has changed for her friends, particularly her boyfriend, yet she is the key to their change. Overall, like most dystopian novels, it is a bit strange and yet had some moments of insight and truth.
Fire at Twilight by Lila Ashe is a contemporary romance between an acupuncturist and a firefighter. As a friend tweeted, “Firefighter romance.” Enough said about a hot guy and the girl he loves (and loves him in return).
The only nonfiction book in the mix was Barbara Kingsolver’s Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. Actually, it was written primarily by Kingsolver, but each chapter has portions written by her husband and one of her daughters. Basically, it was a treatise on eating as a locavore (eating food locally, producing food locally). The book was a fascinating look at food production over the course of a year and the lifestyle of those who are willing to grow their own vegetables and meat. It really opens the reader’s eyes to the real cost of food. Although this reader will never totally convert, small strides have been taken in growing some fruits and vegetables. Just for the snippets of wisdom, it is worth reading.
Ilona Andrews’s On the Edge is a paranormal novel with romance overtones. It is the first book in a series. This novel has shape-shifters and magic in a land that lies between a non-magical area and a magical area. It is here (in the Edge) that Rose and Declan meet and work together to save her friends and family. If successful, the three areas will be saved from the evil that lurks in the junction between the Edge and the Weird.
M.J. Logan’s novel is a YA fantasy novel. The author is an advanced practice nurse who wrote this novel in response to a real-life tragedy of a child’s battle with cancer. In order to empower other children with life-threatening cancers, she has written a Harry Potter clone (blending and taking elements and characters from each of Rowling’s seven novels) about Maurpikios Fiddler, the boy who will save his world from the Evil that has invaded the world of the non-magicals and the magicals. It is both life-affirming and spiritual for those youngsters who battle cancer (or as the magicals call this curse: scorpioma). Like Rowling, the author finishes the story on a happy note, but leaves open the possibility for another novel in the future.
A. J. Banner’s debut novel, The Good Neighbor, is a suspense thriller about a perfect marriage, which could be undone with suspicions and lies. The story is full of twists and turns as Sarah begins to doubt how well she knows her husband Johnny. Figuring out who the good neighbor is just part of the story.
Lord of the Wings is another bird-themed mystery from Donna Andrews. This latest novel has a Halloween theme in which Meg Langslow solves a murder in her little Virginia city as the 31st of October approaches. Despite the murder, the stories are lighthearted mysteries. With Langslow’s humorous dealing with her wacky family, Andrews makes them fun to read.
Stolen Child by Suzanne Kelly is a coming of age novel about a young Irish Catholic girl growing up in Kansas during the sixties. With her mother extremely ill (and in the hospital), Lucy is sent to live with her strict grandmother during the summer in which John F. Kennedy is running for president. What she learns over the summer changes the girl for the better. It is a lyrical, poignant story of the Irish immigrant experience and is well worth reading.
Jennifer Estep’s Spider’s Bite is the first in a paranormal series that features Gin Blanco, an assassin called the Spider. With her handler and his son, they form a team that rids the city of villains. Presented with Estep’s usual humor, Gin is a kick-ass heroine who is protected not only by her stealth and five knives, but by her own elemental magic. When her handler is killed after a hit that goes badly wrong, Gin forms an uneasy alliance with a local police detective to solve his murder. This is a darker series than her other series, but no less entertaining.