October 2015’s reads of a somewhat slacking pedometer geek

It is hard to believe that it is the last quarter of 2015. It seems as if it was only yesterday that the year began. With that, resolutions also began for many. This was no less true for this pedometer geek as two main resolutions were chosen.

The first resolution is to put more steps on the pedometer with the goal to reach 10,000 steps per day. October wasn’t exactly a stellar month with regards to this goal. Although the total of 181,121 steps exceeded four other months this year, it was well below the month’s goal of 310,000 steps. Only two days of walking netted at least 10,000 steps, and seven days netted aerobic steps totaling 15,114 steps. Aerobic steps are only achieved with ten minutes of sustained movement. The highlight of the month was a 5K walk with friends called the Color Run, which is a fun event in which the runners and walkers are dusted with various colors in order to raise money for local charities. This was the second year in which this pedometer geek participated. With this mediocre showing, there is definitely room for improvement in the last two months.

The second resolution is to read more books. Included in this resolution are two http://www.bookcrossing.com reading challenges. The first of these is the quarterly challenge called the SIY (short for set-it-yourself) challenge; the second is the yearlong pages-read challenge.

Overall for the month, eight books were read. Five of the books were written by authors previously unread by this reader. Only fiction was read, and the books included mysteries, suspense, romance, mainstream fiction, and a short story anthology.

In the pages-read challenge, 2,527 pages were read during the month, bringing the yearly total to 34,329 toward the goal of 35,000 pages. With the expectation that this goal will be met, the goal has been increased to 40,000 pages to be completed for the challenge during the last two months of the year.

In the SIY challenge, sixteen books were chosen to read in the last quarter. This list of books is composed of Advance Reader Copies received through giveaways, library book group reads, and books given by fellow bookcrossers. Four of the books were completed during October, leaving another twelve to complete in November and December.

In October, the books read were as follows:
The Truth About Love & Lightning by Susan McBride
And the Mountains Echoed by Khalid Hosseini *
The Blood-Dimmed Tide by Rennie Airth
X by Sue Grafton
Power in the Blood by Brenda Robertson Stewart
The Musician’s Secret by Litty Mathew *
Einstein’s Beach House by Jacob M. Appel *
Too Hot to Touch by Louisa Edwards *

From romance to mystery to mainstream fiction, it was another month of diverse reading material. Each will be briefly discussed except for two of the books (The Musician’s Secret and Einstein’s Beach House), which were extensively reviewed on my review site, http://www.pedometergeek.wordpress.com.

Susan McBride’s novel, The Truth About Love & Lightning, is mainstream fiction crossed with a bit of magical realism in the form of shamanism. This contains a bit of romance, too, as well as suspense and mystery. This is the first I have read this author, but probably won’t be the last. As an aside, the ampersand is part of the title.

Hosseini’s newest novel is mainstream fiction as well. Set in Afghanistan, the United States, and France, it is a saga of a family torn apart by poverty. The bond between a pair of siblings is at its core, and the severing of their ties affects not only them, but generations to come.

Rennie Airth’s The Blood-Dimmed Tide is a suspense novel about a serial killer, who is targeting young girls. Tracking down the wily killer pulls retired detective John Madden out of his tranquil farm life back to solving a series of ghastly murders. Again, this author was new to this reader, but the writing and story were worthy of checking out more from this British author.

Sue Grafton’s X is the latest in the Kinsey Millhone mysteries. As the series has continued, Kinsey solves progressively darker mysteries. In the one, there are several mysteries that she solves including a leftover situation from the previous novel. Always a satisfying mystery read, this reader looks forward to the upcoming Y and Z titles from Grafton. Yet, it is also with sadness that the series will be ended as well.

Power in the Blood is a debut supernatural suspense novel about the discovery of a skull in a sinkhole. Lettie Sue Wolfe is an artist, who also helps with forensic reconstructions. When she reconstructs the skull, she sets off a firestorm within her small community. The skull belongs to a woman who was thought to have run away twenty years ago. Tracking down the killer may cost Lettie Sue her life, too. Another aside, careful reading of the story showed that the author added herself as a character. Only one tiny mention, but it was there.

Louisa Edward’s Too Hot to Touch is a contemporary romance set in the restaurants of New York. A romance between two hot chefs are set against the background of a nationwide culinary competition. Spicy romance is dished up alongside some of the recipes from the story. Having read several others by Edwards, this reader always learns a bit about cooking, too, as well as enjoying the love story.

That’s it for October’s reads. Suggestions are always welcomed; as evidence of this, Susan McBride’s novel and Iola Andrew’s On the Edge (from last month’s titles, but I digress) were suggested to me by the Greene County (Ohio) Library’s librarians, and from this, this reader has discovered two (new-to-me) authors to read. This pedometer geek needs to step it up in the walking department, though, so off to the post office.

* SIY books

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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