The year 2015 is nearly over, but this pedometer geek’s New Year’s resolutions continue. There are essentially two of them. The first is putting more steps on the pedometer with a goal of at least 10,000 steps per day. During November, a total of 226,330 steps were put on the pedometer (averaging 7,544 steps daily), and of these, 94,111 were aerobic steps (more than ten minutes of continuous steps) recorded over twenty-two days, which is the highest total of aerobic steps this geek has ever recorded. Six of the days had more than 10,000 steps. While this pedometer geek fell short of the overall goal of 300,000 steps, there was definite improvement as there were only a few months this year that exceeded the total achieved and lends hope that the challenge may finally be met.
The other resolution is to read more, and with this resolution are a couple reading challenges through http://www.bookcrossing.com to make it more interesting. The first is the SIY (set-it-yourself) challenge, which is a quarterly challenge of reading a particular set of books chosen by the participant. The other challenge is the pages-read challenge, which is a yearly challenge of reading a certain number of pages again chosen by the participant.
In the SIY challenge, four more books were completed of the chosen fifteen titles to be completed in the final quarter of the year. As the month ended there were still six left to read before the clock strikes midnight on December 31.
In the pages-read challenge, another 4041 pages were read bringing the yearly total to 38,370 pages of the 40,000 pages chosen for the challenge. Having already exceeded the original goal of 35,000 pages, this reader increased it, but even that challenge should be met with the last month’s reading based on the previous month’s totals.
During November thirteen novels were completed. Of these, nine were written by authors who were new to this reader. Various genres were read including romance and suspense; some were blends of genres, and there was also mainstream fiction in the mix. Several of the books were part of a series. Five were read in an e-book format.
In November, the following books were read:
Wreckage by Emily Bleeker
Whisper Beach by Shelley Noble *
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr *
The Dark Lights by Nick Shamhart
Taking Chances by Ann Omasta
Invasion of Privacy by Christopher Reichs
Damage by Josephine Hart *
The Summer Before the Dark by Doris Lessing
Dark Heart of Magic by Jennifer Estep
Making Choices by Ann Omasta
Paris Time Capsule by Ella Carey *
The Queen by Tiffany Reisz
Young Lost Love by Doug Burris
Overall, this was a diverse group of reads. Most will be discussed briefly, but some of the novels (Shelley Noble’s Whisper Beach, Nick Shamhart’s The Dark Lights, Ella Carey’s Paris Time Capsule) have already been extensively reviewed on my review site, http://www.pedometergeek.wordpress.com.
Emily Bleeker’s debut novel, Wreckage, was a suspense-filled tale of what happened on a deserted island to the survivors of a plane crash. Figuring out the truth from the lies and dealing with spouses afterward makes for a riveting read.
Anthony Doerr’s Pulitzer Prize winning novel, All the Light We Cannot See, was a story of World War II, the story of a blind girl, a German orphan, and a diamond with a history all its own. Doerr ties them all together in a stunningly complex story.
Ann Omasta’s contemporary romances, Taking Chances and and its sequel Making Choices, are spicy reads about a set of identical twins and the woman who becomes involved with both of them. Now, she has to decide which one she really wishes to be with as she deals with the fallout of loving two men.
Cyber-security and hacking is at the core of the suspense-thriller, Invasion of Privacy. Reichs takes the realities of how connected people are with their Internet usage and how it can be used to destroy lives and puts it into a truly scary context as an ordinary citizen is outmaneuvered by ‘cyber-bullies’ using technology to control her actions as she tries to solve her husband’s murder.
Damage is a tale of obsessive love between a young woman and an older man. After they meet, the members of his family are irrevocably affected. As his obsession spirals out of control, no one escapes from the damage created by the two.
A middle-aged woman changes her perceptions of her roles in the family during one summer in the literary novel, The Summer Before the Dark. This novel could almost be classified as a coming-of-age story as the woman in question discovers that she no longer wants to be defined by her family’s limitations and redefines herself.
Jennifer Estep’s Dark Heart of Magic is the second novel in her newest paranormal YA series, which is set in “the most magical city in the United States.” The author blends suspense with romance, and to this she adds her signature humor and allusions to her other novels making for a fun, light read.
The Queen by Tiffany Reisz is the last in an erotic romance series, which features a forbidden relationship between a priest and a young woman. While the novels are romances, they are graphic in the description of the sexual acts including some BDSM elements.
Young Lost Love by Doug Burris is a story that blurs genres. At its core, it is a romance, but it is also a suspense novel. Two teens meet at a summer beach resort, and year after year, their feelings deepen into love. Not everyone is happy with this turn of events, and sets about to make sure that the relationship ends.
That’s it for November’s reads as the days tick down on the year 2015. What will 2016 will bring? Different resolutions, or continuing the ones begun a few years ago? Suggestions and recommendations for books are always welcome.
* SIY books