The year 2016 has begun, and so have those people who wish to make positive changes in their lives. This pedometer geek is no different, but the resolutions chosen have been continued from the previous year. There are basically two of them: to put more steps on the pedometer (with a daily goal of 10,000 steps) and to read more (with a few goals related to this).
In regards to the first resolution, January 2016’s step totals started out much better than the previous January (over a 100,000 step increase) as well as all but one month in 2015. The number of aerobic steps exceeded all of the previous twelve months, too. In fact, this pedometer geek logged 248,245 steps, which averaged out to 8008 steps per day. There were only six days in which the goal of 10,000 steps (or more) was actually obtained though. Aerobic steps totaled 109,406 steps during the month. There were twenty-seven days when aerobic steps were accumulated. This gives this walker hope that both the daily goal and monthly goal may finally be a real possibility.
The other resolution to read more has two http://www.bookcrossing.com challenges connected to it. The first is a yearlong challenge called the pages-read challenge and the other is a quarterly challenge called the set-it-yourself (SIY) challenge. For the former challenge a goal of 40,000 pages was chosen; for the latter, fifteen books were chosen, but there was another book from the previous quarter’s SIY books that needed to be completed as well.
The month’s reading was strictly fiction, which was divided into romances, YA, chick-lit, and mainstream novels or novellas. Additionally, there was a short story. Twelve books plus the short story made up the reading material. Seven of the authors were new to this reader. Six of books were read in an e-book format.
In the two challenges, the results were not too impressive. In the SIY challenge, the last book from the previous quarter was finished as well as two from the current list of chosen books. This leaves another fourteen books to compete by the end of March. In the pages-read challenge, 3031 pages were read (about 7.5% of the total).
In January, the following books were completed:
Man Hunting by Jennifer Crusie
Love in a Small Town by Zoe York
The Sweetest Thing by Lilian Darcy
Knowing His Secret by K.C. Falls
The Monsters of Templeton by Lauren Groff *
The New Neighbor by Leah Stewart
Summer Sisters by Judy Blume **
I Take You by Eliza Kennedy *
Weekend With the Tycoon by Kaira Rouda
Smoke by Catherine McKenzie
Elusive Obsession by Judy Kentrus
Scratch: A Novel of Magic by Paul Janson
A Mother’s Day: A short story by Kaira Rouda
Looking back over the books read, this was a less diverse mix of novels than normal. Six of the novels were contemporary romances. Two of the books were contemporary women’s fiction and/or chick-lit (although I don’t quite know the difference between the two so…). Three of the novels as well as the short story were mainstream fiction, and one book was a YA story.
Briefly, the books will be discussed in generalities. Eliza Kennedy’s chick-lit novel, I Take You, was extensively reviewed on my review site, http://www.pedometergeek.wordpress.com and can be found there.
While contemporary romances predominated, they were all quite different except for all the What-the-tuck trends seen. Two of them, Love in a Small Town and The Sweetest Thing, were second chance (at love) romances. The first one, respectively, is about a rekindled love after a divorce; the second one is about a return of an old love. Not only that, but Darcy’s romance was also a family saga of redemption, which is a different take on a romance.
Crusie’s romance was a mishap-filled quest for love with the correct kind of guy until her friendship with the wrong guy turns to love. Lighthearted humor makes for fun reading.
Two romances (Knowing His Secret and Weekend With the Tycoon) were novellas of billionaires finding love. Rouda’s story was about a fake date that turned into something much more for the couple while Falls’ was an erotic tale of “no expectations” (his words to her to remember) that ends in a cliffhanger, setting the stage for the next in the series.
Elusive Obsession by Kentrus features a widowed mother, who barely making ends meet by taking on odd jobs. One of these odd jobs accidentally (and coincidentally) leads to (a Cinderella) romance with the widowed father of her daughter’s best friend. Need it be mentioned that the father also was extremely wealthy, perhaps even a billionaire.
Judy Blume’s Summer Sisters (left over from the previous quarter’s SIY challenge, but I digress) is a chick-lit/women’s fiction story of the friendship of two girls, Victoria and Caitlin, through their teen years and beyond. Victoria’s life changed the year Caitlin chose Victoria to be the friend who went to Martha’s Vineyard with her. Unofficially becoming a part of Caitlin’s family sets Vix on a path filled with opportunities including the possibility to Never Be Ordinary.
Mainstream novels, by nature, are not genre specific and range widely in subject. This was seen in the three novels and short story read. In Groff’s novel, a fictionalized Cooperstown, New York is presented as seen through the genealogical path followed by the protagonist, Willie. Willie searches the town’s history and her past to find her biological father.
Leah Stewart’s The New Neighbor is a story that blends mystery and intrigue with obsession and complications. In order to unravel the mystery of a new neighbor and her son, an elderly woman shares her history of nursing during World War II and the deep friendship she has with one of the other nurses. Blending history with a contemporary story makes for compelling reading.
Smoke, Catherine McKenzie’s latest novel, is the story of two very different women and former friends (Elizabeth and Mindy) on opposite sides of a wild fire in a small mountainous town. Their town, their homes, and their lives may not survive this fire as it is destructive in more ways than one.
Kaira Rouda’s mainstream short story, A Mother’s Day, tells the story of a tragic event experienced by three different women. Each woman, all at different stages of motherhood, is changed irrevocably by the event.
Paul Janson’s Scratch: A Novel of Magic is a cute YA tale about a black cat with curative powers. One scratch from Onyx can change attitudes, health conditions, and even save lives. For several families he does just that.
That’s it for January’s reads and pedometer statistics. Now to get back to reading and walking.
An asterick represents a SIY book; two is for the previous quarter SIY book.