New Year’s Resolutions often hold up through January for many people, but by February most resolutions have fallen by the wayside. On the other hand, I choose resolutions that I am motivated to keep. In my case, my resolutions are centered on two things. The first has to do with my pedometer. I always attempt to increase the number of steps on my pedometer and hope to make it a routine to achieve 10,000 or more steps per day. The second is in regards to reading more books which includes my participation in several www.bookcrossing.com challenges. I have, however, added another resolution this year. That resolution is to finish a needlepoint canvas that I purchased when Rink’s was going out of business (approximately 1981). It has been moved many times over the years, but I just never found the time to really work on it.
As the year 2012 ended, I had become a slacking pedometer geek. My steps decreased in December to less than 80,000 steps (I also happened to lose my pedometer midway through the month, though, which affected my step count, but I digress). In January, I had a new pedometer and managed to make over 96,000 steps for the month. It is a slight improvement over December’s dismal results, and it will be, hopefully, the worst month of 2013. I hope to see improvement with each succeeding month. Already February is shaping up to be better with higher pedometer totals.
Fortunately, with my resolution to read more books (or at least as many as last year), I have had better results. In January I read (completed) ten books. They were of various genres, and included both fiction and nonfiction. The diverse set of reads included suspense-thrillers, romance (erotic and historical), memoir, YA, and general fiction. Of these, several of them were part of the SIY (set-it-yourself) bookcrossing challenge. I have chosen to read fourteen books this quarter, and four of them were completed from this list. For my pages-read bookcrossing challenge I managed to read 2942 pages of my goal of 25,000 pages for the year. This is a smaller goal than last year, but this is due to the fact that I will be working on my needlepoint project.
In January, I finished the following books:
Stormy Weather by Carl Hiaasen *
Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks
A Bridge for Passing by Pearl S. Buck *
Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese *
Alluring Tales—Hot Holiday Nights (short stories) by various authors
The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen
The Day the World Came to Town 9/11 by Jim DeFede *
Showtime (Marvelle #1) by Chloe Kayne
Her New Worst Enemy by Christy McKellen
Silent Mercy-a short story by Lori G. Armstrong
As I look back over the books that I read last month, I realize a couple of things. First, more than fifty percent of them were in an e-book format, and thus read on either my Nook Simple Touch or my Kindle Fire. Although I still prefer physical books, I find that I have become used to and even enjoy reading e-books. Further, I have also discovered that many newer books are available from the library as quick, if not quicker, than the physical books. Perhaps that will change as more people get e-readers and understand the library’s downloading technology, but for now, the wait times are minimal. There is the added plus that once a title is put on hold, the library sends an email to let the patron know it can be retrieved. It is simply a matter of logging onto the library’s website, clicking the link to the book, and downloading the book onto the e-reader. Returning the e-book is just as easy, too.
Second, I notice that about fifty percent of my books were written by authors that I had never read before. I, therefore, had a mixture of both old favorites as well as finding a few new authors that I may read in the future.
The two nonfiction titles are worthy of discussion. A Bridge for Passing was written by Pearl S. Buck, the author of The Good Earth, Peony, and many other novels. This, however, was a memoir of her time in Japan filming one of her other books, The Big Wave. It also coincided with the death of her husband and soul mate. Like her novels, she expresses the beauty of the land and people of Japan, but much of the book describes her grieving process. It was a unique look at the woman behind the novels that I have enjoyed reading so much.
The second nonfiction title, DeFede’s The Day the World Came to Town 9/11, tells the stories of the various people on the planes that were re-routed and forced to land in Gander, Newfoundland when the United States closed the air space after the terrorists’ attacks of the Twin Towers, the Pentagon, and in Pennsylvania. The stories of how the people of Gander and surrounding areas opened their town to strangers were heartwarming especially in light of what was going on in the States. The Gander citizens invited strangers to their houses for showers; they emptied their closets of towels and bedding; they prepared and served meals, and so much more. Friendships were forged, and many of the passengers and crews even became official “Newfies” after going through the Screech ceremony. The passengers themselves had stories of their own, and DeFede does a fantastic job merging all the stories into a cohesive book that showed that despite the horror of the attacks that people can still be decent and giving. All in all, it is a book that is well worth reading.
As for my resolution regarding my needlepoint project, I did work on it some. Not as much as I intended, but at this point in time, I have about a fifth of it done. It will be a year-long project as it a large canvas (approximately 25 inches by 25 inches) of a swan swimming in a pond on a moonlit night. I have completed most of the swan and some of the clouds. I still have to work on the moon and its reflection, the hanging leaves, the rest of the clouds, the pond, and the background.
At the moment I am still reading Anna Karenina as well as a few other books. Hopefully, I will finally complete the Tolstoy novel by the end of the month. In fact, it is time I got back to it.
* SIY challenge
Causes Nancy Smith Supports
Doctors without Borders
American Diabetes Association