More than halfway through the year, and I have not abandoned my New Year's Resolutions. That is, I am still reading more books and I am putting steps on my pedometer. Although this pedometer geek didn't quite manage 10,000 steps every day, I did have five days in which I exceeded the optimal-for-health-10k. Overall, I put over 232,000 steps on my pedometer of which over 34,000 were considered aerobic steps. July's numbers weren't as good as June's statistics, but perhaps August will be the month I finally succeed.
However, in the reading department, I was a bit more successful in that I completed ten books of various genres. In my bookcrossing.com challenges, I started work on my third quarter SIY (Set-it-yourself) challenge. I failed in last quarter's SIY by not completing one novel, The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck. Of the twenty-one books that I am choosing to read, that was the first to go on the list, and I am pleased to say that it is finished even though it took me into the month of August to complete it. That was the first of Steinbeck that I have ever read, and according to those with whom I have discussed it, all of his novels tend to be that depressing, but that I should give another one like East of Eden a try. However, if that is true, it will be quite a while before I pick up another to read, but I digress. I have read seven others from my list, though, and they were much lighter reads.
In my pages-read bookcrossing challenge, I managed to read 2869 pages for the month making my year-to-date total: 21,172 pages. The challenge that I set myself here was to read at least 30,000 pages this year so am about 70% of the way completed.
As such, the books I completed in July are as follows:
Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer
Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay *
The Maiden's Hand by Susan Wiggs *
Along Came A Spider by James Patterson *
Some Like It Hawk by Donna Andrews *
Chasing Perfect by Susan Mallery *
Submit to Desire by Tiffany Reisz
Cordina's Crown Jewel by Nora Roberts *
Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins *
The Ultimate Harry Potter and Philosophy (Hogwarts for Muggles) by William Irwin
Once again, it was a diverse set of reading material from a nonfiction read (philosophy from the point of view of Harry Potter's life at Hogwarts) to difference genres which included romances, YA, erotica, and mystery. While the romance genre seemed to top the list of number read, one of the most compelling reads was Sarah's Key, a story set in France during World War II and sixty years later. A journalist follows the trail of a Jewish girl's journey as the French police, in order to cooperate with Hitler, round up all Paris Jews to get rid of them. The young girl tries to protect her brother by locking him in a closet. She assumes she will return shortly, but instead she and her parents are taken to Vel d'Hiv and then separated and deported. Her life is utterly changed from that moment on. Told from the two perspectives of Sarah and Julia, the journalist, this story is mesmerizing and compelling and difficult to put down or even forget. It is well worth reading, and the Vel d'Hiv and the subsequent situations for those involved is based on a factual event, one of which I had never known until I read this novel.
August finds me walking more as the weather has moderated a bit, and I am alternately reading several books right now. However, if anyone has other suggestions of which Steinbeck next to read, let me know I'll consider it...next year!
Causes Nancy Smith Supports
Doctors without Borders
American Diabetes Association