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Resolutions, March's 2012 reads of a pedometer geek

I'm attempting to keeping my New Year's resolutions intact.  My main resolution  is to read more books than last year; the other is to increase the number of steps (preferably to 10,000 steps daily) on my pedometer.  This pedometer geek improved a bit on the number of steps in March (over February's total) with over 174,000 steps, of which over 26,000 were considered aerobic.  The improvement in the weather may have contributed to the increase.  Of course, there is always room for improvement as I only managed one day of over 10,000 steps.  

As for reading, I only read five books, and only one of them was from my SIY (set-it-yourself) challenge at www.bookcrossing.com.  In fact, my SIY challenge for the first quarter was a dismal failure as I only completed a third of the books from that list. 

My new SIY challenge for the second quarter of the year is less aggressive with 21 books to be read with many of them as undeclared titles.  In the past, I always declared the titles or types of books to be read in advance, and that has affected my ability to complete the challenge.  

My other bookcrossing challenge is a pages-read challenge, and I am faring better with that.  I read 1543 pages, and have a year-to-date total of  8417 pages read, based on the completion of 29 books.  With the first quarter's reading completed, I am more than a fourth of the way to completing that challenge. 

As such, in March, I read the following books:

   Skipping Christmas  by John Grisham

   Rebel Island  by Rick Riordan

   The Bell  by Iris Murdoch

   The Son of Neptune  by Rick Riordan

   It Happened One Autumn  by Lisa Klepys 

From the classic, The Bell by Iris Murdoch, to the last mystery in the Tres Navarre series by Rick Riordan to a light historic romance to a YA book, there was plenty of diversity in my reads.

The two novels by Rick Riordan are very different.  Rebel Island ends the Tres Navarre mysteries; Tres solves his last mystery and begins his (tamer) career as college instructor and husband and father.  The Son of Neptune is the second YA novel in a series about demi-gods (a demi-god is defined as a human with a god for a parent) that teaches Roman mythology through the quests of these heroes.  The series is aimed primarily at teens who will , inadvertantly, learn much about the Roman gods and goddesses as they enjoy the exploits of these demi-god teens.  

Lisa Klepys' novel is the second in a series called "The Wallflowers".  Like its predecessor, it is a light historical romance.  This one features a feisty American heroine, Lillian, and the handsome man, an English Duke, who becomes increasingly fascinated with this naive young woman who would rather play rounders in her knickers than find a suitable husband. 

Grisham's novel, Skipping Christmas, is one of his few non-attorney-based stories, and is a light read about a couple who decide not to celebrate all the Christmas hoopla because their only daughter will not be home.  Getting grief from family and friends alike, they soldier on in their attempt to go on a cruise instead of the usual rituals of the season (parties, decorations, etc) until, at the last moment, their daughter brings home her intended husband, who has never experienced an American Christmas.  Then, it's scramble time for the couple.

The last novel, The Bell, is a literary novel that at the time of its writing probably was considered a bit scandalous because of its subject matter of a man who is torn between serving God as a priest and his love and desire for other men.  Not only that, it deals with the subject of husbands and wives and the relational expectations of both.  There were beautiful descriptions of the abbey and its surrounding areas, but overall, the novel was only marginally enjoyable to read.

As an aside, much of my reading time was taken up with the proofing and editing of two books, one a non-fiction account of  some of the more outrageous things experienced during the early years of a career in the equal employment/eduction field.  The other, Shrader Marks: Keelhouse, is an imaginative action-adventure novel that is a sequel to Night Voices. Actually, Night Voices by Rob Smith has been updated and is included with the sequel into a two-volume set at the price point of one novel.