I continue working on my New Year's resolutions, and May was an exceptionally good month for both of them, actually. The first resolution is to read more books, and the second is to put more steps on my pedometer. I am, after all, a pedometer geek.
May was one of my best months ever in the step category. While I didn't hit 10,000 steps every day last month, I had ten days in which I managed at least 10K. Overall, I put over 276,000 steps on my pedometer, and over 48,000 aerobic steps. Maybe June will be even better, and I'll actually hit the mark of 300,000.
As for my resolution to read more books, I completed ten books. Eight of the ten were books for my bookcrossing SIY (set-it-yourself) challenge. By easing up on my book selection throughout the quarter, I have almost completed my SIY challenge for this quarter. I have four (particular) books to read before the end of June.
On another bookcrossing challenge--the pages read challenge--I managed to read 2892 pages for the month bringing my year-to-date total to 14,693 pages. I am nearly halfway there as I challenged myself to read at least 30,000 pages this year.
As for the books I read, they were a diverse set. I read both fiction and nonfiction; I read different genres which included romance, science fiction, suspense, YA, and memoir. I read e-books as well as print books.
For the month, I read the following books:
At The King's Command by Susan Wiggs *
Calico Joe by John Grisham *
Brain Rules by John Medina *
Clara and Mr. Tiffany by Susan Vreeland *
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins *
Scandal in Spring by Lisa Kleypas
A Stolen Life by Jaycee Dugard *
Trick of the Dark by Val McDermid *
On A Pale Horse by Piers Anthony *
Life as we Knew it by Susan Beth Pfeffer
While I don't intend to discuss all of them, I will touch on a few of the books. First, Brain Rules by John Medina is the author's twelve rules for keeping the brain functioning well. Using examples from studies and individuals, he discusses how our brains function and how to improve our brains. Using the examples of well-known people like Jennifer Aniston, Michael Jordan, and the real life "Rain Man", he gives a unique perspective on our brains. Unlike most neurobiologists, he indicates that every brain is wired differently, and that neural pathways and neurons themselves keep forming throughout our lives. Overall, it was totally fascinating, and I highly recommend reading this one.
A Stolen Life by Jaycee Dugard was another fascinating read. Jaycee Dugard was kidnapped at age eleven, and lived as a sexually abused captive for eighteen years. During this time, she was repeatedly raped by her captor, had two children by him, and lived an altogether sheltered life in a shed behind the couple's house. Finally, discovered and returned to her family, she is a remarkably balanced young woman. It is her story told in her own words, and it is a profoundly moving story at that.
Susan Vreeland's Clara and Mr. Tiffany tells the story of Clara Driscoll who was the designer of many well-known Louis Comfort Tiffany's lamps and windows. In her lifetime, she was never really given credit for this, but her contributions have finally been recognized. At times, it is technical in regards to the glass-making and cutting process. Overall, it is the fictionalized account of her life in New York working for Mr. Tiffany, and it is another recommended read. As a suggestion, as a adjunct to reading this novel, get a book on Tiffany lamps to understand the information presented and to appreciate the quality of her designs.
As June begins, I have four books to complete for my SIY challenge. They are as follows:
Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion
Room by Emma Donoghue
The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
Guardian by John Saul.
Now, to see if I can complete them all.
* SIY challenge books
Causes Nancy Smith Supports
Doctors without Borders
American Diabetes Association