In November, I really slacked off in regards to my New Year's resolution of putting more steps on my pedometer. To be honest, it was my worst month all year (except for January when I lost my pedometer on the tarmac in Nairobi, Kenya and I had no way to keep track). This pedometer geek only managed to log a little more than 118,000 steps on my pedometer. I only had a few aerobic steps, too (again, a low for the year with little more than 6000 aerobic steps). How embarrassing! Truly, I was a slacker with this resolution.
My resolution to read more books, fortunately, went a bit better. I read nine books of various genres. Some were nonfiction, some fiction, and one book was an anthology of short poems (small stones as the editors call them). Of those books, seven of them were by authors that I had never previously read. Four of the books were e-books. I also worked on two of my on-going bookcrossing.com challenges.
With my bookcrossing SIY (set-it-yourself) challenge, I read five books that counted toward the completion of my challenge. However, I still have five books to finish before the end of the year to complete this quarter's SIY. My other bookcrossing challenge has to do with the number of pages read throughout the year. November's numbers included the month-to-date of 2250 pages read bringing my year-to-date total to 32,090 pages. With a month to go, I still have about 3000 pages to read to complete this challenge. I don't know whether I will make this, either. On the other hand, however, I actually made my original goal of 30,000 pages, and thus increased it by 5000 pages once I reached it.
Here are the books I completed in November:
A Blackbird Sings: An Anthology of Small Poems edited by Fiona Robyn/Kaspalita Thompson
Mimosa Grove by Dinah McCall *
Ellen Takes Troy by May Williams **
Fifty Shames of Earl Grey: A Parody by Andrew Shaffer writing as Fanny Merkin
The Children's Blizzard by David Laskin *
The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling *
Baroque and Desperate by Tamar Myers *
Heavenly Hugs: Comfort, Support, and Hope from the Afterlife by Carla Wills-Brandon
Family by Karen Kingsbury *
The books were very diverse reads. There were several romances, a mystery, a parody, and two very different types of nonfiction reads. I even read what has just been announced as the general fiction book of the year 2012 at Goodreads.com: The Casual Vacancy.
A few books should be discussed as notable for various reasons. First is the book, The Children's Blizzard by David Laskin. It tells the story of one of the worst blizzards that the plains of the United States (the Dakotas, Montana, and beyond) ever experienced. It happened in 1888, but is still talked about today. It was called the Children's blizzard because of the number of children who died; however, there was more to it than that. It was a perfect storm in that the confluence of weather patterns and political issues within the meteorological system all came together to create havoc. Like the blizzard of 1978, the day prior to the blizzard has relatively warm (many of the children went to school in shirt sleeves the day it hit), and then over a space of an hour the temperatures dropped forty (or more) degrees. The wind chill factor took temperatures to well below zero. Many were caught in it; the winds and blowing, freezing snow caused people to lose their way, and many, both adults and children, lost their lives. Surprisingly though, there were some who took/found shelter and survived the storm. The book was grisly at times, and yet it was well researched and fascinating in all its details.
The other book of note is the novel Fifty Shames of Earl Grey: A Parody, which parodied E.L. James' Fifty Shades of Grey. Normally, I don't read parodies, but because I read the trilogy by James, I was curious. I have to say it was a hoot! I laughed so much, and loved the zany comparisons. For example, the main character of James' novel, Anastasia Steel, constantly chewed on her lower lip when she was nervous which affected Christian Grey in a sexual manner; however, in the parody, the girl, Anna Steal, tended to pick her nose when nervous which caused a similar reaction in the male, Earl Grey. Earl Grey has his fifty shames like shopping at Walmart on Saturdays, fan-fics, and pop culture trends in general. The novel was irreverent and outrageous! Considering I was reading the aforementioned, The Children's Blizzard, at the same time, it provided welcome comic relief.
As the year comes to the end, I am still working on Anna Karenina and a few other books. It is also time to look toward the new year. Whether I will read as much as this year, I have no idea. I will continue to read, and hopefully, continue reading a classic or two that I somehow missed while in high school or college. I'll continue to read the authors I like as well as add a few additional authors that I haven't.
I hope, also, to not be such a pedometer geek slacker; I've got to do better than November.
But as an early New Year's resolution, I also intend to complete a needlepoint canvas that I purchased from Rink's (do you remember that store?) when they were going out of business back in 1981. I've put it off way too long, but like my reading of Etidorpha by John Uri Lloyd, which took me nearly forty years to finish, I know I can do it even it takes me until December 31, 2013. That is, if the Mayans are wrong!
* SIY bookcrossing.com titles
** This was a short story, and was not the book title that I downloaded. I don't know what happened to that one.
Causes Nancy Smith Supports
Doctors without Borders
American Diabetes Association