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Resolutions, October's 2013 reads of a (somewhat slacking) pedometer geek

My New Year’s resolutions for 2013 continue, or at least, most of them. My resolution to complete my needlepoint canvas (of the swan swimming on a pond under a full moon) has given way to my desire to complete my pharmacy continuing education hours this year.  Yes, it is a rationalization, but it is also a reality that I need to get them done as I will be reporting them in 2014.  So, in lieu of stitches in my canvas, I completed another seven hours of continuing education in October and plan on finishing up the last hours I need by the end of 2013. Who knows? If I am extremely disciplined, I may even get a few more stitches completed on the canvas as well.

In regards to my goal to put more steps on my pedometer, this pedometer geek didn’t fare as well as previous months.  I slacked off a bit, averaging approximately 6000 steps a day with only a couple days where I hit 10,000 steps.  Aerobic steps were down a bit, too, as I only had four days of them.  Hopefully, November’s reporting will have improved numbers.  Certainly it gives me a goal to shoot for as I attempt to make the goal of averaging 10,000 steps every day.

Reading resolutions fared much better than pedometer steps and continuing education goals. As a resolution to “read more books” I continue on in my quest.  I completed ten books in October of various genres including classic literature (and 1001-BYMRBYD*), YA (young adult), memoir, suspense-thriller, erotica/romance, and general fiction.  Of these ten books, eight of them were written by authors that I had never before read.  Only one of the books was an e-book. 

I have two www.bookcrossing.com reading challenges in which I participate. The first is the SIY (set-it-yourself) challenge.  October was the start of the last quarter’s challenge, and I challenged myself to read twelve books.  Eight of the books I chose to read for this quarter’s challenge are books that I have been fortunate to receive through author or publisher promotional giveaways through either Shelf Awareness, Goodreads.com, or directly from the publisher.  I read four of the twelve books from my list in October.  One was a library book group read, another was a bookcrossing.com book ring read of a classic novel, and the other two were from giveaways.

In my pages-read challenge, I read over 3000 pages for the month bringing my year-to-date total of over 32,000 pages.  My goal, which has been revised upward twice, is now 35,000, and if all goes as anticipated, I should complete that by the end of 2013.

In October, I completed the following books:
  The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway   **
  Midnight Frost by Jennifer Estep
  Anything But Vanilla by Madelynne Ellis
  Riding Grace: A Triumph of the Soul by Alissa Lukara
  The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver   **
  Zazoo by Richard Mosher
  Pastors’ Wives by Lisa Takeuchi Cullen   **
  The Odds: A Love Story by Stewart O’Nan
 XO: A Kathryn Dancer Novel by Jeffrey Deaver
 The Night of the Comet by George Bishop   **

Although there are several notable books among those I read, I only intend to discuss two of them.  They are the two novels that I received as giveaways either directly from the author or publisher. 

The first is Pastors’ Wives by Lisa Takeuchi Cullen.  It is the story (or intertwined stories) of three pastors’ wives and the lives they lead at a megachurch in Magnolia, Georgia, a suburb of Atlanta.  The first one is a reluctant pastor’s wife.  Ruthie has recently become a pastor’s wife since her husband has left his previous position in a Wall Street firm to become the financial consultant and pastor at this huge church.  She doesn’t particularly feel comfortable in her new role and feels watched and judged constantly.  The second wife, Candace, is the wife of the head pastor of Greenleaf.  She is the consummate in-control wife of both the workings in the community as well as the church itself.  She is truly the mover and shaker of the church as well as the perfect protector and helper for her husband.  The third wife, Ginger, is the daughter-in-law of Candace and her husband.  Her husband, too, is a minister, but has an auxiliary church connected to Greenleaf.  While he is globetrotting to help people hit by disasters, Ginger is at home dealing with her children and family.  She has a strong faith, but is hiding from her not-too-distant, unsavory past.  Each of the wives shows a bit what it is like to be married to a man who also serves God. I have to say that I really enjoyed this novel and could relate to the actions and emotions of these women.  The author interviewed many pastors’ wives as research into this novel, which added verisimilitude to the story.

The other is George Bishop’s tThe Night of the Comet, which is a coming-of-age novel set in the year that Comet Kohoutek was in the news.  Alan Broussard, Junior (Junior to his friends and family) has just turned fourteen when two notable events occur.  One is that his father, a science teacher at the local high school, gave him a telescope for his birthday.  The other is a beautiful young girl, Gabriella Martello, has just moved in across the way from the Broussards’ house. Comet Kohoutek is scheduled to pass by earth in the coming months, but Junior is more interested in training his telescope on the lovely Gabriella.  As the father’s excitement for the comet makes him more prominent in the community, the two families become entwined with comet-related events. This leads, however, to issues within both families that may be as catastrophic as some of the predictions being touted about the comet’s effect on the earth. Told from Alan’s point of view, his coming-of-age is not only his story, but the story of his family as well.  It makes for good reading overall, and I am glad I had the chance to read it.

Now, it is back to my resolutions.

* 1001-Book-You-Must-Read-Before-You-Die

** SIY book  

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Next time, take the needlepoint to class

When I had compulsory continuing legal education courses, I took my knitting!

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It sounds like a great idea,

It sounds like a great idea, Jane.  I really, really have to start working on it.  It will be lovely if ever finished.  There used to be a photo of it here or on Facebook (I can't recall which it is now).  ~nan