With September comes fall, and generally a fall from continuing New Year's resolutions. In one aspect, that was true. For another, it wasn't. My pedometer didn't get the workout that I wanted. I wanted to make my goal of 10,000 steps every day, and 300,000 for the month, but I was sorely lacking in that regard. I only managed to put 10,000 or more steps on my pedometer five days last month, and just over 183,560 steps of which 37,385 were considered aerobic the whole month. None of these are particularly impressive for this pedometer geek.
On the other hand, my resolution to read more books fared better in September. Overall, I completed ten books last month, and completed my SIY (set-it-yourself) bookcrossing.com challenge, "wild-releasing" the last two on a trip to California. This is the first SIY challenge that I have managed to complete since I started participating. Most times I overreach, and this one was a stretch. I barely managed to finish, finishing up late on the thirtieth. In my other bookcrossing.com challenge, I read a total of 2908 pages bringing my year-to-date total to 27062 pages read.
Per usual, the books I read were diverse. I read several historical novels of various periods. From the time of the Romanovs in tsarist Russia to Paris in the 1920s to Elizabethan times to more contemporary times, history was intermixed with personalities and places. Several were love stories of either of fictional characters or real people. I finished some books in series even if one of them was out of the series sequence. I followed the travels of a young English student on foot from Holland to Constantinople (actually he never made it to Constantinople in this one...the next book continues his travels) during the time prior to World War II. I also read some novels of much lighter fare, too. Four of the ten books I completed were e-books, and I am finding that I use my Nook for reading more than I expected.
As such, in September, I completed the following books:
The Last Romanov by Dora Levy Mossanen *
Mean Season by Heather Cochran
The Family Corleone by Ed Falco *
At the Queen's Summons by Susan Wiggs *
A Time of Gifts by Patrick Leigh Fermor *
The Paris Wife by Paula McLain *
Seven Years to Sin by Sylvia Day
Passing On by Tom LeClair *
The Corruption of Zachary R. by Douglas Richardson *
Loving Frank by Nancy Horan *
While I won't discuss all of them, several of them are notable for their similarities. Paula McLain's novel of the first wife of Ernest Hemingway and Nancy Horan's novel of the love affair between Mamah Borthwick Cheney and Frank Lloyd Wright are both told from the perspective of the woman herself. The life stories of both Hemingway and Wright are well known, but these women are less well known; however, both novels show the power of these women to influence and even transform their men's artistic endeavors. The Paris Wife was my library group's book for the month, but I would have read it regardless. I enjoyed both of these novels, and highly recommend each. In fact, because of the novel Loving Frank, I hope to read T.C. Boyle's The Women soon.
One other book I wish to discuss is Passing On by Tom LeClair, which is the second book in his Passing trilogy; however, I read them totally out of order. I first read the third book in the series, Passing Through, which follows Michael Keever as he transitions to teaching at a local for-profit college. His professional basketball experience (and his novel about it) in Passing Off really gets him this position, and he stumbles through his teaching stint like he has in the earlier books. After having enjoyed reading Passing Through, I had to know more about the man and his exploits, and then read the first in the series. Finally, with several years between the reading of Through and Off, I read On. It certainly explained so much more that I had missed originally by reading them in this unconventional manner. However having said that, each novel does stand alone and has its own particular moments of poignancy. As in both Passing Off and Passing On (as I found out as I read the second novel last), Michael Keever is deeper than a "stupid jock" and "passes" for more than a flawed human being. He is found to be a man who goes through life with humor and caring; sometimes he does the right thing because of the circumstances, but mostly it's because it is the right thing to do.
* SIY challenge books
Causes Nancy Smith Supports
Doctors without Borders
American Diabetes Association