The lazy days of summer must be upon us, or at least, upon me. It seems like it was just June, and now as I look at the calendar I see that it is nearly midway July. My New Year's resolutions to read more books is still intact, for now at least. My resolution to make 10K on my pedometer and stay active on the Wii Fit, less so, although I did manage over 191,000 steps for the month of June with several days of greater than 10,000 steps. I also continued to work out on the Wii Fit regularly and even spent some time out of doors biking, golfing, and working on the yard with my husband.
On the other hand, my reading is down a bit even if I am ahead of last year's pace. My SIY (set-it-yourself) bookcrossing.com challenge for the quarter ending on June 30 was not successful. While I read more than the quantity I set for myself, I didn't finish all of the books I had planned on reading. There were approximately six books that I didn't complete from my self-proscribed list. As a result, I have pared back my list for the SIY challenge for the period that will end September 30. I was less specific in my book choices while still planning on reading at least 16 books.
My other challenge through bookcrossing.com is the number of pages read throughout the year. In June I read 1404 pages bringing my year total to date: 14118 pages. In this I have completed about 60- 70 % of the total that I plan on reading for the year.
As such, here are the books that I read in June:
Dexter in the Dark by Jeff Lindsay
The Cleveland Creep by Les Roberts
A Tall Man in a Lowland: Some Time Among the Belgians by Harry Pearson
The Ginger Tree by Oswald Wynd
44: Dublin Made Me by Peter Sheridan
Again, it was a diverse set of reads. Two of the books were nonfiction; the rest were novels. Harry Pearson's book was a lighthearted look at the country of Belgium and its people. Among other things I learned about the country is that there are three official languages. However, despite the fact that French is one of them, the people of Belgium have some differences in the language itself. They have their own little nuances. All in all, I learned so much about the country and would consider this a great book to use if I ever get the opportunity to visit the country.
The other nonfiction book was Peter Sheridan's memoir of his early life in Dublin. Having already read his 47 Roses, I wanted to know more about his life growing up. It was well worth the read, and filled in so many details about his life. From the loss of his younger brother Frankie to the boarders that his family took in, Sheridan portrays his life in intimate detail.
Jeff Lindsay's Dexter in the Dark was the third book in the Dexter series. Having never seen the TV series based on the title character nor having never read the previous two books, it was still a fun read and I was able to understand Dexter's history. Dexter's dark friend goes missing in this installment, and Dexter is thrown for a loop. A darker creature is out to get Dexter, and may be the source of Dexter's friend. Unfortunately, IT as it calls itself does not like competition, and Dexter may pay the price even as he tries to help his soon-to-be step-kids become Dexter-normal while his girlfriend plans their wedding.
The Cleveland Creep is the newest Milan Jacovich mystery from Les Roberts. An aging Milan Jacovich needs some help and gets it in the form of a younger, hipper detective called Kevin O'Bannion (KO to his friends). Per usual, it is a solid Roberts' mystery set in Cleveland; however, I suspect that with Milan managing to lose the few friends he has left, and the ascendency of KO that the next mystery written by Les Roberts may star Mr. O'Bannion, rather than Milan.
The last novel was a literary fiction set in Japan. The Ginger Tree is the story of Scottish-born Mary who travels by ship to China to wed a military attache'. When she has an adulterous affair with a Japanese officer, she is shunned by the community and moves to Japan. Because of the affair, she also loses her daughter who is sent to her husband's parents to rear. She also eventually loses the boy that was created by the affair. He is stolen by the officer and adopted out to another Japanese family. Despite these tragedies, she continues to live and even becomes a successful woman in her new country. Only in the end does Mary get a glimpse of her boy, now a man. Overall, the story of Mary McKenzie is somewhat sad, but still quite interesting from a historical-cultural point of view especially as Mary lives through two World Wars and a devastating earthquake, not unlike the earthquake that occurred in March of this year.
Causes Nancy Smith Supports
Doctors without Borders
American Diabetes Association