New Year's resolutions are often hard to keep unless they are the type that a person is already motivated to do. Mine are and that's why I am still working at mine. First and foremost, I resolved to read more books this year than last year. I have also resolved to put more steps on my pedometer; I am a pedometer geek after all.
My step count was not stellar in November; to be truthful, it was the worst month in 2011, and I only managed to log around 140,000 steps. I'd like to blame the weather (it rained and rained) and the fact that I had to replace the battery (thus those steps during the time I had no battery were not recorded), but the reality is I didn't get it done. I didn't put in the steps; however, having said that, I have another month to redeem myself. Not only that, I still managed to spend time on the Wii Fit every day, and for the most part for the recommended thirty minutes.
However, I did get quite a bit of reading done (the positive side of all that rain). I read quite a few of my SIY (set-it-yourself) challenge books from bookcrossing. com and completed my pages read challenge there, too. Last month I increased the number I had originally chosen, and managed to read enough to have completed that, too. I also have managed to read more books this year than last year. I set myself a goal at Goodreads to read at least eighty books, and I am within a few books of that goal. Despite that, I will keep reading as the year winds down.
As such, I read the following books in November:
The Cider House Rules by John Irving *
Forever Ours by Janis Amatuzio, M.D.
The Christmas Sweater by Glenn Beck *
Freedom by Jonathan Franzen *
A Place of Execution by Val McDermid *
Deja Vu by Fern Michaels
100 Voices: An Oral History of Ayn Rand by Scott McConnell
Home Free by Fern Michaels
The Beaufort Diaries by T. Cooper
Testimony by Anita Shreve *
It was truly a diverse set of books that I completed last month. Some like Irving's novel, McDermid's novel, and Scott McConnell's book were started in a previous month (and read intermittently while other books were being read).
While I normally discuss most of the books I read, I am only going to address the two non-fiction titles. Forever Ours was a fascinating look at some different reactions and events regarding those who have died. The author is a physician who has had her own experiences when others have died, but most of her stories are about patients who have either had near-death experiences or have had family members who report their experiences with loved ones after they have died. It was truly a fascinating look from a physician who deals with death daily. While she is now a coroner, she still has patients that she sees, too.
The other non-fiction title is Scott McConnell's 100 Voices: An Oral History of Ayn Rand. This book has interviews from many people from all walks of life. Each interviewee had some sort of relationship with Ayn Rand. Most were positive, but there were a few people who didn't particularly like her. Starting in the 1910s with an interview with her favorite sister, Nora, and interviews from people she knew up until she died in the early '80s, the interviews were done in the late 1990s through the early 2000s. From Mickey Spillane to Louis Rukeyser to Mike Wallace, the interviews span a whole range of people, both famous and not-so-famous. Many of the events mentioned by the interviewees are cross-referenced for authenticity, and this book will give the readers of her novels a whole new perspective on the author. Theses interviews truly give a unique portrait of author, Ayn Rand, and is worth the read.
As December begins, I continue to read. Right now, I am reading three books, one of which is the classic, Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov; the others being a novel by Andrew Greeley, The Senator and the Priest, and a novel by Elizabeth Berg, What We Keep. I have way too many other books to read to complete my SIY challenge, but will try to get them finished before the end of the year. If not, there is always next year.
* SIY challenge books
Causes Nancy Smith Supports
Doctors without Borders
American Diabetes Association