My New Year's resolution to read more books this year as well as my pedometer goals took a hit this month. It is not that I didn't read or walk for that matter, but October wasn't quite as productive as the past several months have been. Having said that, I have surpassed the total that I read in 2010 with two months to go.
My pedometer goals took an even bigger hit as I only managed four days of 10,000 (or more) steps, and fewer than 185K for the month. I will claim the excuse of rain (according to those who watch weather statistics, this has been the rainiest year ever in Ohio!), and play practice. I think I mentioned in an earlier blog post that I have gotten out of my comfort zone (Have I ever!!) and am in the company of fourteen other people who are involved in the Bowling Green University's Firelands Campus' production of the play, The World of Carl Sandburg. Nightly play practices have seriously eroded my time for reading as well as putting in steps. Add to that, the time spent memorizing lines and I haven't read as many books as I have in the past several months. On the other hand, the play will run this weekend, and the experience, proving, once again, that an old dog can be taught new tricks (presuming no major gaffes during the performances themselves); afterwards, life will return to some normalcy (i.e., I can go back to reading).
As such, I read the following books:
Vanished by Mary McGarry Morris
Lakeshore Cottage by Susan Wiggs
The Innocent Man by John Grisham
All of these novels were very different reads, and also part of my new SIY (set-it-yourself) challenge at BookCrossing.com. For this quarter's challenge, I chose to read fifteen new books as well as finishing up a few that I didn't complete from the last SIY challenge.
The Innocent Man by John Grisham is the non-fictional account of an innocent man who is convicted of a woman's murder. This is Grisham's only foray into nonfiction, but the read was as compelling as any suspense-thriller. The tactics and machinations of this small town's prosecutor and police force should give anyone pause about how justice is served. Ironically, one of the play's songs is called "Jim Fisk" which laments how the rich get off while the poor get thrown into jail (convicted). In the case, the man, Ron Williamson, also had extreme mental issues that made his defense difficult.
Susan Wiggs' Lakeshore Cottage was a light read, a summer romance. Like most of her books, she had a bigger issue that she wanted to address. In this case, it was Type 2 diabetes in teens, and though she got much of it right, there were a few discrepancies that I caught because I'm a diabetes educator. However, if only one parent or teen gets (diabetes) care because of this novel, she still has helped.
Vanished is a harder novel to categorize. It is, in many ways, literary fiction, and yet had a story to tell of a willful young woman, a barely functioning man, Aubrey, and a kidnapped child. Because she has grabbed this little girl, the three of them are on the run for several years. When they meet up with an unscrupulous paroled man, the story comes full circle. The child, who no longer remembers her family, becomes the pawn in a ransom case in which the outcome won't be without peril for Aubrey.
As the new month begins, I am reading three books in between play practices. After the play ends next Sunday, I'll be finishing up John Irving's The Cider House Rules, Val McDermid's A Place of Execution, and Scott McConnell's 100 Voices: An Oral History of Ayn Rand before starting Freedom by Jonathan Franzen for my library book group's read for November.
Causes Nancy Smith Supports
Doctors without Borders
American Diabetes Association