New Year's Resolutions are generally difficult to continue. I suppose I manage to continue mine because of what I resolve to do. This year, as last, I resolved to read more books, and at this juncture, I am ahead of where I was last year at this time. Therefore, I am reading more books. I have also resolved to make 10,000 steps per day, but more about that later.
On the other hand, on my SIY (set-it-yourself) bookcrossing challenge for the last quarter, I failed as I didn't finish all of the books that I set out to read. I read more books, but not the right books (by that I mean the books I chose to read during that time). I fell short by three books, all of which I am in the process of reading and have added to my SIY challenge for this quarter. My SIY challenge for the fourth quarter has eighteen books on the list. Some of them are my library book group books, some are books sent to me by other bookcrossers, and some are books that I own but plan to send to other bookcrossers in the near future.
While I didn't complete my SIY challenge for the third quarter, my pages read challenge at bookcrossing.com has been met and so I increased it by 5000 pages. Anyhow, back to the books I read. I read a total of nine books, and were made up of a diverse set of novels (no nonfiction this month). As such, I read the following books:
Ender in Exile by Orson Scott Card *
The Horseman's Daughter by Susan Wiggs *
The Real Macaw by Donna Andrews
The Friendly Persuasion by Jessamyn West *
One Summer by David Baldacci
Midwives by Chris Bohjalian *
Shadow of the Giant by Orson Scott Card
Summer at Willow Lake by Susan Wiggs *
The Winter Lodge by Susan Wiggs *
Two of the novels were science fiction. Read out of order, both are considered part of the "Ender series" by Orson Scott Card. Typically, I don't read much science fiction; however, I have found that I am enjoying these. I really like Ender Wiggin as well as Bean as characters. They have nobility despite some of the things their superiors like Graff put them through in Battle School and beyond. Both of these (Ender in Exile and Shadow of the Giant) are set in the post-Bugger War era, but are as compelling as the first books in the series. I still have yet to read a few more in the series (Speaker for the Dead, Xenocide, and Children of the Mind), but they will have to wait for now. In the meantime, I have added another science fiction novel, On A Pale Horse by Piers Anthony to my SIY for this quarter, but I digress.
I also read three novels by Susan Wiggs. I had never read any of her works before, but enjoyed all three of them. They are romances, which are great for light summer reading. Summer at Willow Lake and The Winter Lodge are contemporary romances and include some issues like teenage pregnancy. The Horseman's Daughter was a historical romance set during the time of slavery. From my brief reading of her novels, I feel she has issues like pregnancy or slavery that she wants to highlight, but they don't take away from the story.
One Summer by David Baldacci is not the typical Washington-based thriller for which he is known. This contemporary novel deals with the loss of parents, illness, and re-connecting with children. For those who have only read his suspense novels, it might be a shock, but it is well worth the read and just as enjoyable as his standard fare.
Donna Andrews' latest in her Meg Langslow series, The Real Macaw, has Meg balancing her newborn twin sons, her wacky, extended family, numerous animals from a beleagured shelter, and a murder. Always light and with plenty of humor, this one doesn't disappoint, and I look forward to her next "bird-themed" mystery.
Jessamyn West's The Friendly Persuasion follows the life of a Quaker family in Indiana through the Civil War period and beyond. It is a composite novel made up of short stories, and jumps around a bit. The novel progresses through the individual stories; the last story has aged the protagonist to the age of eighty. Unfortunately, it took me some time to figure this out, and had I realized it earlier, I am sure I would have enjoyed it more.
Midwives tells the story of a rural Vermont midwife who is accused of killing one of her patients on a snowy, icy night in January. Told from the perspective of the midwife's daughter, it approaches midwifery from both sides: the obstetricians who don't condone it and the women who do. Compelling reading that leaves the reader still undecided as to which side is right, or if there is a right side to the use of midwives in the birthing of children. Having read a few of Bohjalian's novels, I have found that to be true of many of them...that is, two sides of an issue leaving the reader to make up his or her own mind on the subject.
As to the rest of my resolutions, the pedometer geek didn't put on as many steps as the previous months. I managed over 173,000 steps (down from July and August both), and have yet to make an average of 10K although October is looking much better. Whether I will ever manage that, well, that is what resolutions are for...to make one strive for a goal.
* books from my SIY challenge
Causes Nancy Smith Supports
Doctors without Borders
American Diabetes Association