I can’t believe that it is officially the last Monday of the year. I don’t know about you guys, but it seems like 2014 just flew by – I had a little great reading, lots of good reading and some disappointing reading. I discovered many new authors that I look forward to reading again and moved prior favorites from the auto-buy pile to the get from the library pile because they just don’t live up my expectations any more. As we enter the last 3 days of 2014, I have my normal multiple books in progress:
The Light Between the Ocean – M.L. Stedman
After four harrowing years on the Western Front, Tom Sherbourne returns to Australia and takes a job as the lighthouse keeper on Janus Rock, nearly half a day’s journey from the coast. To this isolated island, where the supply boat comes once a season and shore leaves are granted every other year at best, Tom brings a young, bold, and loving wife, Isabel. Years later, after two miscarriages and one stillbirth, the grieving Isabel hears a baby’s cries on the wind. A boat has washed up onshore carrying a dead man and a living baby.
Tom, whose records as a lighthouse keeper are meticulous and whose moral principles have withstood a horrific war, wants to report the man and infant immediately. But Isabel has taken the tiny baby to her breast. Against Tom’s judgment, they claim her as their own and name her Lucy. When she is two, Tom and Isabel return to the mainland and are reminded that there are other people in the world. Their choice has devastated one of them.
I picked this audiobook up after seeing it mentioned in a GR group and because it showed up on the popular book club books list and since I’m not in any real life groups, I was curious to see what groups (be they face to face or virtual) find interesting/choose often. I’m about halfway through right now and enjoying the story. The narrator is new to me, but I’m enjoying him so far – having grown up in Australia, typical “Australia” accents in audiobooks but me, but his works. I’m interested to see how the book finishes up.
Waistcoats & Weaponry – Gail Carriger
Sophronia continues second year finishing school in style — with a steel-bladed fan secreted in the folds of her ball gown. She, best friend Dimity, sweet sootie Soap, and charming Lord Felix Mersey stow away on train to return classmate Sidheag to her werewolf pack in Scotland. No one suspects what or who would be aboard the suspiciously empty train.
I loved all of the books that I’ve read and listened to by this author – she is, IMHO, a good introduction to Steampunk (especially if you like a bit of a paranormal twist with Vampires/Werewolves). I listened to her Parasol Protectorate series and have been reading this series as its been released and can’t wait to see what Sophronia get’s up to in this newest book.
She shouldn’t have played…
Gallery owner Tern Maiski has always had a way with men, but the one she gave her heart to disappeared without a word. Now he’s competing alongside her and four others in a high-tech treasure hunt, and her pride isn’t the only thing on the line. So is her life.
He doesn’t play by the rules…
Geophysicist Gage Fallon’s relationship with Tern has been cataclysmic from the beginning. He cared too much, too fast and their passion threatened to consume him. Now he’s back on firmer ground and competing in a game that will risk more than his heart.
Once their group is dropped off in a remote area near the Arctic Circle, it quickly becomes clear that instead of hunting for treasure, they’re the ones being hunted. And the killer is dead serious about caching them in.
Ms Helmer is an author that I see recommended quite often on Amazon for someone with a unique voice in contemporary romance today and based on the one book I’ve read by her, I have to agree. I love the Alaska setting and you can tell that the author does significant research into the topic she is writing about. I’m only a couple of chapters into this book right now, but already intrigued with the whole adventure Caching thing (I have some friends who are super into it and i’m intrigued to maybe try it in the New Year).
Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy: Four Women Undercover in the Civil War – Karen Abbott
Karen Abbott illuminates one of the most fascinating yet little known aspects of the Civil War: the stories of four courageous women—a socialite, a farmgirl, an abolitionist, and a widow—who were spies.
After shooting a Union soldier in her front hall with a pocket pistol, Belle Boyd became a courier and spy for the Confederate army, using her charms to seduce men on both sides. Emma Edmonds cut off her hair and assumed the identity of a man to enlist as a Union private, witnessing the bloodiest battles of the Civil War. The beautiful widow, Rose O’Neale Greenhow, engaged in affairs with powerful Northern politicians to gather intelligence for the Confederacy, and used her young daughter to send information to Southern generals. Elizabeth Van Lew, a wealthy Richmond abolitionist, hid behind her proper Southern manners as she orchestrated a far-reaching espionage ring, right under the noses of suspicious rebel detectives.
I probably never would have picked this book up if I hadn’t seen the negative review for it in the Washington Post and subsequent discussions on the authors portrayal of events that occurred during the Civil War. So when I saw it on the new release shelf at the library I had to grab it. I’m about half-way through right now, but like the authors writing style and while there is a lot of detail, it is also a quick read (likely due to the typeset used). I’m trying to take my time reading it to absorb all the details.
Strength Training for Triathletes: The Complete Program to Build Triathlon Power, Speed, and Muscular Endurance – Patrick S. Hagerman
“Strength Training for Triathletes” offers a comprehensive strength training program for triathlon that will help triathletes build power, speed, and muscular endurance for faster racing over any race distance.
Certified USA Triathlon coach and NSCA Personal Trainer of the Year Patrick Hagerman, EdD, reveals a focused, triathlon-specific strength training program that will enable triathletes to push harder during training and on the race course when the effort is hardest. Triathletes who master this progressive strength training program will also become more resistant to injury, meaning fewer missed workouts.
“Strength Training for Triathletes” features 75 of the most effective strength training exercises for triathlon swimming, cycling, and running plus core strength and general conditioning. Full-color photographs illustrate each simple exercise, which are grouped so athletes can focus on their own individual performance limiters. Hagerman simplifies the science underlying strength training, offering easy-to-follow guidelines on resistance and reps that will make triathletes stronger through every phase of the season.
This is a review book from the publisher that I am currently reading. In 2014, I completed my first Ironman (2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike and a 26.2 run) and looking forward to doing another one in 2015. But I know that I need to factor in some strength training into my training program. So far, this book has done a good job in breaking down how to develop a training plan based on goals and I am about to get to the actual information about various exercises. While I have the kindle version to read, my one complaint is that tables haven’t come across well (formatting has been removed), so I see myself buying the print version in the future.
Yoga for Runners – Christine Felstead
As a runner, you strike the ground 1,000 times per mile, with a force of two to three times your body weight. You can feel that impact in the muscles, ligaments, and bone structures throughout your body. Thankfully, “Yoga for Runners” addresses both the physical and mental demands of the sport. Whether you are new to yoga or have practiced for years, “Yoga for Runners” provides you with the most effective poses–88 poses in all. Each pose is described in detail to ensure correct execution, maximizing the physical benefit and decreasing the risk of injury.
You’ll learn how simple yoga techniques can be incorporated into your existing running workouts and routines to eliminate chronic aches and pains. Discover how each pose can be sequenced to address a specific need, such as strengthen and lengthen the hamstrings, strengthen and increase mobility of the hip joint, eliminate lower-back and upper-body discomfort, speed the recovery process after a practice run or a race, maintain a strong core, or just restore and rejuvenate to prepare for an upcoming event. These sequences target all troublesome muscle regions. Anatomical illustrations and descriptions explain why these poses and sequences decrease your risk of acute or chronic injury as well as why they are beneficial to your training regimen.
After just a few weeks of following “Yoga for Runners,” you will feel stronger, more balanced, more in tune with your breathing, and more aware of your posture and technique. Your entire running experience–endurance, strength, breathing, and mental sharpness–will be more productive, positive, and enjoyable.
As with strength training, I know that I also need to building some Yoga/flexibility training into my workout plan – while this book is focused specifically on how Yoga can help runner’s, a lot of the issues also apply to cycling and I can see how I would be able to adjust recommendations to encompass cycling issues/imbalances. I borrowed this book from the library, but I can see myself buying it for reference in the future.
How about you – what are you reading on this last Monday of 2014?