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Reading Slothfully

I was told in elementary school that I only could read at half the speed for success in college. Oh well, one benefit of slow reading is you get to live with the characters a longer period of time. I read in a vain attempt to better understand people. At my other homes, I'm known as a spouse, pop, guy in the choir, physical chemist, computer/web dilettante and child-care provider. In theory, I'm a published author, if you consider stuff like Quenching Cross Sections for Electronic Energy Transfer Reactions Between Metastable Argon Atoms and Noble Gases and Small Molecules to count as publications. I've strewn dozens of such fascinating things to the winds.

Currently reading

A Good Death
Christopher R. Cox
The Black Cargo
John P. Marquand
A Highland Christmas
M.C. Beaton
Tales from Moominvalley
Tove Jansson, Thomas Warburton
Moominland Midwinter
Tove Jansson, Thomas Warburton
On The Beach (Vintage Classics)
Nevil Shute Norway
The Maltese Falcon
Dashiell Hammett
Obscure Destinies
Willa Cather
A Start in Life (The Michael Cullen Novels)
Alan Sillitoe
Mobilizing Web Sites: Strategies for Mobile Web Implementation
Kristofer Layon


Kidnapped - Robert Louis Stevenson I remember that when I was a small child, my father would read to us at night, and one of the books he read was Kidnapped. At the time, I had the impression that it was a wonderful tale. Then, a few years later, probably 5th or 6th grade, I tried reading Kidnapped on my own, and didn't much like it. I'm not sure I even finished. The beginning was too depressing. I'm pretty sure I then re-read the book in my 20s and liked it fine. This time around, I found it to be only so-so.

The only part I actually remembered from previous readings back in olden times was the beginning part, when David Balfour's uncle tries to kill him and then has him kidnapped, so that he would be taken off to Carolina to be sold as a slave, and thereby, no longer pose a threat to the uncle's keeping all of David's inheritance to himself.

But most of the book involves David's hooking up with a Highland outlaw, Alan Breck, and their working their way south through the Highlands back to where David could get a lawyer to deal with his avaricious uncle and where Alan could escape from the "red coats". I didn't much care for the character of Alan Breck. He was supposed to be a swash buckling romantic character, I suppose, but I found him childish, egotistical and tedious. David was by turns overly gullible and overly wise. I dunno, this didn't do much for me. YMMV.