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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 Christmas Carol
Charles Dickens
The Way Some People Die
Ross Macdonald
Envy of Angels
Matt Wallace
The Fellowship of the Frog
Edgar Wallace
Code of Conduct (The Jani Kilian Chronicles Book 1)
Kristine Smith
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

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever - Barbara Robinson This might be my third time through this book. We were introduced to it, shortly after it came out, by an interim pastor at the Presbyterian church we attended in Pittsburgh, back in the dark ages when we were still living in academic poverty. Then, I re-read it a decade or so ago, while I was hiding out in my room, during a period of being "sick and stupid". Upon each reading, I've found it to be a great book.

The gist is that the annual Christmas Pageant, which is normally predictable and dull, is taken over by a family from the other side of the tracks, the Herdmans. They are rowdy and obstreperous, and also totally unschooled in all things church. So they ask some rather penetrating questions regarding the Christmas story. Come time for the actual pageant, they somehow manage to convey the actual Christmas story so much more realistically than it is normally portrayed. Through the acting of the Herdmans, we see that the Christmas story isn't about clean, white surbanites in a nice, sweet-smelling, warm stable.