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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


Landfall - Nevil Shute Although I'd heard about Nevil Shute many decades ago, I had never read him before. This book was quite good, and I'll likely read something more from Shute. The writing is a bit spare and to the point, so doesn't flow smoothly is it might in the hands of a language master, such as Dickens. But Shute was an engineer by trade, so I can cut him slack.

The story takes place early in WWII, before the US enters the war. It is about a young RAF pilot who is part of a squadron who flies out over the English channel for reconnaissance and to protect England from German ships, in particular the German U-boats or submarines. The young man sinks a sub that he was pretty sure was German, but the Admiralty thinks he might have sunk a British sub that went missing the same day.

While his early flights and then the sub inquiry are going on, the young man begins a romance with a bar girl. They feel increasing comfort in each other's presence. After the inquiry into the sub sinking, the young man is transferred away. But after a few months, he returns to the area as a test pilot, and the romance resumes again. So, in a way, it's the story about how people try to continue with normal life during the very abnormal times that existed in Britain during WWII.

I've always been a sucker for old English books and movies of that period. I adore Vera Lynn songs. Interestingly, in my mind's eye, the action in this book took place in black and white, as would be the case were I watching the action in a movie theater of that time period. The lack of color didn't detract one iota from the story. That's just the way my mind works. I read Jane Austin in color because I've seen her portrayed in color. I read WWII stories and noire detective stories in black and white because that's the way I've seen them portrayed. Weird, huh?