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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

Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Seas
Jules Verne
The Spirit of the Border
Zane Grey
Ramona the Brave (Ramona, #3)
Beverly Cleary
The Underground Man (Vintage Crime/Black Lizard)
Ross Macdonald
Delilah of the Snows
Harold Bindloss
Mrs. Miniver
Jan Struther
Betsy-Tacy Treasury (P.S.)
Maud Hart Lovelace
A Christmas Carol
Charles Dickens
The Way Some People Die
Ross Macdonald
Envy of Angels
Matt Wallace

Little House in the Big Woods

Little House in the Big Woods - Garth Williams, Laura Ingalls Wilder I expect that one of my teachers in elementary school read this to us, probably Miss Hill in 3rd grade. If not, she still gets all the credit, because she was awesome. Then I read it myself along with most (all?) of the other books in the series in 5th or 6th grade. So this was a re-read, albeit after a considerable period of time.

The book essentially goes through various activities in daily life for a family in the woods of Wisconsin about 1870. The protagonist, so to speak, is the second of three daughters, Laura. She's about five or six. There is rather a lot of detail about important activities organized around basic survival, how to make butter, how to make cheese, how to smoke meat, butchering a pig (and playing with its bladder!), when and how to gather and rend maple syrup and maple sugar, and so forth. There are also descriptions of the woods around the house in the various seasons, interactions with bears and panthers, and the occasional bed-time story by Pa, i.e. Laura's father. A lot of it seemed familiar, perhaps remembrances from having read it long ago, or perhaps from having internalized the lessons on pioneer days that comprised a part of elementary school history lessons.

Whatever, it's a fun read, especially when one remembers one is reading about one's grandparents. Well, my own grandparents anyway. Laura was only a few years older than my own grandmother who moved from Dakota Territory to Kansas in a covered wagon (the stuff of a later Laura Ingalls Wilder book).