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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

Behind That Curtain

Behind That Curtain - Earl Derr Biggers I'm developing rather a fondness for Charlie Chan. This was the third of the six books Biggers wrote that featured the detective. Poor Charlie is still stranded in San Francisco, hoping to go home to greet the birth of his eleventh child, eighth son. But, a day or so before he is to leave, he gets invited to a dinner party, one of whose guests is a famous Scotland Yard detective. The dinner party is to feature films taken by a famous English explorer who has been everywhere, Tibet, the Gobi Desert, the Amazon. You name it, he's been there. Well, the movies drag on. There appears to be a bit of shuffling here and there, but people appear mostly to sit through it. But then, a woman guest sees someone fleeing down the fire escape. So they investigate the room below and discover that the Scotland Yard guy has been shot through the head. So, Charlie gets sucked into helping figure out what happened.

It's interesting that the Charlie Chan books, not only feature a Chinese detective, i.e. someone who isn't your standard white-man hero common to virtually all books from that era (except a few featuring white women or white children), but also all of them, so far, have included a prominent character who is an intelligent, independent, working woman. Drop-dead gorgeous, of course, but still, not just arm candy, a secretary, or a house wife. In this book, the young woman in question is the assistant DA, i.e. a lawyer no less. I'm imagining she is like my new daughter-in-law, a intelligent and lovely young woman with a law degree and licensed to practice in New York and New Jersey. All of which, of course, makes the book even more fun.