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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

Agnes Grey

Agnes Grey - Anne Brontë I'm not really sure why I even bothered downloading this book. I had already read Anne Brontë's more famous work The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, so that should have been enough, right? Whatever, I read this one as well, and am glad I did so. It's probably not so good as her other work, but is supremely better than the more famous piece of garbage her sister Emily wrote, Wuthering Heights, although not nearly so good as sister Charlotte's Jane Eyre.

The thing that hit me in both of the Anne Brontë books is that they provide textbook examples as to why we should not allow inherited wealth. Inherited wealth turns people into idlers and assholes, giving them the illusion that they are better than other people, when, in fact, they generally are not. In modern parlance, the real "takers" in our society are those who owe their position in society to inherited wealth and inherited connections, not merit or hard work.

Anyway, back to Agnes Grey, it's the story of a parson's daughter who takes up being a governess so as to mitigate straightened family circumstances. It's the classic situation, if the children are stupid or unruly in any way, it's the governess' fault, but if they do something good, all the glory reflects upon the parents, who actually, by dint of their owing their positions to inherited wealth, are pretty much useless human beings. Anyway, Agnes perseveres through all this, in part at least to her abiding faith. My guess is that people who don't much understand Christianity in it's traditional sense, which is not at all the modern heretical perversion practiced by American Evangelicals, won't find much sense in this book. For the rest of us, there is still some wisdom to be gleaned.