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lgpiper

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 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
On The Beach (Vintage Classics)
Nevil Shute Norway
The Maltese Falcon
Dashiell Hammett
Obscure Destinies
Willa Cather
A Start in Life (The Michael Cullen Novels)
Alan Sillitoe
Mobilizing Web Sites: Strategies for Mobile Web Implementation
Kristofer Layon

Sun On The Lintel

Sun On The Lintel - Derek Tangye This is mostly an interesting enough book, albeit not exactly riveting. It is a series of adventures of a man and his wife who chose to live on a flower farm in Cornwall. So, we get tales about their interactions with their cats and donkeys, sorting and shipping daffodils during harvest season, taking long walks, having famous people stop by to visit, mulling over the "important" things of life, and so forth. Mostly, it's light and humorous, somewhat like the James Herriot books about life as a country veterinarian.

The big flaw in the book, however, is Tangye's sanctimonious disparagement of the vast unwashed people who appear to lack the moral strength of character (in his telling) to live in and with nature, but rather spend their lives mindlessly going about drudge jobs and watching vapid TV. If memory serves, vapidity was common in the novels of Jane Austen and Dickens, so vapidity struck society long before TV.

Actually, I don't have much problem with Tangye's thinking that we all might be better off living lives more aware of the natural world around us, and less consumed with mindless distractions. The problem is, most of us can't afford to throw up our lives in the city, or wherever, and settle down to bucolic bliss on a farm in Cornwall. Tangye was a child of privilege who was educated at Harrow, who married a spouse who had written several successful books and had sold a number of paintings, and who had himself written several books and had a successful career as a journalist. So he could afford to throw things over and begin anew in bucolic bliss. He would never really have to worry about from whence his next meal might come. So it's the moral judgmentalism that rankles. When he gets on these tangents, mercifully not too often, I am rather reminded of the quote, assigned in jest to Barry Goldwater, "everyone should have enough moral integrity to inherit a million dollars."