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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

The Tenant of Wildfell Hall

The Tenant of Wildfell Hall - Anne Brontë I would never have read this book, had I not tripped across a piece in the Guardian comparing the three Brontë sister's differing views of men. As I understood it, the two older, more famous sisters liked drunken assholes, while the younger, more demure sister, Anne, didn't hesitate to call a spade a spade. This is all summed up, sort of, in this cartoon, Dude Watching with the Brontës.

I'm not completely sure I'm in agreement. Rochester, of Jane Eyre, isn't nearly the asshole that Heathcliff of Wuthering Heights is. In The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, Arthur Huntingdon, certainly is an asshole without peer, but Anne doesn't make him a romantic figure. Rather, the romantic figure is nice guy, Gilbert Markham, who is also rather insipid. But still, the point is, Anne's book is more of a feminist tract. Douchbags are called out and the female protagonist, Helen Graham/Huntindgon, has some surprisingly independent ideas regarding the proper role of women in society.

This is not a great book. It's overly moralistic and overly romanticized in some parts. But it's a hell of a lot better than Emily's more famous garbage, Wuthering Heights, a book which should long ago have been tossed on the dust bin. I do, however, much prefer Jane Eyre to The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, and don't agree in the least that Rochester is even remotely at the same level of douchbaggery as Heathcliff.