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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

Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption

Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption - Laura Hillenbrand My crazy friend, Cindy, thought this was one of the best books ever, or something like that. I thought it was deadly. I gave up on it. Perhaps giving it a single * is a bit harsh. The book isn't absolute trash, just deadly dreck.

I can read through almost anything, but this wasn't worth it. It's so badly written it's pathetic. Hillenbrand has strung together endless cliches, which appear to have been cribbed together from interviews and letters involving the characters in her book, relating to the life of Louis Zamperini and others, mostly covering their time in World War II as members of a bomber crew. At least I think that's what the main part of the book covers. I made it through 19% of the book, Zamperini's early days and his adventures at the 1936 Olympics, then through a fair bit of his training and early bombing runs as a part of the Army Air Corps. But then I just couldn't take it any more. As I said, it was so dull I gave up on it. I had begun begging God to kill me so I wouldn't have to read any more. It's that bad. The subject matter should be interesting, but, as I said, it's so horribly presented, it's not worth learning from this piece of crap.

Apparently Hillenbrand is a celebrated author because she wrote a book about a horse (Seabiscuit). Well, half the women in the world are so horse besotted that they'll read anything with horses in it (they'll also read any books with buff men on the cover whose shirts are coming undone, and who are being clutched by lovely, generally long-haired, blond, young women). So her having written Seabiscuit doesn't tell me Hillenbrand is a good writer, just that she picked a topic people will read. Of course, it may well be that Seabiscuit is actually a good read. I'll never know. "Fool me once, shame on you"....