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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 Winning of Barbara Worth

The Winning of Barbara Worth - Harold Bell Wright There is a reference in The Grapes of Wrath to this book. It seems that one of the characters found this book to have been life changing, or something.
Tom said, "Don't roust your faith bird-high an' you won't do no crawlin' with the worms."
"I know that's right. That's Scripture, ain't it?"
"I guess so," said Tom. "I never could keep Scripture straight sence I read a book name' The Winning of Barbara Worth."

So, I figured I should check it out. The author, Harold Bell Wright, after all, was at one time a well respected author. Other than Emily Bronte, perhaps (Wuthering Heights is total garbage and should be banned from libraries and book stores), most respected authors from olden times wrote books that are actually reasonably good.

This was an interesting book to read after The Grapes of Wrath. That book was about poor farmers leaving the dust bowl of the American midwest for the "garden of Eden" that was southern California. This book is sort of like a prequel. It deals with the turning the desert of Southern California into that Garden of Eden by way of diverting the Colorado River so as to irrigate the desert.

Well, that's the back story. The actual story is more like how a lovely young woman changed the lives of financeers and engineers by showing them that there was more to life than mere money...or something like that.

This is one of those in-the-seams books. Not quite good enough for 4*s, but too good for merely 3*s. It's a product of its times, which means moralizing, romantic and racist. Harold Bell Wright was a popular author back in the day, which means he knew how to tell a good story.