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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 Crossing

The Crossing - Winston  Churchill This is a historical novel by Winston Churchill, the guy born in St. Louis and who lived in Cornish, NH, not to be confused with Sir Winston S. Churchill, the former British Prime Minister. The Cornish Churchill was a popular author around the turn of the 20th century. He wrote a number of historical novels, and then some which probed social problems. He's a quite good author and the three of his books that I have read are all engaging.

This book deals with the time around the time of the Revolution, as the colonialists expended from the coastal colonies into the interior. In order to secure Kentucky from the Native Americans, who were being roiled up by the British, it was important to cross the Ohio River and secure the so-called Northwest Territories, i.e. Ohio, Indiana and Illinois. Once that had happened, there was the problem that the Spanish had taken over Louisiana from the French and had closed off New Orleans from the Americans. That meant the settlers in Kentucky and environs had no good trade route for their goods, i.e. tobacco, wheat and so forth.

So the book deals with moving into Kentucky, securing it from the Native Americans, then clearing the way to Louisiana. I didn't realize that the Spanish had seized control of Louisiana from the French, but apparently they did. As nearly as I can tell, the author did a fairly careful job of getting the basics of the history correct. He just gave it a human face by telling it through the life of someone who was allegedly involved.