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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 Lost World

The Lost World -  Arthur Conan Doyle I'm not sure I knew Doyle did rather a lot of stuff other than Sherlock Holmes. I probably should have. He was an author after all, and he did contrive to kill off Holmes at the end of one of his series of stories, probably so he could get on with other things. Then, he did bring Holmes back for another run later on, perhaps because he was more-or-less forced to? I dunno.

Whatever, it appears that Doyle wrote a whole series of more-or-less sci-fi books about a guy named Prof. Challenger. This is the first of the series, and likely the only one I'll read. But who knows? I may need another break from Dickens and Willa Cather (or Murakami if I go back to reading dead-tree stuff).

In this book, Prof. Challenger claims to have found a lost world deep in the Amazon Jungle that is on a plain that is elevated in such a way that no one can either get to it or away from it. But...there are reports of actual dinosaurs in the lost world. Challenger claims to have some vague proof and is hooted down. So, he heads back off there with three other people to prove to the world that he is one of the greatest of living scientists. His companions are a skeptical fellow "man of science", a British peer, big game hunter and general all around adventurer, and a journalist who thinks his engaging in an adventure will convince the woman of his dreams to marry him.

So, off they go, have marvelous adventures, almost lose their lives multiple times and so forth. This is a Edwardian adventure yarn, need I say more? It's not the greatest book ever written, nor even a very good one. But it's fast paced, easy to read and fun. Old-fashioned escapist literature.

It's kind of weird when I read about "men of science" in these 100-year old books. In a way, I'm a man of science, but I never see much of any familiarity with these people and their interests and my own. True "men of science", it appears, rather more fancy zoology and botany than they do discharges, small molecules and spectroscopy.