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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 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

Native Son

Native Son - Richard Wright I'm not sure I should get credit for this book. I only finished two of its three sections (about 60% of a 500+ page book) before the library seized it back. While it is a good book, it is a painful read.

The book follows the life of a young black man in Chicago around 1940. Segregation and racism are in full force. The corrosive nature of racism not only destroys the thinking of the racists themselves, but also the thinking of racism's victims, i.e. people like Bigger Thomas, the protagonist. His skewed perceptions cause him to make a number of bad decisions. Basically reading this book is like reading about a looooong, sloooow train wreck. Just when you think things can't sink lower, they do. It's inexorable. Very depressing, and I'm not fully convinced that some 70 years later, we're not still dealing with many of the same skewed perceptions and behaviors.