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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 Inside of the Cup

The Inside of the Cup - Winston  Churchill At times, I found it difficult to believe this book was written a century ago. A common theme through out the book is how the church was being used by the ruling classes as an instrument of opression, and how little of church doctrine was able to stand up to careful scrutiny based on an honest reading of scripture. That was then, but it sounds suspiciously like a criticism of today's churches, the churches of Pope Benedict XVI, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Rick Warren, Pat Robertson, Al Mohler, James Dobson, et al., people who cheerfully lie to their flocks, while at the same time keeping them ignorant and impoverished, all to the benefit of a wealthy minority, who are, not incidentally, filling the pockets of said august clergy. I always find it comforting to be reminded that, "plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose". I get this same feeling from reading Psalm 10. To paraphrase Jesus, "the rich scoundrels you will always have with you".

Winston Churchill, the American author whose historical novels were wildly popular a century ago, and who made a pact with his British counterpart that the latter would be distinguished by using his middle initial, 'S.', used this book as a means of defining his own personal theology. As such, the book would likely have no interest to a modern reader who has little knowledge or interest in religious matters. For those still struggling to understand what it means to be a Christian, the book has much to offer. This book contains some ideas with which many of us might not agree, but provides much food for thought. Members of fundamentalist sects, for whom thinking is anathema, would not find this book meaningful, but for the rest of us, it provides a most profitable read.

I suppose it's worth mentioning that the version I read on kindle was full of typos and other mistakes. Several of the names changed back and forth from one page to another, e.g. the main character was mostly Hodder, but sometimes Holder. Interestingly, the basic typography was not so bad, in that there weren't the annoying line breaks in the middle of paragraphs which mar so many public domain works on kindle.