23 Following

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

One of Ours

One of Ours - Willa Cather I love Willa Cather's stories built around the lives of folks on the prairie some century or more ago. This is another of those, mostly. It involves a young man, Claude, who grows up on a farm in western Nebraska. He feels that he doesn't fit in, for some reason he can't really articulate, and keeps searching for something more in life. He goes to college in Lincoln for a while, but his parents stop that nonsense when they realize he has academic aspirations, e.g. history, and their only reason for sending him was in case he might decide to be a preacher. So, he has to go back to make a life for himself on the farm.

His family gets quite interested in the reports of the doings in Europe regarding the beginning of World War I. After a few years, Claude sees a chance to try something different and enlists in the army. The last bit of the book describes his life in the army in France.

It's a good story. Cather doesn't go in for cheap melodrama. She just provides a calm recital of people's lives and explores their thoughts and feelings as they live those lives. She is truly a gem. I have no idea why I was put off by the idea of Cather in high school (probably my older sister's fault), despite never actually having had to read her. It's rather sad that I had to wait until I began bordering on dotage before I discovered this wonderful author. Then again, I also didn't really discover Dickens until I was approaching my dotage (and let's not forget Charlie Chan). I guess better late than never, huh?