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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

A Modern Chronicle

A Modern Chronicle - Winston  Churchill Well, I learned something from this book. Never follow up Nevil Shute with an author who tends to be a bit wordy and on the ponderous side. Reading through the first 10–15% of the book was a bit tough, but after I got used to the style, I mostly liked this book. It's the fifth Churchill book I've read in the past few years. It's probably the one I like least, in part because it has not stood the test of time nearly so well as the others. As I understand it, Churchill first wrote historical novels. The two that I've read are quite good. Then he moved on to social commentary. This falls into that category, but is no where near so good as the other two I've read, The Inside of the Cup and The Dwelling Place of Light. The social commentary in both those books is still fairly apt to today's problems. This book, not so much.

Basically, it's the story of a young woman, who is rather a princess, albeit one with a good heart, or something. She assumes that she deserves the best things in life and works to ensure that she gets them. So, she marries someone she thinks will become obscenely rich, and thereby bestow all the finest things upon her. After a while, she realizes there's more to life than material goods and divorces him so as to marry for "love". Love, in this case being the bogus concept of romantic love which is primarily a marketing fiction, from minstrel days, if not before, and something that doesn't actually exist (although many will claim otherwise: merely willful self delusion—btw, this all is my editorializing, not Churchill's). Anyway, she figures out that so-called "love" doesn't exactly cut it either and finishes up finding that real love is not about self-delusional romantic impulses, but is built upon a patiently built framework of friendship and trust. Something like that.

Anyway, it's a pretty good book. Nobody much reads Winston Churchill these days, which is a pity. He is still an author with much to offer.