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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

Jim Maitland

Jim Maitland - Sapper A while back, I read the first of Sapper's Bulldog Drummond books and thought it rather silly. Then for some reason, my spouse and I watched a bunch of Bulldog Drummond movies from the 1930s. Yeah, they were silly, but also sort of fun. For some reason I looked up Sapper (actually Herman Cyril McNeile) and discovered he'd written a book named Jim Maitland . WTF? I thought. One of my choir buddies is Jim Maitland. I guess I'd better read about him. And so I did.

This book isn't really a novel, but rather a series of short stories having common characters. But it is also vaguely tied together at the end. Jim Maitland is a swashbuckling, itinerant wanderer. He crosses the globe where and when he pleases. At the beginning of the book, he is in the South Seas, and meets the narrator of the stories, Dick Leyton,who becomes his wandering companion. Wherever they go, there's bound to be skulduggery, various forms of honor/decency to uphold, and fights to engage.

In the last chapter they all return to England and live happily ever after, so to speak. Actually, the last chapter was a bit out of character with the rest of the book and seemed like some silly bit of farce that might have been written by Wodehouse.

It's sort of a fun book, but if you never get around to reading it, you won't have missed out on all that much. Naturally, being a product of British-Empire thinking of the Victorian and pre-Depression period (Edward VII and George V), there's the occasional bit of racism and sexism to overlook, but that pretty much goes with the territory.