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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

Celia's Cheeks

Celia's Cheeks - Harold Piper OMG, adolescent potty humor issuing from the "pen" of my older brother. WTF? It's about an Ivy League cub reporter in southwest corner of a state with mountains (think Colorado).

This book involves a tale showing how small-town politics can go awry at the slightest "upset". It seems that young Celia Totten was hiking in the woods when she felt the call of nature. Equally young and eager beaver forest ranger, Cy Smith spies her "act of public indecency" and cites her. When she tries to run away, he adds resisting arrest to her charge. It's all pretty silly.

The police chief sees it as silly as well and tears up the ticket. This gets him in turn into a war with the head of the forest service: who are the police to summarily override a forest-service citation? The local judge and prosecutor get into the turf-war act. It's all reported in the small town paper, and becomes a national sensation. So "outsiders" descend on the small town and publicly denigrate it across the nation. Which brings in the city council into the fray. They decide to pass a bill making it a crime to make fun of people and/or events in their town. Something like that.

Much of this is seen through the eyes of the local journalist core, one of whom is a fledgling reporter with a fancy Ivy-League degree in English literature. That approach to the story telling makes sense. After the author graduated from Princeton with a degree in English literature, he first worried his parents by hanging around in his bed room in their house for four or five months. Then he got a job with the Durango Herald, a small-town paper in the southwestern corner of Colorado. Thus, much of the background, and likely some of the events and characterization, are drawn from those experiences. In essence, one can say that the author wrote about what he knew.

The book is meant to be a trifling piece filled with rather broad humor, a bagatelle. It fulfilled that intention.