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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

Miss Pickerell Goes to Mars

Miss Pickerell Goes to Mars - Ellen MacGregor, Paul Galdone After Sylvia Plath, I needed something that wouldn't tax my emotions. What better thing to read than a novella (19,430 words, I counted them) written for children, wherein the main character has a pet cow and we are treated to some gentle science lessons?

Miss Pickerell is a spinster who lives alone on a small, isolated farm with her pet cow and her prize rock collection. She's happy and content to be away from people and noise. But, once a year, she spends a month with her seven nieces and nephews in the city. It just about drives her bats. They all chatter endlessly. On the other hand, she will admit to having learned rather a lot from their chatter.

Anyway, after visiting them, she arrives home to her peace and quiet, only to find that someone has been in her house. Worse, she finds that there's a giant construction in her pasture. She climbs up the construction to give the people inside a piece of her mind, and the next things she knows, the doors close, there are some explosions, she passes out. When she regains consciousness, she finds she's in a rocket ship headed for Mars.

She has a few adventures on the way to Mars and back. Also, we get some gentle lessons about gravity and its effects. Rather a nice respite from depression and suicide.