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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

Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Seas
Jules Verne
The Spirit of the Border
Zane Grey
Ramona the Brave (Ramona, #3)
Beverly Cleary
The Underground Man (Vintage Crime/Black Lizard)
Ross Macdonald
Delilah of the Snows
Harold Bindloss
Mrs. Miniver
Jan Struther
Betsy-Tacy Treasury (P.S.)
Maud Hart Lovelace
A Christmas Carol
Charles Dickens
The Way Some People Die
Ross Macdonald
Envy of Angels
Matt Wallace

Not Without Laughter

Not Without Laughter - Langston Hughes It seems that we're in Kansas, in an African American community, in 1912 and beyond.

Whenever I go on vacation, I try to read some books by
African American authors. I think I only managed this one this year. The issue for me, is that I can't possibly understand other people, unless I learn about them by reading about their lives (African Americans, Japanese, Chinese, etc.). This book, although written some 87 years ago, is still a fresh lens to help us privileged, comfortably well-off white folks see ourselves as others see us; others in this case, being African Americans.

An additional interesting thing about this book is that it follows the life of a young, African American boy who lived in Kansas, from about 1912 to 1918 or so. The boy was something like 7 to 14 over this period (fuzzy math). My mother was a young girl growing up in Kansas at the same time, although she was a bit younger. So, it's interesting to read about young African American children in Kansas and to compare it with my mother's stories of growing up.

Langston Hughes was best known as a top notch poet. But this book shows that he's also a rather good novelist. The writing is wonderful.