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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

Lord of Samarcand

Lord of Samarcand - Robert E. Howard I got so bored with A Room with a View that I decided to try something else for a bit. This was that something else, and it was pretty horrible. I'm sure some folks like this kind of stuff, but war making, brutal revenge killing, people covering themselves with gore as a sign of manliness, and so forth isn't my cup of tea. I claim it's because I spent too much time in Sunday School, but I know other folks who spent equal amounts of time, if not more, love this kind of crap.

So we're around 14oo. The Turks, cruelly lead by the scurrilous Bayazid, crushingly defeat a bunch of European Christians who were invading so as to steal land from the Turks, or something. But one of the Europeans, a Scott, Donald MacDeesa escapes with his life and hooks up with Ak Boga, who who had secretly been spying on the carnage. Ak Boga works for the Amir of Samarcand, one Timour the Lame. Something like that. Upon seeing how noble, gore-covered, manly, ruthless and strong Donald is, Ak Bogo takes Donald back to Samarcand to work for Timour. Donald goes along, because he sees it as an opportunity to get revenge against Bayazid. So then we have endless scenes of mass destruction in which everyone dies happily covered in gore and dried blood. Something like that.

Oh, I forgot, when not cleaving people's heads off and getting splattered in gore, manly men drink each other under the table, the more manly one is, e.g. Donald MacDeesa, the longer he can drink while others are on the floor snoring in a stupor. Once in a while they do take a break from the killing and drinking to engage in the manly sport of molesting young women. Yuck!

I have a friend, who is a sort of English teacher, who claims that Robert E. Howard is a vastly more entertaining author than Jane Austen. Once again, I'm not seeing it. This book's only virtue was that it was short, only about 40 pages or so. To be fair to Robert E. Howard, the other three of his books that I've read, were stupid, but not totally disgusting. Whatever, I've deleted all the Robert E. Howard books in my possession from my kindle.