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lgpiper

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

As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust

As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust - Alan Bradley I don't remember all that many details from the preceding book in this series, which is a pity, in that it would have helped me better understand this one. Whatever, Flavia is sent into exile in Canada. Sent to Miss Bodycote’s Female Academy in Toronto to be exact. She is a member of a mysterious "cult"/"spy ring"/something known as the Nide. But no one can let on that they're members of this group, other than hinting at something about pheasant sandwiches. It's all oblique.

Anyway, the day she arrives at Miss Bodycote's Female Academy, a body falls out of her chimney. Who is it? Could it be one of the former students who disappeared mysteriously? Suffice to say, Flavia wanders around a lot, thinks about chemistry a lot, and even does some experiments. Eventually she figures it all out, but for some reason, is deemed not Miss Bodycote material, and is shipped home, where, we presume, she'll have another adventure with her chemical laboratory and sisters.

I gave this 4*, but it should only be 3*+.

Interestingly, two days after I finished this book, my spouse and I were watching a video of Dorothy Sayers' Strong Poison. Towards the end, they set up a chemical apparatus to do arsenic analysis, almost exactly as described by Flavia's analysis in this book. Pretty fun to read about it, and then see it performed in "real life".

Another weirdness is that all the rooms at Miss Bodycote's Female Academy are named after famous women. Flavia lives in Edith Cavell. Edith Cavell was a nurse in WWI who saved people no matter what side they'd taken. She was executed. The very next book I read had a reference to Edith Cavell in it, something about Edith Cavell in drag.