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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

Searching for Caleb

Searching for Caleb - Anne Tyler So, my spouse's best friend from high school has a daughter, Becca, who just gave birth to a son. Apparently, in Jewish culture, it is common to write up a little essay on the new child's name and what it means to the parents. Becca's new son is to be named Caleb, and one of the reasons, it seems, is that one of her favorite books is Searching for Caleb. So, I figured I should check the book out. It was quite good.

It seems that back in the 19th century, Justin Peck set up a very successful import/export business in Baltimore. One of his sons, Daniel, decided to study law. The other son, Caleb, wanted to be a musician, but he was forced by family pressure into taking over the family business.
But, one day in 1912, Caleb had had enough and he disappeared. No one knew where he went, and no one bothered much trying to find out. Well, some sixty years (more-or-less) later, Daniel takes it into his mind to find his brother Caleb. He gets his granddaughter, Justine, to help him. Justine was a bit of a free spirit, having taken up fortune telling and having married a cousin, Duncan, also a bit of a family renegade. Duncan was restless and kept switching from one location and one career to another every couple of years.

Anyway, we have sections where we learn about the family or mostly repressed individuals living in the same neighborhood in Baltimore (the city of my birth). And also sections wherein Justin and Daniel wander around looking for clues to the whereabouts of Caleb. It's all rather fascinating, and well worth the time to read through to find out whether or not Caleb is actually found in the end (I know, but I'll never tell).