Catching up on my reading.

I don't only read header messages. I have, for instance, learned quite a bit of primarily useless information from cereal boxes. (A few years ago, in the U.S., I discovered that packaged cheese can also be a rich source of cereal-box-type knowledge, and not only of nutrition, but that's another story.) And of course I waste more than a bit of my time reading spam mail.

A bit over half a year ago I noted that, though I don't really go in for swashbuckler fiction, I'd been slowly, and in a highly non-linear fashion, reading Captain Blood. Though that particular column was devoted primarily to spam poetry, I noted that a couple of pages of fiction had found their way into my inbox as well. These literary gems (and though some of them may be pulp fiction, others are classics, and others still may merit much more attention than they receive) seem to arrive in spurts. A few months can go by without anything of interest gracing my inbox, and then suddenly every day a different page from a particular book, or a selection of titles from the same author, arrive almost in bulk. It's in this manner that I've been absorbing quite a bit of mid to late 19th century literature of late - a selection quite different than what I'd first encountered quite a few months ago, and not the sort of fiction that I'd curl up with on a winter's evening.

Among the books of which I've been exposed to at least a few sentences are:
Keeper Of The Keys by Earl Derr Biggers
The Thundering Herd by Zane Grey
The Silver Spoon and A Silent Wooing by John Galsworthy
In Good King Charles's Golden Days by George Bernard Shaw
Sorrell and Son by Warwick Deeping
The Free Fishers by John Buchan
The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas
Eight Cousins, Little Men, An Old-Fashioned Girl, Jack and Jill, Little Women, Under The Lilacs, Work: A Story of Experience all by Louisa May Alcott
The Black Creek Stopping-House by Nellie L. McClung
The Marvelous Land of Oz by L. Frank Baum
Lamb's Tales from Shakespeare - King Lear by Charles Lamb
and at least one much more up-to-date title:
Angels and Demons by Dan Brown
Some of these are apparently eminently forgettable titles, while others are highly respected. I have no idea why, for a couple of weeks, something different by Louisa May Alcott seemed to pop up under every piece of spam I received. I find it hard to believe that someone "behind the scenes" is purposefully selecting these texts, but I don't know how (let alone why) a machine would be set up to do the job.

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