Sub-zero

At this point I kind of have to admire the tenacity of the single fly which has clung to life in my apartment for the last 2-3 weeks. I can’t catch it, I don’t know what it could be sustaining itself on, and yet it continues. Maybe I should consider it a second pet and name it.

Chuffey and I are both feeling cooped up; this run of freezing weather, which has at least another week to go, means that all feeling of inspiration to take a walk deserts one after half a block, even though I’ve got one of those Lands End coats that’s like a space suit and certified to 20 below.

Our solitude was pleasantly broken up by a bit yesterday afternoon when Cara and her son and Miss Lotte came down from the 7th floor to drop of some home-made lemon curd and get Chuffey so riled up that I was afraid he’d do something like rash, like bite the nose off a 6 year old over a toy. But crisis was averted.

Finished The Secret Agent, which was a page turner, albeit grim, and redolent with the sense that nothing much has changed in this line in the 100+ years since it came out.  Also finished with an audio of Lord Jim.  I’m definitely into Conrad now and will be reading more of his work this winter.

I’ve been listening with uptmost fascinating to a new book about Russia, The House of Government: A Saga of the Russian Revolution, by Yuri Slezkine, and as a result of mentions in that, my next book is going to be The Adolescent by Dostoevsky, which I own but have never read. The Slezkine book, if you’re at all interested in the whole Soviet thing, is chockfull of great characters and stories, with lots of excerpts from letters and diaries, which makes it more novelistic than most history tomes.  I need to get hold of a hard copy so I can see the pictures.  This one definitely gets filed under Morbid Fascinations; perhaps Conrad belongs there too.

I finished The Crown last night, and am not that keen on starting Black Mirror; I never watched most the previous season because it was too scary. Maybe now is the time to take up Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.

 

My books read-or-heard total this year was 79.  I’ll do a post later about the highlights.

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