My apartment is infested with toy mice.
I keep buying new toy mice for my cat, and he keeps playing with them for a few minutes before leaving them all over the living room. Cats. What can you do? I suppose I should be grateful that I was home when he decided to play with the lens cap he’d stolen from me. I’d been looking for that for a few days.
Apparently, he developed some sort of allergy, so the vet put him on a steroid at his last check-up. I had thought that my thirteen-year-old cat was lethargic because he’s getting old, but it must have been his allergies that made him want to curl up by the radiators all day, because now that the medicine has had a chance to work, he’s playing and being as growly as he was when he was half his current age. Right now, he is flopped on his back next to my chair, looking up at me like he expects me to fall for the old “rub my belly so I can attack your hand” ruse. I’d like to say that I’ve wised up over the years, but sometimes he looks cute enough that I fall for it. Needless to say, I am accustomed to having scratches on my arms.
I finished two books this week, in addition to starting three others. I finally got around to reading Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451, thanks to the Overdrive automatically downloading my hold requests. I don’t know why I waited so long to read this wonderful, if frightening dystopian novel.
Andy Miller’s The Year of Reading Dangerously is a book about reading books, but the title feels like a bit of a misnomer. After several years of reading next to no books, Miller picked up a copy of Bulgakov’s Master and Margarita, fell in love with it, and came up with a list of classic books he would read for his own betterment. The list included titles like Middlemarch and Anna Karenina, which feels more like a college literature class, rather than a ‘dangerous books’ list. The writing was fine, but the narrative wasn’t particularly captivating. As far as books about books go, it’s in the middle of the pack.
Currently, I’m in the middle of Kiersen White’s And I Darken. It’s a historical fiction novel about the struggle between the Ottoman Empire and Christendom in the 1440s and 1450s. This is the era of Vlad the Impaler, who we see as the inspiration for Bram Stoker’s Dracula. White’s twist on the tale is to turn Vlad into Lada, a young woman struggling to reconcile her warlike nature with the demands her society makes on women during a pivotal moment in history. The first seventy or so pages were very choppy, with short chapters that bounced from POV to POV, but it’s settled into longer chapters that allow the story to flow a lot more easily. If White had continued with the choppy chapters, I would have given up but she sorted that out, and I’ve been enjoying it. I’m hoping to finish it today or tomorrow.
I started reading Bill Bryson’s The Road to Little Dribbling earlier in the week, but I may give it up for now. I don’t know if it’s because I’m caught up in And I Darken or what, but I’m just not that into it, which is weird because Bryson’s writing usually charms me from page one.
A.S. Byatt’s Little Black Book of Stories is a short story collection on my November To-Read list. I’m not far into it yet, but I’ll hopefully be able to report back that I’ve finished it by next Sunday.
I’ve ordered my first set of books for my Reading the World project. I’m excited about these books, so I may not wait until January to start reading. We’ll see what happens when they arrive. The books are: