That being the case, I probably shouldn't be reading a mouldy copy of Ruth Rendell's The Speaker of Mandarin. But my SFF reads these days are all door stoppers and I want something portable. Began with a couple of slim volumes from the kitchen shelf, which I am working on emptying: Emmanuel Bove's My Friends and Charles Williams' All Hallows Eve, which I read in my 20s, restarted ten years ago, and somehow never got far with. Dropped the first after three pages, because the unlikable narrator *has* to comment on the breasts of every woman he meets. Dropped the second after three chapters when I ran into the hair-raising Christian-based anti-semitic plot point that somehow went over my head 40 years back. Just as I avoid books about the Japanese written by westerners who fought in the Pacific War, so I must avoid Christian authors who introduce Jewish characters. Or maybe just non-Jewish authors who write Jewish characters, period.
So Rendell it is.
Am at an increasing loose end. Think I must go and spend a chunk of money on something like a new bicycle or a cleaning service, just to assert my existence.