Tuesday, October 12, 2010
White frost on the grass and the study feels particularly cold after the heat of the marvellous stove in the bedroom. The bricks retain their heat for more than a day. Today I have to get new windows in the study here organised. The originals are still in – and one gets a bit drafty at this time of year. My old neighbour Viciu has cut me the new windows and frame – and I now have to persuade a local to fit the glass and find the appropriate hinges before they are fitted.
The Chinese detective book Death of a Red Heroine by Qiu Xiaolong is a really excellent read – a highly intelligent mix of narrative, of description of life in 1990 Shanghai with the new market system coexisting uneasily with the privileges of the communist elite – and of Chinese literary and cooking insights
The author has been an American academic for the past 15 years or so and this is one a series about Inspector Chen which knocks the Stieg Larsson Millennium series into a cocked hat. An excellent review - with excerpts - here