Quite slowly but with method, the library takes shape within the mansion within the cottage inside an apartment out in the countryside about one mountain beyond the Washington area.

Probably, the shelves should be alphabetized rather than categorized, but that would be a registry, not a library: a library has sections and themes, visual appeal and both mysterious and promising atmospheres — there are whole shelves here filled with Le Carre (all of his books) and Peter Mayle — but as regards this blog, certain aspects of the collection emerge in relation to “conflict, culture, language, and psychology”.

“Dicks and Spooks”?

Detectives and spies, intelligence organizations and operations, their marks: mafia and political criminals.

The section is small.  Even so, two of the list have not been read, one for boredom (“MI6” risks becoming a doorstop), the other — it’s not its time yet.

Titles as readable as they may be intriguing: The Good SpyThe Zhivago Affair, and Mafioso.

There’s relevant library on the Kindle as well — e.g., Tim Shorrock’s Spies for Hire: The Secret World of Intelligence Outsourcing — but I don’t even want to light up that screen or find out what Amazon has to say about me: The Book remains the Friend in the Library, spine out, ever present, ever ready to be read and to be read again on bed or sofa, or, God forbid it (which uttered objection is certain to bring about the same), at the table with coffee, note cards, and pens at the ready.

Inventory in “Dicks and Spooks” just noted:

Bird, Kai.  The Good Spy: The Life and Death of Robert Ames.  New York: Crown Publishers, 2014.

Finn, Peter and Petra Couvee.  The Zhivago Affair: The Kremlin, the CIA, and the Battle Over a Forbidden Book.  New York: Pantheon Books, 2014.

Jeffery, Keith.  The Secret History of MI6.  New York: The Penguin Press, 2010.

Servadio, Gaia. Mafioso.  New York: Stein and Day, 1976.

Trento, Joseph J.  The Secret History of the CIA.  Roseville, California: Prima, 2001

All of the above solopsistic discussion for five books (of more than two thousand) . . . .  Still, one of five of two thousand just might appeal to the reader.

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