This is a Good Book Thursday, November 5, 2020

I read a set of three linked books and I’m still bemused by them. They were well-written books about complicated people, technically romances I think, but I realized when the male lead from the first book died at the end of the third book and I thought, “Yeah, we could spare him,” that I’d become annoyed with all of them. I think it might be because the writing was detached, almost cold, even though the characters were emoting all over the place. It might also be because I couldn’t get a grip on the romance contract; there were triangles in two of the books and I didn’t care.

Then as an antidote I read a very, warm, sweet romance where the contract was clear with a good quirky cast of supporting players, but since everything was lovely all the time, at the end the author had to pile Big Misunderstanding on top of Big Misunderstanding and that was just annoying: if you people don’t trust each other any more than this, if you can’t TALK to each other to find out the truth, then I don’t care if you’re pregnant at the end and beaming at each other. Not to mention all the protagonist’s problems fell away at the end because all the other characters made such great decisions that accomodated her . . .

All of which is to say, I was difficult to please this week, although thanks to somebody on here, I read A Deadly Education, which had a protagonist I loved, and I’m reading the new Bloom County collection and laughing like a loon, so there is hope.

But the best thing I read this week was the NYT’s essay on Durer and the self-portrait by Jason Farago.. And I’m thinking maybe it’s time to try another self-portrait. Or maybe Anna will.

What did you read this week?