I am blessed with a lovely daughter who, despite all attempts on my part to discourage her, keeps encouraging me to watch The Bachelor (and its gender flipped twin, The Bachelorette.) I don’t watch any reality shows, not ones where people make chess pieces out of biscuits, almost die on far away islands, ponder the need for bigger breasts/lips/hair, or get jiggy on top of the covers. […]
Elaine S, a long time AAR reader and commenter, recently sent us an exceedingly irritating article from Britain’s the Daily Mail about the upcoming romance to be published by the Duchess of York. (And, we hear, Marguerite Kaye!) In it, the writer reduces romance novels to stories in which there’s a:
… strong, gorgeous hero at your side with confidence and money, gently lifting all your burdens while admiring your precious porcelain beauty and dauntless spirit…
It’s the first day of 2021 and, really, it’s not a moment too soon. Worst year ever? No. That goes to 1348 when the Black Death wiped out half of Europe. It’s not even the worst year in my lifetime–that has to be 2001, the year of 9/11. Still, it’s been a dumpster fire of an annum!
2021 has to be better.
For my part, I have made some resolutions I hope will make the year shine. Here are those that focus on reading.
Many of us sat down today and started streaming Bridgerton on Netflix. The TV show is such a big deal it’s been (positively) reviewed in both the Washington Post and the New York Times. I particularly love the WaPo review–it nailed why so many of us are likely to adore the show. Critic Hank Stuever wrote: […]
Every year, in December, there’s a bevy of social media postings and articles about how much people loathe Love, Actually. And, of course, there are a host of articles and posts declaring their love for the film. I treasure parts of Love, Actually and will never trash the whole film–I simply fast forward through every scene involving Colin, the interminable Mr. Bean cameo, and that whole tragic Laura Linney just can’t let herself get laid by her dream man clip. (When I saw it in the theater, as we walked out, a woman in front of us was shaking her head. “Her brother would have been just as crazy ten minutes later,” she said.) But whether you’re a fan or not, there are so many other holiday films to consider. […]
Every year, for almost 20 years, the Literary Review has awarded a Bad Sex in Fiction Award. Here’s the criteria (we will not discuss that this award doesn’t consider romance novels):
Since 1993, the Bad Sex in Fiction Award has honoured the year’s most outstandingly awful scene of sexual description in an otherwise good novel. Drawing attention to the poorly written, redundant, or downright cringeworthy passages of sexual description in modern fiction, the prize is not intended to cover pornographic or expressly erotic literature. The Award was established by Rhoda Koenig, a literary critic, and Auberon Waugh, at that time editor of Literary Review.
In anticipation of the upcoming Bridgerton show and because The Bridgertons: Happily Ever After was on sale last week, I finally read the latter. (We reviewed it here.) I was not impressed–So. Many. Babies.–although I found Francesca’s story touching. The last story in the book is about Violet Bridgerton […]
It’s always an experience to read Vintage AAR. This article by Paula Detmer Riggs on writing taboo subjects is especially thought-provoking. She wrote about the hero of her book, Her Secret, His Child, a book she published in 1995 and we gave a DIK to in 1998.
Years ago, her hero–and he is her hero–date-raped the heroine. Riggs writes:
The hero I love is imperfect in some terrible way. He’s an all too-human soul who’s driven by inner demons far more deadly and cruel than any serial killer or evil empire or double-agent. A man, who, because of a mistake in judgment or action, had done a terrible wrong to an innocent victim, and if that victim is our heroine, so much the better.
She knows her choice is controversial. To her critics, she replies:
Why was it written? […]