I’ve been reading a novel. I read, and finish, about one novel per year, so the fact that I am in the homestretch and will most likely finish this one is about the highest praise I can give.

It isn’t a gripping narrative, it isn’t dramatic, it isn’t a page-turner. But it is thoughtful, insightful, incisive, and contrary. I don’t agree with all of it and other parts of it, I feel like the author has entered my life and taken out a slice to place on paper. It hardly even counts as a novel as it is equally a kind of commentary on the nature of love, marriage, and longevity. Maybe it is cheating and I’m due up for another novel before the end of the year.

Here it is and here is one of many quotes I highlighted.

The Course of Love: A Novel, by Alain de Botton

“At the heart of sulk lies a confusing mixture of intense anger and an equally intense desire not to communicate what one is angry about. The sulker both desperately needs the other person to understand and yet remains utterly committed to doing nothing to help them do so. The very need to explain forms the kernel of the insult: if the partner requires an explanation, he or she is clearly not worth of one. We should add that it is a privilege to be the recipient of a sulk: it means the other person respects and trusts us enough to think we should understand their unspoken hurt. It is one of the odder gifts of love.”

Reviewed in the New York Times

Any absolute must-be-read recommendations? As in, novels that your spouse or best friend has to read or you will die because you need to talk about it so badly?