Monday, May 26, 2014

Where Is Your Bookmark? (05/27/2014)

An interesting thing happened to me the other day. A couple weeks ago, I had purposefully picked up a romance novel with every intention of enjoying its predictability, including the guaranteed happy ending. I needed something to take my mind off my worries. And, for the most part, it did. Until I got to this one part where the female protagonist had a certain feeling, a thought even, and I not only burst into tears, but I found myself in an emotional place I hadn't expected to be. It was not the book's fault. It actually was the most innocent--and happy--of moments. That particular scene proved to be a completely unexpected trigger, right at the heart of what I was dealing with.  Any other time in my life, that scene would not have had the same effect on me, I guarantee it.  It was just in that moment, at that time.

Has that ever happened to you?

I admit I cry often when I read. I get teary-eyed watching certain commercials. This isn't new to anyone who knows me. It can be a sad or happy moment. It doesn't matter. I'm just the kind of gal who takes full advantage of my tear ducts. Rarely though does a book make me feel like I've been punched in the gut like that romance novel. Nonfiction books about dogs that die in the end do. I hate those types of books. It's why I have avoided reading Marley and Me.  At least with those types of books though, I usually know what is to come, and I can prepare myself a little.

Now that I am a parent, I find books that touch on parent/child death to be triggers for me as well. I don't completely avoid such books, but I think twice about reading them--or at least make sure I am in the right mood for them. I know I am likely to feel more deeply than I might have before. I don't think there is anything wrong with this.  It just is.

I am not sure really what I am trying to say, only that a book can touch us one way at a certain moment in our lives, and yet touch us differently in another--or even to a lesser degree.

Anyway, since I was unable to find total escape in a romance novel, I figured I might as well dive right into a book that was guaranteed to make me cry. I am in the middle of reading The Fault in Our Stars by John Green.

What are you reading at the moment?  Is it something you would recommend?




Every Tuesday Diane from Bibliophile By the Sea hosts 
First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros, where  
participants share the first paragraph (or a few) of a 
book they are reading or thinking about reading soon.


I am currently spending time with Hazel and Augustus in The Fault in Our Stars by John Green:
Late in the winter of my seventeenth year, my mother decided I was depressed, presumably because I rarely left the house, spent quite a lot of time in bed, read the same book over and over, ate infrequently, and devoted quite a bit of my abundant free time to thinking about death.  
 Would you continue reading?



© 2014, Wendy Runyon of Musings of a Bookish Kitty. All Rights Reserved. If you're reading this on a site other than Musings of a Bookish Kitty or Wendy's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.

52 comments:

  1. Wendy, my heart hurts for you that you're hurting. I do know exactly what you mean about a scene in a book hitting you right in the heart of things just because of something going on in your life or something that has happened previously. I fries now to pick up any book where a dog dies. I just can't. I also cry a bucket of tears when a book deals with breast cancer. Really though I'm a lot like you in the crying department. It doesn't take much for me to cry.

    I just decide earlier tonight to start The Fault in Your Stars. Great minds think alike I guess.

    Hugs to you my friend.

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    1. Darlene - Thanks, Darlene. That means a lot.

      We wear our tears on our sleeves, don't we? I hope you like The Fault in Your Stars. I'm about half way through, I think, and really enjoying it so far. I can see why it's so loved.

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  2. I cry when something in a book touches me. I suppose we get emotionally attuned to the protagonist.

    I am yet to read John Green. He is on my shelf and I gotta pick him up!

    The intro intrigues me. I would go on reading....

    Here is my intro post from Sufficient Ransom by Sylvia Sarno .

    And

    Here is my teaser post from Night Fish by Kristine Ong Muslim .

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    1. Gautami -Yes, and sometimes it's impossible not to get involved with and relate to the characters in the books we read on a deeper level.

      The Fault in Our Stars is my second John Green book, and I really liked the first one I read by him. I love his sense of humor and how smart his books are.

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  3. I'm pretty stoic when it comes to crying with books (yes, OK a tear or two with TFIOS, but just as much for its beauty than teenagers with cancer). But do not even get near me when an animal dies in a story (The Knife of Never Letting Go, which I DID NOT EXPECT, and The Art of Racing in the Rain). I am a flipping mess. Movies affect me differently than books as well. I cry pretty easily with movies. So I'm coming prepared for TFIOS on screen.

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    1. Sandy - How could anyone not tear up with Green's novel?! Okay, I'm sure there's someone out there who could, but it'd be hard.

      Oh my gosh! Yes! I sobbed when I got to that part of The Knife of Never Letting Go. It was awful.

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  4. Oh Wendy, I am sorry that your heart is heavy with worry:( I loved Fault of the Stars, but yes expect to cry some more. I like the intro and loved the book.

    I am not an emotional person unless I see those sad animal related $$ pleas, or here like sad stories about animals.

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    1. Diane - Thank you for your kind words and support. It's just something I need to work through--and I am. It's all related to my health and the upcoming surgery.

      I've already teared up a couple times reading The Fault in Our Stars. :-)

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  5. Its not at all surprising that books have the power to do this to us but what surprises me is that it is often the books that we are least expecting.

    I'd certainly give The Fault In Our Stars a look ..... just not at this moment in time.

    I'm 50 or so pages into my current read, UK On A G-String: Adventures Of The World's First And Worst Door-To-Door Busker so its early days but so far I'm not impressed.

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    1. Tracy - I know what you mean, and you are right. I never would have thought reading that particular romance novel would hit me the way it did.

      The Fault In Our Stars is an interesting choice for me right now given how recently cancer has struck down a member of my family. Still, I found myself drawn to it. Maybe the movie coming out soon had something to do with it.

      It's too bad your current read isn't better. The topic sounds like it could be fun and fascinating!

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  6. I just downloaded this one last week, in preparation for the upcoming movie release. I like the excerpt...and hope to enjoy the book. Thanks for sharing.

    Here's mine: “YOU SHOULD HAVE KNOWN”


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    1. Laurel-Rain - I hope you like the book too! So far, I am enjoying it.

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  7. I cry easily too so I know what you're saying. Your post proves the point that every book is different to every person who reads it and that timing affects our reading experience.

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    1. Kathy - I completely agree. Every book is different to every reader and a book can impact us differently depending on where we are in life at any given moment.

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  8. Sometimes it is a good thing, a kind of catharsis, but I admit to avoiding certain books if I know beforehand about certain situations. Books can provide so many things: answers, questions, escape, catharsis, information. or any combination of those.

    I still avoid parent/child death as much as possible.

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    1. Jenclair - That moment was coming, no doubt, and it just so happened it was the book I was reading that triggered it. And I do think it was a cathartic moment, one I needed to go through.

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  9. Awh - this is such a fantastic book - and I procrastinated reading it forever because of the topic, but ended up loving it.

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    1. Sarah - It does deal with a difficult subject matter. I am glad I am finally reading it!

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  10. I agree with what you've said, a book can absolutely catch you at a certain time in your life and it can be very painful. I tend to cry very easily myself. I hope you get on well with TFIYS. All the best.

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    1. Lindsay - It's nice to know I'm not the only one who easily cries when reading.

      So far so good with The Fault in Our Stars. I hope to finish it later this week.

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  11. I know what you're talking about, too...
    Hope to read The Fault in Our Stars this summer.

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    1. JoAnn - I hope you are able to get to it this summer. It's so good so far!

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  12. Oh, I hope your worries ease soon. I cry when I read, and my choice of reading material (as well as movies and music) has completely changed since I've become a parent. I'm much more sensitive than I used to be.

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    1. A.M.B. - I shouldn't have been, but I was surprised at how much more sensitive I became after having my daughter. I think I notice more too.

      And thank you for your kind words.

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  13. you better have a tissue box at hand as this book will pull many tears from you. I loved it and agree, books have a way of touching us when least excpected. kelley—the road goes ever ever on

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    1. Kelley - I told my husband as I was leaving for work this morning that maybe The Fault In Our Stars isn't the best book to read at work. LOL Oh well. I am really enjoying it so far.

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  14. Yes, yes what you've said is so true. Sometimes the tears are just what we need. Hope you find the escape read that satisfies.

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    1. Nise' - And, you know, I think those tears were exactly what I needed in that moment, as hard as it was.

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  15. I too cry while reading. I like a really good romance for that very reason - how it touches some latent thing in me. I cried - and laughed - throughout The Fault in Our Stars. One of the best books of the year for me. Can't wait to see the movie.

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    1. Margot - You never know when something will touch you like that.

      I can see why so many love The Fault in Our Stars.

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  16. I know the background story of this, and … well, I admit, I don't read books generally which have cancer or other incurable diseases as I'm a bit of a hypochondriac sadly and reading about it badly triggers me. Hope you enjoy it, lots of people did.

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    1. Peggy - I can understand that. It sounds like Green's book may be one of your trigger books. :-)

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  17. There have been times when reading that I've cried. Not often, but it's been known to happen :) The Green book sounds like it could be an emotional read.

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    1. Yvonne - I wish I could say I didn't cry often when I read sometimes. :-)

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  18. I admit I'm quite an emotional person; I cry whenever anything touches me. I always feel embarrassed when my eyes tear when watching a touching movie; sitting in the dark is ok but with people around you at home, that can be embarrassing. At least that's how I feel.

    I think books and movies touch me in different ways; I just don't know how to explain it. Maybe in different level since one is visual and perhaps squeezes my heart more than the other. Nevertheless, I won't avoid these books and will read them if the plot is good. Some of them can be so thought-provoking.

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    1. Melody - Me too! I want to see The Fault of Our Stars in the theater, but I just know I'm going to cry. That's when you hope the credits are long enough so you can dry your eyes and look normal when you leave the theater.

      And yes, I agree. While there are some types of books I might think twice about reading because of the trigger factor, there are those I will decide to read anyway because I know they'll be good and it will be worth it in the end.

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  19. I'm like you and avoid books with any child death. I can't handle child abuse if it's currently happening in a story. I had a similar incident with Rilla of Ingleside which I've read about 100 times. There's always been parts of it that made me tear up but I SOBBED through it last time I read it. I think with a little boy and another one talking about going into the army and not being to far away it just hit all the right buttons. Hope the good cry helped you feel bit better.

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    1. Katherine - Yes! I find it so hard to read a book where the abuse is currently happening--to a child or animal.

      Isn't it interesting how differently the same book can affect us depending on when we read it?

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  20. That happens to me all the time! Mostly when I don't expect it. Just today I was reading about a mother-daughter moment and I started crying. It was a little sad, I admit, but I don't usually burst like that. I don't even have kids. Oh well. I love it when books do that - catch us unawares.

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    1. Athira - Sometimes those moments come out of nowhere, don't they?

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  21. Aww...I hope all is well. If I'm feeling a bit sad or worried, movies and books can make me cry too. I've been emotional myself lately as my kids are both graduating (high school and grammar school) and I've been looking through old photo albums wondering where the time went.
    The Fault in Our Stars is supposed to be a real tear jerker, but sometimes we all need to just cry it out to feel better. Happy reading and take care.

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    1. Naida - It's so hard not to feel nostalgic as we watch our children grow up, isn't it? That sort of thing makes me teary-eyed too.

      Yes, a good cry is necessary sometimes.

      And thank you. I'm feeling better emotionally then I have been. I've been going through a grieving process without an actual death, you could say.

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  22. Heck yeah, I'd read the whole thing! Sounds like life. :O) I disagreed with my mother enough while I was growing up that she decided I needed to see a therapist. And then she tried to badger the woman into giving up what we talked about. *lol*

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    1. LuAnn - Oh no! LOL I hope the therapist didn't give in.

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  23. Yes, I had that recently, actually. The smallest thing by any other standard but to me, right then, it hit a nerve, and I struggled to read the book (I actually loved the book, that's what kept me going). Hope you are okay :)
    I'd continue reading because I have a copy that I need to read... and because it's meant to be very good (but then of course that's the reason I have a copy).

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    1. Charlie - I'm eager to see the movie now that I've read the book, The Fault in Our Stars.

      Thank you. Just working through my emotions over recent health issues and my treatment options. Now that I've had time to deal with it more and have a plan, I am feeling more confident.

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  24. I am definitely an emotional reader and like you, after becoming a mother, I had a very hard time reading books with children experiencing sickness or death. I need to read The Fault in our Stars this weeks so I can see the movie on Friday with my friends.

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    1. Kathleen - I wish I could see the movie on Friday, but think I may have to wait another week. That's okay. I am still processing the book. Let me know what you think of the book after you read it!

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  25. Oh yes! I find myself crying at commercials more than any other type of medium--though books do make me teary and I quite like when a book can take me emotionally. I didn't cry at The Fault in Our Stars but his other books have made me shed tears. Not sure why--maybe it was just the expectation that I should. I hope you enjoy the book, though!

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    1. Trish - I can understand that. When you are prepared for big emotion, I think it's easier to lessen the blow or to even control it somehow.

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  26. I feel so out of the lopp (and behind). I hope everything is okay with you!
    I have an extreme reaction to chld issues these days. Don't know when or if that will change as Gage gets older. The fact that the book made this unexpected connection with you is why we all read, I think.

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    1. Stacy - I am just struggling with some health issues. Nothing that is life threatening, fortunately.

      It was such an unexpected reaction, I think. Had I been reading the book at any other moment, I don't think I would have reacted the same way.

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