Monday, May 30, 2011

Musing Mondays #1

This is a weekly book meme hosted by Miz B at
Each week, she poses a thought-provoking question
related to books and reading preferences.

To join in, simply visit her blog, grab her logo,
and add your blog link in the comments section.

Today marks my very first time with this meme!

Today's question is:

Describe the last time you were stumped for something to read, and you took measures to remedy that — either by going to the bookstore, the library, or shopping elsewhere. What book did you choose? Did it get you out of your slump?

This has happened to me on several occasions, but, since I practically live in a library, it's not too hard for me to find something to read right away!  There have been times, though, when I have felt either very anxious, or a bit depressed, and have not had a book handy.  Books always give me some sense of relief, whatever I might be feeling at the moment.

I recall one such occasion.  I had to be at the airport one afternoon, because my first husband was leaving for a trip abroad, to see some of his relatives.  I was feeling distraught because I couldn't go with him.   I had not taken a book with me, for some reason.  As we waited -- the plane had been delayed -- I started getting restless.  This is what invariably happens to me when I have to be somewhere with time on my hands.  I have to be reading something on such occasions!  Adding to the problem was the fact that I didn't even want to be at the airport that day.  I didn't want to say goodbye to him.  (I am now happily remarried; life is full of ironies!)

I figured that buying a book would ease my tension.  Besides, I wanted to remember the date.  Yes, I is blind.   I excused myself -- a couple of my husband's relatives were with us -- and hurried into the nearest store, which had a large newsstand section.  I began feverishly looking through the paperbacks and....I found my book!

Unfortunately, I can't remember either the title or the author, and only recall some vague things about the plot.  (I suspect this is because the book is connected to this event with my ex.)  The story had something to do with a young American woman starting her first job in the tough working world of New York City.  The time is the late twenties, if I remember correctly.  She is very naive.  I believe she has a bad romance.  Parallel to this is the story of a young man named Joseph, who is Jewish.  He elopes with a girl named Rachel, whose family was against their marriage.  They end up in a desert setting somewhere in Africa, with a group of some sort, led by a ruthless, tyrannical man.  By this time, Joseph and Rachel have had two children -- a boy and a girl.  Well, the leader of the group wants to have their son for himself, to raise as a warrior for his group.  So he poisons Joseph's wife and daughter, making it look as if they had succumbed to an unknown disease.  At the same time, he also makes it look like Joseph's son has died right along with his sister and mother.  Joseph, heartbroken, leaves the area, never knowing that another man has now taken his place as the boy's father.
Somehow Joseph ends up in Paris, where he meets the young American girl.  They fall in love and eventually marry.  However, the specter of the Nazis now arises, and, again if I remember correctly, she helps him to hide when the Nazis occupy Paris.
This is obviously a work of literary fiction. As you can tell from my synopsis, the mood is very melancholy throughout, although I'm pretty sure there was a happy ending -- Joseph was not captured by the Nazis, and stayed happily married to the young American girl.
I wish I could remember the title and author of this book, because it was very compelling reading!  I do recall not being able to stop reading it until I finished.   I can see the cover pretty clearly in my mind -- except for the title and author's name!

Did the book take me out of my "slump"?  Well, in regards to reading, yes.  In regards to my emotional state, not really.  It made me even more depressed than I already was.  Paradoxically, I felt better at the same time.  I got lost in the troubles of these fictional characters, and that took my mind off the fact that I wouldn't be seeing my husband for the next two weeks.  However, I went back to feeling down when I finished the book...

This would make a great "Musing Mondays" theme, by the way: "Have you ever read a book with a fascinating plot, but couldn't recall either the title or author's name, years later?  Describe the plot as best as you can.  Perhaps another blogger can identify the book."  Well, Miz B, here's a suggestion for your book meme!  (Unless, of course, you've already done this type of thing!)

So now I am putting forth the question to anyone who happens to read this.  If any of you know exactly which book I'm referring to, please let me know!  I wouldn't mind reading it again, in spite of its unhappy associations...  


  1. Love the anecdote, Maria! :) I've searched for books in airports often myself, and now I have a small collection of manga (Japanese comic) magazines in French, Spanish, German... I love collecting them even though I can't read most of it. The last time I was in Paris, I ended up buying a (really expensive) copy of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo in English. The cover is so cool-- very different from the US one!

    I don't think I've ever read or heard of the book you can't quite remember-- hate it when that happens! But anyway, thanks for sharing and I hope you have a great week.

  2. Hey, thanks for the compliment, Kat! You lucky girl -- traveling to Paris! And more than once, too!! (Sigh...some of us DO have enviously delicious lives!)

    I wish you knew which book this was, but, no matter...perhaps another reader will! Or maybe I'll have a midnight revelation! Lol.

    As always, thanks for the visit & comment! Hope you have a great week, too! : )

  3. Hi, Gautami! Thanks for the visit and the comment! Going over to check out your blog1 : )

  4. I read to get out of my own head a lot, so I can sympathize with reading to ease the difficulty of not seeing your husband for weeks. It's just so easy to get lost in a book!

    Stopping in to say hello for Musing Monday and am a new follower. Have a lovely week!

  5. Hi, Kristyn!

    Thank you so much for visiting, commenting, and then following!

    Yes, books do help to deal with the problems found in "real life". At the very least, they are an escape. Perhaps not a truly healthy thing in the long run, the short run, they can ease one's anxieties, although, as Gautami pointed out, in this case, the book comforted me, yet left me feeling a bit depressed, too.

    I hope you have a lovely week, as well! : )


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