Sunday, September 4, 2011

Bookie Brunch

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Come join the discussion!
* Every Sunday*

Today's host: Songs and Stories 
Next week’s host: The Book Nerd
This week’s discussion open through: July 17

Hello! Welcome to this week's Bookie Brunch! Pull up a chair and order your favorite drink while we discuss a bookish topic with the four lovely bloggers who have stopped by to discuss the subject of books that make you cry. I am filling in as host for Giada who couldn't make it today, but hopefully we will be seeing her again soon. :)

Today's guests are:
Melody, of Book and Music Lover. (vlogger)
The topic is:
What is one book that made you cry, and what was it that affected you about that particular story?
Related topic to consider: Are you a Happily-Ever-After kind of person or do you like tragedies more?

Because of the topic, I am going to have to issue a spoiler alert for the novels P.S. I Love You by Cecelia Ahern, If I Stay by Gayle Forman, Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins and Delirium by Lauren Oliver.
Irena, with a cup of warm milk flavored with a teaspoon of forest honey, answers:

I remember that I cried fat tears while reading P.S. I Love You by Cecelia Ahern. What touched me so much was the strength of the character Gerry's unconditional love for his wife Holly. Gerry and Holly were always meant to be, but when Gerry died, Holly lost one half of her soul. When he was still alive and sick, Gerry knew how his death would affect Holly, so he meticulously planned a sort of rehabilitation programme for Holly in the form of letters that Holly received during the year after his death. He loved her so much that he helped her overcome her sorrow and move on with her life even after his death. Several passages describing Gerry's planning and then Holly's reactions to his letters made me cry. They were all filled with strong, warm love from Gerry's heart. Books don't make me cry much. They affect me in different ways, but Gerry and Holly's story made me cry.

Related Topic: In general, I do prefer happy endings to tragic finales. However, it all depends on a story. The ending has to fit the general tone of a story. Sometimes, the perfect ending requires tears and blood, then other times it must include smiles and butterflies. I don't really care if an ending is happy or sad, as long as it corresponds to the story it brought to its conclusion.

Mariah, enjoying a glass of orange juice, replies:

I can't pick just one book that made me cry, but here are three that had an impact on me: A Long, Long Sleep by Anna Sheehan, Linger by Maggie Stiefvater, and The Beautiful Between by Alyssa B. Sheinmel.
I'm not one of those people who tear up at everything it takes a combination of things to make me cry at a book.

1. (And most important) I have to have a connection to the characters.
2. A cause I can believe in.
3. A personal connection to the storyline.
Now not all of these things are going to be in every book I read. But at least two of these things is in every book I read that makes me cry.

Happy or Tragic?

I have mixed feelings when it comes to happy or tragic endings. I mean I always wish for happy endings but sometimes they annoy me because they are improbable. Tragic endings while painful right after reading them, are sometimes (after time I have time to process it) better and more satisfying than happy ones. (Though after reading some tragic endings I might have the urge to throw my book against the wall :) )

Maricar, cradling a hot cup of coffee, says:

One book that I shed tears while reading was If I Stay by Gayle Forman. There is this line where Mia's grandfather is talking to Mia while she is in a coma which I really relate to because those words, as I said in my review, echo my Mom's words for her dying Mom. Here are the lines:

“It’s okay, If you want to go. Everyone wants you to stay. I want you to stay more than I’ve ever wanted anything in my life. But that’s what I want and I could see why it might not be what you want. So I just wanted to tell you that I understand if you go. It’s okay if you have to leave us. It’s okay if you want to stop fighting.”

If you haven't read If I Stay yet, those lines were critical for Mia (the main character) because as she contemplate choosing between dying and living those lines gives assurance to her. So I guess the letting go part is what really sent me to tears while reading. It is always hard for me to let go. There are others lines too that almost breaks my heart like when Adam said this lines to Mia:

If you stay, I’ll do whatever you want. I’ll quit the band, go with you to New York. But if you need me to go away, I’ll do that, too……maybe coming back to your old life would be too painful, that maybe it’d be easier for you to erase us. And that would suck, but I’d do it. I can lose you like that if I don’t lose you today. I’ll let you go. If you stay.”

Related Topic: I think I'm more on in between, lets called it "Satisfying Endings". Happily Ever After is too sweet for me, as if they are for fairy tales with prince & princess while tragic ending are a bit cliché especially if not delivered well. I want my endings to be realistic whether it is sad or not. Something that will fall in line with the story and the characters. 

Let's take for example the book I mentioned earlier from the first question. If I Stay is a perfect example of a story with a satisfying ending. Mia's family died in the accident so obviously its not a Happily Ever After ending but I won't call it tragic because Mia survive & she chooses to stay in the end. Though it is ambiguous and uncertain I find hope in those kind of endings. Something to look forward to. 

Melody, Mango Snapple in hand, answers:

Hmmmmm well, let's see.....a couple books have made me cry, but I think the one that really affected me the most was Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins. I cried like a baby during that! I think it was because of all the action and deaths of my favorite characters. It was also because I realized how cruel humans could be if they tried. I know, it's fiction but looking back at how monarchies could turn into tyrannies, shows that it's not that much of a stretch. The horrible things that the Capitol did in that book, shows how precious human life is, and how easily it is lost. After finishing that book, I felt like I would never be the same and I would cry just thinking about it. I was left feeling kind of raw because of how much that book made me feel for the characters and their lives. The message I feel that it sent between the lines of all the action and romance was very strong.

Related Topic: I am definitely a Happily-Ever-After kind of person. I feel there's nothing better than having the happy ending you've been waiting for. When reading a book, the hero has to go through so many obstacles, and when they get their happy ending, it's very satisfying. It's like showing us that, no matter how hard things get, there can always be a happy ending. This, I feel, is very inspiring because I think we all just want our own happy ending! =D

I take a sip of my blackberry milkshake and say:

I don't cry very often when reading and it has only happened once this year when I was reading Delirium by Lauren Oliver. I think it was a combination of several things that led to my weepy state, first of which was the fact that I thought it was a standalone novel. Silly, right? I don't know where I got that idea. So, when I reached the ending, that beautiful, awful ending, I cried. Because I didn't know that it was the first in a series, I thought that was the end of it, and while the ending was perfect it made me so sad. I think it struck me so much because of the complete, unhesitating sacrifice Alex made. He didn't even think about doing anything else when he realized he couldn't make it out. He knew Lena wouldn't leave him so he told her that he was right behind her, giving up any hope of his own freedom while ensuring hers. That is the best kind of love; completely unselfish. I read the last few pages over and over again in an attempt to convince myself that there was still hope for Alex before I finally ended up checking the internet and learning about the upcoming sequel, Pandemonium. Then I felt really stupid but also oh so happy with the knowledge that Alex at least has a chance.

Related Topic: I used to be a die-hard Happily-Ever-After reader. I would avoid anything that even smacked of tragedy. Recently, however, I have slowly come to appreciate the beauty of sorrow. I only realized this change of mind when I was working through a novel in my head, a story I have told myself a dozen times, and I suddenly killed both of the main characters at the end. What really shocked me, though, was that I liked that ending a thousand times better than the ending in which they married and lived happily-ever-after. So, while I still for the most part prefer happy endings, I can now appreciate a tragedy when it fits the story.

Brunch Goodies
Take-Home Goodies

About: Now you won't have to wonder if the book is better than the movie - win this classic novel and matching movie version. This set features a paperback edition of Sense and Sensibility with a
new, beautifully designed cover and a DVD of the feature film, nestled together in a sturdy case. This could be a fun treat to keep for a rainy weekend.

Book: Jane Austen's first novel, Sense and Sensibility (1811), is a wonderfully entertaining tale about two sisters, Elinor (sense) and Marianne Dashwood (sensibility). Elinor is thoughtful, considerate, and calm, while her sister is emotional and wildly romantic. Both are looking for a partner, but neither Elinor's reason nor Marianne's passion can lead them to perfect happiness...

DVD: This beloved romantic comedy stars actor/writer Emma Thompson (who also wrote the screenplay) as Elinor, with Kate Winslet as Marianne. Alan Rickman, Hugh Grant and Greg Wise co-star as the well-intentioned suitors trapped by the strict rules of society and the conflicting laws of desire.

Shown above: Trailer, Sense and Sensibility

Details: To win this charming book-and-DVD set, please leave email info and thoughtful or interesting comment below. A winner will be picked at random. If host and guests agree that a specific visitor comment is substantial, outstanding, or in some other way has particular merit, they can override pick at their discretion.
For fun, take this quiz and see what Austen heroine you are most like and tell us! (I came out as Elizabeth and Emma the two times I have taken it.)

Please note - open internationally, but DVD manufactured for Region 1
only. Check your region.
International. Through September 30, 2011, 12 midnight EDT.

Brought by: Sasha Soren (Random Magic)
Watch the trailer for Random Magic
or browse this book.

Bookie Brunch is a weekly meet-up, held every Sunday, where book bloggers can have a cup of tea and chat about a particular bookie question of interest. The discussion is open from Sunday through Wednesday, and you’re welcome to drop by any time to add your opinion or read what other people have to say. This discussion is open as well to general readers or bloggers in a different field, authors, publishers and publicists.

Courtesy guidelines: Thank you for coming! All thoughtful comments will be considered and probably get a response from fellow bloggers. In fact, you’re encouraged to talk about it and share viewpoints or include links to relevant materials. We’d like everyone to have a nice time. Differing viewpoints are just fine, even if strongly expressed, but inflammatory or off-topic comments will be removed.

Contact Bookie Brunch:
If you would like to be a host, contact: @StoryWings
If you want to bring goodies for a giveaway: @StoryWings
If you want to suggest a topic or question for discussion, you can reach me at @LiederMadchen
To see an archive of past brunches go here: Fluidity of Time

So, what is a book that made you cry and why did it affect you? Do you enjoy tragedies or Happily-Ever-Afters?

Thank you for stopping by!
                     Lieder Madchen


  1. Mariah, I sobbed at the end of Linger, and I also cried about half a dozen times while reading A Long, Long Sleep last week. I cry easily and often. I have a lot of blogging and Goodreads buddies who will point out that when a book made them cry, it means it was good because they never cry when reading. Never cry when reading??? I don't know how they do it. I cry when I can really feel a character's pain, or when something happens that just sucks. I read a lot of historical fiction, and though most authors are good at finding happy moments to sprinkle throughout their stories, there aren't always happy endings. Thanks for inviting me to join the conversation today!

  2. I cry when I strongly connect to a character who is in pain, especially emotional. I cried reading P.S. I Love You, too. I cried a lot reading books with animal characters (Lassie, Kazan, Dewey,...). Historical fiction, such as The Winter Ghosts, often makes me cry. I think crying when reading is cathartic - it helps us get read of emotional strain and frustration. I always feel better after a good cry.

    Therefore, I don't mind books making me cry, although I root for happy endings - I prefer those, but not at all costs. The most important thing is that the ending fits the book - the ending should make sense according to the tone of rest of the book.

  3. Hmmm... I don't cry over books often. It's rare that I grow THAT connected to the characters. But I do cry when I read the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon - even during re-reads and almost always at the same parts. I also sobbed through the whole book The Geography of Love, which was a memoir about a woman whose husband is diagnosed with cancer.

    I will cry during a book over particularly sad or happy moments for the characters that I feel connected to, or during especially sad / tragic situations.

    As for happy or tragic endings... I prefer happy, but I like tragic stories as well. There's a weird part of me that really like tragic love stories, like Wuthering Heights or Sweeney Todd.

  4. I admit that I got choked up when I read Mockingjay. However, the book that I read recently that made me upset (several times) is the nonfiction book by Laura Hillenbrand, Unbroken, about a man who survived not only being lost at sea, but a Japanese death camp, as well. With fiction, I sometimes get a bit choked up, but I can tell myself it's not real. However, this book was all real - which made it all the more awful.

    It was a wonderful read, because despite all the horror, this one man had an amazing, resilient spirit.

    I don't require happy endings in my book -- in fact, I'd rather have a sad ending that makes sense, instead of a happy ending that just comes out of nowhere, ties up all the loose ends, and makes no sense at all.

  5. hi hi
    checking in with my coffee and splash of milk

    Like Lieder, I don't usually cry often either. If I do, it catches me off guard and triggered by a passage that connects on a personal level.

    Although my tendency is a Happy Ending, I like what Maricar said about "Satisfying Endings".

    btw: i'm Elinor Dashwood ;-D

  6. Jenny- I know right! A long long sleep was one of the saddest books I have read in a long time!

  7. @Mariah and Jenny Q
    I finished Linger two hours ago and oh my gosh am I glad that I have Forever from the library. That ending was so sad! As soon as I finish up here I am going to go read it.

    I know what you mean about crying while reading. I know it sounds awful, but sometimes when I am really upset over something I read a book about people who are more miserable than I am and suddenly things don't seem so bad.

    Oh yes, the Outlander series has some really emotional scenes. Particularly when she goes back to the present and then when they meet again so many years later.

    I do that, too! I am far more likely to get sad reading a book where the characters are real because I know that it actually happened.

    Hi, vvb32 reads! Thanks for stopping by. :)

  8. oh noooo, linger, really? ends in a sad note? awww.

  9. @vvb32 reads
    Oh, yes. Linger has an evil ending. I stayed up until four in the morning reading Forever and by the end I was laughing and crying because it was so perfect. I am glad everyone else was asleep so they didn't worry about the funny noises coming from my room.

  10. I cry at the notebook!

    I would love to win this for my sister! She love all things Jane and she's preggo right now so she has a lot of time to be off her feet!!
    If I am the lucky winner for her, I just might watch as well, I have never read a book by Jane.

    On the quiz I got Marianna Dashwood.

  11. I cry at then end of Sing Me To Sleep by Angela Morrison. I got Elinor Dashwood in the quiz!

    aikychien at yahoo dot com

  12. hmmm, i can't think of a book that made me cry right now b/c i really try not to read sad books!! so i enjoy happily ever afters much more than tragedies! Thank you for the contest, this set looks so cute!

    inthehammockblog at gmail dot com

  13. The last book to make me cry was actually a children's picture book - I KNOW - KOALA LOU by Mem Fox. It caught me at a vulnerable moment. It was magic.


  14. I usually don't cry when reading books unless i know they are real life stories. But Linger had a sad ending. thanks for the reviews. joannie jscddmj[at]aol[dot]com

  15. I realized I forgot to leave my e-mail *Face palm*


  16. I hate to admit it, but I am a rather easy crier or at least very easily will get teary eyed when reading emotional parts of a book or seeing emotional parts of a movie... and sometimes I don't like it 'cause it makes me feel like such an emotional person, lol.


  17. I usually do not cry unless the story has touched me in some ways and I feel for the characters who are in a distressing situation with very little hope to overcome it. The one book I remember that particularly saddens me is Temptation by Anita Shreve which I read last year. It is a story of a tragedy that affects not only the victim, the accusers but their family and friends as well.

    I usually prefer HEA stories but once in a while, I might pick something which surprises me.