A Two For Tuesday Prompt #3

Today’s prompt, from Rae, theeducatednegra, who introduced it last month on her Rae’s Reads and Reviews is

Two books that remind you of someone

The first two prompts, two that taught me something (week 1) and two that helped me fall in love with reading (week 2) were easy, particularly last week’s.

This week, two books that remind me of someone . . .  required a bit of thought.

First I turned my head to the left and looked over my baker’s rack bookshelf.


Looking to my left



So I looked to my right:



Once I stopped staring at poor Susie, my childhood doll now sporting a disconnected right leg, I knew I was getting warm.

And sure enough I lit on one pretty quickly, though I’m stretching Rae’s intent a bit.

My first book:

My 1975 cover, thanks to AbeBooks.com

Nora Ephron’s 1975 Crazy Salad reminds me of three people: my second son Jon who was born the following year and the two student nurses from Kent State who guided me through that labor and delivery (natural this time; no more epidurals for me).

I’ve long forgotten their names — the two student nurses; I’m pretty clear on Jon’s name — but I remember being so grateful for their support and at the same time so smitten with this collection of Nora Ephron’s columns from Esquire magazine, I bought two more copies and mailed them to the girls with a thank you note. This was not typical behavior for me.

So I remember them, though obviously not very well. And gratefully, I’ve also forgotten most of that labor and delivery too, though our anniversary of it is coming up in less than a week.  Happy Birthday, Jon.

My second book:

A second glance at the bookshelf to my right and I spot Tubob, a Peace Corps memoir similar to my own though set in Africa, written by Mary Trimble.

I haven’t read it yet, but I know it’s a good book. How do I know? Two reasons. The first chapter grabbed me and I knew I wanted to know more. And thanks to this prompt I’m reminded once again that I want to read it, soon. It’s moved higher on the TBR pile.

Second, and the point of this prompted post: it reminds me of my old friend Ian Mathie, who recommended the book to me. Many of you might remember him too as he was an early and faithful commenter here. For Ian, Mary and I had approached our Peace Corps commitment in much the same way and believed Mary and I should know each other. Ian was like that. And I miss him still.

How about you? Are there books that remind you of someone special? 

TOMORROW: I’m really tickled to announce that we’ve got Lindsay de Feliz, a most proper English lady who has lived in the Dominican Republic for the past eighteen years. She joins us tomorrow to talk about the cultural differences she’s faced, both when she first came to the the DR and again, recently, when she went back to the UK for a visit.

Many of you know Lindsay from various social media groups, her blog, and  her two memoirs. You may also know she underwent a traumatic injury two weeks ago and is recovering at home.  Click here to learn of her accident and how you can help. Then plan to meet her here and hear her story. Bring your friends.

15 Responses

  1. Janet Morrison
    | Reply

    Hi, Janet. I’ve tried to leave comments on several of your recent blog posts, but something called Mod Security (whatever that is) pops up and blocks me. I’m trying again. Of course, you’ll never know that if I get blocked again.

    Woe is me.

    • Janet Givens
      | Reply

      Oh dear, Janet. I do hope the problems we had last week are not still haunting us. Did this happen just this morning too? I’m appreciating in double time the effort it sometimes takes to leave a comment. Thank you.
      Janet Givens recently posted…A Two For Tuesday Prompt #3My Profile

  2. Merril D Smith
    | Reply

    Good morning, Janet. Hmmm. . .books that remind me of someone? All I can think of off the top of my head is this. I’ve always loved the book, Jane Eyre. When my younger daughter got married, she made fans for her and her bridesmaids with a different literary quote on each one. She is also fan of Jane Eyre, so of course, hers was, “Reader, I married him.”
    Merril D Smith recently posted…ConnectionsMy Profile

    • Janet Givens
      | Reply

      Hey Merril. I wonder if Jane Eyre is the kind of story that impacts one only in a certain phase of life, and a young one at that? I did not read it until I was in my 50s (probably during Peace Corps, when I got reading many of the classics I’d missed) and it didn’t move me as much as I’d expected.

      Your daughter’s wedding sounds like a fun time. Why am I not surprised?
      Janet Givens recently posted…A Two For Tuesday Prompt #3My Profile

  3. Ally Bean
    | Reply

    The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz reminds me of my late aunt who we called crazy, but was actually one of the smartest women I ever met. She knew how to navigate life her own way, and recommended I read this book at a time when I was confused about everything.

    Howards End is on The Landing by Susan Hill reminds me of a longtime friend who reads every book that ever was or is. Or so it seems to me. She gave me this book because she knew I liked memoirs and thought I’d like the subject of this book which is books.
    Ally Bean recently posted…Tough Darts Saturday: Photos From Our Ducky Walk That Wasn’tMy Profile

    • Janet Givens
      | Reply

      I loved the Four Agreements. But, curiously, I’ve never actually read it. They just seem to keep plopping into my lap. (1) Be impeccable in your word (2) Don’t take anything personally (3) Don’t make assumptions (4) Always do your best.

      I’m so glad you brought them it. Wouldn’t they each make a great blog post?

      I haven’t heard of Howard’s End on the Landing, but I love the premise of the book (yes; I looked it up). It’s on my gift list. Unfortunately, it’s not out as an eBook.

      Thanks so much for your additions, Ally.
      Janet Givens recently posted…A Two For Tuesday Prompt #3My Profile

  4. Marian Beaman
    | Reply

    One in the kitchen: The Mennonite Community Cookbook, which my Mother gave me for Christmas, 1972.

    One in my writing studio: Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights, a 1943 Random House edition beautifully illustrated with copies of wood engravings. I “inherited” it when we sorted through stuff in my Aunt Ruthie’s house. Another sister got Jane Eyre.

    Notice these are gifts from two main characters in my memoir. Great questions, Janet.
    Marian Beaman recently posted…My Heritage, DNA, and Dani ShapiroMy Profile

    • Janet Givens
      | Reply

      I did notice that, Marian! The cookbook you mentioned reminded me of the Amish counter at Philadelphia’s Reading Terminal Market. It was always jam packed with people, but the few times we got a seat, I loved the food. And yes, I know the Amish are not the Mennonite, but really, is their food much different? OK, now I’m hungry.

      How great to find those old classics. Any chance they were first editions, too?
      Janet Givens recently posted…A Two For Tuesday Prompt #3My Profile

  5. Terri Lyon
    | Reply

    I’m looking forward to hearing from your friend Lindsay. I followed your link but there wasn’t anything there about how to help her.

    • Janet Givens
      | Reply

      Thank you, Terri. I’ve updated it to the actual GoFundMe page, which has the story. And, I’ve talked to Lindsay herself (via the magic of Skype) and while she tells me she’s happy to talk about the incident (it can be healing to be able to relive these traumatic events under the right circumstances), she’d prefer to not focus on the $$ campaign.
      Janet Givens recently posted…A Two For Tuesday Prompt #3My Profile

  6. Laurie Buchanan
    | Reply

    Janet — Any time I see a “Cherry Ames” book, I think about my mom. She had the entire hardbound collection which she devoured.

    She gave the books to my sister and me to read, and we devoured them—over and over again!
    Laurie Buchanan recently posted…Medicine CabinetMy Profile

  7. Rachelle Saint Louis
    | Reply

    I love the direction you took with this prompt 😀 Great job thinking outside the box and I hope Jon’s birthday goes well, can’t wait to see what you have in store this week!

    • Janet Givens
      | Reply

      Thanks Rae. I’m enjoying these short diversions into my reading life

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