Welcome to another Musing Mondays, where the sparks can fly as we chat about bookish things.  Head on over to Should Be Reading to find out more.

Here are some thoughts to ponder:

• Describe one of your reading habits.
• Tell us what book(s) you recently bought for yourself or someone else, and why you chose that/those book(s).
• What book are you currently desperate to get your hands on? Tell us about it! 
Tell us what you’re reading right now — what you think of it, so far; why you chose it; what you are (or, aren’t) enjoying it.
• Do you have a bookish rant? Something about books or reading (or the industry) that gets your ire up? Share it with us!
• Instead of the above questions, maybe you just want to ramble on about something else pertaining to books — let’s hear it, then!


Right now, I am reading a memoir by Joyce Carol Oates called A Widow’s Story. 

widow's story


I bought the book two years ago, and it’s been resting comfortably on my stacks ever since.  I wanted to read it because it’s Joyce Carol Oates, and it’s a memoir about a very difficult and challenging time in her life.  I was curious about how she would show us what she experienced.  I was sure that she might have something important to share.

Here’s a part of the blurb that grabbed me:

In a work unlike anything she’s written before, National Book Award winner Joyce Carol Oates unveils a poignant, intimate memoir about the unexpected death of her husband of forty-six years and its wrenching, surprising aftermath.

“My husband died, my life collapsed.”

On a February morning in 2008, Joyce Carol Oates drove her ailing husband, Raymond Smith, to the emergency room of the Princeton Medical Center where he was diagnosed with pneumonia. Both Joyce and Ray expected him to be released in a day or two. But in less than a week, even as Joyce was preparing for his discharge, Ray died from a virulent hospital-acquired infection, and Joyce was suddenly faced—totally unprepared—with the stunning reality of widowhood.


Who among us hasn’t feared those infections that lurk in hospitals, the very places where we hope to find healing?  It is a grim reminder that medical facilities are also flawed, as well as places of care and nurturing.

As I read the book (I am halfway finished), I am captivated by the sheer honesty of the author as she shares her fears, her vulnerabilities, and how being alone has shaken her to her core.

As a bestselling author and the winner of numerous awards, I have never thought of JCO as anything but strong, independent, and able to handle anything.  I had never seen her as “needing” someone as much as she describes her need for her husband.  It lends an extra layer of humanity to someone who is one of the literary greats.

While the story is difficult, sad, and frightening at times, I am glad I am finally reading it.


What is sparking your musings today?  Come on by and share your thoughts…and links.




    1. I am just happy that I’m finally getting near the bottom of the stacks! I have “old” stacks and “newer” ones, and the latter are definitely more under control than the old ones were!

      Thanks for stopping by, Livvy, and enjoy your reading.


  1. Kwizgiver

    I really enjoy Joyce Carol Oates, I’ll have to pick this up. I wonder if it’s an audiobook that she might even narrate?


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