Top Ten Tuesday – Books to Make You Cry

Arm yourself with a king-sized box of tissues.

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature created and hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week a new ‘top ten’ challenge is posted – anyone can join in. This week’s topic is a freebie, so I’ve picked the Top Ten Books to Make You Cry…. Nothing like a depressing start to November, hey?!

I read Jonathan Tropper’s latest release (One Last Thing Before I Go) through tears (of sadness and laughter). I happened to mention on Twitter that I had to stop reading the book a number of times because I was making a spectacle of myself whilst waiting for my son’s guitar lesson to finish (sobbing, there was snot and no tissue).

My sister-in-law revealed that she had never cried reading a book. Ever. I fired off some titles that had me bawling like a baby. Nope, has never cried. Which made me wonder, am I overly emotional? Do I get too caught up in what I’m reading?

So this list is really for my sister-in-law – I need to find the book that will move her to tears!

1. Of a Boy by Sonya Hartnett – without question the saddest, most heartbreaking book I have ever read. When I lent it to a friend she asked “Will I need counselling?”. “Yes,” I said, handing her a box of tissues. Get it on Kindle here.

2. Loving Frank by Nancy Horan – if you don’t already know the story of Frank Lloyd Wright’s mistress Mamah Cheney, don’t find out before reading this book.

3. Last Night at Twisted River by John Irving – there are perhaps sadder books by Irving (Owen Meany, Cider House Rules) but this one had plot twists that shocked me.

4. When God was a Rabbit by Sarah Winman – like Tropper’s books, Winman had me crying with laughter and sadness.

5. Love and Other Impossible Pursuits by Ayelet Walman – if you’ve just had a baby don’t read this book – wait until the hormones have settled (although even then, it’s a tear-jerker).

6. Beautiful Boy by David Sheff – heartbreaking, brave and terrifying.

7. One Day by David Nicholls – don’t read any reviews with spoilers!

8. This is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper – an emotional rollercoaster.

9. The Book Thief  by Marcus Zusak – wow. Written for the YA market, but speaks to everyone.

10. Red Dog by Louis de Bernieres – even if you’re not an animal lover, this book will pull at the heartstrings.

I could probably add another twenty to this list but reading is meant to be fun, right?!

22 responses

  1. Ugh, One Day. I cried – a lot. I haven’t read The Book Thief because I know I will. Last book that moved me to tears: Tell the Wolves I’m Home (though it wasn’t uncontrollable). One before that – The Fault in Our Stars, written for YA and utterly depressing (really, though, I should have known since it was about two kids with terminal cancer).

    • I read One Day when it was first released – so no one warned me! I was a mess.

      You MUST read The Book Thief. It’s happy and sad – one of the best books I’ve ever read.

      Wolves is on my wishlist (thanks to your review) and Fault in Our Stars is on my Mount TBR challenge list – agree, it sounds depressing but everyone raves about it.

  2. NEVER cried while reading a book? Well, either she is reading the wrong books…or her tear ducts are blocked! I love to have a bit of a cry while reading, and in movies too (as you will see from my own list)

    I think The Book Thief made me cry more than any book ever. I could hardly see the page I was crying so hard. But it was worth the pain. One Day is also a great tearjerker but there’s lots of light relief too. Sounds like When God Was a Rabbit and This Is Where I Leave You also walk that sad/funny line so i’ll definitely check those out – thanks for the tips.

    Also you are the second person in one day to recommend Twisted River to me so that’s obviously meant to be!

    Thanks for a great list.

    • Winman and the Tropper both have that clever ability to make you laugh and cry within the space of reading one page – I really like that.

      Twisted River might not be the saddest story Irving has written but there are parts of the plot that were shocking and totally out of left-field.

      I’m off to check out your list now (I always need more books to make me laugh and cry!).

  3. Great list! I probably don’t need any help being moved to tears by a book, but I will definitely add some of these to my “to read” list. A lot of them sound really interesting, and, for the most part, these titles are new to me.

    I hope you manage to make your sister-in-law cry!

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