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Bookish Thoughts

Top Ten Rewind: Tear-jerkers

By April 19, 201110 Comments

Today’s Top Ten Tuesday is a rewind. You can go to this post at The Broke and the Bookish and pick any Top Ten topic you may have missed, or not had time to do. I wasn’t quite into super blogger mode in November of last year, so I missed this Top Ten. What are the top ten books that made you cry?

I think I picked this one because I’ve been to two funerals in the past month, and what I hate about them is the sense that, at least in middle class, white, midwestern funerals, you’re not really supposed to cry. I mean, it’s okay to cry, but still kind of embarrassing. You can cry, but not too much. We’re stoic and slightly idiotic, and I hate going to a funeral and trying not to cry. Rant over.

So, I love a book that makes you cry because you can get that good emotional release that comes from crying (everyone should have a good cry every now and then, don’t you think) in the privacy of your own home.

In no particular order:

1. The Time Traveler’s Wife, by Audrey Niffenegger. I sobbed at the end of this book. I don’t remember why, but it felt good. Sometimes it’s not even about the book, you know?

2. Jayber Crowby Wendell Berry (of course). More sobbing, but oh, it’s so sad and good. Happy and sad sobbing all together.

3. Bridge to Terabithia, by Katherine Paterson.  Well who wouldn’t cry reading this book?  It’s like Old Yeller for those of us who aren’t dog people.  Speaking of which, you could add Sounder here, which I did quite like, and of course, will make you cry.

4. The Wednesday Sisters by Meg Waite Clayton.  Spoiler alert, but yes, when you find out Lynda has cancer.

5. Coop:  A Family, a Farm, and the Pursuit of One Good Egg, by Michael Perry.  I think I cried when Perry’s wife was giving birth, rather than when someone died.  It’s not always about dying, either.

6. As Always, Julia:  The Letters of Julia Child and Avis DeVoto.  I cried when Julia finally got her book published.  See above. It’s not always about dying.

7. Rural Free, by Rachel Peden.  I just cried at the beauty of Peden’s descriptions of farm life and for a kind of sadness that maybe part of what she was writing about is already gone.

8. The Lovely Bones, by Alice Sebold.  This doesn’t really require any explanation, does it?  I started this book in a Borders in Bloomington, Indiana and didn’t finish it for another two years or so, because I started crying right there in the Borders (not appropriate midwestern behavior) and had to put it down.

9. A Fine Balance, by Rohinton Mistry.  Oh so many places to cry in this one, but especially at the end, I think.

10. Wolf Whistle, by Lewis Nordan.  For the poor dead boy whose magical eye goes on seeing after death.
There seems to be some overlap between the books I very much like and the ones that made me cry….hmmm.  What books are tear-jerkers for you?  Is that a good thing?
Coming soon:
A review of The Uncoupling by Meg Wolitzer
And the debut of a new meme based on Madison Monday which everyone can participate in (though you could also all move to Madison), My Town Monday, in which folks blog about the places they live


  • Oh, the Bridge to Terabithia… that one'll definitely bring out the tears. I haven't read it in years, but I remember.

    It's fun to find someone else who chose this topic!

  • My best friend LOVED The Time Travelers Wife! But I've never read it…

  • Yvette says:

    I've purposely never read THE LOVELY BONES because I just knew I'd cry all over it. Am I chicken or what?

    The book that made me weep was BRIDEGES OF MADISON COUNTY. Oh my goodness, I cried buckets!!

    Don't know if that's a good thing.

    I'm not familiar with some of the books you list, so I'll just have to add the titles to my list for when I'm in a crying mood. 🙂

  • Sophia says:

    Think I managed to hold it together for Lovely Bones, but there was definitely a sniffle from me for Time Traveller's Wife. I quite like a good cry though, it's good for the soul! Thanks for stopping by my blog 🙂

  • Phanee says:

    I cried when I was finishing the Time Traveller's Wife… I couldn't see the page from all the tears!

    The same happened with The Lovely Bones, even though I was quite young when I read it, so I was a little scared and puzzled as well!

    I agree with you though! It's nice to have some books that make you cry! It helps me a lot, especially when I'm a little stressed.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog on the hop! 🙂

  • People who read Bridge to Terabithia and don't cry obviously do not have souls. :p

    I understand the value of a book that makes you cry — not only does that mean you feel connected to the story and the characters, it's also a good way to release emotions.

    That said, I despise stories that make me cry. I hardly ever read books about dogs, because they always die in the end, and I just can't handle it. 🙁

  • Jayber Crow is on my bookshelf, just waiting for me. Thanks to you ;)BTW I loved your post the other day about being a writer: me too! I'm spending a month writing and learning about teaching writing with National Writing Program-can't wait to spend time with my inner writer.

  • I've been meaning to read The Lovely Bones for a long time now. I can definitely see it being a tearjerker =(

  • LBC says:

    It takes a lot for a book to make me cry. Zeitoun by Dave Eggers real made me cry.

    Here is my list

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