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What Books Have Made You Cry?

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In checking out the blog of someone who left a comment here (Hi, Lyza!), I came across this post about what books have made you cry.

I think the better question for me is: What books haven’t made me cry? Kidding! Kind of.

When I was 6 or 7 years old, I was watching a movie with my parents, and I looked over to see my mom crying. It wasn’t a particularly sad movie…in fact, if my memory serves me, it was an animal movie, and I asked my mom why she was crying. She said, “I’m crying because I’m happy.” Now that really boggled my mind at the time! As an adult now, though, I totally get it.

Basically, I’ll cry if I’m happy or sad.

I don’t cry all the time; something really has to touch me emotionally for me to shed some tears. But isn’t that the point of a story? To touch us in some way emotionally?

Recently, when I was reading The Wednesday Sisters, I cried almost every time I picked the book up. But what was so amazing was that oftentimes I was crying because I was happy. The author has an amazing ability to let you see into the different relationships that the characters have: between each other, with their husbands, and with their children. Usually I would cry when the characters would interact with their husbands…women generally express their emotions more freely; men tend to be more stoic. To see how the author laid out those relationships for us…it made me cry seeing the men be tender, scared, thoughtful, loving, etc.

Here’s a list of books that have made me cry:

  • The Wednesday Sisters by Meg Waite Clayton
  • Did I Expect Angels? by Kathryn Maughan
  • The Vanishing Point by Mary Sharratt
  • The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
  • Bel Canto by Ann Patchett
  • The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
  • One Thousand White Women by Jim Fergus
  • Any Jodi Picoult novel (sorry Picoult Haters!)
  • Any Maeve Binchy novel (though they probably wouldn’t make me cry now, they did when I read them)

What books have made you cry?

| Tags: , 37 comments »

37 Responses to “What Books Have Made You Cry?”

  1. Becky

    Those Lovely Bones.
    Where The Red Fern Grows.



  2. Literary Feline

    I think the better question for me is: What books haven’t made me cry?

    –Now there’s a statement I can relate too! Haha! I often refer to myself as a cry baby when it comes to books and movies–even songs. I’m not a very emotional person otherwise, which is what makes it so weird. And like you, I cry when I’m happy and when I’m sad.


  3. softdrink

    The Last Queen
    The Story of Edgar Sawtelle
    The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society

    and that’s just in the last month!

    Memorable tear jerkers include Crow Lake (I don’t think I’ve ever cried so much over a book) and The Time Traveler’s Wife.


  4. Alicia

    Any Nicholas Sparks Book or Jodi Picoult book! I always cry!


  5. Ti

    Ya know…I can’t think of one book that made me cry and I can get pretty emotional too. I cry during movies all the time but books? No…can’t say I do. I wonder why that is.


  6. Melody

    I share the same answers with Alicia. Their books always make me cry…


  7. Amy @ My Friend Amy

    I cry easily, but Did I Expect Angels made me sob. πŸ™‚

    I cried during A Passion Redeemed, a little during the book I’m reading now The Little Giant of Aberdeen County, Trouble the Water by Nicole Seitz I remember sobbing through. πŸ™‚


  8. Carrie K.

    I cry easily, too, more easily now as a mom than I did before I had babies. It sometimes annoys my kids, cause I’ll get choked up when reading aloud to them – like I did this morning toward the end of “The Mysterious Benedict Society.”

    Just a few that immediately pop to mind:

    Peace Like a River by Leif Enger
    Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
    The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
    Belong to Me by Marisa de los Santos


  9. Jen Forbus

    Among my RECENT reads, SARAH’S KEY (Tatiana de Rosnay) and THE BOOK THIEF (Markus Zusak). Between those two, I’ve cried enough for this year! Yeesh – both OUTSTANDING books but definite tear-jerkers!


  10. raidergirl3

    Great Question! I love a book that makes me cry. Some of my favorite cries have been in:

    Anne of Green Gables – LM Montgomery (#1 by a longshot)
    Bridge to Terabitha -Katherine Peterson
    Before Green Gables -Budge Wilson
    Crow Lake – Mary Lawson
    The Perks of Being a Wallflower -Stepehn Chbosky
    Mama’s Going to Buy You a Mockingbird – Jean Little

    That’s just off the top of my head, there are many many more.


  11. Susan B. Evans

    Oh my… there have been so many, but the one that comes to mind immediately is “My Sister’s Keeper” by Jodi Picoult – and it’s one of my all-time favorites!


  12. Natasha @ Maw Books

    I must have a heart of stone because books just don’t make me cry. The only book I can ever remember crying over was Left to Tell: Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust by Immaculee Illibagiza. And that was when I was looking at the photograph of a small baby who was killed.


  13. Memory

    WAY too many to mention! If the book affects me at all, chances are I’m gonna tear up. As you said, it’s almost easier to ask what didn’t make me cry.

    THE SECRET COUNTESS by Eva Ibbotson is my biggest tearjerker so far in 2008. I cried and cried and cried, both for sorrow and for joy. I also teared up a whole lot throughout KUSHIEL’S AVATAR by Jacqueline Carey, but I rarely reached the point where I was actually sobbing.


  14. Jena

    Oh, yes Becky–Where the Red Fern Grows made me bawl! (And I promptly sat down and read it again. It may have been the last school reading assignment I wholeheartedly enjoyed; I was 11.)

    Yes, also, to The Book Thief

    Freak the Mighty by Rodman Philbrick

    The Gargoyle made me sniffle a little

    The Last Summer (of You & Me) by Ann Brashares

    just to name a few


  15. Bookfool, aka Nancy

    Lottery by Patricia Wood
    Talk of the Town by Lisa Wingate
    Sarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosnay

    Just off the top of my head, those made me cry. I sometimes think I’m just a leaky faucet, but The Book Thief didn’t make me cry and that one is apparently a tear-jerker. It could be due to the fact that I figured out who was going to die, early on. Mozart’s Sister by Nancy Moser is another — the ending, when it talked about how she changed her will . . . oh, man, that got me.


  16. yasmin

    The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
    Bel Canto by Ann Patchett
    The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

    Haven’t read any of those yet but they’re in the cue…will make sure I don’t read them when I’m pmsing. πŸ™‚


  17. Veens

    I cried when I saw PS, I love you. I am sure i will cry a lot harder if i read it πŸ™‚

    and then I cried when i read Thorn Birds
    The Kite Runner

    um!!! lemme think πŸ™‚

    yah thats about it πŸ™‚

    and i gess i will read the books in your list .. to you know…just chk if i cry [ i m sure i will :)]


  18. serena

    This one also made me cry:
    The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold


  19. d gypsy

    Nicholas sparks works…

    Toni Morrison’s Bluest eye.


  20. Joanne

    Lovely Bones had me teary, along with the Book Thief, Gargoyle, Time Travelers Wife. Marley & Me broke my heart. Funny but I don’t remember any Binchy books making me cry, but a Rosamunde Pilcher story had me bawling. (I’ve always connected Pilcher and Binchy as similar authors)


  21. Meghan

    I don’t cry very often when I read. When I do cry, though, it’s usually through about half of the book! I think the most recent is The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. Beyond that:

    A Thousand Splendid Suns
    When We Were Romans
    Daughter of the Forest

    And that’s all that I can remember! I cry more often in real life and at movies. I do understand about crying when you’re happy. I think whenever I’m extremely affected emotionally either way I end up crying.


  22. Will Entrekin

    Neat how The Lovely Bones is a common response. Here’s another nod to Sebold, plus one to Niffenegger for The Time-Traveler’s Wife.


  23. Susan

    I’m going to do a post about this. From time immemorial, I have cried over books….Anne of Green Gables when she’s going to go back to the orphanage, when Matthew dies, Diary of Anne Frank (alot!), and that’s just the start of my reading life!!! great question, thanks, Trish!


  24. writemeg

    This would also be a long list for me! I flat-out sobbed while reading Lahiri’s “The Namesake” — due in equal parts to her beautiful writing and story and my own personal experiences. I also bawled like a baby through the ending of Pam Houston’s novel “Sight Hound,” and I cried quite a bit during “The Lovely Bones,” too. Unfortunately, this list could go on and on! πŸ™‚

    Oh! And I cried in “The Thorn Birds,” too — I’m named after Meggie and was kept from the story until I was a teenager. My mom was worried how I would take it. πŸ™‚


  25. bexadler

    Recent books that have made me cry:

    The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger(this was a sobber)
    Happiness Sold Separately by Lolly Winston
    My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult


  26. bybee

    I only have two books that made me cry:

    1. Charlotte’s Web

    2. Bridge To Terabithia

    I had the first read to me in elementary school, and the second, I read as an adult.


  27. dew

    I don’t think a book has ever made me cry. I think there’s just too big a part of my emotional center or whatever that knows it’s not real. Same with movies. If a movie reminds me of something in my own life that’s sad, I might feel almost like crying, but then I’m focused back on the movie immediately and that feeling passes.


  28. mellymel

    I cry more during movies (& commercials) – something about the visual mixed with a soundtrack. That music is sure manipulative…
    But I have cried while reading:
    Peace Like a River
    Charlotte’s Web (when reading it aloud to my kids)
    Truth & Beauty
    The Woman at the Washington Zoo
    The Kite Runner


  29. Kathy

    I haven’t read a lot of the books on your list, but The Longest Trip Home by John Grogan really made me sob recently. I must admit that I’m very emotional, though.


  30. Care

    Just yesterday, Bridges of Madison County.


  31. Becky Conway

    Little Women, when Beth dies. I bawl my ever-loving head off.


  32. Elizabeth

    When Beth dies in Little Women. I will still cry my eye makeup right off and have puffy eyes all day. It gets me EVERY time.

    Thank you so much for the amazon gift certificate btw, I LOVED spending it! πŸ™‚ I got Under the Tuscan Sun and Sisters of Misery… so exciting!


  33. Tracy

    Like Jena, I thought of The Gargoyle and The Last Summer (of You and Me). Also, Bastard Out of Carolina by Dorothy Allison, Beasts of No Nation by Uzodinma Iweala, Of Mice and Men by Steinbeck, and The End of the Affair by Graham Greene (every time, no fail).


  34. Lisa

    A thousand splendid suns, the book thief, too many romance novels to list. Lately I’ve been avoiding books where terrible things happen, I don’t think I could handle it with small children. I love to cry over a romance novel though, and it seems like I might be about due for one.


  35. Marg

    I cry at the drop of a hat, but if you want to talk about big ugly, sobbing crying then The Time Traveller’s Wife and My Sister’s Keeper are right up there for me!


  36. smoothpebble

    Oh yes, The Time Traveler’s Wife. And recently The Shack, and I Am The Messenger (my new favorite book – 90/100!!)


  37. Sarah

    Because of Winn-Dixie gets me every time, when the dog is lost and they’re crying in the rain. So sad. πŸ™


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