Top Ten Tuesday: Books that Made Me Cry

...or, Why I Don't Read More Tragedies.

For today's Top Ten Tuesday, we all got to go back and pick a Top Ten list we hadn't gotten to participate in before. And while there were quite a number that I'd have loved to do, most of them would have given answers I use a lot. This might mix things up a little.

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish! Do come join the fun...

Now, granted, I've never been the crying sort. (Weird fact: The first movie I ever cried over was Gladiator, although I did tear up at the end of the admittedly absurd and tasteless Baby's Day Out.) But things get to me more than they used to, sometimes because they're so beautiful and happy, sometimes because they're so tragic and awful, sometimes because they're sad even while they're good. This list contains examples of all three. Also, spoilers. You may want to skip a title if you don't want to know the ending.

Bambi, Felix Salten. It's a beautiful story, but mercy—it is not a cheerful book. No, I'm not talking about the cutesy little Disney version. Try the real Salten work for some beautiful prose and an interesting story of love, trust, and humanity.

A Walk to Remember, Nicholas Sparks. The only novel of his I've read, but I love it from cover to cover, probably because I sympathize so strongly with Jamie Sullivan. The last line gets me every time.

Animal Farm, George Orwell. I loved the old horse, and it hurt me all over when he got betrayed to his death. Though the final line of the book was brilliance incarnate, I cried angry tears for awhile after putting it down.

Kristin Lavransdatter, Sigrid Undset. Lavrans reminded me so much of my own father, and though Kristin often made me angry, the father-daughter relationship both melted and broke my heart at times. This book (really a trilogy, bound into one) goes through Kristin's entire life, so there are lots of opportunities for both.

Little White Horse, Elizabeth Goudge. The hauntingly beautiful ending rarely fails to move me to tears.

Mockingjay, Suzanne Collins. I read Catching Fire and Mockingjay all in one day, trying to get a review of the latter up at The Hog's Head. At the end of the day, I went into the bathroom, put my face into a towel so I wouldn't worry Lou, and sobbed my heart out. Though the ending of Mockingjay is beautiful, I'm afraid to read the book again.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, J.K. Rowling. Between Dobby's brave death and Lily's line in the forest, did anyone not cry reading that book?

Star of Light, Patricia M. St. John. There's a scene between the missionary nurse and the little street-boy Hamid, who has risked everything to save his little sister's life. The nurse says something to Hamid about loving Jesus. Hamid's response, followed by St. John's quote from the end of the Song of Solomon, has me tearing up just thinking about it.

Little Women, Louisa May Alcott. Another book everyone cries over. The simple portrayal of Beth's death is one of the most poignant, hopeful, painful, lovely little moments in literature as far as I'm concerned. It's not my favorite scene in the book, but it may be the most meaningful.

Wait, why did I pick this topic again? I didn't need to start myself crying in the middle of a busy day, but Star of Light and Little Women got me going. Okay. Sniff. Time to post this, and go work on other things.

If you're willing to share, what books make you cry?


  1. Just last night I read a few chapters of Anne of Green Gables. I was moved to tears several times--sometimes it was by the fact that Anne was so unloved and unwanted (I'm at the beginning of the book right now--it's a reread), sometimes it was by the fact of Marilla's heart slowly opening to the vivacious orphan girl, but most often my tears came simply because of Anne's spirit. It makes my heart ache in the most beautiful of ways, to experience the world through her eyes when I read that book.

  2. Ughhh.. I cried at Mockingjay and a few of the Harry Potters. But then again, I *am* the crying type, so...

    The Art of Racing in the Rain was another one that had me bawling my eyes out. *enter confused husband who doesn't know what to do when I'm sobbing into my Kindle*

  3. The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien. Seriously. Just something about Tolkien's prose moves me. Especially if I hear it read. I had to stop listening to the Rob Inglis narrated audio CD's because it's probably not a good idea to be driving & weeping at the same time.

    Also, while I'm not typically a big fan of the Jim Dale narrations of Harry Potter, there was something about the way he read the epigraphs at the beginning of Deathly Hallows that moved me to tears.

    In The Hunger Games when Katniss sings to Rue as she's dying. And while I overall disliked Mockingjay the last chapter, especially when Katniss & Buttercup reconcile & the Epilogue.

    And of course, Till We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis, especially the later chapters.

    Blast it, Jenna, now I'm crying & I still have 3 sermons to finish for Holy Week! :)

  4. I picked top ten tear-jerkers, too. It wasn't too depressing, was it? Little Women is a good one I didn't think of that always gets a few tears.

  5. I haven't done this one and it's one I should do, even though I hate to cry. I'd have to say the first book that comes to mind is Where the Red Fern Grows.

    Here's my post for Top Ten Tuesday, a list of the books that most intimidate me.

    And I'll be part of the Easter Eggstravaganza Blog Hop Giveaway tomorrow. I hope you will stop by and enter my giveaways to try to win some great prizes.

  6. Oh, God, Little Women! I love that book, and I cry every time I read it. Beth is such a sweet soul. I'm typically okay right until the moment when Alcott talks about how Marmee holds Beth against her chest as she takes her last breath on the same spot she took her first. Even now, just paraphrasing it, I'm getting a little weepy. Excellent selection.

  7. Oh, I'm loving reading these... so many good comments here. Anne of Green Gables, Where the Red Fern Grows--I've read both ever so many times, and they're deeply moving.

    George, I liked all of your mentions. My copies of Lord of the Rings have all these tiny pieces of paper stuck in them, marking different quotes I loved.

    Also, best wishes for your Holy Week sermons!

    couchpotatocritic, that would be the moment. Well put.

  8. As a rule, I'm not a book crier; I'm more likely to cry at films. But here goes:

    The end of LotR. I was doing laundry in my apartment's laundry room when I came to the end and began to lose it, so I closed it up until I got back to my apartment. I cried for ages. That was the first time.

    Les Miserables when Valjean weeps into Cosette's little ragged clothes that he'd saved. My husband came home and when i tried to tell him about it, I lost it again. I still can't think of it without choking up.

    When Dobby died. For the first time Rick and I got two copies of a HP book and read side by side. I was ahead and dashed into the bathroom and turned the fan on, so he wouldn't know. It was hard to rejoin him.

    When Walter died in Rilla of Ingleside, and his last letter, and Una.

    Katniss and Buttercup; Buttercup represented not only Prim, but all innocent victims who don't understand what has happened to them.

    I don't do well with loss, which is why I don't read animal books--call it Old Yeller Syndrome. I'm sure there are a few other books, but I only remember these right now.


  9. Dobby's death in the book didn't get me, but the film did. "Such a beautiful place to be with friends."

  10. Arabella, I can't read the sad animal books either. Old Yeller is just heartbreaking! Of course, I say that after talking about how much I loved Where the Red Fern Grows. I'm still not sure how that one got by me. :)

    David, I forgot about that line from the movie! That was really, really well done. It hurt to watch.

  11. You've all selected a few of the same tear-jerkers that I have. One that I'd add is The Elegance of the Hedgehog. I've read it five times now, and I cry harder every time I read it--especially at the end. My husband looks at me funny and wonders why I keep subjecting myself to the beautiful sadness....


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