Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish where people who love lists and books can share their favorites based on a certain topic each week.
This week’s topic is on the books that will bring a tear to your eye.
1. My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult
This was my first encounter with Picoult and it has left an impression. This heart-wrenching novel surrounding two young sisters (one healthy and one with cancer) will make you question the bonds of family. The novel has been adapted for the big screen, but the film falls significantly short to the powerful narrative of this novel. Picoult bombards her readers with twists, turns and one tearful and unexpected ending. Even though I haven’t reread this novel, I can’t seem to make myself remove this novel from my bookshelf.
2. Atonement by Ian McEwan
Again, this was my first and only read by McEwan, but boy what a doozy. The characters are well developed, the plot is engaging and the overall story is like none other. Robbie, Cecilia and Briony all have normal lives until one fateful evening with family and friends change their lives forever. Throughout the story, their lives intersect and McEwan throws obstacle after obstacle in Robbie and Cecilia’s path. Most famous for its infamous lovemaking scene in the library, Atonement (also adapted for film), will leave you completely broken.
3. The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
An unexpected hit from my book club, The Art of Racing in the Rain, is a real gem. The narrative is told from the perspective of the family’s loving and loyal golden retriever. What might seem hooky is quite touching and beautiful. This novel has probably been my most loaned novel to date. Stein makes you laugh, wonder and ultimately cry throughout the course of this lovely novel.
4. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling
This might seem cheesy, but hear me out. This novel, arguably, holds the same weight in the literary world as The Return of the Jedi did in cinema. It’s the ultimate climax in the ultimate series of all time. Rowling is a master story-teller and character craftsman. Like Luke and Darth Vadar, the true motivations behind Harry and Snape’s relationship is finally revealed. And WOW is all I can say.
5. The Book Thief by Markus Zusack
Anyone who read this novel and didn’t cry is a robot. Zusack presents a unique narrative in an abundant genre about Germans and Jews in WWII. The narrator is death and he follows Liesel throughout her life, as one by one he takes the lives of those she loves most. Zusack beautifully portrays the relationship between Liesel and her foster father, Hans, and the loveable blond-haired, blue-eyed Rudy Steiner. While the novel has moments of humorous anecdotes, this is by no means a feel-good story. It will leave you crushed and your wastebasket full of facial tissues.
6. Hyperion by Dan Simmons
Now, this book isn’t really a tearjerker, but one of the stories within the story is just devastatingly sad. I don’t want to give away what it is, but I’ll just say it is about a father who goes above and beyond for his daughter. It just…ugh. So sad. I know I cried at the end of that tale.
7. North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell
I’m pretty sure I cried reading this, because a lot of people don’t make it to the end. Regardless if actual tears were shed, this is a wonderful classic that I highly recommend. And after you are done, make sure to watch the BBC miniseries version staring Richard Armitage. You will not regret it.
8. Kushiel’s Avatar by Jacqueline Carey
This is the third book in the Phèdre Trilogy. There was some really grim scenes in this book, but overall the series produced profound emotions in me. And that’s saying something. I’m not the mushiest of people.
9. The Sirens of Titan by Kurt Vonnegut
I know there is a scene pretty much at the ending that made me cry. I remember it clearly, so it was profound. If you haven’t read Vonnegut before, give this book a try — it is science fiction at its best in my mind. No one is better at making you laugh, cry and feel so human than Kurt Vonnegut.
10. The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
Just read it. The book has its faults, but also a really interesting premise and sad love story. I saw the movie first, so I knew what was going to happen, but oh, it still hurt.
What about you? What are some books that had you reaching for tissues?