Books That Make Me Cry (Top Ten Tuesday)

February 4, 2014 Top Ten Tuesday 13


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature/meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.  This week’s topic is Top Ten Books That Will Make Me Cry.  

OK, I admit that I cry pretty easily, and not just over the sad things in life.  Those touching Hallmark moments get me, too.  So it shouldn’t have been so hard to come up with this list. But here’s the thing — I don’t like to be sad, so I try to avoid books I know will break my heart.  Of course, there are some books that are so good, I just have to read and even re-read them even though they make me cry. Other books make me cry in a good way, by touching my heart. 

Spoiler alert:  There are definite spoilers here, so read on at your own risk. (Relax, you’ve probably read these books already.)

  • Little Women (Louisa May Alcott)  I can’t not cry when Beth dies.  I can’t even think about it without tearing up.  And when Jo finds the boxes in the attic and writes a poem about them, that usually reduces me to tears again.
  • Anne of Green Gables (L. M. Montgomery)  Matthew’s death does it to me every time. And in Anne’s House of Dreams, there are at least two more moments that make me cry.
  • The Incredible Journey (Sheila Burnett)  When the three animals finally find their human family again, I get a huge lump in my throat — which made reading it to my students a bit of a challenge.
  • The House at Pooh Corner (A. A. Milne)  OK, now you’re all going to laugh at me.  But the last sentence always chokes me up: But wherever they go, and whatever happens to them on the way, in that enchanted place on the top of the Forest, a little boy and his Bear will always be playing.  Somehow it speaks to me of the permanence of love that transcends the impermanence of childhood, of life. It’s sad and hopeful at the same time. 
  • The Return of the King (J. R. R. Tolkien) At the end, when Frodo says goodbye to Sam and sets sail with the Elves.  Poor Sam!
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (J. K. Rowling)  Hedwig.  Dobby.  Fred.  And then comes that wonderful moment in the epilogue when Harry is talking to his son, and I lose it entirely.
  • Love Saves the Day (Gwen Cooper) There are several moments, but one big one toward the end involving Prudence the cat.  And since this book isn’t widely known, I won’t go into the particulars, except to reassure you that it turns out okay.
  • Flowers for Algernon (Daniel Keyes)  This is the first book on the list that I’ve only read twice (as opposed to multiple times).  I haven’t read in years, because it breaks my heart every time.
  • Pet books, whether fiction or nonfiction, in which the pet dies.  From Dewey and Marley and Me to Sounder. 

I’m pretty sure I’ve forgotten something major, but those are the ones that come to mind right now. And here are a few books I haven’t read that I know will make me cry, but I plan to read anyway:

  • The Fault in Our Stars (John Green) I’ve promised my daughter I’ll read this before we go see the movie.
  • The Bridge to Terabithia (Katherine Patterson)
  • The Book Thief (Markus Zuzak)

So what about you? What books make you cry?

13 Responses to “Books That Make Me Cry (Top Ten Tuesday)”

  1. Greg

    Old Yeller and Where the Red fern Grows did it for me as a kid. We watched the movies at school too, and its hard to get choked up at school around other kids. 🙂 Course I wasn’t the only one!

    Great list, some very emotional moments there.

  2. Jan @ Notes from a Readerholic

    Like you, Lark, I don’t like to read the really sad books. I’ve read some in the past…and try to stay away from them now. I remember many years ago reading either Black Beauty or Lassie Come Home to my niece and crying so much I could hardly read! She was only 4 or 5 and very puzzled by all my tears…LOL. Nearly all the books on your list are ones that I’ve read and cried over (including Pooh!) My mother and I read The Incredible Journey together (we had a Siamese cat at the time) and both of us cried. Great list!

  3. Elisa @ Leopards and Dragons

    Oh – nice list. I had a hard time with this one since I try not to spend much time reading things that make me cry, but yes – revisiting more of the books I read a kid would have been a good way to tackle this one.

    • Lark @ The Bookwyrm's Hoard

      I still reread most of those children’s books, to be honest. They’re among my comfort reads. But I don’t like reading sad books either, so I had trouble coming up with adult books, too.

  4. Cheryl @ Tales of the Marvelous

    Oh good, I’m glad I’m not the only one who put The House at Pooh Corner on my list! That whole last chapter is just so heart-breaking. And definitely bring tissues for The Bridge to Terabithia!

    • Lark @ The Bookwyrm's Hoard

      Oh, another person who cries over Pooh — thank goodness! I thought everyone would think I was nuts. I feel so much better knowing there are more of us out there. And I agree with you, it’s not just the last sentence but the whole last chapter. Why is the idea of saying goodbye to childhood so sad?

  5. Lianne @

    I didn’t include ROTK in this round but it definitely made another list I did a few years ago about books that made me misty-eyed. The line about Arwen & Elrond’s farewell was just ;_;

    I read Flowers for Algernon in high school and that was pretty sad too 🙁

    Great list! My TTT