Grab a box of tissues–ten books that made me bawl like a baby!

This week over at my other blog, The Broke and the Bookish, we are talking about the top ten books that made us cry. It’s funny because I used to not be a person who cried during movies or books. Now, I find myself crying during books, commercials, tv (even reality when a certain Real World cast was saying bye to each other on the season finale lol) and movies. I am such a sentimental sap and I don’t know when the switch was turned on to let the waterworks come whenever they so desired.
Anyways, here are some books that moved me to tears for various reasons–personal connections, subject matter, etc.
1. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer (aka the love my of of my eye..aside from my boyfriend) – This is one of my favorite books and it made me cry harder than most others. Oskar is such an amazing character and this book gave me “heavy boots” for a long time. I think I would be accurate in saying that I cried for a good portion of the end of the book.
2. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak– Ok, this book literally had me doing that I was making that funny crying noise where you can’t really breathe that kind of sounds like hiccups but it’s not. I was close to wailing I think. I stayed up and read this book until I finished it a 4am and I went through almost a whole roll of toilet paper and my nose was as red as Rudolph the next day and my eyes were reminiscent of the kids who were always high as a kite in high school. Freaking so SAD (yet beautiful at the same time) this book is..but I don’t want to give an ounce of it away.
3. Night by Elie Wiesel — I was reading this one a plane which was not one of my brighter moments. I mean, who does that, really. Reading something written about the Holocaust BY A HOLOCAUST SURVIVOR on a plane is just, in general, not a good idea. You need to read something like that by yourself in a quiet room so it receives the respect it deserves and you can let your emotions figure themselves out. I was trying my hardest not to start bawling while trying to not let myself my foot get run over by the cart and trying not to punch the annoying lady sitting next to me who had to use the bathroom every 2 seconds. Needless to say, this was a gut-wrenching read that haunts me still and is a chilling reminder of what hate and indifference breeds.
4. The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger – I don’t want to spoil this for people who haven’t read this but there were a few parts that made me cry. If I say anything, I think it ruins it. However, there was one scene that I can mention without spoiling, that made me cry. It’s just a tiny paragraph and it’s in the morning and he gets up and turns the tv on and watches as the events of September 11 unfold. It just made me so sad at the thought of knowing something like that was going to happen and knowing there is nothing you can do about it. It made a huge impact on me for some reason.
5. Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson – I’ve never gone through what this main character went through in this book but it tore me to pieces knowing that others have. The story of this girl was authentic and I hated knowing that other people out there felt like they didn’t have a voice, that they had to live with something like that, with fear and guilt.
6. A Grief Observed by CS Lewis — This books is basically CS Lewis’ journal when he lost his wife. I received this from a good friend when my mom passed away and I was instructed to read this when I felt like I could handle thinking about things. I think I read it too soon but either way the two times I read it I got something new out of it. I felt deeply in some way. It felt nice to read the words of someone who had gone what I had gone through and to know that I wasn’t crazy in what I was feeling. There is nothing more amazing than to know that in that moment. I cried tears of joy and sadness but mostly of grief. I needed to, I think, because I was hellbent on not letting it out any other way.
7. Love is A Mix Tape by Rob Sheffield — Another favorite book and this one hit close to home. I think it impacted me the most on a personal level; aside from the CS Lewis book I mentioned.  Sheffield bear his soul and his memories through one of my favorite things–music– a shared passion between my mother and I. I think of my mother when I think of a lot of music that she blared as we rode top down in that red Firebird convertible. I live in those moments of Meatloaf, Journey and Creedence Clearwater Revival sometimes.
8. History of Love by Nicole Krauss — What a moving work of fiction! That’s all I’m going to say about that. You need to read this little gem for yourself.
9. A Child Called It by David Pelzer — I read this in high school and it was the only book, at that point in time, that made me cry. This was hard to endure and I only stuck it out because I felt like if he could endure what he did in his childhood, then I could read it. Also, it was for a school project, but that isn’t important. This book still haunts me and makes me want to do terrible things to people that abuse their children like that. I feel remiss even calling it abuse–it was honestly torture.
10.  The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath — I read this during my senior year in high school– a time when I had temporarily moved out of my house and had found out that my mother had brain cancer. This book mirrored some of darkest feelings and I think it made me cry because I didn’t feel alone but it also made me cry for the people who felt way worse than I did. I knew I would get through it and I felt deeply for people who could just never see that light at the end of that dark, depressing tunnel. This was one of those books that found me when I needed it for whatever reason.
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About Jamie

Jamie is a 32 year old married lady (with a new baby!!) who is in denial that she's actually that old to be a married lady and a mom. When she's not reading you can find her doing Pilates followed by eating ice cream, belting out Hamilton (loud and offkey) and having adventures with her husband, daughter and rescue dog.


  1. Roof Beam Reader says:

    Where the Red Fern Grows!

  2. Can you believe I've never read that?!

  3. Anonymous says:

    My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult… second book ever that made me cry, and I bawled like a baby at the end.
    First book that made me cry was a children's book entitled I'll Always Love You when I was five.

  4. I've heard that about My Sister's Keeper. I have it on my shelf and have meant to give Picoult a try!

  5. I remember reading A Boy Called It, such a sad story, I also read another called When Rabbit Howls that was about child abuse, and the woman affected Trudy, split off into several personalites, due to the abuse she suffered.

  6. Brenda– Wow! That sounds like an intense book. I'm going to have to check it out.

  7. brandileigh2003 says:
  8. I totally agree with Adam about Where the Red Fern Grows- I've read it (no lie) around 50 times, and I still sob every single time.

    And, My Sister's Keeper is one of my top 5 favorites of all time. I still can't discuss the details of the sad parts without crying. I seriously scared my roommate too. She came in just after I'd finished the book and was really worried about me, until I told her my book was so sad. Then, she just thought I was weird… 🙂

  9. booksaroundtheworld says:

    I don't know why, but books that made me cry were all the time extremely good! They touched me emotionally! I love that! Here is my top 10:

  10. smellincoffee says:

    Oh, wow, can't believe I forgot Where the Red Fern Grows! That book made me so depressed in elementary school.

    "Child Called It" was a..disturbing read. Someone used mentioned it last week as one of the scariest books they've ever read.

    I think I read "Night" back in high school, but I remember nothing of it other than the general topic.

  11. The Time Traveller's Wife definitely made me cry! It's on my list. You can check out the rest of my Top Ten Tuesday here. Have a great day!

  12. readerbuzz says:

    Oh these are some sad ones, to be sure!

    Here's my list:

  13. Frl. Irene Palfy says:

    That is a great list – and I especially love your entrie's title! Marvellous! :")

  14. Ali @ Vorvolaka says:

    Ah, The Book Thief. Such a sad book.

  15. thebookfairyhaven says:

    Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma made me sob for days on end. It's probably the most heartbreaking read I've read this year. I've heard a lot about Love is a Mix Tape, but I definitely think I'm going to have to get that one asap! Fantastic selection of books!

  16. Lu @ Regular Rumination says:

    Oh my God, Love is a Mixtape made me CRY so hard. I don't think I stopped crying from page one. And the Time Traveler's Wife. My boyfriend's copy has quite a few pages that are all wrinkled now from my tears.

  17. I can't believe I forgot The Bell Jar. What an amazing story. I also loved The Time Traveler's Wife. It's definitely a book that's difficult to talk about without giving away part of the story.

  18. Roof Beam Reader says:

    "Jamie said…
    Can you believe I've never read that?!"

    Adam says…
    No, I cannot! You definitely must. I've read it a few times.

    I'm not going to go into all the other books that have made me cry, because I'm a tough guy and that will just destroy my enormously macho image. I can't deny Where the Red Fern Grows, though.

  19. The Book Thief! I knew there was a book I was missing on my list that made me cry in public. Great list!

  20. I love your list. We overlapped with Time Traveler's Wife and Extem.L&Incred.Close. I'm putting Love is a Mixed Tape on my TBR.

  21. bibliophiliac says:

    I loved this post! Well, I love this meme….Now I will definitely be reading Extremely Loud and The History of Love (with a box of kleenex next to me). I have never read Where the Red Fern Grows, and I'm almost afraid to. My list has a couple of childhood books on it, including Black Beauty.

  22. Peppermint Ph.D. says:

    I forgot Night and The Bell Jar…whoa, what incredible reads.

    I've seen Time Traveler's Wife on several list…may have to tackle this one next.

    I've got The Book Thief on my TBR list…I don't know which one to read first!!!

  23. It's always the books we can relate to most that really get to us, huh? I'm so sorry for your lose. I too, lost my mother to cancer. It's hard, no matter how the situation happens. I wish I had books to turn to when I was going through that. But for whatever reason, my love for books didn't come about until a few years later. I know in my heart that I would have shared my passion for reading with my mother though!

  24. The Book Thief and The Time Traveler's Wife are two of my top three — I sobbed through the final pages of both. My other one is Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

  25. LifetimeReader says:

    While you are in the children's section picking up Red Fern, try Bridge to Terabithia, too. My hankies have never dried out.

  26. Great list! I've only read The Time Travelers Wife, and it made me cry.

    You can check out my top 10 here

  27. I cried at the ending of the Book Thief as well! It's a beautiful book, but it was so incredibly sad.

  28. Avid Reader says:

    I cried when I read The Book Thief. Then I re-read it two years later and bawled again. I've read (and cried through) all of the books on your list except #9, great choices.

  29. Gah, I'm dying to get through my required reading and read some Foer…and one of my book clubs is going to be reading The Book Thief. Looking forward to some good cries. 🙂

  30. Thanks for this post! I will have to check these books out.

  31. The Time Traveler's Wife made my list! I was also really hit by Love is a Mix Tape, which I adore.

  32. Speak, I was sobbing. The Book Thief I was sobbing too!

  33. Kayla + Cyna says:

    Wow. I haven't read any of these books (except for Speak), but I can't imagine reading the CS Lewis one under the circumstances you did 🙁

  34. Surprisingly, we have a few books in common! Haha. I haven't posted my TTT yet, I was SUPER busy yesterday. I'll post it now.. a day late is better than not at all right?? Haha! Great list!

  35. I am totally with you on Night and The Time Traveler's Wife.

    Also, try Galway Bay by Mary Pat Kelley which was an amazing read of an Irish families struggle to live and prosper in America during and following the Irish Potato Famine


    In Harms Way by Doug Stanton which is the story of the crew of the USS Indianapolis, a ship that was torpedoed and sank during WW2. It's the amazing story of the men who survived the shark infested waters of the Pacific for 5 days with no food or fresh water. Haunting read for sure.

  36. I've only read the first 5 but I cried in all of them. Someone recently recommended History of Love after I reviewed EL&IC–will definitely have to check it out. Apparently authors are married?!

  37. Oh goodness! I tried to read NIGHT and got *maybe* a chapter into it before I was like TOO DEPRESSING TOO DEPRESSING CANNOT READ. There's no way I could have finished that book.


  1. […] secret that books themselves make me ugly cry and sob all the time. I’ve told you some of the top books that have made me cry and there have even been more since then…so it’s clear I’m a crier when it comes […]

  2. […] originally done November 2010 when Top Ten Tuesday was still new) so you can check out that post HERE (books like Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close & The Book Thief). So I’m going to […]