This is a post for Top Ten Tuesday, hosted at The Broke and the Bookish. You can find out more and follow along there!
This week’s topic is a hard one for me, partly because I don’t tend to gravitate towards gritty contemporary books. So I’m choosing to interpret it as Top Ten Books Which Made Me Cry A Lot. THAT I can do.
1. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens. Starting out old school here! Tale of Two Cities was one of those books where I can remember so vividly reading it for the first time (lying on on our old green couch in Columbus, sobbing my eyes out). I will admit that I’ve always been a Sidney Carton fan and that even now the last page, even out of context, will reduce me to tears. Heroism, redemption, and revenge.
2. The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom. I read this one pretty early, as part of my homeschool curriculum in fifth grade. It’s still an incredible powerful book, and all the more so for being non-fiction. Also, this started my interest in/obsession with WWII stories. A story of quiet courage, family, and forgiveness.
3. Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein. Speaking of WWII stories…probably regular readers here are rolling their eyes a bit because, erm, I really like Code Name Verity and I kind of talk about it a lot. Also, I cried for three hours after I finished it the first time. While the summary says this is about WWII–and it is–this book is really about friendship and bravery and grief.
4. Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta. I can’t help but be touched by this wonderful multi-generational story. I love the characrters fiercely and partly because of their woundedness. And as much as I love Taylor and Jonah (which I really really do), the friendships between Raffy and Taylor, between Jonah and Chaz, between Narnie and Tate and jsut all of them–that’s what makes the book for me.
5. Plain Kate by Erin Bow. I defy you to read the last 30 pages of this book without crying.
6. The Demon’s Covenant by Sarah Rees Brennan. SRB is one of those fiendish writers who lures you into thinking everything will turn out all right and then sucker punches you. In this case, a minor character dies and my heart just breaks a little bit. There’s one particular line that I just can’t read without choking up.
7. Cryoburn by Lois McMaster Bujold. For most of the book, Cryoburn is a science fiction mystery, featuring the inimitable Miles Vorkosigan. And then the end of the book comes and OW. Just OW. However, the impact will probably not be as great if you have not read your way through the series and become
overly attached to fond of the characters.
8. All Clear by Connie Willis. With this book and the next, I’m not 100% certain that it’s fair to include them on this list. That’s because I did cry a lot…mostly out of sheer relief and love. But this duology does deal with tough things as well, which in a way is all the more vivid for being set against a science-fiction background.
9. Among Others by Jo Walton. The resolution of this book definitely makes me cry, because it’s so exactly what SF/F readers in their heart of hearts long for. And to see that actually acknowledged and played out, even in fiction, is just beautiful.
10. The Return of the King by JRR Tolkien. While all three of the movies make me cry, Return of the King has a special kind of emotional intensity. Whether it’s the Ride of the Rohirrim, or Frodo’s last voyage, RotK has both grandeur and personal journeys, and I love it.