Sunday, January 24, 2010

Books That Make You Feel Feelings

Last night on Twitter, several of us got into a discussion about Shannon Hale's BOOK OF A THOUSAND DAYS, and how Extremely Brilliant it is, and I mentioned that it's one of the few books I've read as an adult that made me cry. (We also posited various theories about how Shannon Hale might be made of glitter and rainbows, but that is neither here nor there.)

Specifically, the part that gets me in BOOK OF A THOUSAND DAYS is when the heroine, Dashti, looks at the hero, "My Lord," and wishes she had said to him, "You're better than seven years of food. You're better than windows. You're even better than the sky." As I read that- and granted, context is important there!-, I felt the Throat Lump, and the Stinging Eyes, and there were so very many Feelings In My Heart Region.

It's really rare that I cry in books anymore. When I was a kid, it was a lot easier to get me. WHERE THE RED FERN GROWS and BRIDGE TO TEREBITHIA both owned me when I first read them, but I also cried in romance novels and, if memory serves, in one of the Ramona Quimby books.

But as I grew up, books stopped making me cry. (TV, music, movies- all of those still had their power.)

So when a book does makes me Feel Crying Feelings, I'm always slightly surprised. Like, "Oh! I am crying! How did that happen?"

Other than BOOK OF A THOUSAND DAYS, there have only been a few Books That Made Me Feel Crying Feelings in recent memories. MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA totally got me at the end, when the door opens and it's the Chairman, and hen totally forgives her for banging that other dude, and he loves her, too, and he was actually behind all her good fortune, and... Sorry, I need Kleenex.

Another one that KILLED ME DEAD IN MY SOUL was Libba Bray's THE SWEET FAR THING. Seriously, I cried SO HARD when that one ended that The Husband, upon finding me sobbing on the bed in our room thought that SOMEONE WE KNEW HAD DIED. And when I tried to explain why I was really crying, he laughed at me. (Side note- A lot of people don't agree with the ending of that book, but even though, as previously mentioned, it KMD (IMS), it is so the way that book had to end. It was the only way, and I love Libba Bray all the more for knowing that and going with it. As a writer, I know how hard that had to have been.)

So I ask you, Gentle Readers, what books have you read that made YOU Feel Feelings?


OfficiallyMRS said...
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Crystal said...

Basically anything written by Nicholas Sparks makes me cry. I swear, it is his life's mission to do so.

I also cried reading Harry Potter and Dewey: The Small Town Library Cat who Touched the World. Ok, so I cry at anything that includes dying animals..especially pets.

jessjordan said...

I'm with Crystal--Nic Sparks gets me, at least with his older stuff. His newer ones ... some are a little meh.

I just finished Elizabeth Scott's Love You, Hate You, Miss You, and that made me feel feelings. Not crying feelings, exactly, but more, "Oh my God, what am I thinking trying to write like a teenager when she does it SO much better than me?!?" feelings. (Okay, I got a little tight in the throat in some spots, too. So sue me.)

It's been a long time since I completely broke down after/while reading. Anxiously waiting for my latest crazy-tears fest ...

Dallas said...

I definitely cried in "The Notebook", which is so cliche', but whatever. Jon still laughs at me when that movie is advertised because he knows I'll cry. Also, I SOBBED more than I have ever sobbed at "My Sister's Keeper" (the movie version), so I am anxious to read the book to see if I cry at that too.

Alexa said...

The Book Thief absolutely devastated me. I was the crazy lady crying her eyes out on the plane :)

His Dark Material by Philip Pullman made me cry multiple times, I howl at the ending!

I also sobbed at the end of TSFT. That ending was tragic, the right one, but tragic!

Little Willow said...

I rarely cry at books, but Christopher Golden has gotten me a few times, most notably THIEF OF HEARTS, which is the second book in his forensic/murder mystery series Body of Evidence.

Both THE BOOK THIEF by Markus Zusak and WIZARDS AT WAR by Diane Duane got me towards the end.

Two of the titles you mentioned in this post, BOOK OF A THOUSAND DAYS and THE SWEET FAR THING, were featured titles at rreadergirlz - In discussing them with others, you could tell they definitely hit chords with readers.

Chopin-haineux said...

I always try really hard to NEVER-EVER-CRY, but of course, it doesn't work because we human-beans are sentient lentils. Anyway, books that make me cry usually are the kind that are romance--archetypal romance, that is. I think the first book that really made me cry was Brian Jacques' Redwall, when Abbot Mortimer dies. The bad thing was that I was in a Kmart at the time and eating pizza, so I couldn't really start bawling all of a sudden. The rest of the Redwall books all made me cry, too. Like when the warrior mouse, Martin, loses his first love, Rose. So I guess stories about woodland critters that are incredibly brave make me cry a lot.

jessjordan said...


Before I Fall (Lauren Oliver) almost made me feel feelings. So very, very close.

And If I Stay (Gayle Foreman) turned me into a blubbering mess.

So yep. Books can still get me. It just doesn't happen as often as I'd like it to. (Well ... I guess me wishing to turn into a sobbing infant sounds weird a little weird, now that I think about it.)