Monday Musings | Books That Make Me Cry

Susin Nielsen Word Nerd Dear George Clooney The Reluctant Journal We Are All Made of Molecules

Have you ever come home from a long day and just wanted a good cry? Whether it be from a movie, a sad playlist, or even a book, sometimes I find crying (for no reason in particular) to be a therapeutic and cathartic experience. Of course, I don’t feel like this every day, but once in a while I tend to crave a really good cry. Do you ever feel this way?

Over the weekend I read a series of moving young adult/middle grade novels by Susin Nielsen. The one that affected me the most emotionally was The Reluctant Journal of Henry K. Larsen, which won the Governor General’s Award here in Canada among other accolades. I don’t want to delve into the story too deeply as I will be reviewing it on my blog later (it’s honestly too good not to), but I have hyperlinked the book’s title to its Goodreads page, so please take a look if you want a book that is poignant, important, and moving. I wasn’t really expecting to cry when reading it but when it eventually happened I felt so much better afterwards.

This made me think back to the other book that recently made me cry: The Book of Unknown Americans by Cristina Henriquez. The common link between the two is that the events that made me tear up (okay, bawl) were not tragic events; instead, they were instances where a community bands together to help one another out. This optimistic look on humanity really warms my heart, and reading about it will almost always move me to tears.

Of course, we all react to things differently and I can’t say for certain whether these two books will make you cry, but I can definitely assure you that there is a lot of heartwarming moments in them if you’re looking for that instead.

Now my question for you is: Do you cry easily when reading? Do you sometimes read books that you know will make you cry? Which was the last book that made you cry? (The last one is a bit of a selfish question as I need to have a stack ready for when I feel like I good sob or two, so please, please share your picks!)

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29 thoughts on “Monday Musings | Books That Make Me Cry

  1. Naomi says:

    Almost every (good) book makes me cry at some point for one reason or another, but if you want almost a guaranteed cry, try Cutting For Stone, Naked Imperfection, Everything I Never Told You, or The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy. I, too, love a good cry sometimes!

    • kmn04books says:

      Ooh, some of these books have definitely been on my radar, especially Everything I Never Told You. I finished The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy and can definitely see how it could be tear-inducing. Nothing beats a good cry 😛

  2. The Paperback Princess says:

    I don’t search out a good cry like you. But it happens and I do cry quite easily when reading. Or watching a movie. Or a TV show. Commercials…

    ANYWAY. Little Women always makes me cry. You know the part. Unless you haven’t read the book or ever watched one of the movies in which case YOU NEED TO GO DO THAT RIGHT NOW. Anne of Green Gables also. And Rilla of Ingleside. I agree with Naomi about Cutting for Stone. The Storied Life of AJ Fikry. Me Before You. Incendiary by Chris Cleave. The Glass Castle. I’m in the middle of The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy and I suspect the ending will be a tough one…

    • kmn04books says:

      Ha – I cry ALL the time! I once cried through a whole episode of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition…

      Hahaha I read an abridged version of Little Women and definitely watched the movie and I’m pretty sure I know the part you’re talking about (Beth?). Oh my god I loooooved Anne of Green Gables. Matthew 😦

  3. writereads says:

    I love a good cry from a book, though it’s fairly rare for me. My go-to book for a cry is Rilla of Ingleside, lots of moments for the best kind of weeping in that one. I too got a little misty at The Reluctant Journal – I love Nielsen and I can’t wait to read Molecules 🙂 -Tania

    • kmn04books says:

      Ooh, I haven’t read Rilla from Ingleside but Eva (The Paperback Princess) listed that as well! Molecules was soooo good! I can’t wait to share more of my thoughts closer to its release date!

  4. annabelsmith says:

    I love it when a book moves me so much that it makes me cry. It’s rare though. TFIOS – obviously. But if you want to really cry your little eyes out, look no further than The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak. I cried so long and hard I could barely see the page.

  5. Charleen says:

    I do get in that crying mood, but books really don’t do it to me that often (partly because of the books I usually read… or rather don’t read). Honestly I prefer to get weepy over a movie or TV show because having a book in my hands just gets in the way of the crying.

    But OMG, The Green Mile is still the worst(/best). A couple moments in the HP books made me cry, and I’m sure there are others I’m forgetting, but The Green Mile eclipses them all. SO MANY UGLY TEARS for that book!!!

  6. ebookclassics says:

    Great topic! I don’t cry very often with books, but funny enough I cried reading Girl Runner too! I also cry when I watch commercials, movies, TV shows. And not just cry, bawl my eyes out. 🙂

    • kmn04books says:

      Haha I’m the exact same! It happens in so many unpredictable situations too… Like, who else cries during Survivor?!?? I NEED to read Girl Runner now. I’ve heard so many great things about it!

  7. Little Lindsey says:

    I don’t cry easily when reading. I more often get this heart-jerking feeling, and then if it’s really sad, I’ll cry. Unless I’m just having an emotional day or week, and then I’ll cry for the silliest things. The last book to make me cry was Fault in Our Stars, and not just cry, I lost it for like 20 minutes…

  8. Milliebot says:

    I don’t cry too easily (on a scale, I’m probably in the middle), nor do I seek out books that might make me cry. But I don’t shy away from books that might, and I enjoy when a writer’s work is strong enough to move me to tears. The last book that made me cry was Neverhome by Laird Hunt. Overall the book was okay, but the ending threw me and I was pleasantly surprised by my tears. Maybe I cared more than I thought!

    • kmn04books says:

      Haha it’s so funny when that happens! That was kind of my experience with The Fault in Our Stars. Honestly, I wasn’t a huge fan of much of the movie (I never read the book) but when it got to the ending I lost it, even though I knew what was going to happen. It usually is moving moments that make me cry though (as opposed to sad things). I’ll have to look into Neverhome!

  9. Wordfest (@WordfestTweets) says:

    I’m wondering if I could have your permission to use your photo of the stack of books by Susin Nielsen on our website, wordfest.com. It’s a beautiful photo. We are an international literary festival in Calgary, now in our 20th year, and Nielsen is coming to Wordfest in October. Thanks ~ Everett Wilson, Communications Coordinator.

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