Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Books Guaranteed to Make Kimberly Cry

Top Ten Tuesday is the weekly meme hosted by the excellent blog The Broke and the Bookish. Due to circumstances involving weather (fake ice days!), trips out of town (for Rebecca) and arbitrary deadlines (for Kimberly), I decided to give last week’s Top Ten Tuesday a miss. This week we are back with a vengeance. The topic? Ten books guaranteed to make me cry. I cry more during TV, movies and Hallmark commercials than I do while reading books, so this was a difficult list for me to put together. Here’s what I finally came up with. Beware spoilers!

1) Harry Potter (Order of the Phoenix; Half-Blood Prince; Deathly Hallows): I have three younger brothers my mom wanted to engage, so we used these as read aloud novels. My mom read all seven books aloud to the four of us (and occasionally my Dad) as they came out. (I was fresh out of grad school when the seventh book came out, and still I went home for the weekend and listened to her read it aloud!) I think listening to my mom read aloud the deaths of the people Harry loved made them harder for me to handle.

2) A Child Called “It” by Dave Pelzer – This seems cliché. I mean, obviously, I cried reading this book. I would have to be heartless not to have cried. But this one sticks out to me because I read it in public – in the middle of the MSC Reading Room on the Texas A&M campus, to be exact. What was I thinking?

3) Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls – I had to read this book in elementary school and I’m still emotionally scarred by it. I can never read this book again because I’ll just dissolve into a puddle of tears. (I have similar feelings about Rawls’ other book, Summer of the Monkeys.) {{{Rebecca seconds this emotional scarring; she is still furious that her teacher made her read it in elementary school and has blocked out large sections of the novel.}}}

4) Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein – I cried at multiple points throughout this story, but never so hard as during the letter Verity’s mom writes Maddie at the end of the novel.

5) Rilla of Ingleside by L.M. Montgomery – I loved L.M. Montgomery as a teen and must have read the entire Anne Shirley series half a dozen times. Oddly, this book, about Anne and Gilbert’s daughter, is my favorite in the series. I cried every single time I read Walter’s letter to Rilla, written the day before he was killed in World War I.

6) Wonder by R.J. Palacio – This was a hard book for me to read, but it was also uplifting. My tears were both happy and sad, which is more than I can say for the rest of the books on this list.

7) The Little Match Girl by Hans Christian Anderson – My Grandpa used to tell me this story whenever I spent the night at his house as a child. He had a particularly compelling way of telling it, but it’s such a depressing story that I now wonder what he was thinking. I have fond memories of the experience, but the story is definitely a tearjerker.

8) The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman – The end of this book, after going through so much with Lyra and Will, was devastating to read. I should mention that I listened to this series while driving to work, so my tears were an issue. (The end of The Golden Compass also made me cry, but to a lesser degree.)

9) Iron Kissed by Patricia Briggs – The end of this book was devastating to read. I appreciate Briggs’ willingness to give Mercy more emotional depth and it definitely worked well to strengthen characters and relationships in the series, but that didn’t make it any easier to read. {{{Voracious seconding by Rebecca!}}

10) The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne РThe naivet̩ in this book was impressively done and made the end far more difficult to read. I will admit, however, that I only cried a little while reading the book, but I was sobbing while watching the movie. The visual, for me, was more emotionally draining than my imagination.

Now can someone please pass the tissues?