Books guaranteed to make you cry

I just read the The one movie guaranteed to make the men cry thread, and now I’m in the mood for weepy fiction. I started a thread like this a year ago, and I want more. It can be tears from laughter or tears from sadness; I don’t care. I want some books/short stories/words that have the power to . . . *move * you.

My nominations? The World According to Garp, On the Beach, The Doomsday Book (oh, Mary!), The Land Remembers, and a poem by Charles Kingsley I’m ashamed to mention because it’s so very, very corny. For funny, I nominate Lake Wobegon Days (for sadness, too, actually) and most of what I’ve read so far by Terry Pratchett. There’s some point in each of them where I’m giggling madly, it turns into hiccups, and I’m gone.

Share with me, Dopers. I’ll be taking notes for my next library trip.

I shed so many tears into my copy of A Prayer for Owen Meany that the pages are all warped and wonky.

Ah yes, Doomsday Book. Wrenching indeed.

Willis does intelligent, unsentimental accounts of death and loss extremely well. Her Passages was excellent, and wrenching and somehow hopeful as well. For those who haven’t read it, the violent death of a young ER doctor is intertwined with the a child cancer patient–with death analogized to the wreck and sinking of “The Titanic”.

One that really hit me when I was young and still musters up the tears: The Voice of Bugle Ann by MacKinlay Kantor.

Watership Down.

Oh, they’re tears of happiness, but wow. The ending gets me every time. I love those little rabbits, especially Hazel.

The Little Prince. That book should be sold packaged with a kleenex box.

Deerskin by Robin McKinley. I’ve read it dozens of times and I know exactly what will happen, but I still cry buckets every time.

**Night ** by Elie Weisel

When the concentration camp prisoners were on a forced march with only their cloths on and no shoes in Januaryish of 1945. No food, fear of sleep and never waking up again or being shot by a guard, and when they finally after days/weeks of this animal behavior, are releived to see the gates and name of their new home: Auschwitz.

It devastated me.

And to a lesser sense of reality, unlike the above, The Goblet of Fire

When Harry’s parents ghosts come out of his wand while he is battling Voldemort.

I’ve read the book at least 4 times, and I know it’s coming, but that scene just gets me.

A Day No Pigs Would Die, by Robert Newton Peck, *When The Legends Die * by Hal Borland, *Where the Red Fern Grows * by Wilson Rawls. The Dog Who Wouldn’t Be, by Farley Mowat is also really funny. One of Mowat’s books I couldn’t even finish, A Whale for the Killing makes you despair for the entire world. The Education of Little Tree by Forrest Carter. *Black Beauty * by Anna Sewell. *84 Charing Cross Road * by Helene Hanff.

I notice most of the sad books I read when I was a kid and young teen, and a lot involve animals. No surprises there.

Shirley, the Potter book that got me was Phoenix, when Sirius snuffs it and Nearly Headless Nick tells Harry that he isn’t coming back as a ghost. Harry’s last chance at a family gone. I’m still holding out hope with that little mirror, though.

Strangley enough, that did not bother me.

Flowers for Algernon makes me bawl. In fact, thinking about it is making me tear up. My mom told me there is a movie Charlie based on it but I cannot bring myself to look at it. I am also weak for Wuthering Heights; that one I can’t quite understand, yo. That movie is crap; avoid at all costs.

I didnt cry at the two John Irving books already mentioned, but in The Hotel New Hampshire everytime someone died (Egg, Mother, Freud & Lily) it got to me

Also, The Five People You Meet in Heaven.

A traditional Australian children’s favourite: Seven Little Australians, by Ethel Turner.

Especially the bit at the end where:

Judy, the third child, and the most intelligent, vivacious, outgoing etc saves her baby half-brother from being crushed by a falling gum tree while all the children are on a picnic in the outback at Yarrahappini. He survives unscathed, but Judy’s back is broken. Her death-bed scene reduces me to tears even now.

The Lions of Al-Rassan by Guy Gavriel Kay. Something about the was he portrays the way people can’t mitigate ugliness, but that they can still acknowledge it, and that doing so is sacred.

Me, too. Every time. Also Watership Down,

Oh lord yes. Both of the ‘lions’ are so human and admirable. Dreadful, inevitable fate that finally pits them against each other. Kay doesn’t do easy answers.

And Kay’s Lord of Emperor’s (Sarantine Mosaic, book II). Valerius, for all his faults, and Crispin’s wonderous mosaic…the end of a dream and world. That the destoyer is a friend, as well as principled and well-intentioned. Just heartbreaking.

Charlotte’s Web.

Yes. Lord, yes.

I Know This Much Is True
The Farewell Symphony
The Book of Ruth
The Rapture of Canaan

Bah. I’m sure there’s a million more, but my memory is shit at the moment.

[brief writing question]
Are book titles underlined or italicized? I always thought underlined. TIA.
[/bwq]

The Jade Peony, by Wayson Choy. Three gradated sections: Whimsical, Poignant, and Tear-your-heart-out-and-get-tears-and-snot-all-over-the-pages.

Also worth mentioning:

James Joyce’s Dubliners – especially “A Painful Case,” “Counterparts,” and “Clay.”

Paul Quarrington’s Life of Hope.

Toni Morrison’s Song of Solomon.

Margaret Laurence’ The Stone Angel.

Michael Ondaatje’s In the Skin of a Lion.

Vikram Seth’s An Equal Music.

Pretty much everything John Irving has written. If I’ve gotta pick one, I’ll go with the underrated 158-pound Marriage. Whoa.

It’s actually the last scene between Jehane and Rodrigo that gets me the hardest. That, and jehane and Miranda on the hill at the end. The stark realization that love is our most valuble thing, the most precious thing we have, and we have to treasure it even as we acknowledge its overall impotency in the face of an implacable world.
Also, at the end of “The Longest Road” when you know who dies in battle. Something about the rash exuberence of youth being able to do what wisdom is to wise to dare: he’s so young, so brave, so bright.

Come to think of it, Kay’s probably made me cry more than about everybody else combined.