I’ve been reading a lot of really good books lately. Some of these books have even been tear or sob worthy. Here’s the short list of the best books that have made me cry:
- Moloka’i by Alan Brennert
Why: Moloka’i is one of the most devastating books I’ve read. About the exile of people with leprosy to the island of Moloka’i in Hawaii. This book spans generations, gives us a picture of what life looks like before the island and what it looks like once on the island, and it is incredibly heartbreaking.But it is so worth reading. Books that give you these kinds of emotions, the kinds the have me ugly-crying on an airplane for an hour, are the kind that deserve more attention.
2. Lily and the Octopus by Steven Rowley
Why: First of all I have to say I’m a little biased because I have a dachshund-beagle mix named Holly and she’s the cutest thing I’ve ever met. So of course this is the story about a dachshund named Lily who has a tumor (brain cancer) and one man’s course of grieving his dog. I love dogs and thinking of my dog let alone any dog dying fills me with sadness and sparks some tears instantly (I’m even tearing up a little right now just typing about dogs dying). So of course ultimately this book resulted in ugly-crying for at least the last 100 pages.
3. What is the What by Dave Eggers
Why: Okay, I mean, this book is about the second civil war in Sudan. This is a story of death, orphans, loneliness, the resiliency of a people. This book was bound to make me cry. The fact that the story within this book took place during half my lifetime so far and I’ve only heard tiny bits and pieces about it makes me cry.
4. The Leavers by Lisa Ko
Why: The Leavers is the story of a mother and son emmigrating from China to the United States and all of the trials that take place in such a move. It’s about the struggle of growing up not knowing who your parents are in a foreign country where hardly anybody looks like you and all the white people around you either try too hard to make you feel comfortable or make you feel like an outcast. Either way seems off-putting to me. My heart really goes out to mother who are displaced, especially single mothers who are unable to care for their children as a result of this displacement.
5. The Bone Sparrow by Zana Fraillon
Why: Detention camps are incredibly sad. Then we talk about children in detention camps and all they have to deal with, almost Lord of the Flies-esque in a way, it just gets even sadder. Middle grade novels that are really well-written have been hitting me in the feels lately, such as One Half from the East. Authors have been getting simple yet bold with their multi-dimensional works for kids that I’m really impressed by.
6. Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe by Fannie Flagg
Why: Yet another story about racism to add to my list of incredibly sad books, Fried Green Tomatoes is a classic historical fiction about the South, a beautifully told novel that takes my breath away with the innocence and yet bold truths this story contains. A story within a story, there’s a lot going on in this novel in terms of feminism, racism, sexism, classism, and more (if that’s even possible!). This story truly seems to span the course of a life and all that can be found in a person’s life. Beautiful, beautiful read.