Top Ten Books That Made Me Cry


toptentuesday Today, the bloggers at The Broke and the Bookish have asked us to list the Top Ten books that made me cry.

I am feeling so sad just looking at this list 🙁

Here are the top ten books that were beautifully written and which made my heart break at the same time.


  1. The saddest book I read last year and one of my all-time sobfest stories is Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer. It’s the story of a small boy trying to cope with his father’s death in the 9/11 bombing attacks on the World Trade Center.
  2. Coming a close second was A Storm of Swords by George R.R.Martin. Because, well, incredibly sad things happen in it. But also, it’s just the way it’s written. I went back earlier this year to reread sections of the book, and it was almost physically painful. However, the foreshadowing is brilliant, the atmosphere and moodiness leading up to the events that happen is brilliant. The tragedy is almost Shakespearian in style.
  3. Which brings me to Macbeth, which is one of my all-time favorite tragedies by Shakespeare. It’s brilliant, over the top, and dramatically tragic, and oh, I love a good foreshadowing. This is one of my all-time favorite sad stories.
  4. All the Harry Potter books by J.K.Rowling where someone died – I didn’t mind Sirius death too much, but Cedric’s death in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Dumbledore’s in Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, and Snape’s in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows killed me.
  5. Atonement by Ian McEwan is so so sad. Till the end it looks like there is a happy ending in sight, only to have the rug pulled suddenly to devastating effect in the last few pages. Again, a sad but masterfully written last couple of chapters.
  6. Sad true, but also some of my favorites

    Sad true, but also some of my favorites

  7. Never Let me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro was another subtly written sad book. Every emotion is muffled and toned down but still there was a devastating impact on me. I couldn’t stop thinking about this book for a long, long time.
  8. A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini was also incredibly sad, but also uplifting. It’s not a complete tragedy in the sense that one person’s sacrifice enables two others to go and live happy lives, but it is still a very, very touching story.
  9. Nineteen Minutes is the one and only Jodi Picoult book I have read. It’s a topical book about events that lead up to a school shooting from the eyes of the shooter, his friends, and those who tormented him. Haunting, and very, very sad. It was a bit too sad for me though because after that I haven’t read any Picoult books.
  10. An oldie but a goodie sad story is Love Story by Erich Segal. I read it as a teenager and bawled. I doubt I will find it as engrossing or tragic now, but it is still a very sad book.
  11. On similar lines, I read A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway as a teen too, and cried over the sad end to the soldier’s love story.

Do you enjoy reading sad books? Which ones are your favorites?

I am not a big fan especially when I think the author is deliberately trying to manipulate my emotions, or if I feel the sadness is inserted for some kind of dramatic effect. However, I didn’t get that cynical feeling I usually get with sad books in the list I just created.

Which books did you read which was written to make you sad but didn’t?

  • Pingback: Ten Books That Made Me Swoon / Nishita's Rants and Raves()

  • readingtheend

    Man, I very much do not understand you right now. Cedric’s death does nothing to me at all, and Sirius dying wrecks me every time. Poor little Harry with no Sirius anymore!

    • Nishita

      @readingtheend:disqus that’s because I didn’t like Sirius bullying Snape in school. I don’t have a high opinion of Harry’s father either. Have you lost all faith in me now?

  • Five-Eyed Bookworm

    I haven’t read many books in your list but I did read A Thousand Splendid Suns which made me shed tears! It was such a great book. I’ll be checking out the other books in your list, especially Never Let Me Go which has been in my TBR list for such a long time!

    • Nishita

      @fiveeyedbookworm:disqus You should read Never Let Me Go. Highly recommend. I read it when it first came out, and knew nothing about the plot. I think the impact might be a little lost now as so many people have seen the movie, but still, it’s a very good book.

  • Stefanie

    Never Let Me Go made me cry too!

  • Sasha

    I’d have tanked this meme, if only because I cry at the drop of a hat. I bawl at the slightest dramatic moment—I once cried over a commercial for milk, haha. That said: I sobbed over the Safran Foer, too—and Rowling broke my little teenaged heart countless times (and then again, having to relive it at the movies).

    • Nishita

      @Sasha so you’re saying your list could have been a top 100 maybe? LOL, but I cry easily too, except when I see stupid decisions and am like I am not wasting my tears on this mindless character

  • Brooke Lee

    As much as I love HP, the only time I cried during the reading was when Snape died. He was my favorite and the ultimate anti-hero. It takes a lot to get me to the point of tears, but I mostly recently cried over Truman Capote’s ‘A Christmas Memory’.

    • Nishita

      @brooke_lee:disqus I cried the most for Dumbledore and then Snape. I loved them both equally 🙂

  • Manisha Dhalani

    I don’t exactly enjoy reading sad books, but last year two books made me bawl. Mitch Albom’s Have A Little Faith and Amish Tripathi’s Shiva Trilogy (the first two books). 🙁

    • Nishita

      @manishadhalani:disqus I haven’t read the Shiva books. Do you recommend them?

      • Manisha Dhalani

        I thousand times yes! 🙂

  • Lee_Greenberg

    I don’t normally read mainstream fiction (GRRM is a long time favorite as way of pointing out where I tend to read) but I realized I had read half of these, Including Love Story in Jr. High. yeah, I cried too. As much as I cried at 1000 Spendid Suns, I cried more over the Kite runner. This was a great post. thanks 🙂

    • Nishita

      @Lee_Greenberg:disqus yeah, i was sad with Kite Runner too, but for TSS was the bigger tear-jerker.

  • Nicole Hewitt

    I have definitely read books that were supposed to be sad, but I just felt manipulated. But I’m also a sucker for sad books, so I don’t usually mind! 🙂

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

    • Nishita

      @nicolehewitt:disqus yeah, I hate to feel manipulated though

  • Bookish Fer

    Oh my, the glory of a truly sad book! I live for that moment in which a story takes a turn for the tragic, wrenching your guts into a tiny ball of sorrow! Makes you feel so alive! My favorite bawler is The Book Thief. Funny thing is, it’s not actually a sad book overall, and the ending, while tragic, is full of hope and beauty. And yet… It made me sob fiercely! I read the last chapter in the dead of night, shivering under my afghan, tears running freely down my cheeks, and the experience stayed with me in a strangely uplifting way. If you haven’t read it yet, run, don’t walk, to your bookstore and cuddle with it and a cuppa tea. You’ll love it!

    • Nishita

      @Bookish Fer I saw that many people have listed The Book Thief as very emotional. I haven’t read it yet, but I”ll be sure to keep my hankies ready when I do 🙂

  • veens

    Khaled Hossieni makes me cry all the time and I did cry after reading a lot of other books, and strangely I cant remember those… gosh! this is ridiculous!

    • Nishita

      @veens:disqus yeah, he writes very sad books. That’s why I am avoiding his last year’s bestseller. I want to avoid moping about fictional troubles this year 🙂

      • veens

        And the price. I would have bought it if it were not so costly…seriously I love his fiction.

        • Nishita

          @veens:disqus These days popular books are very pricey. I tried recently to find deals on a couple of very popular books, and in spite of all the deals that were floating around, it was coming to 1000/-, seems prices have skyrocketed 🙁

  • Avada@

    Dumbledore’s death really brought tears to my eyes. I also cried reading “Fault in our stars” and “Kite runner”. I gave up on “Nineteen Minutes” after reading some pages. There was too much of melodrama and I could not handle it.

    • Nishita Yeah, Nineteen Minutes went a little OTT, I still liked the ending but I avoided all other Picoult books afterwards.

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