Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Top Ten Tuesday: The Sad Books

This week The Broke and The Bookish asked for the Top Ten Books That Make You Cry. I don’t know if I’ve ever cried while reading a book, though I’ve read many sad tales. So here are my Top Ten Saddest Books, in no particular order.

1. The Time Traveler’s Wife, by: Audrey Niffenegger – I don’t know if I found this sad because I started it when I was almost nine months pregnant and finished it shortly after giving birth, but the story seemed like a sad destiny.

2. The Cleric Quintet 5: The Chaos Curse, by: R.A. Salvatore – I know most people don’t find fantasy books sad, but I was sad when I got to the end of this one. Cadderly has to give so much up for his faith and to make the world a better place. I really empathized with his wife, Danica.

3. The Dark Tower 7: The Dark Tower, by: Stephen King – Roland appears to be trapped in an endless cycle of loss. There is so much in this novel, each one hits me.

4. The Giving Tree, by: Shel Silverstein – The poor tree!

5. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, by: J.K. Rowling – Poor everybody! This is another series ender that is filled with loss. It all starts with Hedwig and it goes down from there. (I don’t feel that bad mentioning Hedwig. It happens in the first bit of the novel.)

6. A Complicated Kindness, by: Miriam Toews – Nomi’s life is so sad. What she goes through would be difficult for anyone to deal with.

7. A Thousand Splendid Suns, by: Khaled Hosseini – Poor Mariam. Mariam and Layla were an amazing pair. This story is touching in a deep and profound way.

8. The Reptile Room, by: Lemony Snicket – Another children’s story! What is it with sad tales for kids? I found this second installment in An Unfortunate Series of Events the saddest of all the books because I could feel the children’s futility in their struggle. It didn’t seem like Mr. Poe or any other adult learned from the events of the first book. I could feel the doom the whole time.

9. The Lovely Bones, by: Alice Sebold – I don’t know how anyone could read this story and not feel the sadness and loss of the whole family, not just who’s left on Earth, but Susie’s too, as she has to watch her family deal with her death.

10. 1984, by: George Orwell – Though one of my scariest books, it’s also one of the saddest. I wanted Winston to win. I wanted revolution. I wanted the Party to be destroyed!

Runners up for the list were The Handmaid’s Tale and The Good Earth. I decided I can’t keep putting The Handmaid’s Tale on my lists, even though it’s one of my favourite books. I’ve reviewed all of my top ten over the years except for The Lovely Bones. I read that ages ago, long before I started blogging.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this week’s Top Ten. What books do you find sad?


  1. Oh, I forgot about Hedwig!!! :(

    I didn't cry while listening to The Kite Runner but the emotional investment was intense for me...I'm trying to write the review for it right now...and it has been so difficult. A Thousand Splendid Suns is next.

    I've got The Time Traveller's Wife on my TBR list...I've seen it mentioned on several lists so far :)

    The Lovely Bones...I'm not sure there is another book so devastating...

  2. I agree with you about Winston. So many people have written about The Time Traveler's Wife--I need to pick that one up. I love reading these lists--they offer a little glimpse into a reader's life!

  3. I just discovered that you visited my list and left a comment - thank you so much for that!
    It's great that you like TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD, too - but: who wouldn't? ;")

    I am up to read THE LOVELY BONES -and now I am really eager to do it..

  4. The Lovely Bones made my list, too. I thought of The Giving Tree & The Time Traveler's Wife but only had room for 10 :D Here's mine.

  5. Great list. I agree with many, even though they didn't make my list. I thought Lemony book 2 was probably the hardest to bear too, because of the strong hope that the book builds up before it falls back into despair.

  6. Anonymous2/11/10 18:15

    I really want to read A Thousand Splendid Suns but I'm being a bit chicken atm because of how sad I keep hearing it is!

  7. I contemplated adding The Giving Tree to my list. Sad. Yes.

    Here's my list:

  8. 1984 was heartbreaking because of what happens to Winston and Julia in the end, not only physically but psychologically. Definitely a sad read.

  9. The Time Traveler's Wife, of course! Thanks for visiting my blog yesterday, I was so caught up in our elections that I didn't go visit anyone's blog to make comments.