Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Top Ten Books That Broke My Heart

Happy Valentine's Day!  It's Tuesday and that means it's Top Ten day over at The Broke and the Bookish.  Today's very appropriate topic is Top Ten Books That Broke My Heart.

Ah, I love a book that can make me cry. I think that is a sign of a good book - one that can make you feel something, a book where you come to care about the characters so much that it breaks your heart when something bad happens to them.  So, not surprisingly, this list has a lot in common with my list of favorite novels ever.  You can also check out my list of Top Ten Kids/Teen/YA Books That Broke My Heart.

So, in honor of Valentine's Day, here are my Top Ten Books That Broke My Heart:
  • The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger, one of the greatest love stories ever written and sure to be heartbreaking when one of the lovers keeps time traveling away from the other.
  • Life on the Refrigerator Door by Alice Kuipers - amazing how so few words (notes written between a mother and her teen daughter) can wring out so much emotion.
  • Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah, mirroring real life with its ups and downs, this novel made me cry 3 - count 'em 3! - times.
  • Still Alice by Lisa Genova - how could a novel about early-onset Alzheimer's disease be anything but heartbreaking?
  • The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini - a heartbreaking incident in childhood defines a man's life forever.
  • A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini - the story and circumstances of each of the women in this novel is heartbreaking.
  • Heretic’s Daughter by Kathleen Kent - the story of a woman falsely accused of witchcraft in Salem and the effects on her daughter haunted me for months after I read it.
  • The Story of Beautiful Girl by Rachel Simon - a decades-long love story between a mentally handicapped woman and a deaf man that is both heartbreaking and uplifting.
  • My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult - a young girl whose purpose in life is to save her sister's life inspires plenty of emotion.
  • The Crowning Glory of Calla Lily Ponder by Rebecca Wells - this audio book took me through every emotion imaginable - I laughed out loud, sang, screamed, and yes, cried my eyes out.
  • One Mississippi by Mark Childress - you have to admire a novel that can both make you laugh out loud and cry out in grief.
So, that's my list.  What books have broken your heart?


  1. I cry easily when I read Sue. I'm rereading Jane Eyre this week for my NEW BOOK GROUP -inaugural meeting next Monday! There is a very sad scene where Jane falls asleep hugging her best friend at boarding school and when she wakes up the girl has died of consumption. So moving. I bawled so much whilst reading Caleb's Crossing although the ending was not as tragic as it could have been.... And have I mentioned Burnt Shadows to you? Have you read it, it has joined my all time favourite list. Also just read a brilliant book called Ready Player One. You guys have probably already read it...I can imagine you all enjoying it. I couldn't out it down and consequently whipped through it in two days. Don't think I cried in that..can't remember!

  2. I really need to reread Jane Eyre - I loved it but it's been decades since I read it, so I don't remember much of it.

    And Caleb's crossing is sitting on my shelf right now, waiting to be read! Ken gave it to me for Christmas. Can't wait!

    And I have heard so many great things about Ready Player One - I must get my hands on a copy. To be honest, I rarely read hot new books while they're still new! I don't buy many books for myself (gotta save that money for doctor's and meds!), and I always have dozens of older books waiting to be read, so I am always behind.

    Will have to look into Burnt Shadows. Enjoy your new book group! One of mine meets tonight :)


  3. The Education of Little Tree by Forrest Carter. As much for the story as for the author.

    Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro.

    Angela's Ashes.

  4. Ryan -

    Oh! How could I have forgotten Angela's Ashes?? One of the biggest tear-jerkers of all time!