2024 Reading Challenge

2024 Reading Challenge
Jill Elizabeth has read 1 book toward her goal of 285 books.

2023 Reading Challenge

2023 Reading Challenge
Jill Elizabeth has read 5 books toward her goal of 265 books.

Remember the Top Ten Lists? No? Here’s a New One Anyway! Tear-Jerkers, No Less…

I used to do a lot more of these.  Don’t really know why I stopped – it’s not like I’ve stopped reading, or having opinions.  (teehee)  Maybe because I’ve been doing so many book review posts lately.  I’m trying to not turn the blog into all about reading.  That’s not its purpose, unless the reading in question is things I have written!  And since we all know how challenging it is to be able to post your own original fiction (at least if you hope/dream/intend to do anything else with it at any time in the future, well, we know why there isn’t more of that.  So I guess you’re going to get a mish-mash of things for a while now, and part of that mish-mash will probably continue to focus on reading because (a) there are a zillion things I could say on the topic and (2) (teehee – “Mad About You” reference, anyone?  I know – I’m a terrible dork, but I don’t care – I’ve learned to embrace it.) I am fairly confident that most of the things I write on reading are not likely to raise publishing issues down the road.

I’m bringing back the top tens today with a topic that is actually not near-and-dear to my heart (teehee again).  Emotion.  I am not a terribly emotional person.  Don’t get me wrong – I love The Husband and The Step-Kids and The Sister and The Best Friend/Family and the pArents (not a typo, an inside joke) and The Francleparents, and a handful of other friends and relations.  And I’m (I think) WAY more affectionate than I used to be – a fact that I blame entirely on two things: the presence of kids in my life (because you just can’t help but be affectionate with kids) and The Husband (because I just can’t help but be affectionate with him, since he’s very much so with me).  But I’m not what one would call terribly emotional or demonstrative naturally.  And I do NOT cry.  Not on a regular basis anyway.  At least, not on a regular basis from any emotion other than frustration.

Still, human beings need emotional outlets.  Sometimes you just have to cry – it’s like the spit-valve on a trumpet, a way of clearing things out so you can keep on playing your song.  And since I’m not entirely comfortable doing that in real-life situations, I do it in fake-life ones – i.e., books, movies, and music.

So today, I’m going to share with you a list of my favorite tear-jerkers.  The books guaranteed to bring on the waterworks.  The ones that let me wallow in the sadness of other people’s lives – even when I can’t wallow in any of the issues of my own.   (Just so you don’t misunderstand me, I feel compelled to point something out here in black and white: I do not have a tear-worthy life.  My life is great.  Don’t misunderstand me here.  But even great, happy, wonderful lies occasionally encounter sadness – and even the emotionally stoic occasionally get hurt or sad or depressed.  It’s true.  We just don’t know what to do about it, so usually act jerky or rude or distant.  Poe-tay-toe, poh-tah-toe.  Seriously.)

These are all fiction, by the way.  No obvious contenders like The Diary of Anne Frank – I’m sticking to the worlds other people have invented, not the horrors of lives lived sadly through other people’s intervention.  And it won’t be immediately apparent why some of these are tear-jerkers.  Some of them probably only got/get to me because of my own life. But most of them have pretty universal sad-appeal, I think. Oh, and with some of them, the gut-wrenching parts are buried in a larger story.  But with a handful, well, you’ll need tissues from page one.  I’ll leave it up to you to guess which are which – but if you need a hint, drop me a comment/email!)

Without further ado, I bring you:

Top 10 (Fiction) Tear-Jerkers (and this from a girl who NEVER cries)

  1. Afterlove – Robert Rosenblum
  2. Suzanne’s Diary for Nicholas – James Patterson
  3. What Dreams May Come – Richard Matheson
  4. What Alice Forgot – Liane Moriarty
  5. My Sister’s Keeper – Jodi Picoult
  6. The Book Thief – Markus Zusak
  7. Love Story – Erich Segal
  8. The Actor and the Housewife – Shannon Hale
  9. The Alchemist – Paulo Coelho
  10. Animal Husbandry – Laura Zigman


4 comments to Remember the Top Ten Lists? No? Here’s a New One Anyway! Tear-Jerkers, No Less…

  • I agree with you on the 6 I’ve read. Now I’ll have to look up the others. Sometimes a girl just needs a good cry.

  • Amritorupa Kanjilal

    Hello Jill Elizabeth,
    I’ve read My Sister’s keeper, which I really liked. Though I’m not a fan of tearjerkers, I’m certainly going to try out some of the others.

    I really liked your book blog, and will visit regularly… following you now!
    please visit my new book blog at http://riversihaveknown.wordpress.com/
    If you like the blog, please follow. looking forward to having you as a reader…
    Thank you!

    • Thank you so much for stopping by and your kind words Amritorupa! I’m also glad to see that we have a book in common – hopefully that means our tastes align somewhat, and I won’t have steered you wrong with any others from the list that you may try! 🙂

      I did visit your blog – I really enjoyed your review of Persepolis. I haven’t dabbled much in graphic novels, tending to prefer my stories through written words. But, much in the way I am newly-converted to audio books as a result of my husband’s love of them, I am apparently now going to have to give graphic novels a more serious look. The images you included in your review are, as you point out, stark and severe – and from what I know of Persepolis, seem perfectly attuned to the nature of the story. Thanks for reminding me of the value in pictures-as-stories and for refocusing me on the stories themselves, as opposed to the medium in which they are represented!

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