8 Touching Books That Will Make You Cry Like a Baby

September 17 2019
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Yes, there are those books that completely shatter you and have you throwing them across the room. But sometimes a good tearjerking novel is just what the book gods have ordered. We asked you via our Instagram stories about the last book that made you cry like a baby and we’re sharing your picks with the world! Read these books and have a good cry, you deserve it.

Sing, Unburied, Sing
by Jesmyn Ward

Family, legacy, and buried secrets wrapped in gorgeous moving language—SING, UNBURIED, SING has all the ingredients for a misty-eyed read. Thirteen-year-old Jojo and his younger sister accompany their mother on a trip through Mississippi to pick up their father from the state penitentiary. This evocative family saga examines the ugly truths at the heart of the American story and the power—and limitations—of family bonds.

Read the full review of SING, UNBURIED, SING.

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Sing, Unburied, Sing
Jesmyn Ward

WINNER of the NATIONAL BOOK AWARD and A NEW YORK TIMES TOP 10 BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR

A finalist for the Kirkus Prize, Andrew Carnegie Medal, Aspen Words Literary Prize, and a New York Times bestseller, this majestic, stirring, and widely praised novel from two-time National Book Award winner Jesmyn Ward, the story of a family on a journey through rural Mississippi, is a “tour de force” (O, The Oprah Magazine) and a timeless work of fiction that is destined to become a classic.

Jesmyn Ward’s historic second National Book Award–winner is “perfectly poised for the moment” (The New York Times), an intimate portrait of three generations of a family and an epic tale of hope and struggle. “Ward’s writing throbs with life, grief, and love… this book is the kind that makes you ache to return to it” (Buzzfeed).

Jojo is thirteen years old and trying to understand what it means to be a man. He doesn’t lack in fathers to study, chief among them his Black grandfather, Pop. But there are other men who complicate his understanding: his absent White father, Michael, who is being released from prison; his absent White grandfather, Big Joseph, who won’t acknowledge his existence; and the memories of his dead uncle, Given, who died as a teenager.

His mother, Leonie, is an inconsistent presence in his and his toddler sister’s lives. She is an imperfect mother in constant conflict with herself and those around her. She is Black and her children’s father is White. She wants to be a better mother but can’t put her children above her own needs, especially her drug use. Simultaneously tormented and comforted by visions of her dead brother, which only come to her when she’s high, Leonie is embattled in ways that reflect the brutal reality of her circumstances.

When the children’s father is released from prison, Leonie packs her kids and a friend into her car and drives north to the heart of Mississippi and Parchman Farm, the State Penitentiary. At Parchman, there is another thirteen-year-old boy, the ghost of a dead inmate who carries all of the ugly history of the South with him in his wandering. He too has something to teach Jojo about fathers and sons, about legacies, about violence, about love.

Rich with Ward’s distinctive, lyrical language, Sing, Unburied, Sing is a majestic and unforgettable family story and “an odyssey through rural Mississippi’s past and present” (The Philadelphia Inquirer).

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The Great Believers
by Rebecca Makkai

More than one of our Instagram readers picked THE GREAT BELIEVERS as the last book that made them cry . . . and we totally agree with you. Rebecca Makkai’s dazzling novel is about a circle of artistic friends consumed by the AIDS epidemic in 1985 Chicago and the few survivors who reunite thirty years later in Paris. The two stories—past and present—intertwine and take us through the heartbreak of the 80s and the chaos of the modern world as these incredible characters seek out goodness.

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The Great Believers
Rebecca Makkai

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The Kite Runner
by Khaled Hosseini

Khaled Hosseini’s unforgettable and heartbreaking debut novel will enlighten you, sadden you, and challenge your idea of what it means to be good. Set against the backdrop of tumultuous, war-torn Afghanistan, this sweeping story of friendship, family, and redemption has become a beloved classic.

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The Kite Runner
Khaled Hosseini

Set against the backdrop of tumultuous, war-torn Afghanistan, THE KITE RUNNER is an unforgettable and heartbreaking story of friendship, family, and redemption.

 

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The Travelling Cat Chronicles
by Hiro Arikawa, translated by Philip Gabriel

Novels about pets and their humans induce tears instantly. In this novel, a cat named Nana and her human, Satoru, travel by van across Japan to meet up Saturo’s longtime friends. A story of friendship, gratitude, and loyalty unveils as they make their way through scenic Japan.

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The Travelling Cat Chronicles
Hiro Arikawa, translated by Philip Gabriel

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MENTIONED IN:

8 Touching Books That Will Make You Cry Like a Baby

By Off the Shelf Staff | September 17, 2019

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Someone Who Will Love You in All Your Damaged Glory
by Raphael Bob-Waksberg

You wouldn’t think that a stories collection from the mind behind BoJack Horseman would be on a list of tearjerking reads. And yet, here we are. SOMEONE WHO WILL LOVE YOU IN ALL YOUR DAMAGED GLORY is an offbeat collection about love in its highest, lowest, and weirdest forms. Perhaps the relatable part might make you cry but the dark humor will definitely make you laugh.

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Someone Who Will Love You in All Your Damaged Glory
Raphael Bob-Waksberg

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MENTIONED IN:

8 Touching Books That Will Make You Cry Like a Baby

By Off the Shelf Staff | September 17, 2019

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An Invisible Thread
by Laura Schroff and Alexis Tresniowski

When Lauren Schroff encounters an eleven-year-old panhandler on the street she doesn’t plan to stop. But then she changes her mind and gives him spare change. She does this every day for the next three decades. AN INVISIBLE THREAD is the story of an unexpected lifelong friendship between a busy sales rep and a disadvantaged young boy. If this story of friendship and kindness doesn’t make you cry, we don’t know what will.

Read the full review of AN INVISIBLE THREAD.

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An Invisible Thread
Laura Schroff and Alexis Tresniowski

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A Man Called Ove
by Fredrik Backman

Ove is a lonely and cranky old man with staunch principles, strict routines, and a short fuse. When an annoyingly friendly couple and their two children move in next door, Ove finds himself with several unexpected new friends, an unkempt cat, and a new outlook on life.

Read the full review of A MAN CALLED OVE.

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A Man Called Ove
Fredrik Backman

“If you like to laugh AND feel moved AND have your heart applaud wildly for fictional characters, you will certainly fall for the grumpy but lovable Ove (it’s pronounced “Oo-vuh,” if you were wondering).”

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Paula
by Isabel Allende

A personal and moving memoir, PAULA is titled after Isabel Allende’s daughter who fell gravely ill in 1991 and passed away thereafter. PAULA is filled with the words Allende wished to tell her daughter and written as a letter to her—about the events that unfolded during her coma, Allende’s childhood and bitter memories, of secrets, and of their curious ancestors.

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Paula
Isabel Allende

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MENTIONED IN:

8 Touching Books That Will Make You Cry Like a Baby

By Off the Shelf Staff | September 17, 2019

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