Read ’em and weep

I’m grateful for my sunglasses as I brake for the red light. The passenger in the vehicle idling next to me has glanced my way. I grab a napkin from the glove box and blow my nose. I quickly swipe the tears from my cheeks before the light changes.

At least I’m still not sobbing, I think as I continue on to work.

“Chapter 17,” the narrator announces.

I spend almost two hours a day driving to and from work. I travel through a rural area with poor radio reception. That’s why I listen to audio books. Not only do they help pass the miles, this is the only time I have to myself.

One of the hazards of listening to books in the car, though, is that the sad ones make me cry.  My husband doesn’t call me “crybaby” for nothing.

If you like a good cry and are looking for some summer reads that will tug on your tear ducts, here is my list of five books guaranteed to make you cry.


beyond reach

1. Beyond Reach by Karin Slaughter

I’m a sucker for mysteries, and Slaughter’s police procedural series is no exception. I’ve been reading her books out of order, but that hasn’t taken away from the suspense. In this book, pediatrician and medical examiner Sara Linton and her once-again husband, police Chief Jeffrey Tolliver, are called to the small Georgia hometown of Tolliver’s detective. Someone has been burned alive, and Linton and Tolliver are receiving not-so-subtle hints that they should leave town. You’ll find yourself biting your nails until the book’s tragic conclusion.

2. The 39 Clues series by Rick Riordan and others  39 clues

I sheepishly approached the children’s librarian last week asking for assistance in tracking down the next book in this young adult adventure series. There’s plenty of action in the books as Amy and Dan Cahill participate in a worldwide search for thirty-nine clues. But the scavenger hunt was initiated upon the death of their grandmother, Grace, and the two orphans are still mourning her loss as they travel the globe. You’ll find yourself alternately tearing up and cheering these two kids on as you read.

3. Defending Jacob by William Landay

defending jacobI specifically told a coworker dealing with an apathetic teenage son NOT to read this book. This story of a district attorney who finds himself on the other side of a courtroom aisle when his son is accused of murder is sure to keep you in suspense. Is Jacob guilty? Is he just misunderstood? How far should a father go to defend his son? Keep some tissues nearby as you read Landay’s book and seek the answers to these questions.

unbroken4. Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand

Louis Zamperini dreams of earning Olympic gold as a distance runner ending with the start of World War II. His nightmare as a prisoner of war began when the plane he was in crashed in the Pacific Ocean. Zamperini’s story of endurance, survival and, ultimately, forgiveness is sure to bring tears and inspire you.

5.The End of Your Life Book Club by Will Schwalbe: end of your life

Mary Anne Schwalbe always read the end of a book first, so I don’t feel guilty telling you that this extraordinary woman dies at the end. However, her death is not the only emotional moment. Schwalbe’s memoir is as much a love letter to reading and a testament to the power of books as it is a tribute to his mother. This is a must-read for lovers of book everywhere.

It’s Day Two of Yeah Write’s Summer Series #31dbbb. Today’s task was to write a list post. Click on the badge to read other participants’ entries.


31 thoughts on “Read ’em and weep

  1. I love your list! I listen to NPR all day, but I think I’m getting a little impatient with it as I get older. So much reporting on those awesome wealthy people and those terrible, awful poors. Maybe audio books is the way to go. Thanks for the recommendations.


    1. “Unbroken” was tough. What Zamperini went through was so horrible, that I didn’t want to listen. But then I knew I had to.
      The Schwalbe book is a great source for finding other books to read, too.


  2. I really like this use of the list! Always looking for good books. I was supposed to read Unbroken for book club last year, and never got to it. But I keep hearing good things. I will have to get back to that one!


  3. I like how you started with a little story in this post. I was really amazed by Unbroken. It’s being made into a movie, so that might be interesting. I think I’d like to read the Schwalbe one.


  4. I had an old job where I drove an hour one way in and one hour back home. I use to LOVE listening to those audio books!

    And Rick Riordan is a hero in our house. My son is on the 4th book in the Percy Jackson series so I’ll have to tell him about this new series.


  5. A LIST OF BOOKS! I LOVE LISTS OF BOOKS! (sorry for the shouting, I get excited). The Zamperini book is on my shelf to-read (he’s a local hero in my hometown), and I’m adding others you mention to the list…


  6. I admired how Mr. Zamperini did the book tour on behalf of Laura Hillenbrand since she has Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. His optimistic spirit is inspiring.


  7. Great post. Defending Jacob sounds like a book I could really get into. I love books like that. I love to read anyway. That book is definitely going on my ‘to read’ list. Visiting from 31dbbb.


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