Top Ten Tuesday: Books That Made Me Cry

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature of all lists book related, hosted at The Broke and the Bookish. You can click on the link to head to their website for upcoming topics.

This week’s topic is Top Ten Books That Made Me Cry

 

I’ve actually written this post before.  And like I said that time too, I don’t really cry all that often to books. Anyway. I revisited my Goodreads library, reviewed my books, and updated my list. So some of these are the same as before, and some are new!

 

Me Before You

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes*

My Sister's Keeper

My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult

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The Fault In Our Stars by John Green

Boy in Striped PJs

The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne

P.S. I Love You

P.S. I Love You by Cecelia Ahern

Marley and Me

Marley and Me by John Grogan

Eleanor and Park

Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

The Night Circus

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern*

Past the Shallows

Past The Shallows by Favel Parrett*

The Girl In Times Square

The Girl in Times Square

*Links to my reviews

Chels

Top Ten Tuesday: Bookish Resolutions

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature of all lists book related, hosted at The Broke and the Bookish. You can click on the link to head to their website for upcoming topics.

This week’s topic is Top Ten Bookish Resolutions!

So without further ado, my 10 Bookish resolutions for 2014 are:

  1. Goodreads Challenge – Read 70 books. Last year I challenged (and achieved) 100 books. However, I felt at times that I ‘binge-read’ short or quick books purely to up my numbers. So, this year I’ve lowered my number so that I can commit to some longer books.
  2. Read 3 more of the Cross Stitch (Outlander) series. I’ve read 3 of these already, it’s an epic series and I think there’s another one coming out soon! I’d like to make more headway this year, and maybe even some of the John Grey spin-off novels.
  3. Blog at least once a week. Now I know that doesn’t sound like a lot, but it doesn’t take much to overload me, and if I over-commit I tend to go too far the other way and just give up. I hope to post more than this, but am not going to push myself.
  4. More discussion posts – at least one per month
  5. Post more reviews. Specifically – at least 2 a month
  6. Get my TBR pile down. I currently have waaaaay too many books sitting on my bookcase unread. So I’m participating in the 2014 TBR Pile Challenge and have committed to 40 books. Find my list and my progress here!
  7. Read more long books. I have a large number residing on my bookcase, that I’ve been finding intimidating and have been avoiding for a long time! Related to resolution 2. So to facilitate this resolution, I’m also participating in the Chunkster Challenge and have committed to 10 books longer than 450 pages. See my list and follow my progress here!
  8. Not really bookish but blog related so here it is – I have a fancy shiny new(ish) camera, that I don’t use enough. I want to take more photos and post them on my blog
  9. Get more organised with my blog posts. I’m TERRIBLE at scheduling, and I write most of my posts and publish immediately. Case in point: writing this TTT post at 8pm on Tuesday. I bought this pretty Kikki K diary again this year and it has month pages in the front. I plan to use the month pages to plan my blog posts!
  10. Post more quick reviews on Goodreads. I already give star ratings there, but not too many actual reviews. I don’t want – or need – to review all books I read here on my blog, but I want to make more effort on Goodreads, even if it’s just a brief explanation of my star allocation. Follow or friend me on Goodreads!

So there’s my Top Ten Blog/Book Resolutions! Do you have any of the same resolutions? Let me know in the comments!

Chels

Too Much Choice!

How do you choose your next read?

When I finish a book there are many feelings. Satisfaction of completion. Sad that it’s finished (or occasionally relief that it’s over…) Inner turmoil, confusion, bewilderment, knowledge that this one isn’t going to leave me for a long time – Gone Girl* I’m looking at you. Abstract wondering about what happens next for the characters. Heart pumping – Jamie Fraser anyone? Conflicting opinions galore. Excitement to start the next book. But how do you decide what comes next?

This is a serious question!! Ever since I can remember, I’ve loved trawling book shops, and now, online too. But because of this, I always want to read ALL THE BOOKS. And thus, my TBR pile became a shelf on my bookcase, then a box easy to grab under the bed, and now a small bookcase all of it’s own in my room. They have to be kept separate from my already-read books you see, as even though I don’t often loan my books, I NEVER loan those I’ve yet to read myself. NB: If I loan you a book, you’re a very special and trusted person!! Especially if it’s a favourite of mine. But I digress.

To the point – how do you decide what to read? I finish a book, and I’m all excited like, coz I can get to the next one, it’ll be all excellent, and amazing, and I’ll love it and read it in days. It’s The Fault In Our Stars. Or Just One Day. Or the next installment in the Outlander series. Or another Jojo Moyes. Or crime! Kathy Reichs. James Patterson. But I should read another Jane Austen. But maybe I’ll start Anna Karenina. Or Possession. Oooh, Valley of the Dolls, I really should get to that soon. But Kate Morton. And Joshilyn Jackson. And Dark Places! And everyone is raving about… And so, my head hurts. You see how it goes. I have no idea which book it will be because I want to read ALL OF THEM. NOW.

This is how I feel trying to choose my next read

HELP ME. Tell me how to choose!

*Review to come

Difficult Reads – Persist or Give Up?

Today I want to discuss difficult books, and what we all do when we come across them!

As I’m sure all of you can relate to, I have misjudged books in the past. Thinking I will love something based on reviews, or recommendations, or the blurb, but once I start reading, finding myself in Struggle Town. However, I’m usually determined to get through it. It takes a lot for me to put a book down without finishing it, which I must admit, can get painful at times. I can count on one hand the books I’ve started and not finished. And not for want of trying. There are also a small number of books that I’ve started and am YET to finish. Ones that I am determined to persist with. So I guess you could say that I’m currently reading about 5 books… some are just taking longer than others!!

Two books that I never plan to even think about again (after this post, of course 😉 ) are the second Bridget Jones’ Diary – The Edge of Reason, and The Children’s Book by A. S. Byatt. I lost patience with Bridget Jones. I didn’t like the first book, so really have no idea why I even picked up the second. Actually didn’t get very far in before giving up. The Children’s Book, I tried, I swear. So hard. I finally conceded that I had to give up when I had chewed my way through almost 200 pages of the 700-odd pages (and this much took me a month), and realised that I had absolutely NO CLUE what I had read. Other than that there were children in it. Sigh.

Apparently that lyrical style of writing confuses my brain. I’m led to believe these types of books are easier to understand if read aloud, but that looks (and sounds) slightly odd on a crowded train, and takes for-freaking-ever.  So I – grudgingly – gave up. I find it incredibly difficult to stop reading a book, even if once I get to the end my thoughts are solely “Well there’s 2 hours/days/decades of my life I’m never getting back.” I suppose I feel I have to give it every chance to prove itself. Not entirely sure why though, it’s not like I enjoy those particular books very much!

A couple that I’ve struggled but persisted through are 1984, and Cloudstreet. One that I’ve finished, and one that I’ve yet to – but am still planning on. 1984 took 5 tries, and about 3 years, but the sense of satisfaction I had once I closed that final page was amazing. Cloudstreet I powered through the first half, then something interrupted me, and I never got back to it. Note to self: must have another go…

Why do I continue to do it to myself? Oh yeah. I (mostly) enjoy it. Give me a good book and a decent coffee and I’m set. Tim Tams don’t go astray either. But I digress. Silence or the iPod on shuffle and you’ve got my perfect Saturday afternoon. I know I’m completely hooked when it takes physical violence to get my attention.

Anyway – back to the topic at hand. I tend to mostly find the books I struggle to finish through book club, we have an eclectic mix of girls and book preferences! One example is Fierce Invalids Home from Hot Climates by Tom Robbins. The first one ever that I hadn’t completed by meeting time. Oops. It took up over a month of my life, but I was DETERMINED to finish it, probably due to the fact that it is a friends absolute favourite book. And also, I enjoyed the story – it’s definitely different to what I usually read – but I was Mayor of Struggletown trying to cope with the writing. It is roundabout, lyrical, and difficult for me to follow.

What do you do with books that are difficult to read? Do you DNF? Or persist through the pain?

Books That Have Made Me Cry

So I’m a cry baby. Such a wimp. I cry every time I watch “Beaches”. Every damn time. Geez, I shed a tear at the end of “Mona Lisa Smile”. Why? No idea.  But for some reason, it takes a little more for a book to make me cry. Not for it to trigger emotions, but to actually induce tears? Maybe it’s the visual of movies vs. the use of my imagination required for books. I don’t know. But anyway, I thought I’d put this out there. These are some books that have made me cry. Real actual tears. Or at least tear.

Crying

The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas – OMG. So innocent. A little boy making friends. That’s all. With no concern for culture, nationality, religion… He just wanted a friend. Nothing else matters. And it shouldn’t. Read it. But keep the tissues close. This will break the hardest of hearts.

Go Ask Alice – I loved this book. A first person account of drug addiction, from her diary. And it just… ends. If you can get your hands on a copy of this book, read it. A unique perspective.

Me Before You – What happened to Will, his life changed in a split second. And now, the fact that his life is not what he wanted, or expected… and he has the balls enough to make a decision. May not be the one everyone else wants him to make, but it’s his. It’s real. And Lou, trying to change his mind. Trying to show him that he can still enjoy life, even though it’s different. TEARS.

Marley and Me – I’m not an animal person. I’m not a pet person. I just – Marley is part of the family! Doesn’t matter if you’re an animal person, Marley will get you. Well, he got me, anyways.

A Child Called It – Children should NOT be abused. Well. No one should be abused, but kids?

The Lovely Bones – Told from the perspective of Susie Salmon (RIP), from heaven, watching the fallout of her murder on her family. That’s enough to get me going. You?

My Sisters Keeper – Maybe because I am a nurse, and I work in bone marrow transplant. I love this book, but damn, it sucks. Cancer can just go to hell. Especially when it comes to kids. This one just tore my heartstrings. Ripped them apart. The cancer. The relationship between Kate and Anna, Kate and Taylor, the family stuff, what Kate is going through, what Anna is going through. What Sara is going through. It’s. All. Shit. Cancer bites.  NB: I hate the movie. They changed stuff. Like THE PLOT. Read the book. Just – read the book.

The Book Thief – Burning books. The treatment of Jews. Death as a narrator? Love. But tears.

PS I Love You – Holly’s husband Gerry dies. She’s devastated. But he’s anticipated this. And leading up to his (expected) death, he organised letters for her, to help her get over her loss of him. So sweet. So sad.

What books have you read that have triggered an emotional response? Are you as emotional as me – do you cry at books?