5 Books That’ll Make You Cry (in a Good Way)

Is it weird I occasionally love a sad story? I used to hesitate recommending books that left a tear in my eye, thinking something must be inherently wrong with me if I sometimes enjoyed a drama or tragedy that pulled on my heartstrings.

However, over the past few years I’ve realized that these types of stories serve as a catharsis – something for me to fix my emotions on and connect with in a deep way, similar to a moving piece of art or a compelling film. Can you think of a better feeling than being completely immersed in a character’s story, whether it’s happy or sad? Although I love comedic and light hearted stories just as much, often they don’t move me or motivate me as much as stories with gravitas do. Thus, sad stories continue to reign my reading stacks!

This summer I ran through a series of serious-minded stories, and most of them were fantastic reads. Here are a few I recommmend (have your Kleenex handy):

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Matters of the Mind (Reviews)

Although I’m not always a fan of literary trends, I do appreciate the insurgence of novels and stories about people dealing with mental health issues, whether directly or indirectly.  In the past, mental health issues in novels typically have been simplified as a character being merely “crazy,” (with a few exceptions, i.e. Under the Cuckoo’s Nest).  The past couple of years, however, have examined characters dealing with anxiety, depression, biploar disorder, etc with nuance and subtlety.  Writers have also been more open in discussing society’s perception of mental health and psychology, which is a completely separate and fascinating direction to take a story. I didn’t strategize this, but on my Mexican vacation last week I ended up reading three titles in a row that deal with mental health or society’s view of mental health.  Here’s the list:

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