Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Top Ten Tuesday: Heartbreaking Books

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, where a new top ten list is posted every week. This week, the theme is: Top Ten Books That Broke Your Heart A Little.

1. Into The Wild by Jon Krakauer

This is one of my all-time favourite books. (It is also one of my favourite films, and favourite film soundtracks.) Because it's a true story, it was incredibly affecting; I so desperately wanted Chris/Alexander to survive, but I knew how it ended before I even started. The relationship with his sister is probably what set me off the most. In the song Guaranteed, from the film, Eddie Vedder sings the line, "If ever there was someone to keep me at home, it would be you", which I read in an interview that he wrote with the sister in mind.

2. Man & Boy by Tony Parsons

I remember crying a lot at this book.

3. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

I imagine this will be on quite a lot of lists... The scene between Harry and Dumbledore was the bit that finally broke me.

4. Fever Pitch by Nick Hornby

Not heartbreaking in the usual way, but I cried at parts of this book. It may have been my mental state at the time - I haven't read this book for a good few years - but for some reason I found it incredibly moving.

5. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

I cried on a train platform whilst reading the final chapters of this. VERY COOL.

6. Babycakes by Armistead Maupin

I shan't give it away, but for anyone who has read the series, you know what it is that makes this book heartbreaking. The way it is done is all the more powerful for its understatement.

7. Atonement by Ian McEwan

I actually saw the film version before I read the book, so I knew the twist, but it still creeps up on you.

8. A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin

I am currently between Part 1 and Part 2 of Book 3, and although I am reliably assured by my brother that there is much heartache to come, the first book was pretty brutal towards the end.

9. The Mayor of Castro Street: The Life and Times of Harvey Milk by Randy Shilts

For the lost potential, and for the reaction of the residents of San Francisco after Milk's death.

10. The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

It seems almost too obvious to put this on the list, but it's on here, because I carried it around in my head for weeks after reading it for the first time at the age of about 10 or 11. The diary itself didn't have an effect on me so much as the postscript (I think this is slightly different in different editions, but in my copy as a kid, it explained what happened after Anne's last entry, and I must have read that page over and over a hundred times).


  1. I haven't read a lot of these, but definitely agree with The Book Thief. I sobbed through the ending of that one.

  2. Yes Anna Frank was so so sad, indeed! Great list!

  3. Great list, I need to start reading book 3 in Game of Thrones, but my TBR pile is crazy out of control!

  4. I really need to read The Book Thief. It seems to be on a lot of lists today. Have had it on my shelf for months :-(

  5. Great list! I especially agree with The Book Thief and Anne Frank's Diary. So harrowing and heartbreaking. :( I haven't read all of those on your list but I'll definitely look into them - Especially The Game of Thrones as it's been very popular lately!

    I hope you can visit my blog sometime!
    Stephanie @ Stepping Out of the Page


Comments and cookies always welcome!