Weepy bookworm

This weekend I finished reading Everything Matters! by Ron Currie, Jr. It was the September pick for Rock & Roll Bookclub. It made me cry. It also made a male rock & roller who shall remain nameless to protect the identity of the sensitive fella cry. That made me feel better. I’ve been accused of crying at every book I read, and that’s just not true.

So I’ve spent a lot of time today trying to think of all the books that have made me cry. The list is much shorter than you’d think. Here, to the best of my memory are books that have made me cry (cry being defined as enough tears to cause you to put down the book in order to dry your eyes before you can continue reading).

  • The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton (if you don’t lose it when Johnny tells Ponyboy to stay gold than you are made of stone)
  • Little Women by Louisa May Alcott (come on)
  • Patty Jane’s House of Curl by Lorna Landvik (probably a surprise, but I generally bawl whenever a sister dies)
  • The Giant’s House by Elizabeth McCracken
  • An Exact Replica of a Figment of My Imagination by Elizabeth McCracken
  • Atonement by Ian McEwan
  • The Descendants by Kaui Hart Hemmings
  • All Star Superman by Grant Morrison
  • Everything Matters! by Ron Currie, Jr.

At least that’s all I can think of.

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  1. ED 12.Oct.09 at 7:06 pm

    And not “Cider House Rules”? Or “Prayer”?

  2. ED 12.Oct.09 at 7:26 pm

    Another great book I ended up sobbing over in its last pages was Richard Russo’s “The Risk Pool”. In that same sittingt, I ended up going back and re-reading the last 15-20 pages at least two or three times.

    Another superb author along these lines is Dickens. A no-brainer why John Irving cherishes him. Yet another is a bit more obscure: the completely overlooked and under-appreciated late great William Maxwell. “There Will Come Swallows” is probably the sweetest book I’ve ever written about a mother’s importance within her family. “So Long and See You Tomorrow” is another. I can’t remember the author’s name who blurbed about that short novel, but in essence he said if you ever saw someone reading that book you might be tempted to marry that person.

    Ian McEwan’s “The Child in Time” is another. Probably his most “upbeat” novel, and I’ve read them all.

    These spring to mind without my having to jog my memory to much.

  3. ED 12.Oct.09 at 7:28 pm

    “Read” not “Written”. My wishful bad.

  4. Jodi 13.Oct.09 at 10:27 pm

    I vaguely remember crying or at least tearing up at the ending of Owen Meany. But it’s been nearly 20 years since I read the book so that memory is a little fuzzy.

    I’ve added William Maxwell to the list of people I need to learn more about.

  5. ED 14.Oct.09 at 6:08 pm

    The Library of America published two volumes of his collected works last year. The first, contains They Came Like Swallows, along with A Folded Leaf and another real gem of a novel, Time Will Darken It. There are passages in that last novel that are so ungodly beautiful and insightful. Included, also are the first half of the short stories he ever wrote.

    The second volume includes The Chateau, his masterpiece So Long See You Tomorrow, equally masterful ancillary short pieces written in support of that book, the second half of his short story output, as well as ALL of his collected “improvisations” short little 3-5 page fables he penned to various family members and friends as wedding anniversary, birthday and Christmas presents. Story goes he would roll up his handwritten Christmas improvisations and pin them to the boughs of his Christmas tree. What a beautiful thing to envision. I forgot if it’s in either the first or second volume, but there is also a beautiful essay he wrote when he was approaching 90, on what it’s meant for him to be a reader.

    Maxwell is really a treasure. He was an editor at the New Yorker for 40 years, and during that stint he edited the likes of Updike, Salinger, Nabokov and good friend Eudora Welty. That said, he understands economy in writing and the difference between the well chosen and less than well chosen word.

    If I’m correct, I still think there is a video floating around the web of his 1995 appearance on the Charlie Rose show.




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