Tag Archives: college books

10 Cry-Worthy Books From My College Years

8 Sep

Announcements: 

Take Me Tomorrow now has a book trailer, which I hope you’ll take a minute to watch, like, and share before you read today’s post! Thank you.

10 Cry-Worthy Books From My College Years

After I wrote Books That Changed My Childhood, I received a few emails asking me about my other novels, so I am going to continue sharing different types of reads that have affected my life. I’m also adding my favorite quotes! I’ll be honest. I started writing a list of novels that affected my high school years, but it got out of control, so I moved onto my college time only to realize most of the books did, in fact, make me cry.

Yes. That was a warning.

Most – if not all of these – made me cry. And if you’ve never cried at a novel, I recommend these because everyone should cry at a novel at least once in their reading lives.

cry

1. The Art of Racing the Rain by Garth Stein – Yes, this novel is told from a dog’s perspective. And yes, you can take a dog seriously. (If you think you can’t, trust me when I say you must read this book.) A friend recommended this novel to me, and I was hesitant when I picked it up in the bookstore. To my surprise, I read it in one sitting, even when my vision got blurry.

“Here’s why I will be a good person. Because I listen. I cannot talk, so I listen very well.”

2. Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro – If you’ve ever though that first-person can’t be taken seriously, then, Ishiguro is here to prove you wrong. There are no other words to describe his prose in this novel. You will begin at childhood and grow into an adult, just like you did in real life. It will remind me of how you learned in life, and it will tear you apart.

“All children have to be deceived if they are to grow up without trauma.”

3. The Unmemntioable by Erin Moure – Arguably one my favorite poetry collections if not my favorite. (I can never decide which one is my favorite.) I first read this in my poetry class at the University of Kansas, and I have continued to read it over and over ever since. The exploration of language, history, relationships, and identity is more than enough to cause emotional reflections.

“When there was no one left, it became nowhere. There were no more letters after the w.”

4. American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang – Cry-worthy? Debatable. But the emotions are just as strong. The awe could possibly bring tears to your eyes. They sure choked me up. But I mainly added this because it’s the perfect example of a graphic novel that proves all graphic novels can be taken seriously.

“It’s easy to become anything you wish . . . so long as you’re willing to forfeit your soul.”

5. When The Emperor Was Divine by Julie Otsuka – This novel has never left me, perhaps because Otsuka never gives names to her characters. She forces you to become them, delicately and masterfully, before she explores Japanese concentration camps in the United States. This is one of those stories I lent out to someone and deeply regretted it when I didn’t get it back. I will have this book on my shelf again one day.

“He wondered if you could see the same moon in Lordsburg, or London, or even China, where all the men wore little black slippers, and he decided that you could, depending on the clouds. ‘Same moon,’ he whispered to himself, ‘same moon.'”

 6. Breath, Eyes, Memory by Edwidge Danticat – Not for the light-hearted. I first read this memoir after the earthquake in Haiti. I wish I could say more about it, but I fear that I would take away from the exploration of culture and identity if I did.

“Love is like the rain. It comes in a drizzle sometimes. Then it starts pouring, and if you’re not careful, it will drown you.”

 7. A Long Way Gone by Ishmael Beah – Again, not for the light-hearted. This is a memoir of a child solider, and it is also one of my favorite books. Right when you think you can handle his prose, he reminds you of his age, and you are torn apart, but you keep reading because his voice coaxes you to.

“We must strive to be like the moon.”

 8. One Day by David Nicholls – Maybe the emotions in this novel are a little too close to reality? Meet Dex and Em, two friends who continue to meet on the same day every year for…oh, you know, their whole lives. A definite reminder of how time passes, how much can happen, and how we change because of it all.

“You can live your whole life not realizing that what you’re looking for is right in front of you.”

9. Aimless Love by Billy Collins – Another poetry collection, but this is technically a few of his collections together. If you’re hesitant about poetry, I definitely recommend Collins because he is easy to slip into but complicated over time. You might not cry, but you might have to take a moment to feel like crying after reading a few of his poems.

“No wonder the moon in the window seems to have drifted

out of a love poem that you used to know by heart.”

 10. On the Road by Jack Kerouac – Yes. I just admitted this. I cried when I read On the Road. I’m not sure why since it’s not necessarily a “sad” novel, but it was for me. The exploration and exploitation of Dean really brought the sadness out in me. I would get more into detail about how I feel about Dean and the other characters – which were definitely based off of real people – but I don’t want to spoil the story. On the Road is more than just a recount of drugs and sex in the Beat Generation. It’s forcing life when faced with living like you’re already dead.

“…the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars.”

Oh, just an extra. Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer. I only debated this novel because I technically read it when I was fourteen, but I reread it later on, and I cried. Again. And at the theatre when I saw the adaptation. And when I got home and read it again. And again when I forced my friend to watch the movie.

I don’t purposely read novels that are turned into movies, but it might be interesting to note that these are also movie adaptations now: Never Let Me Go (I cried) and One Day (I almost cried.) On the Road (Okay. So I didn’t cry at this one. But the feels!)

So what novels or poems have brought tears to your eyes? Why? Share them below, and let’s have a cry fest! (A happy, artistic one, of course.) I’ll bring the tissues.

~SAT

Finals Week

14 May

As you’re reading this, I’m probably studying or hunched over a scantron, bubbling in various letters that represent a semester’s worth of knowledge. (Wish me luck!)

What I’m here to say, though, is a response to my post on January 25, 2013: Back to School. In case you started following me recently (or can’t remember this post) I talked about the books I’d be required to read, and I promised I’d let you all know what I thought about the texts. So, without further ado, I’ve listed the readings in order of favorite to least favorite beneath the specific reading/writing course:

Poetry Writing:

1. The Unmemntioable by Erín Moure: This was my favorite poetry collection by far. I often underline my favorite lines while I’m reading, but I started underlining everything Moure wrote! In fact, I actually posted about this reading earlier this year: April 8, 2013: Relax & Read: The Unmemntioable by Eric Moure.

2. Poetry! Poetry! Poetry!   by Peter Davis: Seemingly cute, easy, and fun read, but ultimately challenges the writer to face the truth behind the ego of the artist. I don’t want to say too much, because I’m planning on doing a post on this soon!

3. The new black by Evie Shockley: I’ve read this collection numerous times now, and I find new cultural challenges every time. Shockley is great at questioning on what makes a person within their race while using form to enhance it.

4. Well Then There Now by Juliana Spahr: This collection is a study on ecopoetics. It’s very interesting, but I often got lost on some of the language, perhaps because I’m unfamiliar with Hawaiian terms. However, I’d still give it a four-star rating, because my professor allowed me to understand. Alone, I’m unsure what I’d rate it.

Poetry collections in order of like.

Poetry collections in order of like.

Nonfiction Writing: This class was my first nonfiction class, and I loved it! 

1. The Art of the Personal Essay: An Anthology from the Classical Era to the Present by Phillip Lopate: Great collection of personal essays, from authors I recognized and from new writers I’ve never come across. Organized by topic and year. Loved to flip through it and just let the words take me away.

2. Touchstone Anthology of Contemporary Creative Nonfiction Works from 1970 to the Present by Lex Williford and Michael Marten: It was hard for me to choose between the first and second rating. I picked this one as number two only because we didn’t get a chance to talk about these essays as much, but it’s just as great of a collection!

3. Short Takes: Brief Encounters with Contemporary Nonfiction Judith Kitchen: I enjoyed the switch from longer essays to the shorter ones. Amazing how much can be said in so little words.

4. Crafting the Personal Essay: A Guide for Writing and Publishing Creative Non-Fiction by Dinty Moore: Very clear about how to write nonfiction personal essays, if you’re looking into writing one for yourself and/or others.

5. How to Write a Sentence: And How to Read One by Stanley Fish: On March 19, 2013: Relax & Read: How to Write a Sentence, I wrote about this thin but very informative book. Easy for the beginning and a nice reminder for everyone who might get caught up in the complexity of writing later on.

Nonfiction novels in order of like.

Nonfiction novels in order of like.

I apologize for the short post, but I’m really busy studying! I will return with excitement (and, hopefully, A’s!) I hope everyone’s week is going well, and, as usual, comment on this post and let me know if there is any topic (or writing advice) you’re curious about!

~SAT

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