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Sad Books That Will Rip Your Soul to Pieces

There are some books that become renowned largely for their capacity to make people cry— just look at Jodi Picoult's entire career. People enjoy going into a sad book like it's some kind of a mountain to be climbed. We crave the emotional labor that comes with reading a book that is particularly difficult or sad. But what I also notice is the sense of camaraderie between readers that comes with a particularly trying text.
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1
The Things They Carried (Tim O'Brien)
The Things They Carried (Tim O'Brien)
2
Alice Munro: Selected Stories
Alice Munro: Selected Stories
3
Order of the Phoenix (J.K. Rowling)
Order of the Phoenix (J.K. Rowling)
4
Anna Karenina
Anna Karenina
5
Never Let Me Go (Kazuo Ishiguro)
Never Let Me Go (Kazuo Ishiguro)
6
A Little Life (Hanya Yanagihara)
A Little Life (Hanya Yanagihara)
7
Bluets (Maggie Nelson)
Bluets (Maggie Nelson)
8
The Bell Jar (Sylvia Plath)
The Bell Jar (Sylvia Plath)
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9
American Pastoral
American Pastoral
10
Hamlet
Hamlet
11
The Sound and the Fury
The Sound and the Fury
12
Battleborn (Claire Vaye Watkins)
Battleborn (Claire Vaye Watkins)
13
Giovanni's Room (James Baldwin)
Giovanni's Room (James Baldwin)
14
The Visiting Privilege (Joy Williams)
The Visiting Privilege (Joy Williams)
15
The Corrections (Jonathan Franzen)
The Corrections (Jonathan Franzen)
16
The Sorrows of War (Bao Ninh)
The Sorrows of War (Bao Ninh)
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17
When Breath Becomes Air (Paul Kalanithi)
When Breath Becomes Air (Paul Kalanithi)
18
Nightwood (Djuna Barnes)
Nightwood (Djuna Barnes)
19
A Farewell to Arms, by Ernest Hemingway
A Farewell to Arms, by Ernest Hemingway
20
Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy
Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy
21
Men We Reaped
Men We Reaped
22
Wave
Wave
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