View Full Version : Books and Emotion

02-04-2016, 09:28 PM
What was the last book that affected you so much you actually became emotional?
Mine, truly, was MARLEY & ME.

02-04-2016, 09:33 PM
Brother, I'm Dying. That was some years ago though.

02-04-2016, 10:15 PM
Becoming Moon, by Craig A. Hart. Excellent read.

02-04-2016, 10:28 PM
Why did they make you so emotional? Without spoilers -- just why did they connect with you? Want to know for my own writing . . .

02-04-2016, 10:45 PM
I haven't gotten to pick up a book in a long while (I avoid reading when I am writing, I don't want anything to potentially bleed over into my stories or ideas that came from another author). That being said, I remember getting rather 'pissed' at a story because the main character's whole life was filled with misfortune and pain, and the only good thing going for him was his relationship with one of the supporting characters...and then the author went and threw a wrench into that relationship, and I was pissed. Felt so bad for the MC, I was rooting for his relationship, it was the shining light, and then *poof* gone.

Maggie Maxwell
02-04-2016, 10:48 PM
Terry Pratchett's Shepherd's Crown. Sobbed like a baby a few chapters in due to an emotional event tied to a beloved character, and then at the end because it meant that I'd never read a new Pratchett book again. "Become someone's favorite author and then die when you have one last book on the way" doesn't quite apply to writing the story, though.

02-04-2016, 10:54 PM
@TAMaxwell.... That was one thing that worried me about the Wheel of Time Series, when Robert Jordan died...luckily, Brandon Sanderson was able to finish the series up nicely :) (I secretly came to prefer Sanderson's writing over Jordans for the series)

02-04-2016, 11:18 PM
Terry Pratchett's Wings, and it was happy-crying, which is nice.

It's a bit hard to explain, but when your brain makes a "big picture" connection, where you suddenly have a broad and sweeping (but slightly hand-wavey) understanding of the story's overarching meaning, the hemisphere of your brain being used to make that connection is the same hemisphere responsible for generating emotions.

So it's very easy, when you get a rush of intuition like that, to also wind up feeling emotional about it.

In Wings, there is the main story of the Nomes (not-quite-leprechauns, but you get the idea) discovering a spacecraft.

There is also this quirky side-story, seemingly unrelated to the main plot, about tiny tree frogs that live their whole lives inside a bromeliad flower. One day, a frog looks out of the flower and sees other bromeliads. And little froggy's mind is completely blown -- the universe is bigger than expected! So Froggy gets some adventurous friends together and they begin a hazardous journey to make a new home out in the forest canopy.

At the end of the book, the Nomes are departing to the stars in their space ship, and Sir Pratchett notes that, looking back at the Earth, framed against the dark of the sky but backlit by the sun so the atmosphere glows, the whole planet looks...like a flower. Like a bromeliad, perhaps.

It was that big-picture understanding -- the connection between the adventurous froggies heading out to a whole new flower, and the adventurous Nomes heading out to a whole new world (while the humans they live amid are busy building their own spacecrafts!) -- that got me bawling in the very best way.

02-04-2016, 11:32 PM
Terry Pratchett's Shepherd's Crown.

I bought it the day it was released, and have been staring at it ever since with a mixture of longing and dread.

02-04-2016, 11:37 PM
Sarah McCarry's All Our Pretty Songs and Dirty Wings. Followed by the one I'm reading right this minute, Tess Sharpe's Far From You. (I'm not actually crying yet, but I know I will be.) Other than that, not much - but then, I'm just getting back into fiction after a 20-year span of reading almost exclusively nonfiction.

(Does it count when your own story makes you laugh and/or cry as you're writing it? :D )

02-04-2016, 11:57 PM
Stephen King's Misery made me miserable. I still can't stand Kathy Bates who portrayed the main character in a movie of the same title, although she's a wonderful actor. :Shrug:

02-05-2016, 12:46 AM
Interesting. Thanks, all! I'll have to check out some of these titles later! Appreciate it!

02-05-2016, 01:42 AM
Why did they make you so emotional? Without spoilers -- just why did they connect with you? Want to know for my own writing . . .

It was a book that dealt with the author's father and uncle and their series of unfortunate and bias treatment they received as Haitian immigrants. It was like a downward spiral of horrible treatment and I was really angry that they were being put in these horrible situations and if I remember correctly, it was one of those downer endings. Too much of an emotional rollercoaster for me.

02-05-2016, 09:53 AM
A Darker Place by Laurie R. King. It involves a religious setting, guilt on the main character's part due to past religious experiences, and young children's lives at stake. All of those are personally relevant themes.

02-05-2016, 01:43 PM
This is going back but The Aeneid rocked me by the tragedies of both Troy and Dido. Both were helpless, at the mercy of fate and abandoned. It was gripping and hauntingly provocative how Virgil wrote their destructions. But I go to my WIP as well. I'm caught in the fate of one of my characters who has been ridiculed and subjected to hate since his birth. He has power but he wants acceptance too, to have peers, and unfortunately he can never have that.

02-08-2016, 11:57 AM
What was the last book that affected you so much you actually became emotional?
Mine, truly, was MARLEY & ME.

The Art of Racing in the Rain. I rarely read a book twice, but I've read it three times, and will do so again.

02-08-2016, 12:46 PM
The book that not only moved me, but shook me to my core is Country of My Skull by Antjie Krog. It deals with South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission that followed the historic 1994 transition to a full democracy. This commission was set up find the truth about Human Rights violations during the apartheid years and was designed to facilitate the process of restorative justice - as opposed to punitive justice.

The author covered the hearings from beginning to end and the tales of unimaginable suffering - as told by both survivors and families of those who didn't survive - are gut-wrenching, to say the least. But the part that touched me, to the depth of my soul, was how, once they had received an honest and heart-felt apology for the atrocities committed, individuals and family members forgave the perpetrators - unconditionally, freely and with a generosity of spirit that is unparalleled in any human history that I know of. It was not a book that I could read in one sitting. It was just too much to take in. I read it slowly, over a period of several months and, although I will never part with my copy of it, I don't think I could read it again. It's not surprising that the author had a breakdown after she'd finished writing it.

"And I wade into song - in a language that is not mine, in a tongue I do not know. It is fragrant inside the song, and among the keynotes of sorrow and suffering there are soft silences where we who belong to this landscape, all of us, can come to rest." - Antjie Krog.

02-08-2016, 11:38 PM
Fire colour one by Jenny Valentine is so far the only book that has made me teary-eyed, but Double by the same author always (I've read it six times) gets to me in other ways. Other than that, it's mostly story-heavy games that manage to make me emotional, Ace attorney being the primary example.

02-08-2016, 11:46 PM
Tess Sharpe's Far From You. (I'm not actually crying yet, but I know I will be.)

Update: Yep, it made me cry. it didn't help (at all) that in some ways the MC's relationship with her dead gf/bff/it's-complicated was eerily close to being the inverse of the relationship between my current MCs -- and I am *very* attached to my MCs. :Hug2: I want to wrap them in cotton wool and keep them safe forever (while simultaneously putting them through the wringer...)