Books That Made Me Ugly Cry

I think I should pin down the books that made me cry and proved I’m not dead inside

It is the second to the last of 2022 and before I made the final list of all the books I’ve read to cap off the year, I think I should pin down the books that made me cry and proved I’m not dead inside.

Words have a way through me and before I knew it, I was crying so hard and all resonated with me. So, here are some of the books I (mostly) read this year that made me ~ugly~ cry (in no particular order):

1. Meet Me In Paradise by Libby Hubscher

With all my abandonment issues, there is this fear or anxiety of losing a loved one and this book just flared up all of those. Haha! If you have a sister and you are close to her, this is a nicer book to read. It is sweet, entertaining, sad, happy, and lonely all at the same time. Plus, breathtaking vacation views that you can duly imagine through how the book was written.

The right decision is not always the easy decision.

Meet Me in Paradise, Lubby Hubscher

If you are looking for a heart-wrenching read and want to have your own breathtaking vacation in the comfort of your seat, read Meet Me In Paradise. But, I can’t promise you that you won’t shed a tear.

2. Carrie Soto Is Back by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Oh, you know this. This book is probably on all bookstands and it does not disappoint. If you play tennis or enthusiast of the sport, for sure you’d love this good read, though it is not a pre-requisite. But surely, if you have a father or a father figure, you surely will let those tears roll.

I was just ‘chill’ reading the book, but not until in the middle of it or towards 80% of it, I turned crying. You get to appreciate people more by the end of the book, especially those who are truly dear to you.

Some reminders when we get so competitive:

And we don’t cry when we lose, but we also don’t gloat when we win.

Carrie Soto Is Back, Tayloy Jenkins Reid

And something to ponder on in this world of ours:

One of the great injustices of this triggered world we live in is that women are considered to be depleting with age and men are somehow deepening.

Carrie Soto Is Back, Taylor Jenkins Reid

3. Evidence of the Affair by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Another one from Taylor Jenkins Reid–who is one of my favorite authors who I discovered this year through her book Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo. If you want to get passed a reading slump, you may read this Evidence of the Affair–it is less than 100 pages and consists of letters that are “evidence” of an affair. Though it is short, I can’t guarantee that you won’t cry, ugly-cry at that, in the end.

4. The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

I have admired Madeline Miller for her creativity and it is evident in the book, The Song of Achilles. Incredibly good, actually! It was painful, lonely, and happy all at the same time. Plus, if you are like me that have an interest in Greek mythology or any ancient Greek folklore, this book gets a +1. And, get ready with your tissues!

5. Tuesdays With Morrie by Mitch Albom

If you are a reader, I guess you always come across Tuesdays With Morrie in some of the book recommendations. Well, there is a reason why–it’s that good. I read this book, hmmm, probably, 10-11 years ago (?) and I’ve read it thrice between those years, because when you are losing hope about life, it is a good book to read to appreciate life better. It breaks me every time–a good kind of break, if I may add. Do you need some pushing? Read this one by Mitch Albom.

Being with a team and somehow leading, this is what I always put in mind:

If you’re trying to show off for people at the top, forget it. They will look down at you anyhow. And if you’re trying to show off for people at the bottom, forget it. They will only envy you. Status will get you nowhere. Only an open heart will allow you to float equally between everyone.”

Tuesdays with Morrie, Mitch Albom

Someone asked by what is the purpose of life (seriously) and this one gets to me as if I have only read the book yesterday:

The way you get meaning into your life is to devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning.

Tuesdays with Morrie, Mitch Albom

6. Before the Coffee Gets Cold (#1) by Toshikazu Kawaguchi

I have always been curious about this book and then I found myself buying it from Amazon in a jiff. I am a fan of Haruki Murakami and he is a tough act to follow for Japanese authors — well, at least to me. I did remember, it was January 2022 when I first set my hands on Before the Coffee Gets Cold, and I finished it in a day because it is that good and I bawled my eyes out.

What if there is a cafe that brings us back to before? What if we can witness the things we wanted to then? How would it make a difference in our lives at the present?

7. The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein

If I were to be asked what book changed me, my way of life, and my reading, it is The Art of Racing in the Rain for me. I was 17 or 18 when I read this book which I got from Powerbooks (think the bookstore closed down branches in the Philippines). I was mourning the death of our dog then, and the book was torture for me, really, but it was also life-changing all the same.

Your car goes where your eyes go. Simply another way of saying that which you manifest is before you.

The Art of Racing in the Rain, Garth Stein

The book was funny and touching. It is as if it speaks to your core through the living thing–your dog, your best friend.

Before the Coffee Gets Cold

“When you go back, no matter how hard you try, the present won’t change.

If you could go back, who would you want to meet?

Before the Coffee Gets Cold was written by Toshikazu Kawaguchi. It was about a fictional cafe in Tokyo, Japan that has an urban legend going that you can time-travel to the past (and to the future) which gained the cafe’s popularity, but later on subdued because not many people would dare to try anymore due to the many impeccable rules that must be followed.

This book originally belonged to my 2021 reading list as a friend of mine recommended it to me last year and told me I have might like it. And yes, I did.

This book has four different stories about the cafe, Funiculi Funicula–the love story of Fumiko Kiyokawa and Goro Katada, the marriage of Kohtake and Fusagi, the sisterhood of Kumi Hirai and Yaeko Hirai, and the motherhood of Kei Tokita to her daughter Miki Tokita.

If you haven’t read the book yet, I guess you stop from here hehe as I might include spoilers. I was able to read the book for less than 24 hours as the story is something you’d look forward to unfolding. My favorite would be Kohtake and Fusagi’s story.

The cafe can indeed transmit you to the past (and to the future, you’d know once you read it) given that there are rules to follow and only one seat that will allow the said time travel. The rules are:

  1. You can’t meet people who haven’t visited the cafe.
  2. The present cannot change.
  3. There is only one seat that takes you to the past (or to the future)
  4. You cannot move from that seat (if you do, you’ll be transmitted back to the present).
  5. There is the time limit.
  6. Your time in the past will begin from the time the coffee is poured, and you must return before the coffee gets cold.
  7. This last rule was later on revealed: you can only do it once, you cannot do it again once done.

If you were not able to return before your coffee goes cold, you’d be a ghost.

The book has some touch of reality that I’d like to emphasize that sometimes, us, people, would be willing to dire change; we often forget that some things happen for a reason (or if it is, in fact, true) and that there are things that we aren’t able to control in this life–the only thing that we can get a grip on or control is our attitude and receipt towards the situation; others we can’t, no matter how hard we try, even if are given a chance to time travel.

When you go back, no matter how hard you try, the present won’t change. xx

Don’t go meddling in anythng that is going to change the present.

One thing that I have also pondered on while reading and finishing the book is that the present won’t change, but you can. Your attitude or character towards the situation you are facing, because it is true what Kei said in the book,

I was so absorbed in the things that I couldn’t change, I forgot the most important thing.

Kei Tokita

By the way, I got the book on sale on Amazon (Kindle) at $2.99 (instead of $19.99).