“Why Is Every Book You Recommend Sad?”


A friend recently asked me this and it got me thinking.

Do I really only like sad books?

For help, I turned to my Goodreads and decided to make a list of my all-time favorite books to see how many end up in the “sad” category. So here it is… (slight spoilers if you don’t want to know which books have happy endings…)

Happy Ending!

A Wrinkle in Time

Sad Things Happen, but Ultimately a Happy Ending

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Harry Potter (as a series)

The Stand

The Giver

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society


Tuck Everlasting

The Little Prince

The Catcher in the Rye

The Spectacular Now

The Art of Racing in the Rain


The Likeness

In the Woods

The Book Thief

We Were Liars

The Time Traveler’s Wife

The Fault in Our Stars

Cutting for Stone

One Day

…okay, so I like sad books. What does this say about me?

I don’t think it means anything bad. I like things that make me feelSome days I feel like I walk through life kind of numb to stuff–I talk to people on the elevator about the weather, I tell my significant other about my day at work. Most of us–actually, I shouldn’t speak for others–I do not experience high highs and low lows in my every day life. I’m fortunate to have never been involved in war, or murder, or dealt with the loss of a significant other.

But that’s why we read. To live more lives. To feel.

Do you also tend to prefer sad books? Why do you think this is?

14 thoughts on ““Why Is Every Book You Recommend Sad?”

  1. I love this! My friends say the same thing about me! I agree with all the books you’ve listed here that I’ve read, and I’ll have to check out some of the new ones!


  2. Sad books can touch something in us and help us to understand our own experiences and make our way through them. I think this is the reason I like chic lit as a counter to this occasionally. It’s got me thinking about my recommended reads lately and a lot of them are sad! Daughter, Girl on the train, Even in Paradise, Swimming through clouds!!!!


      1. Not to self promote but I have reviewed a few of them lately on my blog if you wanted a bit more about them 🙂 Daughter & girl on the train are going to be some of my all time faves i think x


  3. I think sad books strike that place in us that tells us we are not alone. Everyone experiences something traumatic or sad and if a book or a character can tap into you personally then it has some of the greatest therapeutic affects. I’ve been told I read a lot of sad books too. Mind you, I always switch to something light and funny after reading a heavy book. I find some of the best books are the ones that balance sadness and humour (like A Long Way Down by Nick Hornby). Great list btw!


    1. Thanks! I’ve never read Nick Hornby but have been meaning to. Yes yes yes to balancing sadness and humor–recently read Jonathan Tropper’s This is Where I Leave You, it was brilliant. I’d also really like Joss Whedon to start writing books as he is the master of that.


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