Friday, December 23, 2022

Nine of the best books for a good cry

Eight Vogue staffers shared "the books that make them well up every time, whether in sadness or happiness or just flat-out amazement at a perfectly put-together sentence." One pick from Emma Specter, culture writer:
The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai

I don’t normally cry over books (or movies or TV shows, unless I’m living through the early weeks of a pandemic, which I’ve learned helps me turn on the waterworks). Yet when I read Makkai’s work of historical fiction about young gay men living through—or, in far too many cases, dying during—the AIDS crisis of the 1980s, I was a sobbing mess. There’s a specific reference to one young man reflecting on the things he’ll miss about being alive, among them “a dog he could walk by the lake,” and the first time I read that sentence, I was overcome and almost nauseous with grief thinking about the many whose lives and futures were taken from them by disease and government inaction.
Read about another entry on the list.

The Great Believers is among Edward McClelland's ten favorite modern fiction titles set in Chicago, Joel Fishbane's five best books with multiple timelines, The Center for Fiction's 200 books that shaped 200 years of literature, seven top books for World AIDS Day, and Joanna Hershon's seven darkly fascinating books about cults.

My Book, The Movie: The Great Believers.

--Marshal Zeringue