Tell me about books that you read and were sad when they were over

Cathy ZielskeCZ Life99 Comments

Dark Matter By Blake Crouch

I recently finished Dark Matter by Blake Crouch, and by recently I mean last night and I had started it the night before. My friend Stephanie had posted about it, and said she literally read it in one sitting. I can completely see why. I only split the days to read it because a) I needed my beauty rest and b) I had to get some work done yesterday.

That said, it was a page-turner from start to finish.

I will tell you this: I’m not a big reader. I know. I should be. I really want to be one. I love a good book, I really do. But sometimes, when I find one, and I read it, and I love it, I almost go through a mourning period thinking, “Well, how do I top that?”

I’ve asked for suggestions from my wonderful readers before, so today I pose this question: what book did you read and either a) you could not put it down because you were so engrossed, or b) you were totally bummed when you hit the final page because you didn’t want it to end?

I’ve got a few book lined up from the last time I asked this (A Man Called Ove, All the Light We Cannot See), but I welcome any and all.

Bonus? I like science-y, mind bending stuff,ย but I’ll take any great recommendation.


Cathy ZielskeTell me about books that you read and were sad when they were over

99 Comments on “Tell me about books that you read and were sad when they were over”

    1. #1.1
      Kelley Hartnett

      I was just about to suggest this. It meets both your criteria: I was so engrossed that I couldn’t put it down, and then I was so sad when it was over. A MUST read!

    2. #1.2

      I agree – this book was really good. When you get to the end – you have to take a long walk to consider what happened next. I listened to this as an audio book – and it was great in that format too!

      1. #1.2.1

        And now you can find out what happens late with the sequel Glory Over Everything. Also, a great read!

  1. #2

    I read it quite awhile ago but thoroughly enjoyed it – The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Annie Barrows and Mary Ann Shaffer

    1. #2.1
      Deborah P

      Me too, Gail! It reminded me of the much older 84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff. I loved both of them.

    2. #2.2

      Loved this book ! I actually listened to the audio book and the British accents really made it special.

  2. #6

    Wonder by RJ Palacio. It’s a middle grades book, but I read it as an adult and I cried through the last two chapters. And felt tremendous grief that my time with that story had ended.

      1. #6.1.1

        Wonder is an excellent book for Dan to read to his classroom. My son’s teacher read it to him in 4th grade and it had a big impact on him.

          1. #…

            He should also read The Julian Chapter which is a novella that tells the story of the “bully” from Wonder. I don’t teach any more, but if I did, I would use those two books to talk about understanding and how we all need to be kind and you never know what others have going on in their life’s. And so much more!

  3. #7
    Emma Holder

    The Time Travelers Wife has stayed in my memory for the longest time (not the film, the film was just dreadful). I finished I Found You by Lisa Jewell a few weeks ago. I was so greedy to finish it and then, oh, it’s done ๐Ÿ™ I loved it.

  4. #8
    Lezlee Alexander

    My girls are teens so I read mostly teen fiction. ANY of the Rick Riordan books are a GREAT adventure ride for any adult. Land of Stories series – awesome alternate take on fairy tales. Artemis Fowl series – totally awesome – Colfer is the author’s last name – Gaelic first name (been awhile).

  5. #9

    I love to read! I have since I was a little girl, but I lost that love while I was in college and didn’t get it back until I was in my mid-30’s. That said, I do have some recommendations for you. I love the author Tess Gerritsen. She writes the Rizzoli and Isles series that the TV show was loosely based on. I love all the books in that series, but my favorite books of hers and her stand-alone books (not in a series). If you like Sci-Fi type genres, I suggest “Gravity.” I also enjoyed “Life Support” and “Bloodstream.” These books seriously keep you turning the pages and wanted to find out what happens next.

  6. #11

    The life of Pi was a book like that. I agree with a number off the other suggestions that have been made as well.

  7. #12
    Marilyn T

    We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver was haunting. The format in which it is written, a series of letters from a woman to her husband about their life and (mostly) their son, was a nice switch.

    A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara is a book I’m STILL trying to decide if I loved or hated. At around 800 pages, it drags and is repetitive at times; but the story and desire to know how it ends kept me going. A disturbing read for sure.

  8. #14
    Kay Gregory-Clark

    Wow, Cathy. For someone who doesn’t read much, you picked a big one with “All the Light….” I read it a few months back and really liked it. Just finished one I loved: Florabama Ladies Auxiliary & Sewing Circle by Lois Battle ( One I did not want to end. I have a couple more that topped my list in the past year, but I’ll have to look them up. ENJOY!

  9. #15
    Kay Gregory-Clark

    p.s. I hadn’t read the comments before postingโ€”yes! The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society was definitely one of my all-time faves. Read it!

  10. #17

    Thanks so much for asking this. I am not a reader and I want to be. I get easily bored, probably due to not knowing what to read. Now I have a list of books to consider that come highly recommended.

  11. #18

    You HAVE to read the Artemis Fowl series!!! Awesome mix of sci-if, fairy-tales, suspense, and surprise!! READ IT! And if any one has teen boys NOT interested in reading, read these books aloud as a family!!! Great discussions come out of them and they won’t want to miss the read aloud time!!!

  12. #19
    Deborah P

    I’m currently re-reading the Louise Penny Inspector Gamache series. Set in Canada, they are, individually, murder mysteries, but collectively have an overarching storyline about the Surete of Quebec and secrets and evil that are threatening it. Also interwoven amongst the books in the series is the village of Three Pines, a village few know about and that doesn’t appear on any map. I’m always sorry to leave that world and those characters. Although each can be read alone, I advise starting with the first, Still Life, to see the intro of Three Pines, and read the series in order to get the gradual unfolding of the broader Surete story. I love these books.

    1. #19.1

      I totally agree with Deborah P. I love the Louise Penny Inspector Gamache series. And do read them in order and do read them slowly.

    2. #19.3
      Deborah P

      Candace and Jennifer, Louise Penny (or someone on her behalf) has either a website or a blog that has pictures of the actual locations the fictional ones were based on. It’s been a while since I looked at it, so don’t remember the particulars, but it was very interesting and can probably be accessed by searching her name. Jennifer, the last one is just as good as its predecessors.

    3. #19.5
      Julie S

      Great suggestions from everyone! I’m going to add these to my list. As an avid serial reader, francophone with a quebecois husband, I’m surprised i haven’t picked up this series yet.

    4. #19.8

      Love, love love the Louise Penny series!! I highly recommend them and agree with the recommendation to read them in order. I believe it is her Facebook page that has all the information about locations, etc.

      Also vouch for Station Eleven. The town I used to live in featured it as their “One Book, One Town” read a few years ago.

      Just read “Small Great Things” by Jodi Picoult – very timely and makes you think.

  13. #20

    I’m reading the Age of Miracles, a post-apocalyptic type novel where time starts slowing and throwing everything off-kilter. I’m about halfway through but like it very much so far.

  14. #21

    All the books by Elizabeth Peters/Barbara Michaels. Adventures, mysteries, ghosts, sarcasm, smart women who take no shit and the obligatory grouchy dude who recognizes her awesomeness. One of my favorite writers of all time.

  15. #22
    Tammy B

    So many great books out there. I really like Douglas Coupland. He’s not science-y but his books are really good. Have you read The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood? It’s an oldie but a goody! You should check out Goodreads? You can pick your genre and they recommend books for you. Happy reading! ??

  16. #23
    Kim Kern

    I totally mourn when I am done reading a book. Which is one reason I prefer to read books that are a series or at least as trilogy. That way I get to spend more time with the characters. I am in a book club though to make me read things that I wouldn’t normally pick and a couple of the great ones we read last year were: The Girl Who Wrote in Silk by Kelli Estes and Beautiful Ruins: A Novel By Jess Walter.

    1. #24.1
      Cathy Z.

      I can’t believe I’ve never read this book! I’m a huge fan of Stephen King, too! Adding it to my list.

  17. #25

    I agree with Tammy B about Goodreads. it is an awesome site that will recommend books based on what genre you like and what books you have read. I have found some amazing books this way. Right now I am reading The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life. Non Fiction but a really good read with a lot of insight. I highly recommend both Jenny Lawson books: Let’s Pretend This Never Happened and one I just finished yesterday “Furiously Happy”. Hysterical and I think you would enjoy the tales of her taxidermied raccoon ๐Ÿ™‚ Other favourites of mine are The Story of Beautiful Girl by Rachel Simon, A Man Called Ove by Fredik Backman and The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah (everyone I have recommend this one to loves it!). I agree with Deborah P that the Louise Penny books are really good. How the Light Gets In (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #9) can definitely stand on it’s own and you don’t need to read the whole series to pick up this book.

  18. #26

    I just read The Strays, by Emily Bitto… it was a “couldn’t put it down”er…. artist colony in Australia… 1940ish…. brilliant book.

  19. #27
    Jennifer Paddack-Hyde

    Definitely Station Eleven. I also loved I’ll Give You the Sun (YA) by Jandy Nelson. Also All the Bright Places (also YA) by Jennifer Niven was one I loved.

  20. #29

    I read Dark Matter in an evening as well. Loved it. 11/22/63 by Stephen King is great – Time travel to stop the Kennedy assassination. I’m a Canadian Gal who loved it. Also might a recommend Anne Bogel with her Modern Mrs Darcy Blog & What Should I Read Next podcast. I get a lot of my TBR’s from Anne Bogel. She has fabulous recommendations and her podcast is amazing.

    1. #29.1

      11/22/63 is a MUST! I loved it and was so sad when it ended. I am a huge Stephen King fan, but only of his earlier works. I was hesitant to read 11/22/63 so glad I did.

  21. #30

    Seconding the motion on Douglas Coupland. I really enjoyed Microserfs, about a group of young adults working in tech who have to figure out how to adult. I don’t know if you ever read the Harry Potter series. I read the entire thing as an adult and then revisited the first few with my daughter when she was old enough. Between the books and movies, HP is a big part of the pop culture life of our household. Also seconding the motion on Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore, Tess Gerritsen’s Gravity, and The Time Traveler’s Wife. Red Shirts (a spoof on the world of Star Trek) and Lock In by John Scalzi (a really creative twist on a buddy cop mystery) are really good.

    1. #30.1
      Cathy Z.

      I finally read the whole Potter series, probably in about 2011 and loved it. It was my daughter’s favorite series (still is) and I loved it completely.

  22. #31
    Alece Newell

    The People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks and another of hers call March (this one has a tie-in to the classic Little Women you may have read as a young woman)

  23. #32

    Tell Me Three Things, The Nightingale, Marissa Meyers Lunar Chronicles, anything by Tana French.

  24. #33

    The Crow Road by Iain Banks
    The Trick is to Keep Breathing – Janice Galloway
    Outlander by Diana Gabaldon (persevere through the first few chapters – its well worth it)
    Just realised how Scottish my selection for you is – not intentional just great books, though not really matching your criteria.

    1. #33.2

      I second the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. It doesn’t fit in a category – it’s the story of a marriage – with time travel, Scottish history, US history, 17th-century medicine, political intrigue, religion, social change and humor mixed in for good measure. The books are meticulously researched – and long (like close to a 1000 pages). But they’re an easy read and trust me having read the series straight through several times (once on the kindle app on a 3GS one handed while breastfeeding my youngest), it sucks you in.

      It takes Diana 3-4 years to produce a book. There are short stories and Lord John Gray books in between that supplement the main storylines. The story can drag a bit in places (like most of book 5 – The Fiery Cross). But persevere – it’s well worth it. All of us fans are currently not so patiently waiting for Book 9 – Go Tell the Bees I’m Gone.

  25. #34
    nancy y

    The Queens Gambit – Walter Tevis
    600 Hours of Edward – Craig Lancaster
    The Good Daughter – Joyce Maynard

    Not really science-y books, as I don’t really read those. But these totally caught my attention. There are other books that go with the Edward one, so if you like it you’ll find more! But the first one is the best I think!

  26. #35
    Carla Prock

    Do any of you listen to the What Should I Read Next Podcast? Cathy would be such a fun guest on that show. Maybe you should apply Cathy!?

  27. #36

    The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. It was so haunting in such a beautiful way. I keep wanting to reread it, but I haven’t found just the perfect time/setting/mood to reread it. It’s a personal, top ten favorite.

    1. #36.1
      Cathy Z.

      I remember hearing about this bookโ€ฆ it’s a bit older, right? Adding it to my list.

      1. #36.1.2

        Oh, I LOVED The Night Circus! A book with magical elements for a Harry Potter type, but for grownups.
        Someone recommended Geraldine Brooks, above–her books are the BOMB. I loved each and every one, but her first book, Year of Wonders: A Novel of the Plague was A-mazing. Two more huge favorites: Language of Flowers and Cutting for Stone.

  28. #37
    Tracie H

    Have you read Where’d You Go, Bernadette? It is so clever and witty and takes place (mostly) in Seattle. Written by Maria Semple, who writes for Arrested Development, I believe. And I also recommend Modern Mrs Darcy and What Should I Read Next?

  29. #38

    Station Eleven was interesting. A epidemic kills most of the population and there’s not enough people left to keep electricity and everything else functional. I checked out The Language of Flowers on a whim and couldn’t put it down. I was simultaneously cheering for, crying about and screaming at the main character, and I never knew flowers could mean so many things. Also loved Mary Coin, a ficticious story about the famous Great Depression picture of a woman looking into the distance with her hand by her chin.

    1. #38.1

      Another Colleen chiming in! The Language of Flowers – I second that! I was surprised at how much I liked the book. As a relatively new mother, I found it to be a very honest book.

  30. #39

    I totally relate to the mourning of a great book – I always need an extra few days before I can start a new one when a book has been truly great. “Ove” took me more than a week to start reading after – but not sure how well it translates to English but I sure loved it in Swedish.
    As mostly – nothing like the movie. But book made me ugly-cry at the end so…
    I am very much into future dystopies, Sci-fi right now and I did like the End game books by James Frey. Do have a look at Tahereh Mafi’s three Shatter me books and Rick Yancey 5th wave set. Good reading for adults even if written for teenagers.

  31. #41
    Theresa Grdina

    A science fiction-y book that I couldn’t put down (and neither could my daughters – who are adults) was the book STATION 11. Great book. It got a lot of press about two or three years ago. It is GOOD.

  32. #42
    Tiffany M.

    I really like Ready Player One for a mind-bendy choice. I think I heard Steven Spielberg bought the rights to turn into a movie…..

  33. #43

    The Thousandth Floor by Katharine McGee. It’s sci fi and so fascinating! Marketed as YA though I didn’t find it juvenile at all. I was sad when it was over, so then I looked up the author, and was thrilled to find out she is writing a trilogy.

  34. #44
    Tiffany M.

    Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson. I have just started this one but it already has me laughing out loud. She has your type of humor.

  35. #45

    I love to read! Although my pace has slowed down considerably since kids, I still read about 40-50 books a year. I can’t live without (For the record, I currently have 1377 books on my to-read shelf. Yikes!) I tend to see the end of a book as a challenge.

    Things I’ve read recently I’ve loved:
    Jim Butcher’s Harry Dresden series (Harry is a wizard for hire in Chicago. He gets in to all sorts of mischief.)
    Dean Koontz’s Odd Thomas series (Odd sees dead people and helps them cross over while solving all sorts of supernatural mayhem. He’s buddies with Elvis.)
    The Nightingale, Kristin Hannah: WWII women doing good things
    Blackout (All Clear series #1): Time travel
    This is going to sound weird, but My Friend Dahmer by Derf Backderf. It is about Jeffrey Dahmer of serial killer/cannibal fame. It’s a graphic novel about his youth by one of his friends. It only takes an hour or two to read but is very insightful.
    Boneshaker (Clockwork Century #1): Steampunk alt history around Seattle
    The Zookeeper’s Wife: Warsaw, WWII, people do good things. (True story)
    Hugh Howley: The Silo series and the Sand series. Dystopia. (I liked Sand better than Silo…)
    Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children – YA, quick reads, but great sci-fi (1st one just came out as a movie)
    Jenny Lawson, Let’s Pretend this Never Happened and Furiously Happy: when you need to LAUGH and feel like maybe you’re not going crazy.
    Erik Larson’s historical fiction: I liked Devil in the White City best because it was about Chicago (where I grew up), but they’re all good.
    Cornelia Funke, Dragon Rider: also YA. The audiobooks are read by Brendan Fraser and he is amazing. (See also: Inkheart by the same author)
    Orson Scott Card: the entire Ender universe. There are a lot, but they are mostly on the short side and are quick reads. I don’t even know how to describe this…Earth vs Aliens. Kids to the rescue…but it’s not a kids book. Much deeper than that. And then it follows those kids growing up and some about the beginning of the war with the aliens.
    Andrew Peterson: The Wingfeather Saga (only 4 so far)
    Stephen King. If you think he is just the master of horror, you’re wrong. The Gunslinger series is about to come out in the theater. Otherwise I usually recommend Shawshank Redemption, Joyland, Blockade Billy, or The Colorado Kid. (These are the only books I buy. I’ve been collecting them since high school.)

    Feel free to add me over on Goodreads if you use it!

  36. #46

    I just listened to the Modern Mrs Darcy Blog & What Should I Read Next podcast with Elise Blaha Cripe and they mentioned so many good books to read. I must recommend The Stand (I’ve read this twice – I loved it so much) and Station Eleven. Dark Matter is my next read and I can’t wait!

    1. #46.1
      Cathy Zielske

      So I did start the Stand yesterday! I have always loved Stephen King and have read many of his books, but have not read that one!

  37. #47

    So many great ideas! Here’s my favorite … The In Death series by JD Robb. There are 40+ books in this series, start from the beginning and read through. The character development is spectacular. It’s a little sci fi/murder/mystery/romance. Set in 2050’s with a murder cop, Eve Dallas, her gazillionaire husband, Roarke. She solves some pretty hideous murders, finds herself and collects friends and family along the way. Very enjoyable. Thanks everyone for sharing such great ideas.

    1. #47.1
      Cathy Zielske

      My daughter was obsessed with JD Robb in high school. I think we have tons of those books in our house. Will check them out!

  38. #48

    Oh, I forgot… someone mentioned Dean Koontz, my favorite of his… The Bad Place. My husband and I read it to each other about 25 years ago. I still remember it and reread it several times since.

  39. #49

    Greetings from Vancouver Cathy! I’m a lifelong avid reader although I tend to prefer nonfiction. However I was utterly, completely CAPTIVATED by “The Light Between Oceans” by M. L. Stedman. (Not to be confused with “All The Light We Cannot See”). I seriously cannot recommend this book enough; it’s an absolutely compelling story and very beautifully written! Admittedly there is nothing science-y about it, but OMG it is SO good.

    I also fully agree with all the other suggestions to get yourself set up on GoodReads; it’s awesome! (At the very least, check out the book summary and thousands of positive reviews for “The Light Between Oceans”!) Also – the movie version was released last summer (Michael Fassbender and Alicia Vikander) and although it got mixed reviews, personally I thought it was really well done and true to the book. Happy weekend to you ๐Ÿ™‚

  40. #50
    Laura BC

    Young adult – the lunar chronicles series. yhey cross fairy tales and science fiction – starting with Cinderella (Cinder).

  41. #51
    Janice EW

    Thanks, Cathy, for starting this. I read Dark Matter in two days, loved it. I’ve reserved suggestions from comments as well.

    Dietland by Sarai Walker is an interesting read. Very timely as well. It wasn’t what I typically read but it was well worth it.

  42. #52
    Jenny B.

    I’m not much of a reader, and you’ve probably already read them, but the Harry Potter series (the original 1-7) are like that for me. I pulled two all-nighters to read book 7, and then I cried when it was over. I remember feeling that way about one book when I was a child. I checked it out of the library in 5th grade, and I did not want to return it, I loved it so much. It was called A Circle in Time (no, not a “Wrinkle” in time). A couple of years ago, I came across a copy of it at a thrift store that had the same faded light blue school library binding. I’m sure I gasped when I saw it, and immediately grabbed it (as if someone else was going to scoop it up before I had the chance). Ha. ๐Ÿ™‚ I re-read it, and it was a little less amazing than I remembered. Funny how we see things so differently in different times of life. ๐Ÿ™‚ ANYWAY… I hope you find some good reads!

    1. #52.1
      Jenny B.

      Not that it matters, but the book I loved as a child was actually called “In the Circle of Time” (by Margaret J. Anderson). I felt the need to clarify because when I googled A Circle in Time, some steamy looking romance novels came up. Ha. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  43. #53

    First, I love Dark Matter too! You might like Version Control by Dexter Palmer (in the same vein). Another fun favorite was The Rook by Daniel O’Malley. Straight out FUN. Second one just came out (Stiletto). I love books that you are sad to finish. I never did finish Sacajawea (many years ago) because I loved it so much. These sorts of posts are favorites!

  44. #54
    Trena Patton

    Kindred by Octavia Butler. This book captivated me so much that I cancelled a date to stay home and read it. I could not bear to put it down!

  45. #55

    A couple of my recent favs have been Homegoing and To The Bright Edge of the World. Neither are so I fi but both are excellent books.

  46. #56

    Just finished Small Great Things and loved it. Now I’m just starting A Man Called Ove. Both have already been mentioned here and get great reviews. I just returned from a trip to Mexico and the book I saw over and over again on the plane and on the beach was Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty. That’s next on my list. I love reading everyone’s comments!

  47. #57

    Hi Cathy! Just wanted to thank you for this book recommendation! Thanks to seeing it here and again on Instagram (I think I follow your friend Stephanie, too!), I picked this book up at the library last Friday, started it that afternoon and finished it on Saturday! Great book! Thanks again!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *