This morning before work, I sat on a bench down the street from my restaurant, sobbing over The Book Thief. Every time I started to calm down, I remembered that even though Liesel and all of the other characters were fictional, the story was not. Hitler, at least, existed. Even now, thinking about certain lines in the last 50 pages of that book, I want to curl into a ball and sob for hours (and this is when I realize that my inability to take Holocaust Studies is probably for everyone's benefit).
"I have loved the words, and I have hated them. And I hope that I have made them right."
- The Book Thief
In retrospect, I should have seen it coming. Any allusion to the Holocaust has always made me feel this way; I still remember sitting in my 10th grade classroom, crying hysterically at Schindler's List. Years later, when I read Milkweed and then The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, I cried again. This particular piece of history has always, and will always shock and horrify me in a way that I can't find words to describe. Only tears.
I came out of this particular experience not knowing how to move on from it. When I close a book that good, I never know how to read another book, one that I'm sure will never live up to my new expectations. So my question is this...what books have left you speechless and unable to move on? What books have left you hungover the next morning, the next week?