Sometimes you just want a book that shreds your heart and sheds your tears. This week BookPeople in Austin, Texas recommends three gorgeous books that will bring the feels in a major way.

BookPeople is a well-loved landmark in Austin voted the best bookstore in Austin for 20 years, and voted Bookstore of the Year by Publisher’s Weekly in 2005. Their booksellers recommended these titles:

Did You Ever Have a Family by Bill Clegg (Gallery/Scout Press, September 1, 2015)

Recommended by Raul Chapa, inventory manager, who said:

Bill Clegg-Did You Ever Have A Family“This great work encompasses the vast emotional range brought on by considerations of mortality and a hopeful awareness: we are stories that live on in others. We are aware of some of them but not all and Bill Clegg has created a beautiful novel about what it is to become a human being again after great tragedy. Eloquent and emotive, his powerful writing evokes such vivid portraits that it is impossible to be unaffected by these characters—you will shudder, weep, laugh and sigh at the deep insights they uncover for themselves. Mortality touches us all, but it is our ability to accept it and incorporate it into our being that gives meaning to all the little worlds we create for ourselves, and he illustrates how sometimes it is other people, unseen and unacknowledged, who can fit the broken pieces back together in unique and wondrous ways. A magnificent debut novel highlighting the arrival of a brilliant author.”

A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara (Doubleday, 2015)

Recommended by Manager Consuelo Hacker, who said:

A Little Life cover“Hanya Yanagihara’s second novel, A Little Life, starts where many books would leave off—an oprhan (Jude), rescued from unbearably severe trauma, is finally free to pursue a normal life. With the help of his friends, mentors and colleagues, Jude gradually gains a semblance of normalcy and healing, but Yanagihara gives us no easy resolution. A Little Life is a story of the lingering, long-time effects of trauma, and while much of the novel’s hope comes from watching the delicate ways that Jude’s friends try to help him, Jude defies their attempts to heal him completely; an impossible task, given his experience. Beautiful writing, major tearjerker.”


Don’t Suck, Don’t Die: Giving up Vic Chesnutt by Kristin Hersh (University of Texas Press, October 1, 2015)

Recommended by Manager Bosco Farrar, who said:

Don't Such cover“This is an amazing memoir from the bestselling author of Rat Girl and founder of the band Throwing Muses. It paints a beautiful portrait of musician Vic Chesnutt, his unique friendship with the author, and the sorrowful broken darkness they each deal with. The language is warm, intimate and poetic; it’s like On The Road and Sylvia Plath had a baby. It’s so gorgeous it actually hurts to read. I have not been so moved by a piece of art, any art, in years. Even with the inevitable tragic ending, Hersh keeps you hanging on with her delicate and sublime prose. You know you are circling a vortex but the water is so perfect you don’t care. This story aches, laughs, stuns and pulls you into it like a siren song. You will put it down and want more of both Chesnutt and Hersh, and feel all the more brokenhearted at the enormity of the loss.”