Trick question. I'm reading another Nicholas Sparks novel. (Okay, so I'm listening to it on audio book.) Many of his books get me to an emotional level where I spend some time crying. (I'll admit I can also cry at some Hallmark commercials.) Sparks' characters are real, and they go through real life problems, choices, decisions, traumas. The one I'm reading now deals with Alzheimer's (The Notebook). I recently read one of his that dealt with pulling the plug on a coma patient (The Choice).
I once said that my opinion of a movie depends more on how I feel about myself after seeing the movie than on how great the filming was done, or how famous the actors were. Similarly, when I finish one of Nicholas Sparks' books, I feel like I've lived through a difficult decision with people I know and admire, who have made often seemingly impossible choices. With no Hollywood endings in sight, I feel their joys and terrors, and can struggle along with them. I often have a good cry, and when I'm done, I feel good about them, and about myself.
And yes, John does look at me weird. Here's his wife, emptying the dishwasher or doing laundry, making the bed, or sitting in the recliner, ear phones snuggled tightly to her head and tears streaming down her face. He takes one look and heads in the other direction. Didn't Shakespeare write that old quote, "Discretion is the better part of valor?" Run, John!