I finished reading Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. I first fell in love with Marquez and his fiction when I read Chronicles of a Death Foretold in my World Literature class in high school. His books are richly painted glimpses into the Caribbean at the turn of the century, incorporating values and traditions of the indigenous, Spanish, and African cultures. Love in the Time of Cholera was an interesting page turner because the middle of the book felt slow at times, but I still was so intrigued at the way he introduced the story that after every chapter I thought “Well, now we will find out what happens.” But you don’t really find out what happens until the last 50 pages. Meanwhile, it is easy to enjoy the rich storytelling and depth of character development in the middle 250 pages. By the end of the book, I certainly found myself not-so-secretly hoping for the love story to come true at last for the two protagonists. I am excited that my list of 100 Reads includes another book by him.
I am starting the project with the book Three Cups of Tea: One Man’s Mission to Promote Peace. . . One School at a Time by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin. Three Cups of Tea features the story of a mountaineer (Mortenson) who found himself in Pakistani village after a failed attempt to climb K2. He was so moved by the inhabitants’ kindness, that he promised to return and build a school. And he kept his promise to the villagers, plus building 54 additional schools, particularly focusing on the goal of educating girls in a part of the world still plagued by severe gender discrimination and oppression. This book is of particular interest to me because of the promotion of educating girls, as a lot of health and economic research has shown that educated girls become educated mothers and women who work better jobs (often starting their own small businesses) and lead healthier lives, starting a cycle of good health generations in their family.