Books 25 to 32:
So in my Bucket List quest to read at least 80 books, this is my 4th list of 8 books that I've held onto. As explained in my blogs previously, my lists are an eclectic mix of book types. Hopefully you'll see something that you might read on a rainy day. (See Blog 16 , Blog 22 and Blog 32 for the other book-related blogs).
25 Light A Penny Candle by Maeve Binchy
Beloved author Maeve Binchy's first published novel, an engrossing coming of age tale about the incredible bond of friendship.
To escape the chaos of London during World War II, young Elizabeth White is sent to live a safer life in the small Irish town of Kilgarret. It is there, in the crowded, chaotic O'Connor household, that she meet Aisling--a girl who soon becomes her very best friend, sharing her pet kitten and secretly teaching her the intricacies of Catholicism.
Aisling's boldness brings Elizabeth out of her proper shell; later, her support carries Elizabeth through the painful end of her parents' chilly marriage. In return, Elizabeth's friendship helps Aisling endure her own unsatisfying marriage to a raging alcoholic. Through the years, they come to believe they can overcome any conflict, conquer any hardship--as long as they have each other. Now they're about to find out if they're right...
“This was the first book of Maeve’s that I read way back in 1983. I mentioned before that I had the pleasure of attending a writing seminar that she had given at Greenhill, my secondary school …and I found her to be a warm, funny, witty woman. I loved her books; she was naturally nosey just like me. She had a knack for showing what Irish women do, believe in and think about. “Light a Penny Candle” begins in the 1940's and ends in 1959. It tells of a very different era from our own. Now we counsel women to leave their alcoholic and violent husbands; then, Irish Catholic mothers told their daughters that it was their duty to stay with such men because of the sanctity of marriage. So, this book should not be dismissed as fluffy romance for women. Give it a go; you won’t be disappointed.” – Mary @80b480
"A sumptuous saga."--Harper's
"Wonderful...a novel that could be mistaken for life."--New York Daily News
“A find...so rich and engrossing you can forget your own problems.” -- Glamour
“An Irish Thorn Birds...complete and rewarding.” -- Newsday
About The Author
Maeve Binchy was born on 28 May 1940 in Dalkey, County Dublin, Ireland, the eldest child of four. She studied history at University College Dublin and was a teacher for a while. She also loved traveling, and this was how she found her niche as a writer. She liked going to different places, such as a Kibbutz in Israel.
While she was away, she sent letters home to her parents. They were so impressed with these chatty letters from all over the world that they decided to send them to a newspaper. After these letters were published, Maeve left teaching and became a journalist. Maeve married Gordon Snell, writer and editor of children's books. She passed away on 30 July 2012, at the age of 72.
26 Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez
The International Bestseller and modern literary classic by Nobel Prize-winning author Gabriel Garcia Marquez
In their youth, Florentino Ariza and Fermina Daza fall passionately in love. When Fermina eventually chooses to marry a wealthy, well-born doctor, Florentino is devastated, but he is a romantic. As he rises in his business career he whiles away the years in 622 affairs–yet he reserves his heart for Fermina. Her husband dies at last, and Florentino purposefully attends the funeral. Fifty years, nine months, and four days after he first declared his love for Fermina, he will do so again.
“This story is about the vices and virtues of being human, of animal instincts, of men wooing women for reasons other than love and of women trying to fall in love with men they married for material purposes. It is about marriage, the importance of a stable marriage, the sacrifices to be made to maintain the façade of a happy marriage, the terrifyingly realistic instability of it, the importance of ignorance to keep it straight, the significance of forgiveness to make it successful and the ways of survival from its boring routine. The writing is wonderful but I have to admit though I sometimes had to force myself through it.” – Mary @ 80b480
“This shining and heart-breaking novel may be one of the greatest love stories ever told.” —The New York Times Book Review
“A love story of astonishing power…. Altogether extraordinary.” —Newsweek
“Brilliant, provocative…magical…splendid writing.” —Chicago Tribune
“A sumptuous book…[with] major themes of love, death, the torments of memory, the inexorability of old age.” —The Washington Post Book World
About The Author
Gabriel García Márquez was born in Colombia in 1927 and was a novelist, short-story writer, screenwriter and journalist. Familiarly known as "Gabo" in his native country, he was considered one of the most significant authors of the 20th century. In 1982, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature.
He studied at the University of Bogotá and later worked as a reporter for the Colombian newspaper El Espectador and as a foreign correspondent in Rome, Paris, Barcelona, Caracas, and New York. He wrote many acclaimed non-fiction works and short stories, but is best-known for his novels, such as One Hundred Years of Solitude (1967) and this one in 1985. He died in 2014.
27 Married Under the Italian Sun by Lucy Gordon
My name is Mary and this is my bucket list blog ...having survived a near-death experience. I hope it encourages you to "live your best life". See how I'm completing my own bucket list items. And let me know how you're getting on with yours!