Title: Love In The Time of Cholera
Author: Gabriel García Márquez
Year Published: 1985 (Spanish), 1988 (English)
PACE Review: For a novel that took me close to four months to read, the process of soaking in the message of this manuscript was a little draining, but nonetheless a beautiful experience in retrospect.
The first few pages which told the story of aged love, and dissatisfaction lent itself very successfully for the ‘reverse development’ of the characters and story. I liked this…. The protagonist of the story, Fermina Daza, felt like she could be someone I would relate to with her edge and almost agony-cum-ambition state of being. With that said, I don’t wish her situation upon anyone. Love In The Time of Cholera is a story of endurance and hope – no matter how wrinkled its appearance or ‘rank’ its odour (hehe). I do wonder whether there exists a Florentino Ariza ‘brand’ of man in this day and age as far as his persistence for and devotion to Fermina’s heart is concerned. It sure is something rare. [Cues Sade’s ’84 jam, Hang On To Your Love]
I recommend this novel to, not necessarily die-hard romantics, but to those who hold love in considerable esteem – and who have the heart to sit and read page after page of glorious prose.
Title: The Purpose Driven Life
Author: Rick Warren
Year Published: 2002
PACE Review: GOD must have sent Pastor Warren out to write this helpful guide especially for me, I am sure of this. I generally ask a lot of questions regarding [my] existence…this can be either exhausting and damn near border-line depressing sometimes OR (as has been the case with my experience with this book) absolutely illuminating!!! At its best, my inquisitiveness opens my heart up to the Light that this whole story of life truly is, truly stripping away the layers of years of ‘life happens’ is what this book allowed and still allows me to do. It’s like each time I read it, I realise something new…I suppose this is due to the fact that as a human being, my mind-set and perspective continue to evolve.
Divided into 40 chapters (in Christianity, 40 is a symbolic number which is believed to hold great significance and which is transformative and humbling in many ways following trial/probation – it is mentioned a total of 146 times in Scripture – see here, here and here for examples!) each dealing with various topics that help one along their walk with Christ on this earthly plane, it is a fine guide for one’s daily walk in a world which can be so painful and confusing. Each chapter begins and ends with a related biblical quote which is designed/intended to help one make sense of that particular day.
I continue to read this book, and keep it at my bedside for a sense of – at very least – comfort in knowing that I am not here by chance. So, I absolutely urge everybody to get their copy of The Purpose Driven Life. There is no greater feeling that knowing that at any point, you can turn whatever situation you’re in to serve GOD and in that, want for nothing but His presence. Happy reading 🙂
Author: Clarissa Pinkols Estés
Year Published: 1992
I first got introduced to the remarkable Jungian analyst/author/poet, Dr, Estés, when reading (or was I watching) an interview where Lebo Mashile – of then L’Attitude fame – was asked to list the books which had most impacted her life. Now, back in highschool, Ms. Mashile was a major source of inspiration to me… so naturally, what she said went.
So, about 2 years later, I’d find myself (alone as usual) digging through the dusty and ‘moth-smelling’ shelves of the old Rhodes University main library… and vóila, there it was: thick, heavy-set, and oh-so-inviting in all its 608-page glory! I must have re-newed my loan about 6 times – and then later paid a hefty fine for late returns.
I didn’t get around to reading every single page of the book, but it’s impact then was unmistakable. Sure, it’s a book that requires much of one’s attention (and a pair of well-toned arms if you’re thinking of carrying it around campus like I did), but the experience of peeling through every line and taking in the psychoanalytical ideas, filtering them down to their most basic level… ah, what a delight.
Personally, this book, having started to read it when I was 18 years old, took me on quite a trip as far as my mental state is concerned. I spent a lot of time alone, and struggled with this new life of having to establish the perfect ‘harmony’ between academia and this new concept of adulthood/womanhood. What am I saying?
This book will expose things (about the world within and without) that will force you to strip yourself bare and re-organise everything you thought was cast in stone – all the better for your soul to win the battle.