Saturday, February 1, 2020

ANNOUNCING: One Hundred Years of Solitude ReadAlong

The first time I read this book was in 2014, while reading through the novels of Well-Educated Mind. A few months later, Gabriel García Márquez died. 

I struggled terribly to comprehend it...not the author's death...the book! 

Before this, I had never read magical realism or fantasy, and I wasn't sure I cared for it. I prefer my fiction well grounded and realistic. I certainly did not want to have to interpret symbols while reading.

Then last year, while reading a post about One Hundred Years by Silvia, I told her I would be willing to give it another try and would read along with her if she wanted to read it again. And that is how this read-along came about. A second reading is promising, even if it was not totally convincing during my first read.

However, as I revisited my copy for the upcoming read-along, I was reminded of the uninhibited descriptions of human anatomy and natural bodily functions and some profanity, which I had scribbled over while reading. So it will be interesting to see how I fare this second time, knowing I will want to skip the profanity, at least.

Co-read-along with Silvia @ Silvia Cachia

Would You Like to Read Along with Us?

Maybe you want to read fiction from Latin America, or more particularly Columbia. Maybe you are curious about "magical realism" or you like mystical symbolism (or dreaming while reading). Possibly you have heard more about the author since his death in 2014. Or perhaps you are a sucker for read-alongs. Whatever your calling, here is a 5 1/2 minute clip that may help you decide:

Why should you read One Hundred Years of Solitude?

Sound intriguing? Want to join us? Following is a reading schedule, beginning on the day of the author's birth and concluding on the day of his death. My copy is Harper Perennial Modern Classics.

One Hundred Years of Solitude Reading Schedule

Begin March 6th * Marquez's birthday

WEEK #1 March 6 - March 12
Read pages 1 -  78 (Chapters 1-4)

WEEK #2 March 13 - March 19
Read pages 79 - 140 (Chapters 5-7)

WEEK #3 March 20 - March 26
Read pages 141 - 222 (Chapters 8-11)

WEEK #4 March 27 - April 2
Read pages 223 - 291 (Chapter 12-14)

WEEK #5 April 3 - April 9
Read pages 293 - 354 (Chapter 15-17)

WEEK #6 April 10 - April 16
Read 355 - 417 (Chapters 18-20)

Final wrap up April 17th * Márquez's death

P.S. Almost forgot to add, One Hundred Years of Solitude won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1982. And it is also on Oprah Winfrey's Book Club.

For an invaluable overview on reading the book itself, check out Silva's Intro: HERE

Let us know if you are interested. 
The more the merrier!

Gabriel García Márquez 1927-2014


  1. Eeek. So excited. I finally listened and watched the TED talk you linked. Love it! I am about to finish The Unconsoled, and that is going to free a lot of reading time. I'm ready to go back to Macondo, even if I x out some words or sentences.

    This time I have a better appreciation of all that the book represents. I will write an introductory post soon. To think that what he wanted to tell us pushed him to create a new literary way that stretched the boundaries of realism and engulfed it in the process.

    I have that post brewing in my mind now. Can't wait to write it and hopefully draw others to our adventure.

  2. Great project! And that video was awesome.
    I read the book decades ago and unfortunately have forgotten most of it. Unfortunately again, I have too many literary projects going on right now, so I can't join you.
    I can't highlight enough the importance to print a genealogy of the characters, easily found online, before starting. It helped a lot to follow who was who, as I was getting totally lost.
    I hope you do a readalong on Love in the Time of Cholera next. I really want to read this one as well

  3. I just like you and Silvia, so that's why I'm going to be reading along ��, otherwise I probably would never have touched this book. I'm looking forward to both your insights though. Strangely I ordered this book from the library and two came in so hopefully I will be able to renew one or the other before we finish. Looking forward to it!

  4. Silvia...OK, sounds good. I really, really want to understand this work. It will also help to have input from other readers. So I am looking forward to it. I think I will handle the uncensored scenes differently than I did when I first read it, but I'll still skip over the profanity. :D

    Emma...I totally understand! And thank you for the suggestion. I will do that. My book has a little family tree, but if I remember correctly, it does not include EVERYONE. glad you are joining us. Your insight will still be helpful, too. So you already did receive your copy? How long do you get to keep or renew a book from your library?

  5. I just read this last year so I won't read along but I will read the comment sections with great interest! :D I am curious to read what you all make of the book.

  6. Cleo, thanks much. I'm scared, ahem. Emma, I know. I too would love to split in two or three to participate in more reading events.
    I hope the conversation is meaningful, Ruthiella.
    I'm going to find a genealogy, link and print it.
    I'm going to work on all this this week hopefully.
    I've read just a few pages and I have reencountered Aureliano and his wife, the Benjamin Franklin and Abigail Adams of the book, hahaha.

  7. I am really looking forward to this! This was one of my favorite books I read in my college lit class (and we had a great selection), so I'm excited to return to Macondo. I've noticed that the magic realism seems to intimidate many readers, but that's actually one of the things I most liked about it previously. I still have my text from school, and I've also acquired a Spanish-language copy, so I'm hoping to read some of it from that as well. I wonder what I'll see in in this time around compared to my first read nearly 20 years ago?

  8. I'm able to check out a library book for three weeks and then I can renew it 3 times IF no one else wants it. When I looked at 100 Years, they were all checked out at the time, so I'm glad there was a mistake and I was sent two. I'll probably need them both!

  9. I am actually reading this book in Spanish. It's pretty muddy to me right now. I don't know if it's beyond my reading level for Spanish or it's just a weird story. So far I do not like it. However, I will read your and Sylvia's reviews on it with interest.

  10. will be great to have your perspective, too, especially since you've read it AND enjoyed it for its realism. Magical realism is intimidating for certain; I hope I can conquer that this time. I wonder if it will prepare me for poetry in the future. Also, I think Silvia will be reading her copy in Spanish. I forgot to ask her. Oh, and we're in the same boat, as far as discovering how we experience the book today compared to our first read -- only my read was six years ago.

  11. Sharon...well, when I read it, I was so confused. It is not an easy story to read, even in English. I'm sorry you are not enjoying it, but I do understand. Silvia and I are hoping to stick with the book. I wasn't fond of the graphic bodily descriptions or the profanity, but I told her I crossed out the profanity, and I think I may handle the graphic descriptions fine.

  12. I have this listed on the Classics Club events page. I am certain you will have a wonderful time reading this book as a group.

  13. Ruthiella, I left this comment at your Goodreads review of it:

    The Tin Drum made an impression on me, but it was darker and heavier in my heart, I totally think it's about the culture and history running in our veins, for I don't think Midnight's Children was as much an experience to me as it'd be to someone from the culture.

    The thing with these long books is that, while they bring certain cultures and histories to the main stream public, they are too long and tiresome to be enjoyed unless something in your reading DNA connects you to them.

    No use in forcing them upon ourselves. But huge congrats on having read it, Ruthiella. I'd say try Marquez in his shorter works. He is arresting in his skill.

  14. Darker and heavier than One Hundred...

  15. I would like to join the read along for “One Hundred Years of Solitude” I have never done one of these online, I’m very excited to try it, but I am a bit intimidated by the book!

  16. CINDY: I think more of us reading it together will help us through it. It's not a typical novel, so extra support will only enhance our reading comprehension. At least that is my experience with read-alongs. Glad to have you join us!

  17. I'm so excited to get started!