“Life is not what one lived, but what one remembers and how one remembers it in order to recount it.”
The most reliable portal into another’s psyche is the mental library of that person’s favorite books — those foundational idea-bricks of which we build the home for our interior lives, the integral support beams of our personhood and values. And who doesn’t long for such a portal into humanity’s most robust yet spacious minds? Joining history’s notable reading lists — including those of Leo Tolstoy, Susan Sontag, Alan Turing, Brian Eno, David Bowie, Stewart Brand, Carl Sagan, and Neil deGrasse Tyson — is Gabriel García Márquez.
Woven into Living to Tell the Tale (public library) — the autobiography that gave us the emboldening story of Márquez’s unlikely beginnings as a writer — is the reading that shaped his mind and creative destiny. “Life is not what one lived, but what one remembers and how one remembers it in order to recount it,” Márquez writes, and kindred-spirited readers instantly know that memorable books are the existential markers of life’s lived and remembered chapters.