The list author says: "An English teacher and compulsive reader, I have read most of the classics and much of current literary fiction. I have always read to understand life and what makes people tick. Particularly interesting to me is how people navigate the waters of life, why some intelligent people make disastrous choices in relationships and how some manage to retain the friendships, spouses, jobs, and associations that mattered to them in the first place. People are complex and often bound by their egos so that they don't understand the significance of their own reactions and choices in life. Thus, they blunder along attempting to impress by conveying an image that is not true of what they really are. As a result, they become blinded to their own need for authenticity and secretly despise themselves because they are reacting to life and others in a way that is not genuine. As a result, their lives become intolerable because on a very basic level they sense their own dishonesty.
The human heart longs for intimacy, for someone or others to appreciate all that is decent and generous in the person. For this reason even the most clueless people still try on some level to find out who they really are. They often need someone who will simply validate them while they try to put their house in order to begin to fathom the complexities of human life that until then have eluded them.
This is man's purpose; this is why he's here. He needs to explore the vast paradoxes of the universe before he is able to make his mark on his own microcosm. Great literature, philosophy, psychology, the sciences are all basics in the search for meaning and the corresponding growth of the Self.
Marjorie Meyerle Colorado Writer Author of "Bread of Shame""
"Richard Russo is one of the most consistent authors on the validity of monogamous love. His characters endure intimacy and its challenges with heartfelt devotion and generosity. One always gets the impression that his struggling protagonists understand the value of human love."
"Bread of Shame focuses on two men who have trouble with human intimacy: Jack Pierce, a writer, and the world famous Nobel Prize recipient Theodore Hudson. Both Baby Boomers, one learns through the other's history how to evolve beyond self-absorption to achieve true love."
"A story of tempestuous, elemental passion as well as true, idealistic love, this is the book that made gothic fiction an art form. Bronte's tale of the archetypal Heathcliff and the woman he loved is an ageless story of star crossed human love."
"War and Peace is the Gone with the Wind of Russia. Tolstoy showcases various love relationships and thereby adroitly exposes the human weaknesses that make relationships difficult and he also reveals what it takes to achieve enduring love."
"Cutting for Stone reveals how love and relationship are the center of every man's life. It is the capacity to love that makes a surgeon successful and its lack on the part of man is what causes him lasting sorrow. Through Marion's and Shiva's adopted parents, the reader comes to understand the depth and joy of true, marital love."
"Morris shows in this book that even the most seemingly repugnant members of society have not only the capacity for redemption but also of love. She illustrates this through a convicted murderer and a seeming flaky woman who is able to see his goodness beyond his terrible, despicable past. This book spotlights the grandeur of human relationship among society's most marginalized."
"Marquez shows us that even the elderly can hold on to the object of their love with a passion befitting the young. Aging people tend to see their loved ones as they were in their prime, illustrating how true love has an idealistic foundation."
"This book illuminates the effects of a toxic marriage by presenting its opposite in the new marriage of the female protagonist and the charming, darkly elusive Max. A thriller and a love story, it is an enthralling, well told story."
"Two marriages are juxtaposed in this timelessly relevant story of adulterous love and its consequences. While Anna and Vronsky drift apart, Levin and Kitty are able to maintain their true yet quieter relationship of monogamous love. Tolstoy delivers brilliant characterization and a good storyline in "Karenina.""