100 Years of Solitude was recommended to me by a poetry teacher at Arizona State. I had never heard of magical realism before and this was a great introduction. I can remember so clearly finishing the book, sitting down against the fence of the back yard of my little Arizona college apartment, and staring off in the bright hot heat, amazed by what I had just read.
In Search of Lost Time will always remind me of Bishop's Park in Fulham, as I biked or walked through it so many times on my way to work at Betfair, which is the time when I was primarily reading the book. I went through all four seasons in that park and found the feeling of the park being much, much older than me very appropriate for the book. These spring flowers that I see are the same ones people have been seeing for hundreds of years; the falling leaves were the same ones hundreds of people had walked through. My experience of any of these things was only an accretion to a mountain of human experience, but instead of this making me feel small, it made me feel eternal.