BREATHING LESSONS by Anne Tyler. The funeral of a friend's husband distracts Maggie and Ira Moran, but not disruptively; this deft novel is a hymn to stable, unassuming married life.
LOVE IN THE TIME OF CHOLERA by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Florentino Ariza endures a half-century of solitude waiting for Fermina Daza to become a widow. The background is an imagined South American city, magically real.
OSCAR AND LUCINDA by Peter Carey. Two decidedly odd young Victorians, both addicted to gambling, meet by accident and hatch an improbable plan: to build a glass cathedral and put it in the Australian outback....