magical realism

illustration of a silhouette of a man, inside a fram

The Portrait

Antoine Laurain
3
Rated by
Maryana K.
Friday, Nov 17, 2017

The Portrait follows the journey of Pierre-François Chaumont, a married Parisian attorney. As a boy, Pierre is influenced by his uncle to become a collector of objects. He begins with scented erasers, but quickly raises the level of sophistication and moves on to antiques. By the time the reader finds Pierre in present day, his collection is massive and a point of contention between him and his wife. It is his latest purchase, a portrait of a man, which really puts their marriage on shaky ground.

Purple cover with light blue writing "Exit West"

Exit West

Mohsin Hamid
4
Rated by
Stefanie E.
Thursday, Mar 16, 2017

Exit West offers an opportunity to understand the refugee experience on a powerful level through the eyes of two university students.

Hamid, in brief poetic prose, shows us just how quickly a country can be thrown into a wartime scenario and a people forced to displace themselves as refugees.

woman wing walking on a biplane

On Kingdom Mountain

Howard Frank Mosher
4
Rated by
Maryana K.
Friday, Dec 9, 2016

“They lived in a house at the end of the road and were friends to mankind”- Kinneson family motto.

Kafka on the Shore

Haruki Murakami
4
Rated by
Megan C.
Tuesday, Jan 5, 2016

Haruki Murakami is not for everyone, but he’s one of my favorite authors. His indescribable blend of post modernism, magic realism, and surrealism set in his native Japan never fail to provoke rumination on topics ranging from existential to mundane. This novel is translated by the prize-winning J. Philip Gabriel.

Book cover

I Crawl Through It

A.S. King
5
Thursday, Dec 17, 2015

"Challenging" was the first word I heard used to describe this book. I think "surreal" was the next. Following that was "impossible to describe." Even the author herself, when asked to describe the book, talked about the themes and ideas that led to its creation without attempting to describe the plot or characters.

Book cover

There Will Be Lies

Nick Lake
4
Friday, Dec 11, 2015

There will be two lies, [the coyote] says. Then there will be the truth. And that will be the hardest of all.

And what lies they are. Even more so, as the coyote promises, the lies exposed by the truth. Nothing will be the same.

Not ever.

And that's not even to mention the small surprises and little white lies along the way.

a bubble answer sheet with the title written in

I Crawl Through It

A. S. King
5
Rated by
Amy F.
Monday, Aug 24, 2015

I was lucky enough to hear AS King speak when she visited our Library in August 2015. Eventually, after much fascinating talk, one of the moderators got around to asking her about her newest book, I Crawl Through It. "What's it about?" We all laughed, as we had earlier established how difficult it can be to neatly summarize a King novel. But then King's expression turned serious and she said, "It's about the way teens have to deal, daily, with both intruder drills and standardized tests - and how messed up that is." I had already been planning on reading King's new book, but now I knew, I had to read it now.

A light red apple covered in frost surrounded by fuzzy white lights.

First Frost

Sarah Addison Allen
3
Rated by
Octavia V.
Wednesday, Jul 29, 2015

The Waverley family, Claire and Sydney, both have the gift of helpful magic. They live in the charming town of Bascom, North Carolina where it’s autumn and as temperatures fall, everyone and everything grows restless and problems flourish.

Claire runs Waverley’s Candies out of her kitchen, making handcrafted confections. Business is so good she can’t keep up with demand on her own. When someone offers to buy the business, Claire is stuck in a quandary.

Book cover

Bone Gap

Laura Ruby
5
Monday, Jul 20, 2015

The dedication:

For Steve, who sees.
And for Anne, who believes.

The Language of Flowers

Vanessa Diffenbaugh
4
Rated by
Hannah Jane C.
Saturday, Apr 25, 2015

While the protagonist, Victoria, is incredibly flawed in The Language of Flowers, it is unlikely you will ever feel anger towards her. Trapped in the uncaring hands of foster care her entire life, she is socially inept, volatile and completely mired in grief and rage.

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