Magical Realism

Looking to read a new genre? According to Merriam-Webster , magical realism is "a literary genre or style associated especially with Latin America that incorporates fantastic or mythical elements into otherwise realistic fiction." Check out this book list for some suggested titles with these themes!

Garden spells by Sarah Addison Allen
Also available in: audiobook
Also available in: audiobook | large print
The sugar queen by Sarah Addison Allen

The tale of a young woman whose family secrets--and secret passions--are about to change her life forever..

The house of the spirits by Isabel Allende

A strong, absorbing Chilean family chronicle, plushly upholstered--with mystical undercurrents (psychic phenomena) and a measure of leftward political commitment. (The author is a cousin of ex-Pres. Salvador Allende, an ill-fated socialist.) The Truebas are estate-owners of independent wealth, of whom only one--the eventual patriarch, Esteban--fully plays his class role. Headstrong and conservative, Esteban is a piggish youth, mistreating his peons and casually raping his girl servants . . . until he falls under the spell of young Clara DelValle: mute for nine years after witnessing the gruesome autopsy of her equally delicate sister, Clara is capable of telekinesis and soothsaying; she's a pure creature of the upper realms who has somehow dropped into crude daily life. So, with opposites attracting, the marriage of Esteban and Clara is inevitable--as is the succession of Clara-influenced children and grandchildren. Daughter Blanca ignores Class barriers to fall in love with--and bear a child by--the foreman's son, who will later become a famous leftwing troubadour (on the model of Victor Jara). Twin boys Jaime and Nicholas head off in different directions--one growing up to become a committed physician, the other a mystic/entrepreneur. And Alba, the last clairvoyant female of the lineage, will end the novel in a concentration camp of the Pinochet regime

Eva Luna by Isabel Allende

Born in the back room of the mansion where her mother toils, and herself in service from an early age, the enchanting and ever-enchanted Eva Luna escapes oppression through story telling. Rolf Carle flees Germany for South America, and ultimately works as a documentary film maker, to escape childhood memories of burying the concentration camp dead. The two are brought together by guerrilla Huberto NaranjoEva's lover and a subject for Rolf's camerain this dense, opulent novel that serves as a metaphor for redemption through creative effort. 

Also available in: e-book | audiobook

Eating the cake her mother has prepared for her ninth birthday, Rose Edelstein discovers she has a gift: she can taste her mother's emotions in the food she prepares. Soon, every bite Rose takes is filled with feelings not just her mother's but those of other people as well and what might have been a gift becomes a burden and then, perhaps, a curse. Because this is a novel rooted in family, Rose will learn that she is not the only Edelstein with a peculiar gift or burden. How she and others learn to cope or not, as the case may be is the small, sad story Rose shares. 

Collected fictions by Jorge Luis Borges

Jorge Luis Borges has been called the greatest Spanish-language writer of our century. Now for the first time in English, all of Borges' dazzling fictions are gathered into a single volume, brilliantly translated by Andrew Hurley. From his 1935 debut with The Universal History of Iniquity, through his immensely influential collections Ficciones and The Aleph, these enigmatic, elaborate, imaginative inventions display Borges' talent for turning fiction on its head by playing with form and genre and toying with language. Together these incomparable works comprise the perfect one-volume compendium all those who have long loved Borges, and a superb introduction to the master's work for those who have yet to discover this singular genius.

Dandelion wine : a novel by Ray Bradbury
Also available in: audiobook | e-audiobook
The master and Margarita by Mikhail Afanasʹevich Bulgakov
Also available in: e-book | e-audiobook

Nothing in the whole of literature compares with The Master and Margarita. Full of pungency and wit, this luminous work is Bulgakov's crowning achievement, skilfully blending magical and realistic elements, grotesque situations and major ethical concerns. Written during the darkest period of Stalin's repressive reign and a devastating satire of Soviet life, it combines two distinct yet interwoven parts, one set in contemporary Moscow, the other in ancient Jerusalem, each brimming with incident and with historical, imaginary, frightful and wonderful characters. Although completed in 1940, The Master and Margarita was not published until 1966 when the first section appeared in the monthly magazine Moskva. Russians everywhere responded enthusiastically to the novel's artistic and spiritual freedom and it was an immediate and enduring succes

The alchemist by Paulo Coelho
Also available in: e-audiobook

A fable about undauntingly following one's dreams, listening to one's heart, and reading life's omens features dialogue between a boy and an unnamed being.