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Aimee Bender
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so ask already!!! > Magic Realism...something like The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake

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message 1: by Nikkie (new)

Nikkie | 19 comments I have been on the search for a read like Aimee Benders The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake but I can't seem to find anything like it. I love Alice Hoffman and have read most of her novels but I am looking for something not as...dark maybe? I want something with magic laced in everyday life. I want to feel like the magic is believable though and not far reached. I have read all of Sarah Addison Allen books and enjoyed them but they didn't seem as "real" as The Particular Sadness. Any suggestions?


message 2: by karen, future RA queen (new)

karen (karenbrissette) | 1315 comments Mod
okay, i haven't read the bender; can you just give me a little more about what you would like to have replicated in another book? because there are tons of magical realism books out there, but i just need to know a little more about what kind you want. lighthearted i get, i just don't know what you mean by "real."like, the attitude towards the magic is casual?? accepted??


message 3: by Andy (new)

Andy | 5 comments Maybe another one of Bender's books. I loved The Girl in the Flammable Skirt. You could also try something by Etgar Keret.


message 4: by Tuck (new)

Tuck | 184 comments yes, please give us more details! but some magic real i liked:

allende's eva luna, both short stories AND novel

Stories of Eva Luna

lorrie moore books Like Life

judy budnitz Flying Leap: Stories

amy hempel Reasons to Live

and 3 of my favorite recent novels
one about uruguay The Invisible Mountain

and 2 about mexico The Last Prince of the Mexican Empire

Six Kinds of Sky: A Collection of Short Fiction


message 5: by Nikkie (new)

Nikkie | 19 comments Sorry I didn't explain myself well. When I said real I mean like every day life. I want the situations in the book to be realistic. I think the reason I am having a hard time finding a book like Particular Sadness is because I don't really know how to describe what exactly I loved so much about it. I loved the connection the main character had with her brother and her mother. I loved how she was able to get to know her mother through her cooking and was able to see her as a person not just her caretaker. I still don't think I am making much sense so how about just some suggestions for some magic realism? Sorry!


message 6: by karen, future RA queen (new)

karen (karenbrissette) | 1315 comments Mod
no, i have a better handle on this now. i will provide a list this evening from my thoughts...


message 7: by karen, future RA queen (new)

karen (karenbrissette) | 1315 comments Mod
ooh, i have a moment after all. try this one: The Monsters of Templeton. i loved it - it has gentle magic realism, but also a great story of a woman dealing with an unexpected pregnancy and trying to solve the mystery of her own paternity. good stuff.


message 8: by Tuck (new)

Tuck | 184 comments also maybe this one from Christie Hodgen Elegies for the Brokenhearted: A Novel

or this one by Aoibheann Sweeney Among Other Things, I've Taken Up Smoking

or this one by Minrose Gwin The Queen of Palmyra: A Novel

or Kate Atkinson, all hers are superb Behind the Scenes at the Museum


message 9: by Nikkie (new)

Nikkie | 19 comments Thanks!


message 10: by Eric (new)

Eric | 25 comments Have you read Kelly Link? I've seen her grouped with Aimee Bender before although I've never read Bender so I don't know how apt the comparison is. Also, she's a short story writer so I'm not sure if she would fit the bill for ya (seems like you have a preference of novels over short stories but I could be totally wrong there). Her first book, Stranger Things Happen, is my favorite but a lot of people prefer her second collection, Magic for Beginners. I can't recommend her highly enough!


message 11: by karen, future RA queen (new)

karen (karenbrissette) | 1315 comments Mod
you can also try:

Winter's Tale which is a massive classic of magical realism, or anything by Steven Millhauser. my personal favorite of his is Portrait of a Romantic, which is out of print, but should be easy enough to find. Enchanted Night is also very very good, and very short, if you are looking for a quickie. also good is Salamander, which is both nice and magical and also a good book for book lovers -very fun read. oh, and A Trip To The Stars, which seems to be pretty universally loved. that is one i have been meaning to read again...


message 12: by karen, future RA queen (new)

karen (karenbrissette) | 1315 comments Mod
also Trash Sex Magic, even though i personally didn't like it - this is probably my failure rather than the book, because most people seem to really like it.


message 13: by Colby (new)


message 14: by Megan (new)

Megan (megan_sparks) | 2 comments This is a genre I like too, and I agree it is hard to explain exactly what sets it apart. Here are a few I liked:

The Ghost's Child

The Replacement

Pretty Monsters: Stories

Tales from Outer Suburbia

Bird

Hope those help... :)


message 15: by Lisa (new)

Lisa | 24 comments As a 4th and 5th grader I loved:
Half Magic (Tales of Magic, #1)
by Edward Eager
I read it later with my son when he was that age, and I still loved it. It tends more towards humor than Lemon Cake does, but someone on this thread might like it!


message 16: by Paul (new)

Paul I'm late to the party on this thread, but I second the rec for Benders first collection The Girl in the Flammable Skirt, and Megan's recs of Tales from Outer Suburbia and anything Kelly Link, really.

These two are a little bit darker, but Jessica Anthony's The Convalescent (mixes hungarian history, satire, and kafka) is quite good, as is a recent re-issue of Barbara Comyns's Who Was Changed and Who Was Dead (which is about a flooded british town).


message 17: by Jasmine (new)

Jasmine | 455 comments Tuck wrote: "also maybe this one from Christie Hodgen Elegies for the Brokenhearted: A Novel

or this one by Aoibheann Sweeney Among Other Things, I've Taken Up Smoking

or this o..."


I really liked the sweeney.

I disliked this book but I think Like Water for Chocolate might be the kind of thing you are looking for.


message 18: by Jasmine (new)

Jasmine | 455 comments also The History of History is a really cool magical realism book, although the magical realism gets pretty out there, it's a bit depressing and has a strong descent into madness component.


message 19: by Nikkie (new)

Nikkie | 19 comments I can't wait to get started on these! Thanks again!


message 20: by karen, future RA queen (new)

karen (karenbrissette) | 1315 comments Mod
do come back and tell us what you thought afterward, okay?? wheee fun!


message 21: by karen, future RA queen (new)

karen (karenbrissette) | 1315 comments Mod
any thoughts?


message 22: by Nikkie (new)

Nikkie | 19 comments Sorry I didn't check in sooner!

So far I have read

The Monsters of Templeton
This book was amazing. It was a great recommendation for what I was looking for. I felt a very strong connection to not only the main character but also to the "monster". The magical realism was strong enough to give me a touch of magic but didn't take away from the realness of the characters story.

Elegies for the Broken Hearted: A Novel
I need to add this to the tear jerker thread. I sobbed all the way through this one. I loved the way the main characters story was told.

I plan on trying to read everything that was suggested.


message 23: by karen, future RA queen (new)

karen (karenbrissette) | 1315 comments Mod
great! thank you! it helps me out a lot to have follow-up information, so i can see if this is going well. i'm glad you are finding some good books!

we will be here, if you have any other requests...


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