It’s always a good idea to create a memorable experience in your book club. The books you choose will have much to do with this. They will more than likely be novels where the storyline is considered ‘realism’, that is, stories that represent what we understand as ‘reality’. In short, no miracles, no sorcerers, no angels or demons, no fantasy like occurrences that run contrary to what we accept as natural and real.

But sometimes, we need a bit of magic added to our ‘real’ reading experience. It’s called magical realism, stories and novels where magical elements are blended into realistic settings.

They can bring mystery, myth, folk tales and fantasy into the discussion. These stories break from the mainstream, but they are not just ghost stories or vampire tales. They are based in the real world with real people who experience magical elements as part of their normal existence.

Nobel Prize winner, Gabriel Garcia Marquez is known to be one of the pioneers of magical realism. For a good introduction to this type of literature, check out his collection of short-stories entitled Strange Pilgrims. Here is a quote from one of the stories:

“She never told her real name…I had just been introduced to her when I committed the happy impertinence of asking how she had come to be in a world so distant and different from …Quindio, and she answered with a devastating: “I sell my dreams.”

[Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Strange Pilgrims, “I Sell My Dreams”]


After moving on from Strange Pilgrims, I would suggest The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. You’ll find discussions based on magical realism fiction to be robust and just plain fun! A little enchantment can be a good thing in our otherwise conventional culture.


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