A Little Bit of Magic in My Life

The House on Tradd Street by Karen White—Do you like haunted houses? Communicating with dead people? Being involved with two different men…one obviously the perfect one? Solving a historical mystery? Well if you do, you’ll enjoy the House on Tradd Street and many of White’s other haunted works.

Melany, a sharp realtor in Charleston, South Carolina, is not at all interested in old houses, but somehow inherits a beautiful but run down house. With her architect friend and various helpers including a handsome rogue, she begins to fall in love, and not only with her house.  I enjoyed it, but there is a glaring factual error. Wonder if you’ll catch it.

And now for something completely different…how to explain this book…Entitled: Life Isn’t Easy When You’re a Book by Cookie Boyle– This is a novel narrated from the point of view of a book. We first meet “The Serendipity of Snow” (the title of our book) as she sits on a San Francisco bookstore shelf waiting for her life to begin…and what a life it turns out to be. Did you know that books can talk to each other, but only in terms of their own story.  They can even have a sort of sex or love which I found a bit over the top. And they can even move themselves a bit. But all our book wants is a cultured loving owner who discusses her at a book club.  By the end, our book has acquired several owners and has flown to Paris and London.

As her “story” gets rewritten for a screen play, she is adopted by yet more writers and begins to understand the most important part of her life. Yes, it’s a strange book, yes, it’s pretty weird, but definitely worth the read…if only to figure out what will happen.  

White Horses by Alice Hoffman—I am a big fan of Hoffman, especially her magic series and when I discovered a very early work of hers I was intrigued. (if you haven’t read my blog about her, you may want to…it’s in the “Sliding into Summer” chapter). White Horses was written in 1982 and you can see her magical writing start to blossom and where some of her ideas came from.

Dina grew up in the Southwest with tales of the Aria, dangerous cowboys with special powers. She passed this lore to her daughter Theresa and decided her son, Silver was one of them. Women followed him, including Theresa. And Silver waited and watched as Theresa grew up. Their relationship was certainly odd if not incestuous. And she knew that no matter what trouble he was in, he would always be there for her.  But Theresa also had a sleeping problem. She would sleep for hours, or days, and only her mother or brother could help her. Can Theresa learn to live without Silver? It is not the Hoffman you expect but you can see the precursor of her later works.

The Love Scribe by Amy Meyerson–Alice, although disavowing love herself, seems to have a knack for helping others. She starts out by writing a helpful story for her lovelorn best friend, Gabby, but when Gabby meets the “perfect” guy as soon as she reads the story, word gets around and Alice now starts a business as a love scribe. Is there magic in these stories? No one seems to care as long as they find love.  But do these relationships last? Or should they?

I thought this would be a much lighter book, having placed it in the “light romance” category in my head. It’s actually quite a thoughtful look at relationships and not everyone ends up in the happily ever after column.

Replay by Ken Grimwood—This has to be my favorite time travel book. A man dies at the age of 41 and then wakes up at 18 knowing and remembering everything he knew before; And then he repeats this again and again, changing his life every time he goes through the process…kind of like Groundhog Day only in years instead of one day. But what happens when he meets a woman who seems to be going through the same sequence? It was written in 1986 so it is a bit dated, but “travels” very well and certainly worth the read. It won the 1988 World Fantasy Award for best novel. Go ahead and try it!

We are really and truly into Spring now so take that book and sit outside or walk with it. Your book will appreciate it.

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