Top 5 Magical Realism Books I Want to Read

top 5 magical realism books I want to readThis Top 5 series started back in October 2018 and I kind of lost motivation for making it every week. But it’s back! This is a series of books that I want to read that all have a common theme. Previously on the blog I have focused on witches, werewolves, thrillers, faeries, fairy tale re-tellings, high fantasy and many more. I am going to try and bring this series back for every Saturday.

The Upcoming Schedule Is:

2/29/20 — Books inspired by Mythology

3/7/20 — Trilogies

3/14/20 — Books with Beautiful Covers

3/21/20 — Magical Realism

3/28/20 — Murder Mystery



  • Share your top 5 books of the current topic– these can be books that you want to read, have read and loved, have read and hated, you can do it any way you want.
  • Tag the original post (This one!)
  • Tag 5 people

Magical Realism

Magical realism is a genre that I fell in love with after reading The Ten Thousand Doors of January. That book just felt so REAL to me and that fact was a huge reason that I gave the book a 5 star review. Magical realism is a genre in which the setting tends to portray a realistic view of the world, whether it’s set in the past or the present and it also blends magical elements into it. It’s not like urban fantasy, where the setting is in real life, yet you have tons of supernatural beings. The magic tends to be a bit more subtle than that. The Time Traveler’s Wife and The Night Circus are great examples of magical realism among many others.

Bone Gap by Laura RubyBone Gap by Laura Ruby

Everyone knows Bone Gap is full of gaps—gaps to trip you up, gaps to slide through so you can disappear forever. So when young, beautiful Roza went missing, the people of Bone Gap weren’t surprised. After all, it wasn’t the first time that someone had slipped away and left Finn and Sean O’Sullivan on their own. Just a few years before, their mother had high-tailed it to Oregon for a brand new guy, a brand new life. That’s just how things go, the people said. Who are you going to blame?

Finn knows that’s not what happened with Roza. He knows she was kidnapped, ripped from the cornfields by a dangerous man whose face he cannot remember. But the searches turned up nothing, and no one believes him anymore. Not even Sean, who has more reason to find Roza than anyone, and every reason to blame Finn for letting her go.

As we follow the stories of Finn, Roza, and the people of Bone Gap—their melancholy pasts, their terrifying presents, their uncertain futures—acclaimed author Laura Ruby weaves a heartbreaking tale of love and loss, magic and mystery, regret and forgiveness—a story about how the face the world sees is never the sum of who we are.

This book just sounds unique and different. I don’t really know what to expect at all, but I think that’s part of the reason I really want to read it. A lot of my friends described it as “strange” and also as “genius”, so I totally am intrigued and I want to see what this is really all about.

In Five Years by Rebecca SerleIn Five Years by Rebecca Serle

Where do you see yourself in five years?

When Type-A Manhattan lawyer Dannie Cohan is asked this question at the most important interview of her career, she has a meticulously crafted answer at the ready. Later, after nailing her interview and accepting her boyfriend’s marriage proposal, Dannie goes to sleep knowing she is right on track to achieve her five-year plan.

But when she wakes up, she’s suddenly in a different apartment, with a different ring on her finger, and beside a very different man. The television news is on in the background, and she can just make out the scrolling date. It’s the same night—December 15—but 2025, five years in the future.

After a very intense, shocking hour, Dannie wakes again, at the brink of midnight, back in 2020. She can’t shake what has happened. It certainly felt much more than merely a dream, but she isn’t the kind of person who believes in visions. That nonsense is only charming coming from free-spirited types, like her lifelong best friend, Bella. Determined to ignore the odd experience, she files it away in the back of her mind.

That is, until four-and-a-half years later, when by chance Dannie meets the very same man from her long-ago vision.

Brimming with joy and heartbreak, In Five Years is an unforgettable love story that reminds us of the power of loyalty, friendship, and the unpredictable nature of destiny.

When I first received an unsolicited ARC of this book I didn’t think I was interested. (I’ll admit I totally skimmed the blurb.) But after looking at it a second time I realized the magical element to the whole thing. The author also wrote another book which also nearly made this week’s list, that book is called The Dinner List. Both books are about questions that people ask frequently and then created fascinating stories around those questions. (Where will you be in 5 years? If you could have anyone over for dinner, who would you invite?) The good news is, if I wind up liking In Five Years I also own The Dinner List!

Follow Me to the Ground by Sue RainsfordFollow Me to the Ground by Sue Rainsford

A haunted, surreal debut novel about an otherworldly young woman, her father, and her lover that culminates in a shocking moment of betrayal – one that upends our understanding of power, predation, and agency.

Ada and her father, touched by the power to heal illness, live on the edge of a village where they help sick locals—or “Cures”—by cracking open their damaged bodies or temporarily burying them in the reviving, dangerous Ground nearby. Ada, a being both more and less than human, is mostly uninterested in the Cures, until she meets a man named Samson. When they strike up an affair, to the displeasure of her father and Samson’s widowed, pregnant sister, Ada is torn between her old way of life and new possibilities with her lover—and eventually comes to a decision that will forever change Samson, the town, and the Ground itself.

Follow Me to Ground is fascinating and frightening, urgent and propulsive. In Ada, award-winning author Sue Rainsford has created an utterly bewitching heroine, one who challenges conventional ideas of womanhood and the secrets of the body. Slim but authoritative, Follow Me to Ground lingers long after its final page, pulling the reader into a dream between fairytale and nightmare, desire and delusion, folktale and warning.

I got an unsolicited ARC of this book as well. It looks pretty interesting. Parts of the blurb remind me of Pet Sematary, but I also don’t really know what to expect. Not many of my friends have read it, but the ones who have describe it as disturbing, yet they still give it 5 stars. Since it’s only 200 pages I totally think I’ll check this one out.

The Accident Season by Moira Fowley-DoyleThe Accident Season by Moira Fowley-Doyle

A bewitching, dark and beautiful debut novel about a girl living in the shadow of a mysterious curse.

It’s the accident season, the same time every year. Bones break, skin tears, bruises bloom.

The accident season has been part of seventeen-year-old Cara’s life for as long as she can remember. Towards the end of October, foreshadowed by the deaths of many relatives before them, Cara’s family becomes inexplicably accident-prone. They banish knives to locked drawers, cover sharp table edges with padding, switch off electrical items – but injuries follow wherever they go, and the accident season becomes an ever-growing obsession and fear.

But why are they so cursed? And how can they break free?

This one has been on my TBR for a long time and I totally forgot about it until now. My friends have described this book as haunting and beautiful. I can just tell from reading reviews that this will be a book that I will love and it’s probably the one that I’m most excited for off of this list.

The Illness Leason by Clare BeamsThe Illness Lesson by Clare Beams

A mysterious flock of red birds has descended over Birch Hill. Recently reinvented, it is now home to an elite and progressive school designed to shape the minds of young women. But Eliza Bell – the most inscrutable and defiant of the students – has been overwhelmed by an inexplicable illness.

One by one, the other girls begin to experience the same peculiar symptoms: rashes, fits, headaches, verbal tics, night wanderings. Soon Caroline – the only woman teaching – begins to suffer too. She tries desperately to hide her symptoms but, with the birds behaving strangely and the girls’ condition worsening, the powers-that-be turn to a sinister physician with grave and dubious methods.

Caroline alone can speak on behalf of the students, but only if she summons the confidence to question everything she’s ever learnt. Does she have the strength to confront the all-male, all-knowing authorities of her world and protect the young women in her care?

Distinctive, haunting, irresistible, The Illness Lesson is an intensely vivid debut about women’s minds and bodies, and the time-honoured tradition of doubting both.

I was interested in this book as soon as I saw it, but in times like these it just feels like a perfect fit. A story about a mysterious illness and sinister forces… just sign me up. It’s also relatively short so I think this would be a great book to pick up right after finishing a long fantasy.


Jody @ Bibiliojojo (See her post below!)

Emma @ Words and Peace

Romana @ Bookish and Nerdy (See her post below!)

Esmee @ Servillas Speaks

Jessica @ Odd and Bookish

Check out Other Book Blogger’s Top 5!

Jill @ Jill’s Book Blog — Top 5 Saturday — Magical Realism

Dini @ Dinipandareads — Top 5 Saturday: Magical Realism

Becky @ Becky’s Book Blog — Magical Realism — Top 5 Saturday!-

Blair @ Feed the Crime —-|What is Magical Realism? Top 5 Saturday|-

Romana @ Bookish and Nerdy  —Top 5 Magical Realism Books I Want to Read

Louise @ Foxes and Fairy Tales —Top 5 Books with Magical Realism [or Fabulism]

Jody @ Bibliojojo — Top 5 Saturday: Magical Realism

Evelyn @ Evelyn Reads — Top Five Saturday– Books with Magical Realism!

Let’s Chat!

Have you read any magical realism books? Do you like the genre? What are some of your favorite magical realism books? Have you read any books on this list? Let me know what you think of magical realism books in the comments below so we can chat!

38 thoughts on “Top 5 Magical Realism Books I Want to Read

Add yours

    1. Ahhhh The Ten Thousand Doors of January is what made me want to read more in this genre for sure!!!! I adored that book. It just felt so real. I had no idea how much I was going to like that book but wow. Now I actually realized after making this post that I have all of the books on my TBR by the author who wrote The Accident Season (Moira something) so if I enjoy The Accident Season I will probably try her other titles too. I think The Accident season is available at my ebook library. So I’m gonna see if I can get a copy!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I really want to check out The Illness Lesson–it caught my eye a while ago, and this just reminded me of it! I love magical realism, when it is done well (like in The Ten Thousand Doors of January, which was one of my favorite books last year)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ikr! The Ten Thousand Doors of January was incredible!!! I just heard that shes coming out with another book called Once and Future Witches and I’ve gotta check it out! The Illness Lesson sounds really interesting and with what’s going on now it seems even more timely. What other magical realism books have you loved?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Last year I read Quichotte (Salman Rushdie) and thought it was awesome–a weird mix of profound and downright absurd, but worked well for what it was trying to accomplish. And, maybe an easy answer, but Beloved by Toni Morrison was amazing too.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. She was such a talented writer. I’ve read three of her books–the other two were The Bluest Eye (loved it) and Song of Solomon (liked it).

        Oh, another good magical realism one is The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X.R. Pan. I didn’t love the execution in some parts, but it does a great job utilizing the fantastical elements to further the story’s message and emotional impact. And it is a hugely important story about family, culture, mental health, and more.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Nope, definitely magical realism–there is some incense that lets the main character see memories, and there is a bird that might be the main character’s dead mom returning for her. Not a straight-up contemporary, that’s for sure.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Omg I didn’t even consider In Five Years to be magical realism but of course, fantastical elements in the every day! That’s one book that I’ve been really eager to read (as soon as I’m ready for my heart to be broken lol). Great list 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I really love the idea of In Five Years! It looks like it could be really good. It’s a little out of my comfort zone, but honestly I’ve had a hard time enjoying books that are actually IN my comfort zone. I just can’t get into a fantasy lately! I have been enjoying lighter novels a lot more lately, so I think it’s probably a good time to give it a chance!


    1. I have a lot of her books on my TBR but I think that I can get The Accident Season from my ebook library… I will have to double check. Her other books look really intriguing too. Out of the ones that you have read which is your favorite?

      Liked by 1 person

    1. In Five Years looks like more of a romance than I typically would read, but I’m having a hard time getting into the books that are actually IN my comfort zone, so I think it’s time to try different stuff!


      1. Ah see I fell in love with magical realism for the exact opposite reason. The first magical realism book I read was The Ten Thousand Doors of January and it just felt SO real that I wanted to read more books in the genre. I guess it’s all about the right book.

        Liked by 1 person

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