Three books that weave magical spells of inspiring power and variety


The Magicians
by Lev Grossman
Plume | 9780452296299 | $16 | May 2010

Among Others
by Jo Walton
Tor | 9780765321534 | $24.99 | Jan 2011

Say Her Name
by Francisco Goldman
Grove Press | 9780802119810 | $24 | Apr 2011 

While I continue to read and ponder what I really want to say about these books, I couldn't let another day go by without recommending these books to you.

The Magicians originally came out in 2009, and is now available in paperback. (A sequel, The Magician King, is already on my list of books I'm most excited to read this fall.) Another, Among Others, came out in January. The third book, Say Her Name, will be published later this spring in April.

Two of them are overtly about the realms of magic and alternate visions of the world around us. The third is a completely captivating, though heart-breaking, study of the ways we fall in love, and the many ways that that love marks us forever. But all three contain a meditation on the secret pathways that we tread in the world - paths that, once identified, are never again invisible.

Another subtle connection is the web of book love they weave around us, invoking the power of the written word. In The Magicians, Quentin Coldwater spends his life dreaming of the Narnia-like magical world of Fillory from a beloved childhood fantasy series. Among Others is at once a bewitching fantasy novel in its own right and a love letter to the childhood discovery of all the magical worlds that we can find hidden in books. In Say Her Name, Francisco Goldman's somewhat fictionalized version of himself falls in love with the words and the beauty of a young writer that he meets.

They have each captured my attention like few other books this year. Seek them out!