Book Bomb! Wizarding Life After Harry Potter

“All was well.”

You read those last bittersweet sighful words and sigh yourself.  The rich frothy scent of butterbeer slowly fades; as does the regrettable flavor of Burt’s Every-Flavour Beans (you just had a bogey-flavored one for old-time’s sake).  The smoke from the Hogwarts Express drifts away as the locomotive chugs off into evanescent memory and you smile, thinking “Cheers, Platform Nine and Three Quarters.”

Reality returns.  If you were a child when you first began the magical journey with Harry and his Hogwartian adventures, welcome to the world of mortgages, nine-to-fives, and student loan debt.  If you were an adult when you first started referring to others as Muggles, welcome back to mortgages, nine-to-fives, and shrill prepubescent demands to “Read it AGAIN!! Again!!”
But you feel it, don’t you? That need for magic, for wonder, for great writing, and imaginative flights of imagination?  Here are some adult fiction titles that just might help that craving (at least until it’s been long enough for you to go back and re-experience Harry again).

The Sorcerer's HouseThe Sorcerer's House, by Gene Wolfe, is an effectively epistolary novel that teasingly sketches out an ordinary man’s search into his extraordinary, otherworldly history.  A bit eerie, a smidge whimsical, but a great fantastical read.  Reminds me of Neil Gaiman’s work (American Gods, Neverwhere).

The Snow ChildThe Snow Child, by Eowyn Ivey, is a new addition to the popular-once-again fairytales retold genre, based on the Russian tale of the same name and set in the beautiful, deadly wilds of Alaska.  Not overtly fantasy, Ivey nonetheless blends the magical seamlessly with reality so that you don't really care, so engrossed do you become with Jack and Mabel, and their little snow child, Faina... or is she?

The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #1)The Name of the Wind, by Patrick Rothfuss, book one in The Kingkiller Chronicle trilogy, has been hailed as one of the best fantasy novels in many years.   Rather than focus on action and adventure, Rothfuss instead builds skilfully and thoughtfully on character and story (so the plot development may be a bit glacial for the adrenaline-junkie reader).  Still, it’s beautifully written, captivating, and just the right amount of complex.  The second book, The Wise Man's Fear, is also currently available.

Ready Player OneReady Player One, by Ernest Cline, is more science fiction than fantasy but because it’s about fully immersive virtual gaming (virtual reality), there is plenty of the fantastical element.  Influenced by pop-culture of the 80s and inspired by our favorite role-playing games (electronic and otherwise), Ready Player One is a fabulously fun futuristic throwback (say that three times fast) adventure that is one part nostalgia and five hundred parts awesome.

The Night CircusThe Night Circus, by Erin Morgenstern, is a lovely, lyrical, dream-stirring novel, about two young magicians locked in a duel that seems to have neither rules nor end.  Their dueling stage is Le Cirque des Reves (“the circus of dreams”) and it really is.  Its black-and-white striped tents arrive silently without notice, filled (among other wonderful things) with gardens of ice, wish-fulfilling trees, mazes that defy gravity, and illusionists whose magic is made to seem illusory, when it is in fact real.  It opens only when night falls, from sunset ‘til sunrise.

Click on any of the titles or book covers listed to visit the OC Public Libraries website and reserve one of them today!

New at the Library: Harry Potter e-books!  Click here to visit our e-book collection to learn how to borrow and download Harry Potter e-books (as well as several of the titles mentioned) for your Kindle, Nook, iPad, or other e-reader device.


Mr Swarthow said...

Great recommendations. Great writing too. Ready Player One caught my eye. Thanks.

PIB said...

Thank you! I hope you enjoy Ready Player One as much as (or maybe even more than) I did.