26 August 2015

Wordless Wednesday: Borage

Borage in bloom. Love the hairy buds and the way the flowers face downward as if they're shy of the sun.

25 August 2015

Top 10 Tuesday: Books For My Syllabus

Top Ten Tuesday goes back to school this week and we're all working on our syllabuses! Here are ten books I would put on the syllabus were I to teach Magical Realism 101. What is magical (or magic) realism? Well, there are many definitions -- some of which are so broad, it could encompass most anything, while narrower definitions commonly limit it to works of Latin American authors like Allende and Garcia Marquez. For the sake of this syllabus, I’m just going to stick with the definition of magical realism provided by The Oxford Companion to English Literature, Seventh Edition:

A term used to describe a style of modern fiction in which the recognizably realistic mingles with the unexpected and inexplicable, and in which elements of dream, fairy story, or mythology combine with the everyday, often in a mosaic or kaleidoscopic pattern of refraction and recurrence.


  • Beloved by Toni Morrison
  • Ceremony by Leslie Marmon Silko
  • Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury
  • The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende
  • Life of Pi by Yann Martel

  • Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel
  • The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
  • One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez
  • Waiting for Snow in Havana by Carlos Eire
  • The Woman Warrior by Maxine Hong Kingston

18 August 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Always-buy Authors

This week's Top Ten Tuesday topic -- authors we automatically buy, no questions asked -- was surprisingly difficult for me. Turns out there aren't that many authors I blindly buy, regardless of what their new book may be. I guess I'm just getting picky in my old age? I love my favorite authors, but that love isn't blind or unquestioning. CJ Cherryh, for example. I've loved her works since I was 11, for pete's sake, and have read so very many of them but I stopped buying them when I realized the Foreigner series was Never. Going. To. End. There are sixteen books (so far) in the series! It's too much for me.

So. I have a very short list:

  • Terry Pratchett
  • Patricia McKillip

And that's about it, really.