Read Outside the Box: Short & Sweet



If you’re looking for some short & sweet titles that will also make a big dent in your Adult Summer Reading Challenge, look no further! Two authors whose books will fulfill at least two (and in some instances four!) categories and are also a joy to read are:

Sarah Addison Allen and Sarah Kate Lynch–both of these writers use magical realism (bye bye “fantasy” category) and often have food centered plots (so long “food novel” category). And Ms. Lynch is from New Zealand and often stages her novels overseas so any of her novels will ALSO fulfill your “foreign writer/foreign setting” category. Make it a “reader’s choice” and you’ve knocked off a third of your challenge card with a single short & sweet read.

Happy Reading!



The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen


Josey Cirrini is “plain and just this side of plump” she lives with her domineering mother in an effort to make up for her tempestuous childhood. Josey finds joy in her closet, stacked with travel magazines, romance novels, and lots of delicious candy. Then one day she opens her closet door to find Della Lee Baker a waitress at the local greasy spoon. Josey doesn’t know who or what Della is hiding from but the young woman begins sending her on a series of missions that get Josey to step outside of the confines of her small life. A charming and lovely offering for the inimitable Sarah Addison Allen.

For more sweetly supernatural romances, check these out:

The Gilly Salt Sisters by Tiffany Baker

The Lace Reader by Brunonia Barry

The Law of Love by Laura Esquivel


They’re Magically Delicious–


In Magical Realism the writers interweave, in an ever-shifting pattern, a sharply etched realism in representing ordinary events and descriptive details together with fantastic and dreamlike elements, as well as with materials derived from myth and fairy tales.* The stories weave enchanting spellbinding plots that offer dramatic and romantic journeys for the readers. Whether the spell cast through food, music or just through plain old fashioned chants– the stories will leave you desiring more– the sinful indulgences and the bewitching ways of these mesmerizing women. The books all have a fun lyrical quality that makes the reading even more enjoyable.

 After some major “fisticuffs” in the back room of the OWL, I absconded with the fresh new copy of Sarah Addison Allen’s newest gem The Sugar Queen. Her first book, Garden Spells was a mystical delight filled with all the right elements for an entertaining read. In her stories Allen weaves romance, supernatural powers and transforms everyday life into magic.

For the most part Sarah Addison Allen’s books are filled with refreshing and enchanting characters with a mix of mystical love potions. Sugar Queen was a fabulous follow up from her debut novel and I look forward to her next novel in 2009. I really enjoyed the candy theme as well. Each chapter is titled after an old favorite! Lemon Drops, Sour Patch,Mellowcreme Pumpkins– ahh and off I go to the Litchfield Candy Company– Want my advice? Stock up before reading this book!

My suggestions for some good magical reading!—

The Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel (FIC ESQ) A novel in monthly installments with recipes, romance and home remedies.

Law of Love by Laura Esquivel (FIC ESQ) A story of time travel and reincarnation accompanied with Puccini arias and Mexican danzones( cd included with book).

Chocolate by Joanne Harris (FIC HAR) A beautiful woman vexes the villagers with her confections.

Seventh Heaven by Alice Hoffman. (FIC HOF) ” Everyone in town is somehow touched by Nora, the women,who are at once jealous of her sensuousness and emboldened by her example.. the men, who discover a mixture of female power and passion beyond their previous experience…..”

Memory and Dream by Charles de Lint (FIC DEL) An artist has the power to craft images so real they come to life.

The Last Song of Dusk by Siddarth Dhanvant Shanghvi(FIC SHAA young woman has a gift for singing songs so alluring….

You may want to get on the request list for these–they are worth the wait!
As I am writing this entry– I have the Eagle’s song bewitching me!

“Witchy Woman


Raven hair and ruby lips
sparks fly from her finger tips
Echoed voices in the night
she’s a restless spirit on an endless flight
wooo hooo witchy woman, see how
high she flies
woo hoo witchy woman she got
the moon in her eye
She held me spellbound in the night…
* The Eages are on order so check our shelves soon!

 This post is brought to you by Audra– Enchantress of the OWL (ha)

*adaptation from M.H. Abrams’ A Glossary of Literary Terms, 6th ed. (Fort Worth, TX: Harcourt, Brace Jovanovich, 1993) as cited by Dr. Robert P. Fletcher of West Chester University.

*picture from Marvel Comics