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Registered Members => Book Talk => Topic started by: Marissa Doyle on August 31, 2013, 07:06 PM

Title: THE THINKING WOMAN'S GUIDE TO REAL MAGIC--anyone read it?
Post by: Marissa Doyle on August 31, 2013, 07:06 PM
I recently finished THE THINKING WOMAN'S GUIDE TO REAL MAGIC by Emily Croy Barker and loved it. The main character is supposed to be an almost 30-yr-old graduate student, but really, this read a lot like YA fantasy (and, ahem, sometimes the main character acted much more like a 17-yr-old than an adult). It was flawed, but overall a terrific read: the world-building and magic system in particular were splendidly done.  Has anyone else read it and want to chat about it?
Title: Re: THE THINKING WOMAN'S GUIDE TO REAL MAGIC--anyone read it?
Post by: Ruth Donnelly on September 01, 2013, 07:18 AM
Haven't read it, but it's going on my list. Sounds interesting!
Title: Re: THE THINKING WOMAN'S GUIDE TO REAL MAGIC--anyone read it?
Post by: olmue on April 18, 2015, 10:35 AM
I finally came across this one and remembered that you had enjoyed it, Marissa. I'm only partway through, but I can see what you mean about it. Sometimes you just need a good portal book, you know? :)
Title: Re: THE THINKING WOMAN'S GUIDE TO REAL MAGIC--anyone read it?
Post by: Kell on April 18, 2015, 11:36 AM
I really loved this one and I'm eagerly awaiting the sequel! I didn't get into Deborah Harkness's series but this one was so good.

Two other recent adult fantasies that I loved and which reminded me of books for younger readers: The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison and The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen. Johansen's reminded me of Girl of Fire and Thorns, while The Goblin Emperor has a very middle-grade character arc within the adult world-building. I just adored the main character, Maya, a half-goblin exiled prince who becomes emperor when his father and elder brothers are assassinated.
Title: Re: THE THINKING WOMAN'S GUIDE TO REAL MAGIC--anyone read it?
Post by: Marissa Doyle on April 18, 2015, 12:18 PM
I'm glad you're enjoying it, Rose--I loved that book way beyond reason, and I'm dying for the sequel as well.

I, um, held my nose through the first two Deborah Harkness books and simply couldn't bring myself to read the third, Kell.  And I thought The Goblin Emperor was awesome.  Haven't read The Queen of the Tearling yet, but it's on my Nook and my son really liked it.

And is anyone else eagerly awaiting the sequel to The Rook, which comes out in June?
Title: Re: THE THINKING WOMAN'S GUIDE TO REAL MAGIC--anyone read it?
Post by: Kell on April 18, 2015, 12:24 PM
The Queen of the Tearling isn't groundbreaking but it's enjoyable and well done.

I haven't read the Rook! Now I'm off to request it if Marissa recommends...
Title: Re: THE THINKING WOMAN'S GUIDE TO REAL MAGIC--anyone read it?
Post by: Marissa Doyle on April 18, 2015, 12:45 PM
Oh, you're totally in for a treat, Kell. It's funny as anything, tongue-in-cheek, and an anti-kickass heroine who still manages to kick some serious ass. It even has a pet bunny (named Wolfgang). :bunnyshake
Title: Re: THE THINKING WOMAN'S GUIDE TO REAL MAGIC--anyone read it?
Post by: olmue on April 18, 2015, 12:53 PM
I've mostly been scared off from fantasy for adults after trying that one that's always billed as "Harry Potter for Grownups"--I forget the title, but urgh, it was like taking all the the things that make me like fantasy and wrecking them with cynicism and despair. But this is much more interesting! I really like the academic-ness in it, despite the setting. Nora's telling off what's his name right now about the boots, and I'm saying, yeah! You stick up for yourself, girl! right along behind her. :) In a way the book reminds me of Howl's Moving Castle, only for adults. (And yes, I see the irony of saying that after complaining about the adult HP...)
Title: Re: THE THINKING WOMAN'S GUIDE TO REAL MAGIC--anyone read it?
Post by: Kell on April 18, 2015, 01:40 PM
Are you talking about The Magicians, Rose? I agree about the cynicism. I also got the feeling that he hadn't read children's fantasy since Narnia. Anyone suggests there's nothing published like that now is right -- good kids' fantasy now is so much BETTER. Groundbreaking as The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe was, I find it a bit thin.
Title: Re: THE THINKING WOMAN'S GUIDE TO REAL MAGIC--anyone read it?
Post by: Marissa Doyle on April 18, 2015, 01:54 PM
Yes, I've avoided The Magicians because of that--I don't need a hip, noirish version of Narnia. But there's definitely good adult fantasy out there--it just takes a little sniffing it out.
Title: Re: THE THINKING WOMAN'S GUIDE TO REAL MAGIC--anyone read it?
Post by: olmue on April 18, 2015, 02:12 PM
The Magicians, yes, that's it. I tried, I really did, but it was just not my thing.

I do love Brandon Sanderson's stuff (yes, even his super long stuff). But he's his own thing, not "the next ____."
Title: Re: THE THINKING WOMAN'S GUIDE TO REAL MAGIC--anyone read it?
Post by: andracill on April 18, 2015, 02:17 PM
I'm going to have to look for these. Have any of you read THE BONE SEASON? I don't read much (um, any?) adult fantasy, but it was pretty good. I'm trusting there will be a sequel there too (I hope).
Title: Re: THE THINKING WOMAN'S GUIDE TO REAL MAGIC--anyone read it?
Post by: annemleone on April 18, 2015, 04:07 PM
Ohhh, didn't realize the sequel to The Rook was coming out so soon. Yay! Been waiting for that one for a while! For those who haven't read it, it's like a cross between XMen, Ludlum's Bourne, and Dilbert. Solid fun.

Any other good adult fantasy recs? I enjoyed Goblin Emperor, but can't say I loved it. The mc was a little too good for my tastes.
Title: Re: THE THINKING WOMAN'S GUIDE TO REAL MAGIC--anyone read it?
Post by: Kell on April 18, 2015, 04:28 PM
Ha, Anne, I really love virtuous main characters! I imprinted on Sara Crewe as a kid, I think.
Title: Re: THE THINKING WOMAN'S GUIDE TO REAL MAGIC--anyone read it?
Post by: HDWestlund on April 18, 2015, 05:46 PM
I'm off to look up other books recommended here, but have you read Mary Kowal's SHADES OF MILK AND HONEY series? I've read the first two and need to read further. Regency era fantasy, likable heroine.
Title: Re: THE THINKING WOMAN'S GUIDE TO REAL MAGIC--anyone read it?
Post by: Kell on April 18, 2015, 05:59 PM
I read that series, Holly. I liked them all but I wanted more progression in magic after book 2.

Along those lines of Regency magic (in addition to Courtship and Curses!) I really liked The Twelfth Enchantment by David Liss.  It was quite a departure from his serious historicals and lots of fun.
Title: Re: THE THINKING WOMAN'S GUIDE TO REAL MAGIC--anyone read it?
Post by: olmue on April 18, 2015, 06:48 PM
Ha, Anne, I really love virtuous main characters! I imprinted on Sara Crewe as a kid, I think.

Kell, I agree! One reason I loved Arthur in Kevin Crossley-Holland's series so much. He was such a decent character, especially compared to all the creepy people around him.

As to fun in books, I think I am starved for that!
Title: Re: THE THINKING WOMAN'S GUIDE TO REAL MAGIC--anyone read it?
Post by: Marissa Doyle on April 18, 2015, 07:42 PM
Ooh, I need to check out the David Liss!
Title: Re: THE THINKING WOMAN'S GUIDE TO REAL MAGIC--anyone read it?
Post by: annemleone on April 19, 2015, 03:56 PM
Yay! Thanks for all the great recs, everyone! Already have Thinking Woman's Guide on hold at the library!

Ha, Anne, I really love virtuous main characters! I imprinted on Sara Crewe as a kid, I think.

Hah! Totally get it, though I admit to being more of a Harriet M. Welsch girl myself.