Read in 2023: Two Magical Realism books

March 23, 2023

I try to read all genres of books but I do have my preferences. I enjoy nonfiction, summery beach books, some fantasy, some romance, scant YA. Not deep fantasy, not murder/torture, not dystopian. But a genre that’s caught my eye lately is magical realism, which are works of fiction that seem to be about real life, but work in a magical component that everyone is aware of. These two books were on my to be read list for a while and I was fortunate enough to find them both at my library on the same day.

covers of Several People are Typing and Before the Coffee gets cold

Several People are Typing by Calvin Kasulke
This one is a little gimmicky because it’s completely written as multiple Slack (Slack is a chat and collaboration software used at many organizations) conversations between groups of coworkers at a PR firm. Everything seems to be business as usual until it’s not. The format makes for a very fast read, but it still packed a lot of laughter and deep thought into the pages. Even though this was written in 2019, after 3 years of remote work the behaviors and antics seem even more realistic. Three stars.

Before the coffee gets cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi
A basement coffee shop in Tokyo has a special item that’s not on the menu: The ability to go back in time. But there are rules: you have to sit in a certain seat that’s almost always occupied, you have to stay in the cafe, and you have to come back to the present time before the coffee gets cold. Even though I predicted the ending even before I hit the halfway mark (let’s face it, when you meet a pregnant woman with a weak heart in a book, the plotline practically spoils itself), it was sweet and poignant. The Goodreads reviews are all over the place and I think a lot of that has to do with a non-US culture and writing style, but for me it’s four stars.

I keep track of my books on Goodreads.

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  • Confuzzled Bev March 29, 2023 at 7:32 am

    I enjoyed Before the Coffee Gets Cold. There’s a sequel (or possibly prequel?) out now that I want to read.

    • Kimberly April 2, 2023 at 4:01 pm

      Oooo. Must read.