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The Thinking Woman's Guide to Real Magic | [Emily Croy Barker]

The Thinking Woman's Guide to Real Magic

Emily Croy Barker’s riveting debut novel is a must-read for fans of Lev Grossman and Deborah Harkness. The Thinking Woman’s Guide to Real Magic follows grad student Nora Fischer as she stumbles through a portal into a magical world. Having been transformed from drab to beautiful, Nora finds herself surrounded by glamorous friends. Life seems perfect. But then things take a terrible turn, and Nora must learn magic from a reclusive ally if she is to have any hope of survival...
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Publisher's Summary

Emily Croy Barker’s riveting debut novel is a must-read for fans of Lev Grossman and Deborah Harkness. The Thinking Woman’s Guide to Real Magic follows grad student Nora Fischer as she stumbles through a portal into a magical world.

Having been transformed from drab to beautiful, Nora finds herself surrounded by glamorous friends. Life seems perfect. But then things take a terrible turn, and Nora must learn magic from a reclusive ally if she is to have any hope of survival...

©2013 Emily Croy Barker (P)2013 Recorded Books

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (662 )
5 star
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3.8 (620 )
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4.1 (612 )
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Ananda Miami, FL, United States 09-01-14
    Ananda Miami, FL, United States 09-01-14 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Excellent!"

    If you're still waiting for you letter from Hogwarts or Breakbills, if you knock on the interior back of any likely looking wardrobe, if you've thought about going to Oxford to see if just maybe they have the time travel department set up yet; this may be the book for you.
    Some of the reviews I looked at compared it to "Discovery of Witches" by Deborah Harkness, but I don't really see it. Maybe it was the more adult (note that's adult grown-up not adult sexy time) telling of the story.
    If you're looking for steamy paranormal romance, you may want to go elsewhere, this book has more in common with "Pride and Prejudice" than the Sookie Stackhouse books.
    Suffice it to say, I loved this book! It's the story of a recently dumped Grad student who almost literally stumbles into another world filled with magic yet seemingly stuck in the Middle Ages.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Desarae 11-15-13
    Desarae 11-15-13 Member Since 2015

    Designer. Aviation Enthusiast. Fitness Instructor. Love books. Prefer long series with happy endings in mystery, comedy, fantasy, & romance.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Hours of Entertainment that will Fly By on Magic"

    Noami is a sad somber character in a normal gray world dropped out of the fictional boredom into a Wizard of Oz style version of Pride and Prejudice. The story will set you up with tid bits to be explained far later, which is the best part. I promise my analogies will not ruin the story for you or give you any insights what-so-ever.

    This is a love tale awry. The puzzle of Naomi's life smoothly cleans up in a way you wouldn't expect as the story progresses. Unlike many modern magical tales this author, Emily Croy Baker, does a good job of not leaving you hanging at the end. I think she has a nice setting and good lines to move onto another book if she chooses but she cleans up all her bread crumbs and dots all her i's nicely.

    You will not be disappointed by the author or the narrator. Both did a fantastic job in this book. Five stars well earned.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sophie BELCAMP, MD, United States 10-13-13
    Sophie BELCAMP, MD, United States 10-13-13 Member Since 2008
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    "Enjoyed the story"
    If you could sum up The Thinking Woman's Guide to Real Magic in three words, what would they be?

    Imaginative, fresh, good


    What did you like best about this story?

    I like the author's take on real magic, the lead character Nora creative way of working out problems.


    Which character – as performed by Alyssa Bresnahan – was your favorite?

    I felt in love with the King's dead grandmother from the painting, and I liked the wolfe alot


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Laugh and cry


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tara HUDSON, NH, United States 10-08-13
    Tara HUDSON, NH, United States 10-08-13 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Enchanting"
    Would you listen to The Thinking Woman's Guide to Real Magic again? Why?

    I would listen to this again. It was pure magic and made my long commute to work a joy. I looked forward to listening to it every day and even had to sneak in some non-commute listening during especially absorbing passages.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Nora and Aruendiel were electric in their scenes together. So much tension, and I never knew how it would turn out.


    Any additional comments?

    Loved.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Sarasota, FL, United States 08-26-13
    John Sarasota, FL, United States 08-26-13 Member Since 2013

    I'm64 years old and a retired design engineer. Rreading audio books since 1954...59 years. Strong interests are music and sf/fantasy, all of which I create myself and enjoy from others.

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    "Reminiscent of Outlander, but really..."
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I have already suggested that my daughter and my sister read it. As aman who they know loves science fiction and fantasy (overmuch perhap), they are sometimes leary of my recommendations. Too much gore, too much war... too much of everything and not enough or even a tinge of love and sensitivity. Not so in this case. LIke TheOutlander (and the rest of that phenomenal series, it has just enough of everything.Outlande0500009+++++++++r08 In fact, almost too much... the love doesn't get rquited... unless in the sequel, which I am now anxiously awaiting.


    What did you like best about this story?

    distinction made between Wizardry and Magic is wonderful to the point of ringing more true than many other schema.09++0


    What about Alyssa Bresnahan’s performance did you like?

    Absoltuely perfect. Great women's voices, men's voices, little girl spirit voices and more... Unbelivably a major character in the book is also name Alyssa... but since I've only listened to the audible version, I don't know if the spelling is the same. :-)


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    No, it was just a very, very good read... and I've been waiting for one for awhile.


    Any additional comments?

    Okay, so I will make a *man* comment. The fall back to a women's lib version of reality from the pre-70's is overlaid on top of this beautifully constructed "other" world. I did not see the need for doing that. It sort of works, but on the whole I thought that small thread in the book was alittle forced and not supported well enough by the characters or situations. Too much over-reaction and over-dramatizatioin. Still it breezes by, so I suppose it is there for a reason. However, like some of the very minimal (but noticeable) remarks about race/color... it doesn't work for me. I think weas readers of a book like this have moved past that... indeed from ourown upbringings in this country... America.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elizabeth ARVADA, CO, United States 03-22-14
    Elizabeth ARVADA, CO, United States 03-22-14 Member Since 2012
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    "My first 1 out of 5 rating ever for audible"
    What would have made The Thinking Woman's Guide to Real Magic better?

    A better narrator, a better writer and a non-whinny heroine.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    I'm going back to George RR Martin - hopefully he'll wrap up some loose ends, but I'm not counting on it.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Alyssa Bresnahan?

    Anyone - she added to the whinny, overly educated, snobbish, poor decision making, and immature main character.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    anger and disappointment - I sure hope the younger generation of women are smarter than this. I was so looking forward to a good book with magic.


    5 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Colonelswife 07-25-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Not my favorite - not even close"

    Not my favorite , Or even close . I did finish it, but the plot was very weak. The characters were not ones you end up caring about either . This didn't seem "inspired " at all.
    It's like the author was fulfilling a writing assignment - the professor providing some criteria & Barker just filled the rest in . If you have time to listen , why not . If you don't , find a better story

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    2wiggly 06-24-15
    2wiggly 06-24-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Worst book ever total nonsense after first chapter"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    No one with a mind, the title and description misled me to buy it.


    What could Emily Croy Barker have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Nonsense use your talent on a real story please.


    How could the performance have been better?

    It was ok


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    The first chapter. That's it.


    Any additional comments?

    Needs better description maybe a warning.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    DIANA 06-19-15
    DIANA 06-19-15 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Very entertaining!"
    Would you listen to The Thinking Woman's Guide to Real Magic again? Why?

    I would listen again. So much going on. I'm sure I missed something. I enjoyed the difference in time. Between our world and the world of the past.


    Any additional comments?

    It ends with you wanting to get the next book, but there isn't one! I want to find out how Nora goes back!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Emily 05-04-15
    Emily 05-04-15
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    "Not exactly what the title suggests"

    great narrator! story was slow at parts however I wanted more completion once the book was over. would definitely recommend although I wanted the book to be more about the title than it was, on the other hand it was a nice surprise that it gave you something completely different than what the title suggested.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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