Gregory Maguire


A storytelling wizard shares three favorite books.



The temptations to adapt or extend a classic work of fiction are many, but few writers have taken on that challenge with anything close to the success of novelist Gregory Maguire's spellbinding return to the world of L. Frank Baum's Oz. In Wicked, Son of a Witch, and, most recently A Lion Among Men, Maguire has brought a counterintuitive and timely perspective to the lands through which the Yellow Brick Road winds -- and generated  an international literary sensation, as well as a hit Broadway musical.  He shared with us three books that have enchanted him.


See all books by Gregory Maguire




A Visit to William Blake's Inn : Poems for Innocent and Experienced Travelers

By Nancy Willard, illustrated by Alice Provensen and Martin Provensen


"In picture book format, this treasury of original poems features William Blake as a mystic, a wizard, a saint, and a muse, and offers to readers and writers a skeletal lesson in the primary components of fantasy rising with live yeast: mystery, beauty, character and significance. "




Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You

By Peter Cameron


"A novel published on a YA list that might easily have been published for adults and deserve consideration at award time, Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You chronicles the smallest possible nervous breakdown with the largest possible sympathy--to say nothing of prose so smooth you can breathe on it and see yourself."






Arlington Park

By Rachel Cusk


"This English comedy-of-manners isn't so much slice-of-life as slices, crammed chapter by chapter into the same dishy dish; the writing is droll and pungent, the characters comic and small, demeaning and therefore universal; and the novelist's quiet ambition--to take Virginia Woolf's clarity and expand it to reflect early 21st century Britain--is ably realized, so memorable."

April 19: "What you see first, after the starting gun's crack, is a column of bobbing runners, thousands of them, surging downhill..."

Donna Tartt's The Goldfinch is the winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. James Parker calls this Dickensian coming-of-age novel "an enveloping…

Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
Poems That Make Grown Men Cry

And women too.  Luminaries from Colin Firth to Nick Cave and Jonathan Franzen chose the poems that bring them to tears, and the result is a stunning collection of poignant verse from writers like Auden, Whitman, Bishop, Larkin, Neruda and many others.  Warning: choking-up hazard.

The King of Pain

Trapped beneath his entertainment system, reality TV mastermind Rick Salter reflects on his life and tries to piece together the events of the previous evening. Seth Kaufman’s romp is an outrageous meditation on pain and entertainment in a deranged world in which the two are often interchangeable.

The Good Inn

Frank Black, frontman for the Pixies, has written a transgressive historical fiction with shades of Thomas Pynchon (focused as it is on the history of explosives and cinematic pornography), all set in a hallucinatory Edwardian Europe.