The Dog Days of Summer and Why We Give a Hoot

August is moving swiftly by. The final stretch of the dog days of summer is upon us.  Some of us have had the luxury of being able to take a much-needed vacation this summer and some of us have not.  For most of us however, stress remains a condition of modern life. From work, family, finances, health issues or countless other things that we have to deal with on a regular basis, we all are looking for ways to reduce our stress levels.  Stress is not easy to escape and there can be no doubt that it has tremendous costs to us all, both financial and personal.

For starters, we all know that being perpetually stressed out can literally kill us. At the very least, it can set into motion mental and physical changes that can bring about a much earlier demise. Health problems ranging from heart disease, to weight gain, to diabetes, to acne are often caused or exacerbated by stress.  And as some of us know all too well that trying to lose weight can be an uphill battle when stress is flooding our systems with cortisol. Stress just makes it exponentially more difficult to shed unwanted pounds or enjoy the things we love the most.  Being stressed is serious business, literally.  Even in a downturn economy, the stress reduction industry is booming.  It’s no small wonder that spas and yoga studios are popping up all over the place! 

So why does Owl Canyon Press give a hoot about stress? Well, we love to read and if you stop and think about it for a second, a good book not only offers a world of escapism, it can also act as low cost remedy for stress. Did you know that as little as six minutes of reading in a day could cause a significant drop in your cortisol levels resulting in a reduction in your stress, and perhaps, a welcomed shedding of a few unwanted pounds?

The truth of the matter is few things in this world offer the low-cost kind of imagination-fueled escapism that a truly good work of fiction can. In particular, any well written novel from one of our favorite genres, magic realism can do wonders for your physical, mental and spiritual heath.

As a literary mode, magical realism is mostly characterized by two conflicting perspectives, one based on a so-called rational view of reality and the other on the acceptance of the supernatural as prosaic reality. It differs from pure fantasy primarily because it is set in a normal, modern world with authentic descriptions of humans and the society we live in.  Thus, this beloved gem of a literary mode is highly relatable and easy to read. It often imparts wisdom and is almost always highly entertaining.  A magic realism novel doesn’t tax the brain, but instead rather seamlessly allows us to process some the more stressful but unavoidable events of our daily lives.  Whether we are dealing with death, loss, grief, unrequited love, disillusionment with our current predicaments, tight budgets, or just plain old –fashioned ennui, a magic realism novel can resonate with what ever ails the human heart. 

So be kind to yourself. Put down the TV remote. Unplug some of those endless avenues of technology that run your day and restore some of the sacred rhythms of your life by journeying into the world of magic realism. Read to soothe your soul.

A wise old owl that gives a hoot knows you wont regret it.

Some of our very favorite magic realism novels are:

And this little German gem by Mariana Leky that our editor Eugene Hayworth has translated into English. The Gentlemen’s Tailor  will be released this fall.


We really give a hoot: please tell us about your favorite magic realism novel.  Share the love.




About owl canyon hoots

Owl Canyon Press is based in Boulder, Colorado. We publish fine literary fiction, narrative non-fiction, and works of literature in translation. Our mission is to support new voices and provide quality English editions of international literature. Our goal is to discover books that stimulate the imagination and publish them with passion. We pride ourselves on our detailed attention to every stage of the process, from editorial review and design, to marketing and publicity.
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3 Responses to The Dog Days of Summer and Why We Give a Hoot

  1. Sophie Nussle says:

    Great question!

    Eva Luna, Midnight’s Children, Neverwhere, Invisible Cities. Can I choose novellas and short story collections too? – if so, then Borges, García Márquez and Kafka’s. I’m not sure if Chronicle of a Death Foretold is classified as magic realism, but that’s one of my favourites of García Márquez’s; and the novella that inspired Marquez, The Metamorphosis.

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