DNF – How To Tell Toledo From the Night Sky by Lydia Netzer

How-to-tell-toledo-from-the-night-skyOh boy. Can I just start by saying I really wanted to like How To Tell Toledo From the Night Sky by Lydia Netzer. I have been following Netzer’s career since she came out with Shine, Shine, Shine in 2012. She is one of those hot young things getting all the accolades and everyone I know seems to like her books. Boom. How To Tell Toledo came in at the library and I was ready.

The novel is about George and Irene who were, quite literally, born to be together. Their mothers got pregnant at the same time, and raised their children to be soul mates. This all appeals to be on every level. I love the premise of the story, add to that the fact that both George and Irene are astrophysicists and I’m sold.

So what went wrong? How to Tell Toledo From the Night Sky is fanciful. I would even say it nudges up against magic realism and for me that is one bridge too far. Very rarely do I ever find myself invest in a novel in which magic realism plays a large role. I just don’t seem to be able to suspend my disbelief. In this novel, George is repeatedly visited by goddess-like apparitions, and I just couldn’t. So that’s that.

Who would like this book? So in spite of the fact that I didn’t finish this book, I want you to like it. Please, suspend your disbelief if you are able. It is a well written book that happens to take a flight of fancy. Below are some other reviews of How To Tell Toledo From the Night Sky to help you see if you should read it. And, please let me know if you’ve reviewed it.

River City Reading

The Gilmore Guide to Books


  1. I have a hard time with magical realism too. Basically, any time I’m reading a book that seems realistic and then something happens that could never happen in real life . . . I’m done. I can’t read any more. There are a very few exceptions, but not many. I was sent an ARC of this book and knew it was not for me, for that reason. It’s funny, but if a book is total fantasy, I’m OK with it. It’s the mixture of “magic” and “realism” that bothers me.

  2. It’s so tough when you really want to like a book and it just does not work for you. Good on you for recognizing it and just letting it go though. For the second time in 2 weeks I’m toying with the idea of walking away from a biography…haven’t made the final call on it, but it’s not looking good. Hate when this happens.

  3. Pingback: Seriously, I’m Having Book Troubles. | The Paperback Princess

  4. Pingback: Mr Fox by Helen Oyeyemi | 52 books or bust

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s