The House of the Spirits - Isabelle Allende (1982)
Perfect Friday-afternoon post-workweek reading. Vigorous in a different way from Accordion Crimes. Magic, myth, and even death in bursts of unbelievable, unrestrained liveliness. This isn't a depressing read at all and I'm sucked into the characters' lives in a state of suspended disbelief, precisely what you want from magical realism.
The bus bumps to a stop and I look up hastily, note my progress at page 29, and scamper off. Whoops. Good thing someone else pulled the cord.