It's the birthday of the Italian novelist Italo Calvino, (books by this author) born in Santiago de Las Vegas, Cuba, in 1923. He wanted to do for Italy what the Brothers Grimm had done for Germany. He published Italian Folktales in 1956, and after that he wrote novels influenced by all the folktales he learned. These novels are full of magic and allegory, and they include Baron in the Trees (1957) and If on a Winter's Night a Traveler (1981). (Lifted without permission from the Writer's Almanac)
The book of his which I have read is Invisible Cities, and it is indeed magical and weird.