Looking for something witchy this fall? These reads are perfect additions to your October reading list!
Hour of the Witch by Chris Bohjalian
From the Publisher: Boston, 1662. Mary Deerfield is twenty-four-years-old. Her skin is porcelain, her eyes delft blue, and in England she might have had many suitors. But here in The New World, amid this community of saints, Mary is the second wife of Thomas Deerfield, a man as cruel as he is powerful. When Thomas, prone to drunken rage, drives a three-tined fork into the back of Mary’s hand, she resolves that she must divorce him to save her life. But in a world where every neighbor is watching for signs of the devil, Mary soon finds herself the object of suspicion and rumor. When tainted objects are discovered buried in Mary’s garden, when a boy she has treated with herbs and simples dies, and when their servant girl runs screaming in fright from her home, Mary must fight not only to escape her marriage, but also the gallows.
From the Publisher: Lavishly illustrated and photographed, The Ultimate Guide to the Witch’s Wheel of the Year illustrates spells and practices that will help you incorporate the old magick of the seasons into your modern life.
Mother May I by Joshilyn Jackson
From the Publisher: Growing up poor in rural Georgia, Bree Cabbat’s single mother warned her that the world was a dark and scary place. Bree rejected her mother’s fearful outlook, and life has proved her right. Marrying into a family with wealth, power, and connections, Bree has all a woman could ever dream: a loving lawyer husband, two talented young teenage daughters, a new baby boy, a gorgeous home, and every opportunity in the world – until the day Bree awakens and sees a witch peering into her bedroom window, an old gray-haired woman all dressed in black who vanishes as quickly as she appears.
The Witch’s Garden: Plants in Folklore, Magic, and Traditional Medicine by Sandra Lawrence
From the Publisher: The Witch’s Garden tells the story of our folkloric fascination with these magical specimens, documenting the beliefs and rituals surrounding the natural world. Illustrated with pages from herbals held within the archives of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, along with botanical illustrations and archival images depicting magic and mayhem, The Witch’s Garden beautifully evokes the bewitching nature of mysterious plants.
Everyone Knows Your Mother is a Witch by Rivka Galchen
From the Publisher: Drawing on real historical documents but infused with the intensity of imagination, sly humor, and intellectual fire for which award-winning author Rivka Galchen’s writing is known, Everyone Knows Your Mother Is a Witch is a tale for our time-the story of how a community becomes implicated in collective aggression and hysterical fear.
Initiated: A Memoir of a Witch by Amanda Yates Garcia
From the Publisher: An initiation signals a beginning: a door opens and you step through. Traditional Wiccan initiates are usually brought into the craft through a ceremony with a High Priestess. But even though Amanda Yates Garcia’s mother, a practicing witch herself, initiated her into the earth-centered practice of witchcraft when she was 13 years old, Amanda’s real life as a witch only began when she underwent a series of spontaneous initiations of her own. Descending into the underworlds of poverty, sex work, and misogyny, Initiated describes Amanda’s journey to return to her body, harness her power, and create the magical world she longed for through witchcraft. Hailed by crows, seduced by magicians, and haunted by ancestors broken beneath the wheels of patriarchy, Amanda’s quest for self-discovery and empowerment is a deep exploration of a modern witch’s trials – healing ancient wounds, chafing against cultural expectations, creating intimacy – all while on a mission to re-enchant the world. Peppered with mythology, tales of the goddesses and magical women throughout history, Initiated stands squarely at the intersection of witchcraft and feminism. With generosity and heart, this book speaks to the question: is it possible to live a life of beauty and integrity in a world that feels like it’s dying? Declaring oneself a witch and practicing magic has everything to do with claiming authority and power for oneself, of taking back our planet in the name of Love. Initiated is both memoir and manifesto calling the magical people of the world to take up their wands: stand up, be brave, describe the world they want, then create it like a witch.
The Witch’s Kind by Louisa Morgan
From the Publisher: Barrie Anne Blythe and her aunt Charlotte have always known that the other residents of their small coastal community find them peculiar — two women living alone on the outskirts of town. It is the price of concealing their strange and dangerous family secret. But two events threaten to upend their lives forever. The first is the arrival of a mysterious abandoned baby with a hint of power like their own. The second is the sudden reappearance of Barrie Anne’s long-lost husband — who is not quite the man she thought she married. Together, Barrie Anne and Charlotte must decide how far they are willing to go to protect themselves — and the child they think of as their own — from suspicious neighbors, the government, and even their own family.
America Bewitched: The Story of Witchcraft After Salem by Owen Davies
From the Publisher: Witchcraft after Salem was not just a story of fire-side tales, legends, and superstitions: it continued to be a matter of life and death, souring the American dream for many. We know of more people killed as witches between 1692 and the 1950s than were executed before it. Witches were part of the story of the decimation of the Native Americans, the experience of slavery and emancipation, and the immigrant experience; they were embedded in the religious and social history of the country.
From the Publisher: Bringing pharmakeia (the practice of plant spirit witchcraft) into contemporary times, this book merges historical knowledge with modern techniques, featuring detailed monographs dedicated to 39 plants ranging from the esoteric (such as aconite, American mandrake, and damiana) to the accessible (including bay laurel, dandelion, fennel, garlic, juniper, and lavender).
The Witch’s Heart by Genevieve Gornichec
From the Publisher: When a banished witch falls in love with the legendary trickster Loki, she risks the wrath of the gods in this fierce, subversive debut novel that reimagines Norse myth. Angrboda’s story begins where most witch’s tales end: with a burning. A punishment from Odin for refusing to give him knowledge of the future, the fire leaves Angrboda injured and powerless, and she flees into the farthest reaches of a remote forest. There she is found by a man who reveals himself to be Loki, and her initial distrust of him grows reluctantly into a deep and abiding love. Their union produces three unusual children, each with a secret destiny, who she is keen to raise at the edge of the world, safely hidden from Odin’s all-seeing eye. But as Angrboda slowly recovers her prophetic powers, she learns that her blissful life–and possibly all of existence–is in danger. Angrboda must choose whether she’ll accept the fate that she’s foreseen for her beloved family…or rise to remake their future. From the most ancient of tales, this novel forges a story of love, loss and hope for the modern age.
Malice by Heather Walter
From the Publisher: Once upon a time, there was a wicked fairy who, in an act of vengeance, cursed a line of princesses to die. A curse that could only be broken by true love’s kiss. You’ve heard this before, haven’t you? The handsome prince. The happily ever after. Utter nonsense. Let me tell you, no one in Briar actually cares about what happens to its princesses. Not the way they care about their jewels and elaborate parties and charm-granting elixirs. I thought I didn’t care, either. Until I met Princess Aurora. The last heir to Briar’s throne. Kind. Gracious. The future queen her realm needs. One who isn’t bothered that I am Alyce, the Dark Grace, abhorred and feared for the mysterious dark magic that runs in my veins. Humiliated and shamed by the same nobles who pay me to bottle hexes and then brand me a monster. Aurora says I should be proud of my gifts. That she…cares for me. Even though a power like mine was responsible for her curse. But with less than a year until that curse will kill her, any future I might see with Aurora is swiftly disintegrating — and she can’t stand to kiss yet another insipid prince. I want to help her. If my power began her curse, perhaps it’s what can lift it. Perhaps together we could forge a new world. Nonsense again. Because we all know how this story ends, don’t we? Aurora is the beautiful princess. And I…I am the villain..
The Witch of Willow Hall by Hester Fox
From the Publisher: In the wake of a scandal, the Montrose family and their three daughters–Catherine, Lydia and Emeline–flee Boston for their new country home, Willow Hall.The estate seems sleepy and idyllic. But a subtle menace creeps into the atmosphere, remnants of a dark history that call to Lydia, and to the youngest, Emeline. All three daughters will be irrevocably changed by what follows, but none more than Lydia, who must draw on a power she never knew she possessed if she wants to protect those she loves.
Comment below with what witchy reads you are looking forward to reading this fall!
-Jessica, Adult Services & Acquisitions Librarian