While some of us indulge in the otherworldly appeal of witchy books all year long (guilty!), we know there’s just something about October that puts a little magic and mischief in the air. Whether it’s the ghoulish décor or the crisp autumnal air, it’s called spooky season for a reason, and we’re ready to conjure up a little hocus-pocus with these 13 enchanted reads.
A prequel, of sorts, to Practical Magic and The Rules of Magic, Magic Lessons takes us back to where the Owens family troubles first began. Maria Owens, a young witch in the 1600s, learns the steep price of magic and unrequited obsession when she is unexpectedly spurned. This latest return to the saga of the Owen’s women is essential for Practical Magic fans, yet also perfect for anyone that hasn’t yet jumped into this enchanting series. Even if you’ve only watched the movie (no judgement), this read is chronologically where is all starts.
The Once and Future Witches
Alix E. Harrow
A witch origin story set in 1893, The Once and Future Witches follows the Eastwood sisters, together after unwanted separation, as they join the suffragists of New Salem. The suffrage movement soon starts to parallel a bubbling witch’s movement that only the sisters can lead, if they can bind the wounds between themselves. Harrow follows up her captivating debut and 2020 Hugo Award finalist, The Ten Thousand Doors of January, with a highly enjoyable and inherently feminist sophomore novel. “A gorgeous and thrilling paean to the ferocious power of women. The characters live, bleed, and roar.” — Laini Taylor, author of Strange the Dreamer
Kass Morgan, Danielle Paige
Incoming freshman Vivi Devereaux and rising senior Scarlett Winter couldn’t be more different— except that they both happen to be secret witches in Westerly College’s mysterious and exclusive Kappa Rho Nu sorority. When cryptic messages begin appearing and threaten to uncover a dark Kappa secret, Vivi and Scarlett must work together to find out who is behind the threats and protect their beloved sisterhood. Equal parts creepy and fun, The Ravens is practically begging to be adapted for the screen.
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When Yadriel’s traditional Latinx family is unwilling to accept his gender, he takes it upon himself to prove that he is a true brujo. What he doesn’t count on is summoning the ghost of his classmate who doesn’t even know he’s dead — or how he died. Part paranormal fantasy, part mystery, part slow-burn romance, Cemetery Boys is a must-read for lovers of all genres and our October YA Book Club selection. “Cemetery Boys is necessary: for trans kids, for queer kids, for those in the Latinx community who need to see themselves on the page. Don’t miss this book.” — Mark Oshiro, author of Anger is a Gift
Kingdom of the Wicked
If you enjoy your witchy books with a touch of romance and some vengeance on the side, let us present to you Kingdom of the Wicked — the first in a new series from the author of the completely addictive Stalking Jack the Ripper series. And if you’ve had the pleasure of dipping into the Stalking Jack the Ripper series, you know that Kerri Maniscalco brings the suspense, the mystery and the grit. Set in atmospheric 19th century Italy, Kingdom of the Wicked follows Emilia and Vittoria, twin sisters who hide their magical powers in plain sight. When tragedy strikes, Emilia reluctantly teams up with Wrath, a dark prince of Hell, to seek her revenge. This book will pull you in and leave you begging for the next harrowing installment.
The Witches: The Graphic Novel
Roald Dahl, Pénélope Bagieu (Illustrator)
For many of us “witchy enthusiasts,” Roald Dahl’s The Witches was the book that sparked the obsession. And, if you thought you couldn’t love The Witches more, this graphic adaptation takes it to another level. Bagieu’s brilliant artwork and eye-catching color palette bring the story to life for a contemporary audience, while still maintaining the eccentricity we know and love from Dahl’s stories. This fresh take on a classic is sure to be hit and is the perfect companion as you watch the new movie adaptation starring Anne Hathaway and Octavia Spencer.
J. A. White
Alex loves all things spooky and scary, but what happens when he gets trapped in a real-life nightmare? After being lured into a neighboring apartment by a young witch, he teams up with fellow prisoner Yasmin to find a way out of the enchanted home while also writing scary stories to keep the witch (and apartment) entertained. Peppered with Alex’s chilling short stories, this fun tale is the perfect read for “spooky season”(or any season for that matter) and is also our October Young Reader Pick.
A Deadly Education
Devilish and dark, Deadly Education is the first novel in the much-anticipated Scholomance trilogy and introduces us to a dangerous, magical boarding school with a killer final exam. El (short for Galadriel — perfect) has unparalleled power and her journey to balance her power—and change the face of magic itself — is intriguing, destructive and one you just won’t be able to shake. Novik is no stranger when it comes to creating fierce heroines – Uprooted and Spinning Silver showed us that, and if you need a taste of the epic worldbuilding Novik so masterfully spins, you have to check out the Temeraire series. Pierce Brown (author of Red Rising) hailed A Deadly Education as “savage, inventive, and soulful… a grand new tale that’ll make you believe in magic again.” And we are SO ready to believe!
Blood & Honey (Serpent & Dove Series #2)
This hotly anticipated sequel to Serpent & Dove packs in all the magic and heart-stopping action we loved in the first book, and more. Full of witchcraft and forbidden love, the Serpent & Dove series should not be missed. In this second installment, Lou, Reid and their crew on are on the run from enemies and in desperate need of protection. Relationships are put to the test as the group travels through dangerous situations to find the strong allies they need that just might force them to turn to a darker side of magic. Mahurin’s epic world-building and well-developed cast of characters make this hands-down one of our favorite new YA fantasy series.
A journey to self-discovery of epic proportions, Circe is a retelling from the queen of mythology herself: Madeline Miller. An enigmatic sorceress discovers powers she never knew she possessed and unlocks a destiny she never thought she would have. Circe shares her scars, her broken parts, and in doing so, speaks to the humanity we all share: “That is one thing gods and mortals share: when we are young, we think ourselves the first to have each feeling in the world.” This intoxicating epic will make you rethink everything you thought you knew about The Odyssey.
A Discovery of Witches
A love story for the ages set against a backdrop of feuding otherworldly creatures: A Discovery of Witches is fun and addictive from start to finish. We meet Diana, our heroine and unlikely witch who falls into thrall with a scintillating vampire. Their love story sets off a chain of events centuries in the making, and the action, academic and otherwise (!), builds through to the end and will leave you ready for book two in the All Souls trilogy. If you devoured the first season of A Discovery of Witches (the show based on the book), you’ll be happy to know that the Season 2 trailer just dropped and the official release date has been announced — Saturday, January 9th, giving you plenty of time to read before you stream if you haven’t already.
The doings of the “witches” of Salem, Massachusetts and the panic-driven hysteria of their persecutors, is an American “mystery” story that has captivated us, possibly since the 1690s and has produced a motherlode of great books. In that company, Stacy Shiff’s The Witches is especially fascinating, for bringing together extensively researched detail, immersive imagery, a tactile sense of time and place and a contemporary eye noting unexpected aspects of gender and class. These are the Witches as you have not seen them before.
Tarot del Toro: A Tarot Deck and Guidebook Inspired by the World of Guillermo del Toro
Tomás Hijo (Artist), Guillermo del Toro (Foreword by)
While we recognize that this is not a book, Tarot is hot right now and this deck is the coolest of the year! If you find Guillermo del Toro a fascinating and creative talent, feast your eyes on this tarot deck featuring mind-bending and creepy images, as interpreted by artist Tomas Hijo. There’s so much to work with in del Toro’s oeuvre. This is the perfect deck for anyone who appreciates tarot or del Toro’s films.