I love to read. I read constantly. I love libraries and bookshops, I’m a member of a brilliant book group here in Amsterdam, I have an ever-growing collection of favourite books that lives all over the house. I wear t-shirts with literary references on them, and (generally speaking) loathe movie adaptations. I am a book wyrm of the highest degree! (A book wyrm or book dragon being a creature that hoards books because they love them, rather than a bookworm which is a small beetle that destroys books). I am currently nursing an idea regarding how to bring my love of books into my business beyond just making bookmarks (more on this soon). But for now, I thought I’d recommend some of my favourite witchy reads for the darker evenings.
An author I’ve recently discovered who writes awesome witchy goodness is Alice Hoffman, most famous for Practical Magic. I’ve read that, The Ice Queen and the prequel to Practical Magic, The Rules of Magic. I have to say that my favourite was The Rules of Magic, although all her writing has a gorgeous dreamlike quality and a real fairy-tale feel. The Rules of Magic follows the lives of three witchy siblings, Frances, Jet and Vincent, as they attempt to live their lives according to their mother’s rules, and eventually come to realise that you should live your own life free from the fears and prejudices of others. A beautiful magical book about finding your own path, and the powerful love that exists between siblings.
I’m also a huge fan of the author Deborah Harkness, creator of the All Souls Trilogy. The three books that make up the original trilogy, A Discovery of Witches, Shadow of Night, and The Book of Life are all brilliant, fast-paced adventures with a fantastic cast of characters. Witches, Demons and Vampires secretly live amongst us, governed by the shady Congregation. Diana Bishop, a witch, has always shied away from her powers and focussed on academia instead, but soon matters overtake her and she needs to awaken the witch within her and take on far bigger forces than the Bodleian Library offers. A great look at witchcraft in the modern world, and acceptance of the many different ways that people approach and perceive the world.
My final offering for today is The Familiars by Stacy Hall. Set in Northern England in the early 17th Century, The Familiars is set against the backdrop of the Pendle Witch Trials and tells the story of a young woman who is married to a high ranking man and is desperate to provide him with a child. So desperate she is prepared to use any means necessary to achieve her goal… The infamous witch trials looming throughout the book sets a steadily building tone of tension and fear, while the main female characters are well-observed and thoroughly believable.
Let me know what your favourite witchy books are - I’m always looking for my next read!