Book Recommendations- Witchy Reads Edition

Posted September 11, 2021 by stuckint in Features, Themed Thursdays / 5 Comments

Hello everyone and welcome back to Stuck in the Stacks. I hope your week has been filled with stacks of amazing books and plenty of reading time.

It’s September and that means spooky season is in full swing here on the blog. However, I recognize that not everyone loves to read hardcore horror this time of year. So I’m going to be doing a series of recommendation posts that run the gamut from cozily creepy to utterly terrifying.

As always, if there is a theme or topic you would love for me to cover, let me know in the comments!

YA Books

The Nature of Witches by Rachel Griffin

The Nature of Witches by Rachel Griffin
Published by Sourcebooks Fire on June 1, 2021
Pages: 384

For centuries, witches have maintained the climate, their power from the sun peaking in the season of their birth. But now their control is faltering as the atmosphere becomes more erratic. All hope lies with Clara, an Everwitch whose rare magic is tied to every season.
In Autumn, Clara wants nothing to do with her power. It's wild and volatile, and the price of her magic―losing the ones she loves―is too high, despite the need to control the increasingly dangerous weather.
In Winter, the world is on the precipice of disaster. Fires burn, storms rage, and Clara accepts that she's the only one who can make a difference.
In Spring, she falls for Sang, the witch training her. As her magic grows, so do her feelings, until she's terrified Sang will be the next one she loses.
In Summer, Clara must choose between her power and her happiness, her duty and the people she loves... before she loses Sang, her magic, and thrusts the world into chaos.
Practical Magic meets Twister in this debut contemporary fantasy standalone about heartbreaking power, the terror of our collapsing atmosphere, and the ways we unknowingly change our fate.

This almost instant NYT bestseller features a witch with elemental magic and the significance such abilities have our world and it’s inhabitants. It’s a fun witchy read combined with important commentary on the environment and how we impact it, for good or I’ll.

A Lesson In Vengeance by Victoria Lee

A Lesson in Vengeance by Victoria Lee
Published by Delacorte Press on August 3, 2021
Pages: 384

Felicity Morrow is back at Dalloway School.
Perched in the Catskill mountains, the centuries-old, ivy-covered campus was home until the tragic death of her girlfriend. Now, after a year away, she’s returned to graduate. She even has her old room in Godwin House, the exclusive dormitory rumored to be haunted by the spirits of five Dalloway students—girls some say were witches. The Dalloway Five all died mysteriously, one after another, right on Godwin grounds.
Witchcraft is woven into Dalloway’s history. The school doesn’t talk about it, but the students do. In secret rooms and shadowy corners, girls convene. And before her girlfriend died, Felicity was drawn to the dark. She’s determined to leave that behind her now; all Felicity wants is to focus on her senior thesis and graduate. But it’s hard when Dalloway’s occult history is everywhere. And when the new girl won’t let her forget.
It’s Ellis Haley’s first year at Dalloway, and she’s already amassed a loyal following. A prodigy novelist at seventeen, Ellis is a so-called “method writer.” She’s eccentric and brilliant, and Felicity can’t shake the pull she feels to her. So when Ellis asks Felicity for help researching the Dalloway Five for her second book, Felicity can’t say no. Given her history with the arcane, Felicity is the perfect resource.
And when history begins to repeat itself, Felicity will have to face the darkness in Dalloway–and in herself.

One of the many books set at a boarding school this year, A Lesson In Vengeance has a gorgeous cover and a tantalizing plot. With a blood soaked history, two girls find themselves embroiled in the occult.

Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas

Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas
on September 1, 2020

Yadriel has summoned a ghost, and now he can’t get rid of him.
When his traditional Latinx family has problems accepting his gender, Yadriel becomes determined to prove himself a real brujo. With the help of his cousin and best friend Maritza, he performs the ritual himself, and then sets out to find the ghost of his murdered cousin and set it free.
However, the ghost he summons is actually Julian Diaz, the school’s resident bad boy, and Julian is not about to go quietly into death. He’s determined to find out what happened and tie up some loose ends before he leaves. Left with no choice, Yadriel agrees to help Julian, so that they can both get what they want. But the longer Yadriel spends with Julian, the less he wants to let him leave.

An unconventional witchy tale featuring a trans boy who is determined to prove to his family that he has the powers of a brujo, not a brujo. When he accidentally summons the attractive ghost of a classmate that he can’t get rid of, hijinks ensure. It’s a heartwarming story about embracing who you are and is perfect for the Halloween season.

Ghost Wood Song by Erica Waters

Ghost Wood Song by Erica Waters
on July 14, 2020

Sawkill Girls meets Beautiful Creatures in this lush and eerie debut, where the boundary between reality and nightmares is as thin as the veil between the living and the dead. 
If I could have a fiddle made of Daddy’s bones, I’d play it. I’d learn all the secrets he kept.
Shady Grove inherited her father’s ability to call ghosts from the grave with his fiddle, but she also knows the fiddle’s tunes bring nothing but trouble and darkness.
But when her brother is accused of murder, she can’t let the dead keep their secrets.
In order to clear his name, she’s going to have to make those ghosts sing.
Family secrets, a gorgeously resonant LGBTQ love triangle, and just the right amount of creepiness make this young adult debut a haunting and hopeful story about facing everything that haunts us in the dark.

I adored The River Has Teeth and cannot wait to dig into Water’s debut. With solid LGBTQIA+ rep and a witchy girl who summon ghosts from the grave with a fiddle, I cannot wait to read this one during a cool Fall evening.

The Wicked Deep by Shea Earnshaw

The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw
Published by Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers on March 6, 2018
Pages: 310

Welcome to the cursed town of Sparrow…
Where, two centuries ago, three sisters were sentenced to death for witchery. Stones were tied to their ankles and they were drowned in the deep waters surrounding the town.
Now, for a brief time each summer, the sisters return, stealing the bodies of three weak-hearted girls so that they may seek their revenge, luring boys into the harbor and pulling them under.
Like many locals, seventeen-year-old Penny Talbot has accepted the fate of the town. But this year, on the eve of the sisters’ return, a boy named Bo Carter arrives; unaware of the danger he has just stumbled into.
Mistrust and lies spread quickly through the salty, rain-soaked streets. The townspeople turn against one another. Penny and Bo suspect each other of hiding secrets. And death comes swiftly to those who cannot resist the call of the sisters.
But only Penny sees what others cannot. And she will be forced to choose: save Bo, or save herself.

Witches who drown boys everywhere as revenge for what a small, sleepy town did to them so long ago? Yes please! This one goes some directions I was not expecting. Its a book full of atmosphere well developed characters

Adult Reads

The Inheritance of Orquidea Divina by Zoraida Cordova

The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina by Zoraida Córdova
Published by Atria Books on September 7, 2021
Pages: 336

The Montoyas are used to a life without explanations. They know better than to ask why the pantry never seems to run low or empty, or why their matriarch won’t ever leave their home in Four Rivers—even for graduations, weddings, or baptisms. But when Orquídea Divina invites them to her funeral and to collect their inheritance, they hope to learn the secrets that she has held onto so tightly their whole lives. Instead, Orquídea is transformed, leaving them with more questions than answers.
Seven years later, her gifts have manifested in different ways for Marimar, Rey, and Tatinelly’s daughter, Rhiannon, granting them unexpected blessings. But soon, a hidden figure begins to tear through their family tree, picking them off one by one as it seeks to destroy Orquídea’s line. Determined to save what’s left of their family and uncover the truth behind their inheritance, the four descendants travel to Ecuador—to the place where Orquídea buried her secrets and broken promises and never looked back.

Cordova’s first adult novel is being described as Knives out meets Alice Hoffman where each witchy family member receives a small inheritance from Orquidea upon her death and then begin to die one by one. Part magical slasher, part family drama, Cordova’s latest is sure to leave you dreaming of pumpkin spice and apple cider.

We Ride Upon Sticks by Quan Barry

We Ride Upon Sticks by Quan Barry
Published by Vintage on February 16, 2021
Pages: 366

In the town of Danvers, Massachusetts, home of the original 1692 witch trials, the 1989 Danvers Falcons will do anything to make it to the state finals--even if it means tapping into some devilishly dark powers. Against a background of irresistible 1980s iconography, Quan Barry expertly weaves together the individual and collective progress of this enchanted team as they storm their way through an unforgettable season.
Helmed by good-girl captain Abby Putnam (a descendant of the infamous Salem accuser Ann Putnam) and her co-captain Jen Fiorenza (whose bleached blond "Claw" sees and knows all), the Falcons prove to be wily, original, and bold, flaunting society's stale notions of femininity. Through the crucible of team sport and, more importantly, friendship, this comic tour de female force chronicles Barry's glorious cast of characters as they charge past every obstacle on the path to finding their glorious true selves.

Definitely the weirdest title on this list, We Ride Upon Sticks follows a girl’s hockey team who calls on the devil in order to win a state championship. With different people and objects lending their narrative voice to the story, it promises to be a wild, magic filled ride.

The Hour of the Witch by Chris Bohjalian

Hour of the Witch by Chris Bohjalian
Published by Doubleday Books on May 4, 2021
Pages: 406

A young Puritan woman--faithful, resourceful, but afraid of the demons that dog her soul--plots her escape from a violent marriage in this riveting and propulsive historical thriller from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Flight Attendant.
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, a woman like Mary--a woman who harbors secret desires and finds it difficult to tolerate the brazen hypocrisy of so many men in the colony--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 to not only escape her marriage, but also the gallows. A twisting, tightly plotted thriller from one of our greatest storytellers, Hour of the Witch is a timely and terrifying novel of socially sanctioned brutality and the original American witch hunt.

This historical suspense novel doesn’t dive into straightforward witchcraft. Rather it tells the story of a Puritan woman attempting to escape an abusive marriage becomes embroiled in a conspiracy that could lead to her hanging on the charges of witchcraft. Rich in the history of the Salem witch trials, it’s a historical fiction that reads like a thriller.

Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman

Practical Magic (Practical Magic #1) by Alice Hoffman
Published by Berkley on July 1, 2020
Pages: 286

Alternate covers can be found here and here
The Owens sisters confront the challenges of life and love in this bewitching novel from New York Times bestselling author Alice Hoffman.
For more than two hundred years, the Owens women have been blamed for everything that has gone wrong in their Massachusetts town. Gillian and Sally have endured that fate as well: as children, the sisters were forever outsiders, taunted, talked about, pointed at. Their elderly aunts almost seemed to encourage the whispers of witchery, with their musty house and their exotic concoctions and their crowd of black cats. But all Gillian and Sally wanted was to escape.
One will do so by marrying, the other by running away. But the bonds they share will bring them back—almost as if by magic...

As a little kid, I remember loving the Practical Magic movie- even if I did find a few parts kind of scary. I still have not read the book and have heard that it’s quite different from it’s adaptation. Still, I am really hoping to get to it this year.

The Once and Future Witches by Alix E. Harrow

The Once and Future Witches by Alix E. Harrow
Published by Redhook on October 13, 2020
Pages: 517

In 1893, there's no such thing as witches. There used to be, in the wild, dark days before the burnings began, but now witching is nothing but tidy charms and nursery rhymes. If the modern woman wants any measure of power, she must find it at the ballot box.
But when the Eastwood sisters--James Juniper, Agnes Amaranth, and Beatrice Belladonna--join the suffragists of New Salem, they begin to pursue the forgotten words and ways that might turn the women's movement into the witch's movement. Stalked by shadows and sickness, hunted by forces who will not suffer a witch to vote-and perhaps not even to live-the sisters will need to delve into the oldest magics, draw new alliances, and heal the bond between them if they want to survive.
There's no such thing as witches. But there will be.

At once a novel about a family of witches as it is about a feminist revolution, The Once And Future Witches intertwines the history of the suffragist movement with three witch sisters who join the movement. it’s fun, a bit dark, and sure to scratch that witch itch.

What About You?

Have you read any of the books? What are some of your favorite witchy books? Let me know in the comments!

5 responses to “Book Recommendations- Witchy Reads Edition

  1. Ann

    The Witching Hour by Anne Rice. Set in New Orleans Garden District.

    Alice Hoffman has a new one coming out soon The Book of Magic.

  2. Cassandra

    I’m reading The Once and Future Witches now and enjoying it. I loved Practical Magic. I can’t wait to get my hands on Hoffman’s latest novel in the series.

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