Witchy Reads

witchy-readsI’m not a fan of horror stories, so you won’t find a lot of them on my blog – and I certainly haven’t read enough of them to be any sort of authority. The fact is that in Slovenia, we don’t traditionally celebrate Halloween. We do observe All Saints’ Day on November 1st as well as Reformation Day on October 31st (both are holidays), but dressing up in costumes is reserved for February, when Pust happens. Nowadays, people sometimes do Halloween parties but that’s more an excuse to dress in skimpy costumes and get drunk – nobody actually thinks about why the holiday is there to begin with. Eh.

Halloween isn’t just about ghosts and serial killers, though, even if the movie marathons run at this time of the year tend to lean in that direction. It’s about witches, too, and witches just so happen to be my favourite supernatural creatures!

Samhain being one of the most important holidays for witches past and present, this time of year is especially appropriate for reading books about witches. And I’ve read a fair number of them! These are some of my favourites (in no particular order).

  • The Accident Season by Moïra Fowley-Doyle. Yeah this is one of those books I keep pushing on you folks. It’s a great seasonal read, if you haven’t tried it yet, maybe I can convince you: go read my review and another gushing post I wrote about it.
  • Carry On by Rainbow Rowell. I don’t know why I never reviewed this one but it’s pretty damn fantastic. I’m planning on re-reading it soon as I recently re-read Fangirl, too.
  • Half Bad by Sally Green. This is a trilogy and I just read Half Wild – but I still have to read the last one. I like the story a lot though it’s a bit darker than your usual paranormal YA.
  • A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness. Okay so maybe I wasn’t as impressed by this one when I re-read it recently (I still have to review it) but it’s a good blend of historical facts, romance, and mystery, plus the witches are pretty badass, so it deserves a spot on this list. Again, it’s a trilogy and I have to finish it.
  • The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab. This is her debut and also the first of her novels that I read – before I even started blogging (this is totally an “I read Schwab before she was cool” moment lol). I love the fairytale feel of this one, it’s haunting.
  • Uprooted by Naomi Novik. One of my all-time favourites. Seriously, I’ve now read this book at least five times (I translated it into Slovenian so it’s sort of a must) and it’s still great. Books that can be read multiple times in the space of one year are rare indeed and this one is fantastic.
  • Book of Shadows by Kate Tiernan. Ohh, I recently re-read most of these. I first read them when I was about… 13? Maybe? Anyway, I bought the first two books when we were in the US, actually, and fell in love. I was seriously interested in Wicca for a while because of them!
  • Harry Potter by J. K. Rowling. Obviously.


Tell me your favourite witchy reads! I need more seasonal recommendations. 

Do you dress up for Halloween?

I’d love to hear from you! :)

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  • Greg Hill

    I like scary reads this time of year but I’m not super into horror, at least not the usual stuff. I guess I tend more towards psychological thrillers and stuff with a scary/ paranormal vibe. And I was trying to come up with a list of scary reads for a post and realized I don’t have a lot. So I’ve been slacking on my horror apparently. :)

    One author I like is Michelle Harrison, she wrote a few books that sort of merged witchery and the fae. It’s mostly fae but it’s pretty dark- it’s skews on the younger YA side I would say only because the protagonist is fairly young, but it’s quite good. Definitely worth a read.

    • I don’t blame you for slacking on horror novels. Why read scary, horrible stuff when you could be reading fun/beautiful stories instead? :)

      Okay, I’ll check out Harrison, I love the fae, too! They’re mysterious and scary all at the same time.

  • Jolien @ The Fictional Reader

    I love witchy reads! I’ve been wanting to read A Discovery of Witches and The Accident Season for ages, so maybe I should pick up a copy asap :)

    • If you’re going to pick just one of those, go for The Accident Season. It’s a standalone and I never got the urge that I needed to slap the guy (which definitely happened with A Discovery of Witches!).

  • Hurrah for witches! They are definitely the best supernatural creature. *high fives*

    Uprooted…swoon. Everything about that book is amazing, especially the magic. I love how difficult it is for Niezska to learn magic too, since I think many teenaged witches learn how to do everything a bit too quickly (but I am picky…).

    I think all the bookish, introverted kids had a Wiccan phase at one point, haha. Actually, I just recently read a graphic novel called “Skim” that’s about a young woman from Toronto who’s going through an early 90s Wicca experience. It wasn’t fantasy or anything like that, but it felt very seasonal nonetheless. Now I feel like I need to go off and read some witchy books! :)

    • *high five* right back. Why are we so fascinated with witches? I definitely prefer them over vampires, I like my heroes breathing & warm. ;)

      And yeah, Uprooted. I think I must have read it about 5 times by now and it’s still amazing. And Niezska’s learning curve was so great, I loved how she had to figure magic out by herself, even though she had a tutor.

      Wicca is pretty fascinating but I was raised as an atheist, so it’s kind of hard for me to get in the mindset for something like that. It’s a beautiful practice, though, all about Nature.

  • I’ve only read the first book in the ‘Book of Shadows’ series. At the time, I decided to wait until I had them all before reading on, but now I have them all and I still haven’t read them! I’d actually kind of forgotten about them until your post!

    • Give them another try if you have them already – they are REALLY fast reads and quite addictive, too! :) I don’t think I’ve read them all, I gave up after a while, but what I did read was super fun to read.

      • I can actually see them from where I’m sitting, so I’m tempted to finally read them. I remember really enjoying the first one. Watch this space ;D

  • Love witches so much. The Near Witch is so underrated, more people really need to pick it up. And Rowling always needs to be mentioned and I love both The Accident Season and Uprooted. I really liked Kendall Kulper’s Salt & Storm and Franny Billingsley’s Chime is really good, it reminds me a lot of Juliet Marillier’s writing. Happy reading!

    • I read Salt&Storm, I should have included it on this list, it’s a great read. And I have a copy of Chime at home, I read it years ago, before I started blogging and I remember NOTHING about it. Will re-read soon, I promise! :)

  • I’m a scaredy cat, but I do love getting myself spooked :D I try to read as many scary books as possible this halloween, and one of them managed to give me a sleepless night *shudders* I owned UPROOTED, but the mixed reviews it got really scared me :/ And I’ve been eyeing DISCOVERY OF WITCHES for a while now, but that book is huge! I would definitely give it a try someday :D

    Tasya // The Literary Huntress

    • Well Uprooted is one of my all-time favourite fantasies, so I’d definitely give it a try if I were you!
      And these witchy reads are all scaredy cat approved, I can’t handle anything truly scary. :)

  • I love this post because I love witches too. Much like you I read the Wicca series as a teenager. i found Book of Shadows at the library and i was instantly hooked. I’d always been a bit enamoured with magic and the supernatural as a teen and was trying to get my hands on all the books I could. It started for me with The Secret Circle trilogy and then I became fully obsessed reading the Wicca series or whatever it was called after that. I have always loved a good witch book ever since.

    You have listed all the really good ones (although I still need to read The Accident Season and I’ve never read The Near Witch either. Some new books, yay!). I think the best witchy read I’ve read lately was probably The THinking Woman’s Guide To Real Magic but otherwise it’s been a while since I’ve read good magic. Maybe witchy reads are what I should do next. I kind of want to reread Uprooted so maybe I’ll do that today.

    I hadn’t thought of all the different holiday which happen at this time of year. Halloween has sort of taken over. We’re not especially Halloween-y here in the UK but it has definitely become more like the US version of the holiday in the past few years. Lots more children go trick or treating now than when I was a kid. I just view it as a kids thing with a few good parties to go to for adults. I don’t especially love it as I hate fancy dress unless I can take it out my wardrobe and have rewearable clothes for every day then it’s not worth it.

    I do like the number of horror films that come out, though. I am a massive horror film fan. It’s something me and my friend love to do. A new horror film comes out we are guaranteed to go see it which is great.

    Also, what is Pust? I am going to Google, obviously, but I’ve never heard of it. Have you blogged about this and I’ve forgotten? Why do you dress up for it?

  • Witches are my favorite too! ♥ I don’t read horror either but that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy supernatural, witches, magic and all that fun stuff! LOVE these recs! Half Bad, A Discovery of Witches, Near Witch and Carry On are all on my tbr shelf – I even own Half Bad and A Discovery of Witches but I haven’t read them yet. Might just pick one of them up in time for All Hallow’s Eve :D Thanks for the recs my friend! xx

  • I think you’ll enjoy The Bear and the Nightingale if you loved Uprooted (currently in the type of mood where I don’t shut up about this book). I also absolutely adored Accident Season!
    A Discovery of Witches was such a slog for me to get through, I think I’ve left the book half unfinished since 2013 XD Such a pity because I love the covers of this series.

  • I’m terrible with scary stuff and horror stories, but I do like books about witches and magic etc., so I’ll have to check some of these out! I have been meaning to read Carry On for ages because I loved Fangirl so much, so I’m really going to have to hurry up and read it soon :)

  • I don’t like horror, either, so I appreciate this list of witchy reads. I’m doing the Real-Time Read-Along for A Discovery Of Witches this year, and finding that although I still really like it, I’m seeing some problematic things in it that I didn’t see before. I LOVED Uprooted, though, and would love to read it again. And while I’m not re-reading the Harry Potter books this year (I did that a year or two ago, on audiobook), I am rewatching the movies in the lead-up to Halloween.

    I don’t dress up for Halloween any more, but I do try to decorate the house a little bit. Actually, I kind of miss dressing up, but none of my costume stuff fits these days!

  • I love love LOVE this post – witches are definitely one of my favorite supernatural creatures & it makes me so sad that they’re aren’t as ‘represented’ in books as, say, vampires. Also, I so feel the whole no-Halloween thing – I live in Hungary & the same is true, though Reformation Day is no holiday here. Boo. :(

    The Accident Season was SUCH A FANTASTIC BOOK. Okay, I *only* rated it 4 stars, – IDEK why, I’ll have to go back and reread it, bc I checked my review and it was full of gushing, so WHAT was I thinking? – but it’s still one of the most unique novels I’ve ever read.
    I didn’t really like The Discovery of the Witches, but Uprooted is one of the best books I’ve ever read – the plot, the characters, THE FRIENDSHIP… everything was perfect. Btw, I can’t believe you translated Uprooted – that IS SO COOL. *-* This is my first semester of English Studies at uni, and I’m thinking of becoming a translator, too & to think that I could be translating such wonderful novels in a few years makes me unbelievably happy.
    HP is a must on this list, perfect Halloween read & movie for those who aren’t into horror. :)

    I really, really want to read Half Bad and The Near Witch.

    Veronika @ The Regal Critiques