Monthly Recommendations is a Goodreads group created and hosted by Kayla Rayne @ Kayla Rayne and Trina @ Between Chapters… and, as of recently, also co-hosted by April @ April Sarah and myself! I would love if you joined the Goodreads group and posted your recommendations for the topics every month (or just the months you feel like posting)!
October’s topic is our favorite witchy reads. Books about witches are my favorite kinds of paranormal stories, and I’ve read some particularly awesome witchy books recently, so I’m very excited to share my picks for this month! Let’s dive in.
(All covers link to Goodreads.)
A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray // If you know me at all, you *knew* this was gonna be on here. 1.) because I can’t make a Monthly Recs post without including a Libba Bray book, and 2.) because Gemma Doyle is an OG witch in YA fiction. She’s That Bitch(TM). The magic in this series isn’t typical witchy magic, but I’d definitely still classify Gemma’s abilities as a form of witchcraft.
Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood // I finally read this one last year and ended up loving it! It’s historical fantasy following sisters who are witches. There’s lots of political intrigue and feminist themes in this book, and I can’t wait to continue on with the series and see how the other books in the trilogy build on those ideas.
Strange Grace by Tessa Gratton // This is one I just read this month, and oh man, was it fantastic. One of our protagonists in Strange Grace is a witch, plus there are just general spooky, creepy vibes present throughout the story. Also, it involves a polyamorous relationship and I LIVED FOR IT. I hiiiiiighly recommend checking this one out; it’s the perfect fall read, tbh. (The audiobook is also great!)
The Brilliant Death by Amy Rose Capetta // Perhaps not the most obviously witchy read, but the main character and the love interest in this Italian-inspired queer YA fantasy are streghe who can do really cool magic. “Strega” in Italian literally means witch, so I had to include it!
When the Moon Was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore // I love all of Anna-Marie McLemore’s books, and probably all of them could be classified as witchy books, but When the Moon Was Ours is my very favorite thing she’s written (and happens to also feel the most like a “fall” read to me). A Latinx queer girl who can grow roses from her wrists falling for a Pakistani trans boy who hangs moons from the trees, plus the addition of some sister witches who live among glass pumpkins? It’s just as enchanting and beautifully written as you’d expect.
Spell on Wheels, vol. 1 by Kate Leth, Megan Levens, and Marissa Louise // This is a super diverse and wonderful graphic novel following three best friends who are witches as they go on a road trip to retrieve magical artifacts that have been stolen from them. SO fun.
Summer of Salt by Katrina Leno // An atmospheric fabulist story with a melancholy feel to it, following two sisters from a family of witches as they discover their powers and grow into themselves. Excellent sibling relationships, friendships, and a lovely f/f romance. The setting of By-the-Sea is so immersive that you’ll be immediately transported to this remote island overrun with birdwatchers. At its core, this is a story about how women are goddamn magical. It’s about women with power and the ways in which they use that power to protect the things they love.
Circe by Madeline Miller // I FIIINALLY picked up Circe this month, and oh boy, I’m so upset that this damn masterpiece sat unread on my shelf for so many months. Circe is a retelling of Greek myth from the perspective of the witch Circe, who was exiled to the remote island of Aiaia (and who famously turned Odysseus’s men into pigs in The Odyssey). It has the epic feel of Greek mythology, but at the same time feels quite intimate because I would classify it as a primarily character-driven story. We often see Circe practicing her witchcraft throughout the novel, which I loved. Circe also puts a decidedly feminist spin on the ancient classics. I was so spellbound by this story, and I can’t recommend it highly enough.
Have you read any of the books I mentioned? What is your favorite witchy book?