Welcome to the Halloween Issue of The Book Report! Included are some New + Newly Discovered books celebrating this Season of Halloween + Samhain; a few Tales of Magic – Stories to Curl Up With, some delightful works for young readers; and three special ‘Just Because + Just for Fun’ offerings.
“Witches listen to the secrets of the Earth, work in harmony with the powers of the moon, and understand the longings of the human soul.”
Halloween + Samhain season is one of my very favorite times of year. Now is when we can feel the most emboldened, and are in fact encouraged, to bring our inner magical identities out into the open in the spirit of fun and fellowship. So, shall we dust off our pointy hats, rinse out our cauldrons, tune up our broomsticks, power up our wands, and take off? Alone or together, there’s power to be met and enhanced at this most magical time of year.
The Witch's Book of Numbers: Enhance Your Magic with Numerology by Rebecca Scolnickv reveals how to apply the power of numerology to amplify your magic using only pen, paper, and a simple calculator! Whether you’re a beginner witch or have years of experience, this book will guide you through the history and relevance of numerology for the modern practitioner, offering exercises, spellwork, correspondences, and activities all designed to help boost you practice and empower your journey as a maker of magic.
Deep, Dark & Dangerous: The Oracle of Beautiful Darkness by Stacey DeMarco with illustrations by Kinga Britschgi is a deep dive into shadow work, featuring famous and rare entities of the dark - from Medusa, The Morrigan, and Kali to mermaids, banshees, and selkies. By stepping into the realm of the so-called monsters and the things that go bump in the night, what if what seems scary and dangerous is actually a light leading us out of the darkness and into divine wholeness?
Pure Magic: A Complete Course in Spellcasting by Judika Illes brims with magic that is accessible and practical, regardless of one’s level of experience or background. Within its pages you will find an introduction to the essentials of magic, a complete glossary of psychic and magical terminology, a primer and magical terminology, a primer on the four elements, a survey of magical supplies (including minerals and botanicals, and a compendium of spells for any situation. Originally published twenty years ago as The Big Book of Practical Spells, this new edition includes a foreword by Mat Auryn, author of Psychic Witch.
Hoodoo Herbal: Folk Recipes for Conjure & Spellwork with Herbs, Houseplants, Roots & Oils by Starr Casas contains detailed information on dozens of roots and herbs usesful for all sorts of issues and desires. Included are practical tips regarding planting seeds, cutting, transplanting, and caring for plants so that they will care for you, too.
Ancestral Grimoire: Connect with the Wisdom of the Ancestors Through Tarot, Oracles, and Magic by Nancy Hendrickson is a beautifully presented guide to helping us reconnect with our ancestors. It shows us how to access their unique wisdom – their magic – and create our own personal ancestral grimoire, a spell book or Book of shadows, unique to our personal heritage and lineage.
The Book of Witchy Wellbeing: Rituals, Recipes, and Spells for Sacred Self-Care by Cerridwen Greenleaf is a practical and enchanting handbook for creating personal magic and wellness, filled with healing spells, intentions, rituals, and recipes – the essentials of witch self-care and wisdom.
Witches' Familiars Oracle Cards from Barbara Meiklejohn-Free, Flavia Kate Peters, and Kate Osborne puts at your fingertips 48 witches’ familiars spanning both the animal kingdom and ethereal realms. Each one offers their mystical teachings and practical guidance to help foster positivity and meaningful change into to your life.
The Book of Crystal Spells: Magical Uses for Stones, Crystals, Minerals...and Even Sand by Ember Grant is a useful and in-depth guide to using stones in many creative ways, including cleansing and charging; crafting jewelry, amulets, and talismans; incorporating numerology, meditations, elixirs, and crystal grids into your spellwork; and expanding your magic practice by using glass, sand, metals, quartz crystal points.
American Brujeria: Modern Mexican American Folk Magic by J. Allen Cross is all about the fascinating blend of American and Mexican folk magic as currently practiced by those living in the U.S. but whose roots are steeped in Mexican culture. Included as stories from Mexico (folk saints, the story of Guadalupe), the influence of Catholicism, the art of limpias (spiritual cleansings), spell casting, oil crafting, praying the rosary (in English and Spanish), making an altar to Guadalupe, using novena candle magic, crafting protective charms from saints’ medals, and more.
Samhain: Rituals, Recipes & Lore for Halloween by Diana Rajchel shows you how to practice the serious work of divination and honoring the dead along with the more lighthearted activities we associate with celebrating Halloween, the final spoke in the Wheel of the Year.
The Practical Witch's Spell Book for Love, Happiness, and Success from Cerridwen Greenleaf, with illustrations by Mara Penny is a complete introduction to modern magic and witchcraft with spells for love, happiness, and success. In this must-have guide for spell-casters of all levels you will find hundreds of spells, blessings, and incantations for love and romance, contentment and well-being, success and prosperity, health and healing, work and vocation – all to enrich your mind and spirit, and to improve your life and the world around you.
Witchcraft for Healing: Radical Self-Care for Your Mind, Body, and Spirit by Patti Widdington is rooted in cultivating wellness and healing with the restorative power of witchcraft. Whether you’re new to the craft or are an experienced practitioner, you’ll find ways to deepen your skills and reclaim your power through authentic information, practical applications, and empathetic wisdom.
The Crystal Witch: The Magickal Way to Calm and Heal the Body, Mind, and Spirit by Leanna Greenaway and Shawn Robbins offers readers an authoritative, in-depth guide to crystal magick and spells. Learn how crystal craft works; how to choose and collect magickal stones; and how to care for, charge, program, and house your crystals. Witches have used crystals for centuries for their energetic properties and healing qualities. Now you can learn how to incorporate crystals and gemstones into your daily rituals.
The Witch of the Forest's Guide to Earth Magick by Lindsay Squire is all about understanding the elements which govern the world around us, connecting with the Earth and using its powers to grow and thrive. From using the four elements – fire, air, water, and earth – in spells, to learning about crystals and mastering the art of divination, this book will serve to bring your practice forward.
Baba Yaga's Book of Witchcraft: Slavic Magic from the Witch of the Woods from Madame Pamita teaches us about ancient and modern Slavic magical practices through stories told by the legendary Baba Yaga herself. Learn about the magic of the sun, moon, and stars, as well as the magic of the weather, animals, seasons, stones, food, beeswax, and more.
Each chapter includes a piece of the fairy tale of Vasylyna, comments from Baba Yaga, and hands-on techniques from the author, Step-by-step instructions show you how to stitch Ukranian folk embroidery motifs into protective charms, weave wreaths from herbs, make enchanted poppets, and work with the spirits of the forest, the hearth, and the sauna. With a bounty of tips and information, this book teaches you to embrace the beauty of these traditional practices and reclaim your personal magic.
Wild is the Witch by Rachel Griffin tells the story of Iris Gray who, after a night of magic gone terribly wrong, vows to never let another person learn she’s a witch. It doesn’t matter that the Witches’ Council cleared her of charges or that her magic was once viewed as a marvel, her mind is made up. As these stories so often go, her fate has other plans and secrets kept have ways of rising to the surface.
Spells for Forgetting by Adrienne Young brings us the story of Emery Blackwood who lives a somewhat quiet life on the shores of Saoirse Island running the family’s business, Blackwood’s Tea Shoppe, Herbal Tonics & Tea Leaf Readings. But when the island, rooted in folklore and magic, begins to show signs of strange happenings, Emery knows that something is coming. What in the world could it be, dear reader?
The Golden Enclaves by Naomi Novik is the final volume in a trilogy preceded by A Deadly Education and The Last Graduate. In The Golden Enclaves touches upon the one thing student in the Scholomance never talk about – what to do when they get out. What transpires when they do manage to leave provides the rich and well-constructed narrative of the story.
Kalyna the Soothsayer by Elija Kinch Spector is the story of a young woman whose family has the gift of being able to see the future. For generations, they traveled the four kingdoms of Tetrarchia selling their services to soothsayers. Every child of their family is born with this gift – everyone except Kalyna, our young heroine…and thus, our story unfolds.
Witches by Brenda Lozano brings us the tale of Zoe, a young journalist whose investigations of a murder lead her to Feliciana, the most legendary healer in all of Mexico, in the mountain village of San Felipe. Feliciana tells Zoe the story of her struggle to become an accepted healer in her community, and Zoe begins to understand the hidden history of her own experience as a woman, finding her way in an often hostile environment shaped by and for dishonorable men.
Book of Night by Holly Black is a terrific story about Charlie Hall who has never met a lock she couldn’t pick, a book she couldn’t steal, or a bad decision she wouldn’t make. She’s spent half her life working for gloamists, magicians who manipulate shadows to carry out dark deeds. Now, she’s trying to distance herself from past mistakes, but it proves to be vastly more difficult than she ever imagined.
The Witches by Roald Dahl, illustrated by Quentin Blake is hands down my favorite children’s book for this time of year. It’s funny, it’s scary, it’s everything a kid (of any age) could want in a Halloween story.
Beatrice Likes the Dark by April Genevieve Tucholke with illustrations for Khoa Le brings to life a heartwarming, slightly spooky tale about two very different sisters who learn to celebrate their individuality, understanding that love runs deeper than their differences.
The Crayons Trick or Treat from Drew Daywalt, illustrated by the great Oliver Jeffers, is the delightful story of how the Crayons want to go trick-or-treating, but they’re not sure what to say!
From the beloved children’s book author Margaret Wise Brown comes The Fierce Yellow Pumpkin – a story of a fat little, round little, yellow little pumpkin who dreams of growing up to be scary and powerful, just like the scarecrow in the field. Then one day in autumn, when he has grown big and fat, the fierce yellow pumpkin finally gets his chance to become terrific and terrible!
Eek! Halloween! is another treat from the fabulous Sandra Boynton in this holiday favorite that’s all treats and no tricks. Very fun, indeed!
How to Catch a Witch by Alice Walstead with illustrations by Megan Joyce is set on Halloween night and something doesn’t seem quite right…When the Catch Club Kids head out to trick-or-treat, there are ghosts, goblins, and ghouls everywhere! It turns out that a witch has opened a magical portal that let out spooky creatures all over the neighborhood!
Trick or Treat, Crankenstein from Samantha Berger, illustrated by Dan Santat, is a delightful story full of Halloween costume disasters, pumpkin-carving nightmares, and a terribly untimely toothache. Can Halloween be saved? I suppose, you’ll have to get the book to find out!
When it comes to tales of magic, I’m of the opinion that the ones we tell ourselves about ourselves are often the richest sources of insight and inspiration. With that in mind, I invite you to take a look at The Moth Presents: A Game of Storytelling. This is an interactive card game that uses true stories to encourage lively conversations, spark creativity, and promote connection. Since this is the Halloween issue, wouldn’t it be interesting to tell our scariest stories…if we dare.
Harry Potter: The Blueprints by Jody Revenson gives us behind the scenes access to the Harry Potter film series with this compendium of stunning blueprints depicting spellbinding magical wizarding world locations from all eight films. This would make a terrific gift for any Harry Potter fan – as well as a welcome addition to your own magical library.
Spark Magic: 50 Ways to Find Your Power is full of prompts that are derived from magic and spiritual practices that are approachable, and focused on accessing and growing personal power. The printed prompts are on 50 faux matchsticks and are enclosed in a decorative box designed to resemble a matchbox.