‍The Book Report by Rebecca Traver - Our Online Bookshop Curator

Moving forward, I’ve put together a selection of terrific new + newly discovered titles, then an assortment of books on the modern practices of witchcraft; a ‘tasting menu’ of sorts of wonderful tarot and oracle decks; a sweet handful of books for young and young at heart readers; and a couple of just because + just for fun offerings.

“You can go through the most exquisitely beautiful life and never see it. If you don’t see it, I don’t care how much you have, your life is not rich.
~Martha Beck

Autumn is often seen as a time of abundance and harvest, and my thoughts have been turning toward what that means for me. As I made my way deeper into this inquiry, I am reminded of some powerful wisdom I heard years ago which goes something like this, “You can never have enough of what you didn’t really want to begin with.” That’s it, right?! What our hearts and souls truly want are not things, but experiences that are full of joy, creativity, ease, connection, peace, contribution, freedom…and so on.

When we set our sights on these essential feeling states, the forms and opportunities will take care of themselves. Won’t you join me? Let’s begin with recognizing what we already have in this regard – no matter how small or fleeting. It’s been said that like attracts like, so with that in mind, we can intend to align our actions with our hearts’ desires and then pay attention to what shows up, adjusting our choices accordingly with kindness and patience. 

Please enjoy what you find here and know that, as always, I am honored to find a welcome place in your inbox.

Moving forward, I’ve put together a selection of terrific new + newly discovered titles, then an assortment of books on the modern practices of witchcraft; a ‘tasting menu’ of sorts of wonderful tarot and oracle decks; a sweet handful of books for young and young at heart readers; and a couple of just because + just for fun offerings.

And, as 2023 begins to turn the corner toward 2024, I invite you to explore this link to 2024 calendars

New + Newly Discovered

Self-Care for Black Women: 150 Ways to Radically Accept & Prioritize Your Mind, Body, & Soul by Oludara Adeeyo is a gathering of 150 self-care exercises designed specifically to help Black women revitalize their outlook on life, improve their mental health, better navigate stress, and grow their capacity for self-advocacy. 

Ancestral Magic: Empower the Here and Now with Enchanting Guidance from Your Past Family History from Kirsten Riddle is a positive and practical guide to discovering not only your family roots but also your purpose and the magical healing energy available through connecting with your ancestors. Within its pages you will learn how to heal yourself through ancestral ties, and channel familial superpowers to manifest what you need now.

With similar themes, I offer Spring Washam’s The Spirit of Harriet Tubman: Awakening from the Underground which channels the wisdom and guidance of the spirit of one of America’s greatest ancestral leaders, Harriet Tubman. Combining direct transmissions of Harriet’s message with insightful explorations of her life and legacy, this extraordinary book gives us support and inspiration to deepen our roots of resilience and become powerful conductors of love and truth in our own lives.

The Psychedelic Explorer's Guide: Safe, Therapeutic, and Sacred Journeys by James Fadiman highlights the use of psychedelics for spiritual, therapeutic, and problem-solving matters. Here, find practices for safe and successful psychedelic voyages, including the benefits of having a guide and how to be a guide; reviews of the value of psychedelics for healing and self-discovery as well as how LSD has facilitated scientific and technical problem-solving; and how microdosing (ultra-low doses) improves cognitive functioning, emotional balance, and physical stamina.

Sand Talk: How Indigenous Thinking Can Save the World by Tyson Yunkaporta is a paradigm-shifting book in the vein of Sapiens that brings a crucial Indigenous perspective to historical and cultural issues of history, education, money, power, and sustainability – and offers a new template for living in a more balanced manner here on planet Earth. Honoring indigenous traditions, Yunkaporta makes carvings of what he wants to say, channeling his thoughts through symbols and diagrams rather than words. He talks with others, looking for ways to connect images and stories with place and relationship to create a coherent worldview, and he uses sand talk, the Aboriginal custom of drawing images on the ground to convey knowledge.

The Farmer's Wife: My Life in Days is Helen Rebanks’ debut memoir of her experiences with rural life and an authentic exploration of both the hard work and the reward of keeping a home and raising a family in the Lake District of England. Helen shares, with candid truthfulness, her life in days, sometimes a wonder and a joy, but others a grind to be survived. All in all this is a story about nourishment and love; the need we all have for simple, honest, nourishing dishes and relationships.

Thicker Than Water: A Memoir from actor, director, producer, and activist Kerry Washington is a memoir to cherish. It begins with an ordinary drive in Los Angeles, on a seemingly average afternoon, when she receives a text message that would send her on a life-changing journey of self-discovery. In an instant, her very identity is torn apart, with everything she thought she knew about herself thrown into question. With grace and honesty, she inspires readers to search for - and find – themselves.

Your Body Is a Revolution: Healing Our Relationships with Our Bodies, Each Other, and the Earth from embodiment coach and somatic practitioner Tara Teng explores how too many of us are living disconnected from our bodies, chasing a constantly moving target of what ‘ideal’ looks like, and how we are conditioned to accept the societal narrative about which bodies are deserving of safety and protection. This book is your ticket home – home to your body. Take back your power from what society says is too much, too loud, too feminine, too masculine, too gay, too worldly, too unique. Come back home to the place you were already searching for. Here, your whole self is welcome.

Wild Asana: Animals, Yoga, and Connecting Our Practice to the Natural World by Alison Zak invites you into an embodied exploration of the animals the inspire familiar yoga poses. Here, you’ll learn how to respect ‘monkey mind’ to honor – not tame – your own wildness, fly like an eagle to move from imprisonment to liberation, embody a pigeon’s stillness and nonattachment, imbue your practice with the agility, flexibility, and fierce commitment of a cat, and more.

Mysteries of the Dark Moon: The Healing Power of the Dark Goddess by world-renowned astrologer Demetra George may have come out just over 30 years ago, but, really, what are a few decades to a goddess? Demetra guides us to explore the mystery, wisdom, and power of the dark phase of the moon’s cycle. This is a lunar-based model for moving through the dark times in our lives with understanding, consciousness, and faith in renewal.

For more New + Newly Discovered titles, click here!

Witchcraft as Heart + Soul Craft

“The most important witchcraft lesson is the first lesson, which is: you are always your own best teacher.”
~Jamie Della

A Box of Magic: A Guided Journey to Crafting a Magickal Life Through Witchcraft, Ritual Herbalism, and Spellcrafting by priestess, healer, and Xicana witch Jamie Della connects us with herbalism, rituals, and spells through the guidance of two priestesses – one from beyond the veil. This book offers itself as a “mentor to help you live the craft of the wise and deepen your ability to manifest, intuit, and connect with the language of our alive world and its limitless possibilities.”

Herbana Witch: A Year in the Forest by Cecelia Lattari with illustrations by Alice Guidi is a treat. ‘Herbana’ is a witch of the forest who uses the wisdom and power of nature through a deep understanding of herbs, barks, mushrooms, roots, flowers, and woodland plants. The book is structured as a full year, beginning at the winter solstice and presents magical and healing practices, spirit animals, and subtle energies that change with the seasons. Open yourself to the wisdom of those who live at the edge of the forest and experience their magical world.

The Modern Witchcraft Book of Crystal Magick from Judy Ann Nock teaches how to harness the power of crystals in your spells and rituals with this comprehensive guide to crystal magick as well as crystal-focused spells and a full-color inventory of 50 useful stones and gems.

The Sacred Herbs of Samhain: Plants to Contact the Spirits of the Dead by Ellen Evert Hopman with a foreword by Andrew Theitic is a practical guide to using the herbs of the fall season for healing, divination, purification, magic, and as tools for contacting the Spirits. 

For more books on Witchcraft + Magical Studies click here.

A Tasting Menu of Tarot + Oracle Decks for Your Divinatory Pleasure

“You are one thing only. You are a Divine Being. An all-powerful Creator. You are a Deity in jeans and a t-shirt, and within you dwells the infinite wisdom of the ages and the sacred force of All that is, will be and ever was.”
~Anthon St. Maarten

The Magic of Tarot from Liz Dean is a beautifully illustrated book and card deck enabling the reader to make sense of a complete reading for themselves or a friend and use these inspiring cards to solve problems, identify opportunities, and ultimately divine the most positive future possible.

Mystical Forest Tarot by Cecilia Lattari, illustrated by Wes Gama, is a spiritual journey into the forest, following the Rider-Waite-Smith tarot tradition. The illustrations are inspired by Brazil’s unrivalled Amazon Rainforest, renowned for its potent flora and mystical energy.

The Moon & Stars Tarot by Jayne Wallace is a lavishly illustrated deck inspired by the constellations, lunar cycles, planets, and night sky. With a guidebook providing interpretations for all the cards, including keywords, a star message, and a moon magic affirmation.

Magical Self-Care Tarot from Leah Vanderveldt helps readers to uncover how the cards can go beyond predicting a likely outcome based on the current energy. This deck is an invitation to connect with your highest and best interest. Whether you’re looking for direction, support, or a way to deepen your self-care practice and add a little more magic to it, this deck can help.

The Beloved Dead: An Oracle for Divining Ancestral Wisdom by Carrie Paris and Tina Hardt is a hauntingly appealing oracle deck that connects us with our past and opens the potential of our future through our ancestor archetypes, or spirit guides. Every spirit in this deck is a bright star in the constellation that lights your soul’s enchanted path to the unlimited potential that is the future.

Elemental Alchemist Oracle Deck and Guidebook by Nyasha Williams and Grace Banda with illustrations by Kimishka Naidoo teaches how to not only hear the universe, but to connect with it, and to recognize the voices of your ancestors as they guide you to new levels of clarity, insight, and evolution. The deck pairs beautifully with the author’s Elemental Alchemist Guided Journal, designed specifically as a partner to the deck.

Rounding out this tasting menu of decks is the Unusual Animal Messages Oracle Deck by Manda Comisari – composed of 52 illustrated cards, each with captivating artwork and a daily reading for self-empowerment, along with a 64-page illustrated book, to help you discover the wisdom of nature’s most uncommon and intriguing animals.

For more Tarot, click here. 
For more Oracle Decks click here.

Books for Young Readers + the People Who Love Them

The Dog Who Lost His Bark by Erin Colfer with illustrations by Pj.J. Lynch is a warm, uplifting story about a boy, his dog, and the healing power of music.

Lei and the Fire Goddess from Malia Maunakea is a middle grade novel bringing to life ancient Hawaiian folktales in contemporary times. Young Anna is up against a powerful curse and her only hope for safety demands that she dig deeply into her Hawaiian roots and learn to embrace all of who she is.

Flora's Wish by Fiona Halliday is a lyrical and visually stunning picture book in which a young field mouse named Flora must learn how to grieve and honor her best friend.

The Big Book of Belonging by Yuval Zommer is a timely celebration of all the ways that humans are connected to life on planet Earth. This is a book you and your young book lovers will want to return to again and again.

The Magician's Elephant by Kate DiCamillo, illustrated by Yoko Tanaka, is a sweet fable about trusting the unexpected and making the extraordinary come true.

A Home for Goddesses and Dogs from Leslie Connor is an inspiring middle grade novel that tells the story of the world’s best bad dog and how young Lydia comes to love him. As their connection grows stronger she learns how to better navigate great loss and change.

For more books for young readers click here.
Para libros para lectores jóvenes en Español haga clic aquí.

Just Because + Just for Fun

“A man who can laugh at himself is truly blessed, for he will never lack for amusement.”
~James Carlos Blake

Remember when we were all either playing with coloring books or thinking about it? Back in the shadowy depths of WTF?! with the pandemic. I sense that it might be a good time to revisit this creative way to focus the imagination and Tales from the Witch's Cottage Coloring Book is just the ticket. Here we meet a witch’s lair where all sorts of magic awaits. Calm your mind as you color witch’s hats, cats, and potions, full moons, spells, and mysterious plants and animals. 

For more Coloring Books click here.

Houseplants and Hot Sauce: A Seek-And-Find Book for Grown-Ups from artist Sally Nixon is a cheeky way to play in the life of a modern gal – from brunch with friends to shopping for succulents, you’ll find clever and funny challenges on every page.

For more Gift ideas to inspire, delight & amuse click here.

Please visit our online Bookshop to see our full selection of lists and titles.
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May you be inspired, supported, and enriched by what you find here.

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