The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane by Katherine Howe
This is what I thought The All Souls Trilogy was going to be like. Connie, a student at Harvard, is sent to clean out her ancestral home, where she begins to learn of her ancestor’s death during the Salem witch trials. Past and present collide, and it’s fabulous. Now that I mention it, I’m due for a re-read of this.
The Book of Speculation by Erika Swyler
Like Deliverance Dane, this is a story where the past has effects on the present. Simon is struggling to keep his ancestral home from (literally) falling apart. He receives a Book of Speculation that belonged to a traveling circus in the mail, and it reveals a curse that causes the death of all of the female members of the family. His sister is now at the age when the curse begins, and is exhibiting the same signs that their mother did, prior to her death. This involves tarot readers, carnival mermaids, and libraries.
The Slow Regard of Silent Things by Patrick Rothfuss
Patrick Rothfuss was my best discovery of 2018. While the Kingkiller Chronicles is a must-read for anyone, The Slow Regard of Other Things is an interesting divergence for this writer. It follows Auri, who is probably the most enigmatic character in the Kingkiller Chronicles. While this book doesn’t answer any questions, it shows us what Auri’s life is like. It’s so poetic and ponderous that it’s like a spell cast over the entire narrative. She goes through the motions, with intention, reminding the reader of the importance of doing everything right and taking your time.
The Good Spell Book: Love Spells, Charms, Magickal Cures, and Other Practical Sorcery by Gillian Kemp
I love this book. It’s a work of art within itself—bound in red cloth, with four different ribbon bookmarks. It’s a repository of helpful spells, and for someone who is just starting out, this is a good place to start. It’s filled with Romany advice and hints and delves into gypsy heritage and wisdom.
The Good Witch’s Guide: A Modern Day Wiccapedia of Magickal Ingredients and Spells by Shawn Robbins and Charity Bedell
This is a spell book which is like a cook book. It contains a ton of basic how-to’s for herbal remedies. I particularly like the different combinations of essential oils, as well as the DIY tea mixes. There’s nothing too difficult, and if you are looking for a basic book of spells, this is a good go-to book. Like The Good Spell Book, it is nicely made—purple cloth with gold embossing, and looks lovely on my book shelf.
Please note—I am not advocating the use of witchcraft or herbal remedies over modern medicine. If you have a medical condition, please see a doctor.
Image Credit: Aga Putra