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It’s that time of year again when the leaves begin to fall and there’s a chill in the air. As the days get shorter, things start to get a bit spooky. Whether you’re the type of person who prefers a hot mug of cider and a fuzzy sweater or you’re a Halloween enthusiast who actually bought the 12-foot skeleton from Home Depot, these five reads will have you smelling pumpkin spice and adding eye of newt to your shopping list.

1.) The book of magic by alice hoffman

Alice Hoffman’s latest novel is the fourth book in the series following one of her bestselling titles, Practical Magic. It tells the story of a family whose daughters and sons are cursed forever to have their loves ripped from them and the things the family does to cheat that curse. I had the pleasure of reading this book through an advanced reader copy and I found it to be every bit as engaging and spellbinding as I wished. It was most definitely a book for autumn. The Book of Magic comes out on Oct. 5, 2021.

2.) the once and future witches by alix e. harrow

From the bestselling author of The Ten Thousand Doors of January comes another magical read that replicates that same mystical feeling. Alix E. Harrow’s most recent novel is a tale of feminist power and magical reclamation, spun by four sisters who will do what they can to make it right. As a lover of The Ten Thousand Doors of January, this book absolutely surprised me. I was met with a powerful story full of history and modern-day strife, and it became one of my top recommendations almost immediately.

3.) Her body and other parties by carmen maria machado

As a Philadelphia native, I can’t not support a local author. This book was one of the most hauntingly beautiful books I’ve ever read. Split into different stories, Her Body and Other Parties is an anthology telling of horrors ranging from the infamous green ribbon tale to the deceptions of bodily autonomy. For days after I read this book I was still thinking about it and the way it so hauntingly told what it was like to be a woman in a world where that was not always the best thing.

4.) The dark tide by alicia jasinska

If you were looking for a sapphic witch story and were bored by this list so far, look no further. The Dark Tide provides all the dark, fantastical, enemies-to-lovers strife you’ve been craving. In a kingdom on an island, a young boy is chosen each year by the queen to fulfill a sacrifice the queen’s own sister once fulfilled. This book will be the autumn read you’ve been waiting for, complete with magic, lesbians, and magic lesbians.

5.) The Secret History of witches by louisa morgan

The Secret History of Witches is a gripping, generational story of magic and how gifts passed down can revive a family at the end of their rope. Going from Brittany in the early 1800s to WWII-era London, this book is centered around the protection of heritage and magic through family. This book was actually given to me by my mother, making the entire mother-daughter theme throughout the novel really impactful for me as I read.

Overall, these books provide a dynamic choice of stories ranging from intergenerational family sagas to a mind-bending, heart-wrenching sapphic romance. Whatever kind of witch you are, these books are sure to add some spice to your season!

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Fiona MacLaughlin

U Mass Amherst '24

Fiona is a sophomore Nature Resources Conservation major and Forestry concentration student at University of Massachusetts Amherst. She is originally from Newtown Square, PA and enjoys books, conversations about books, and long walks on the beach.
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