Feeling a little magical lately? Wanna light a candle, stir a cinnamon stick in your tea three times clockwise and settle in with a good book? Then you need to check out these books for witches. And the best part? I’ve got both fiction and nonfiction for you.

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a leatherbound book with a wooden wand and the text "Books for Witches"

I’m not sure why, but witches are all over the place in media lately, and I’m not mad about it.

I love all things witchy, and if you need more witchy books, check out these magical witch books to spellbind any reader and these tarot books for beginners.

I saw something somewhere that posited the reason for witchy resurgence was because of the Women’s March back in 2016. A common sign and chant for that particular event was “we are the granddaughters of the witches you couldn’t burn.”

Perhaps this is why people are super into it. But I think it goes back further than that.

Remember that movie The Craft? I think we all saw that back in the nineties, internalized it, and have obsessively been all about it since then. And if I’m being honest, I may nor may not have watched The Worst Witch from 1986 over and over when I was a kid. My mom taped it for me on a free HBO weekend (remember those?) and I have been terrified of Tim Curry ever since.

Anyway, whatever the reason, I’m glad we have tons of witchy stuff to consume these days.

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Fiction Books for Witches

I love a good story about a witch where the witch isn’t the bad guy. I mean, sure. If I could do some of the magical feats that witches in fiction do, I would absolutely let that power corrupt me. But when I read stories about good witches fighting the good fight, it at least makes me think for a while that I may be a little good.

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Magic Lessons by Alice Hoffman

I adored everything about this story. Alice Hoffman has a style that makes her books hard to put down and also super chill. There’s never a moment where you feel like you’re being manipulated by plot twists or pacing to keep going.

And even though there are some truly harrowing events in this book, like murder or when the main character is sold as an indentured servant by her parents, there’s something about the resolve and attitude of the characters that lets you know everything is going to be okay.

If you’re a fan of historical fiction and love stories, read this immediately. And if you enjoyed Practical Magic, know that this is a prequel to that story!

The Once and Future Witches by Alix E. Harrow

My friend, Jeanetta, recommended this book to me, and I’m so glad she did.

This story is both historical and fantastical, and full of memorable and perfect characters. If you’ve always secretly wished for a group of clandestine anarcha-feminist witches to right the wrongs of history, this is your book.

And if you’re a fairytale fan, I recommend this book times two to you, because this story is all about the hidden power in those fairytales.

The Year of the Witching by Alexis Henderson

Have you ever wondered what would happen if The Handmaid’s Tale was crossed with the Salem witch trials? You’d get this book.

This story was really enjoyable, with some genuinely creepy images and a plot that was fun to follow. The story world is both compelling and weird, and you’ll find yourself trying to place this story in an actual location and time period.

There’s a sequel that comes out later this year, which is good, because this story definitely left me wanting so much more.

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

This book, and the whole damn series that followed, was everything I didn’t know I needed. The books are huge, so be ready to invest some time, but it’s well worth it.

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These stories have so much to them, and I won’t even hint at all of it to prevent as many spoilers as possible. Though, there has been a TV show made of them, so like, spoilers abound. Admittedly, I prefer the books to the show, and there’s so much more in the books that they couldn’t include in the episodes.

If you like magic and fantastical creatures, history, and intrigue, read this book. Then the next book. And the next one. And the followup, Time’s Convert. And then be as obsessed as me, and get on the author’s mailing list, and eagerly consume all updates she sends out about the book she’s working on for the best character in the series, Gallowglass.

Nonfiction Books for Witches

Don’t think witches are only relegated to fiction. I mean, in a lot of ways, they are. But there are some great nonfiction books out there about the experience of witches and their historical significance.

Waking the Witch by Pamela Grossman

This book is one part historical analysis, and one part memoir. Pamela Grossman hosts the Witch Wave podcast, and in this book she shares how witches have been portrayed historically and in fiction, as well as why that matters.

If you’re at all interested in real life witches and the impact they have on the cultures they’re a part of, you need to read this book.

And if you just read that sentence and scoffed because you thought there were no real life witches, you definitely need to read this book.

Initiated by Amanda Yates Garcia

This memoir is about growing up surrounded by practicing witches and coming into power through life experiences. If you need a book about taking back authority over yourself and healing generational wounds and curses, well, here you go.

If you’re interested in knowing more about how someone comes to the practice of witchcraft and what it looks like in real life, this is your book. And if you need an empowering manifesto that encourages you to take back authority over yourself, then this is also your book.

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Caliban and the Witch by Silvia Federici

Okay. Stick with me on this one.

I know this isn’t necessarily the sort of book that I normally recommend, but I think the best way to understand something is to understand the social conditions surrounding that something. And this book is all about the rise of capitalism and how it brought on peasant revolts and witch hunts.

I think this book, along with Women Who Run with the Wolves, would be great for researching why women were perceived the way they were during the witch hunts. And you know, it’s still relevant today because spicy Evangelical idiots are still doing some witch hunting today.

Witchery by Juliet Díaz

If you’re interested in beginning your own witchy practice, start here.

There’s tons of information in this book, from how to build an altar, how you can work with the moon, and how to craft spells. Also, the cover is lovely, and even though I have it on my Kindle, I totally want a print copy.

This book is all about building your own practice, so if you’re looking for a book that tells you what to do in a very dogmatic way, this isn’t for you. But if you’re looking to bring a bit more spirituality into your life and craft practices that are meaningful to you, this is your book.

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What Are Your Favorite Books for Witches?

Drop your recs in the comments. You know your girl is ready to gobble them all up.

4 Responses

  1. Lolley Willowes

    Seriously. A witch story, yes, but amazing for the 1920s time in which it was written that stated that women deserved privacy and autonomy. A best seller in its day. The classsic no one has heard of. Check it out!

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