Magical Thinking

Sometimes we need a little magic in our lives, whether we create it ourselves or look to others to create it for us. Let these magic-makers offer you inspiration, wonder, and escape.

Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman is a classic of the genre. It introduces us to sisters Gigllian and Sally Owens and their efforts to endure the Owen family curse. The sequel, The Rules of Magic is about the Aunts in the 1950s & 60s. Also look for Hoffman’s forthcoming book, Magic Lessons (out in October) to learn the origin of the Owen family curse. Continue reading “Magical Thinking”

Romantic Wednesdays: Spell Books

Posted by Eric G.

There is no shortage of romance books featuring witches, supernatural creatures and magical goings-on. One of the most prominent tales of the past few years is A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness. For fans of this book, the third and final chapter, The Book of Life, is due in July! I’ve conjured a few more titles that are worth checking out in the meantime.

The Book of Life by Deborah HarknessWould-be Witch by Kimberly FrostMark of the Witch by Maggie Shayne Continue reading “Romantic Wednesdays: Spell Books”

Slightly Gruesome Historical Fiction

Click here to view The Poisoned Pilgrim by Oliver Pötzsch in SPL catalogClick here to find The Beggar King by Oliver Pötzsch in SPL catalogClick here to find The Hangman's Daughter by Oliver Pötzsch in SPL catalog Click here to find The Dark Monk by Oliver Pötzsch in SPL catalog

The Hangman’s Daughter Series

I picked up The Hangman’s Daughter by Oliver Pötzsch because I liked the cover art and the font used for the title. Yes, sometimes, I judge books by their covers but this time it worked out really well for me. Although the book is great, with an imaginative plot, intriguing characters and history oozing out of the whole story, what really caught my attention was how Pötzsch came up with the characters. In fact, he didn’t come up with them at all. They are actually his ancestors. Continue reading “Slightly Gruesome Historical Fiction”

Salem Witch Trials

As a girl growing up in Massachusetts, I was obsessed for awhile with reading anything and everything about the Salem Witch Trials.  Though my reading interests have broadened since then, I am still fascinated by the maelstrom of social, political and psychological events that led to witchcraft accusations and mass hysteria.  Recently I have been staying up way too late reading a new novel called Heretic’s Daughter by Kathleen Kent.  I just can’t seem to pull myself away from the feverish world of early 17th century Salem.  Narrated by Sarah Carrier, daughter of the accused witch Martha Carrier, this book provides a window into an intriguing time period.  Though mother and daughter were often at odds with each other, they are pulled closer together by the terrible ordeal of accusations and imprisonment.  Sarah and Martha Carrier were real historical figures, and the author Kathleen Kent is one of their descendents. 

 Another mesmerizing novel about the Salem Witch Trials is I, Tituba, Black Witch of Salem by Maryse Conde.  This gripping tale is narrated by the West Indies slave who was at the center of the witchcraft hysteria.  Although the historical record is pretty thin regarding Tituba’s life, Conde fleshes out her childhood in Barbados, her years as a slave in Salem, and her old age.  In this telling, Tituba is endowed with a strong wit and she provides a searing criticism of the racism and sexism practiced by the “good citizens” of Salem.