Book List: My Hocus Pocus Inspired TBR

Hi and welcome to the reading world!

It’s that time of year when my personality basically consists of replying to my friends with Hocus Pocus quotes. In honor of the upcoming sequel film coming out, I thought I would share a book list filled with witches, historical fantasy, talking cat narrators, and spooky season vibes.

Book List: My Hocus Pocus Inspired TBRPayback's a Witch by Lana Harper
Published by Penguin on August 31, 2022
Genres: Fiction / Romance / LGBTQ+ / General, Fiction / Romance / Paranormal / Witches, Fiction / Romance / Romantic Comedy
Pages: 340

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina meets The L Word in this fresh, sizzling New York Times bestselling rom-com by Lana Harper.

Emmy Harlow is a witch but not a very powerful one--in part because she hasn't been home to the magical town of Thistle Grove in years. Her self-imposed exile has a lot to do with a complicated family history and a desire to forge her own way in the world, and only the very tiniest bit to do with Gareth Blackmoore, heir to the most powerful magical family in town and casual breaker of hearts and destroyer of dreams.

But when a spellcasting tournament that her family serves as arbiters for approaches, it turns out the pull of tradition (or the truly impressive parental guilt trip that comes with it) is strong enough to bring Emmy back. She's determined to do her familial duty; spend some quality time with her best friend, Linden Thorn; and get back to her real life in Chicago.

On her first night home, Emmy runs into Talia Avramov--an all-around badass adept in the darker magical arts--who is fresh off a bad breakup . . . with Gareth Blackmoore. Talia had let herself be charmed, only to discover that Gareth was also seeing Linden--unbeknownst to either of them. And now she and Linden want revenge. Only one question stands: Is Emmy in?

But most concerning of all: Why can't she stop thinking about the terrifyingly competent, devastatingly gorgeous, wickedly charming Talia Avramov?

Book List: My Hocus Pocus Inspired TBRThe Once and Future Witches by Alix E. Harrow
on August 31, 2022
Genres: Fiction / Alternative History, FICTION / Family Life / Siblings, Fiction / Fantasy / Historical, FICTION / Occult & Supernatural
Pages: 528

"A gorgeous and thrilling paean to the ferocious power of women. The characters live, bleed, and roar. "―Laini Taylor, New York Times bestselling author

A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER * Winner of the British Fantasy Award for Best Fantasy Novel * Named One of the Best Books of the Year by NPR Books * Barnes and Noble * BookPage

In the late 1800s, three sisters use witchcraft to change the course of history in this powerful novel of magic, family, and the suffragette movement.

In 1893, there's no such thing as witches. There used to be, in the wild, dark days before the burnings began, but now witching is nothing but tidy charms and nursery rhymes. If the modern woman wants any measure of power, she must find it at the ballot box.

But when the Eastwood sisters―James Juniper, Agnes Amaranth, and Beatrice Belladonna―join the suffragists of New Salem, they begin to pursue the forgotten words and ways that might turn the women's movement into the witch's movement. Stalked by shadows and sickness, hunted by forces who will not suffer a witch to vote―and perhaps not even to live―the sisters will need to delve into the oldest magics, draw new alliances, and heal the bond between them if they want to survive.

There's no such thing as witches. But there will be.

An homage to the indomitable power and persistence of women, The Once and Future Witches reimagines stories of revolution, motherhood, and women's suffrage--the lost ways are calling.

Praise for The Once and Future Witches:

"A glorious escape into a world where witchcraft has dwindled to a memory of women's magic, and three wild, sundered sisters hold the key to bring it back...A tale that will sweep you away."―Yangsze Choo, New York Times bestselling author

"This book is an amazing bit of spellcraft and resistance so needed in our times, and a reminder that secret words and ways can never be truly and properly lost, as long as there are tongues to speak them and ears to listen."―P. Djèlí Clark, author The Black God's Drum

For more from Alix E. Harrow, check out The Ten Thousand Doors of January.

Book List: My Hocus Pocus Inspired TBRThe Change by Kirsten Miller
Published by HarperCollins on May 3, 2022
Genres: Fiction / Friendship, Fiction / Magical Realism, Fiction / Mystery & Detective / Women Sleuths, Fiction / Thrillers / Suspense, Fiction / Women
Pages: 480

GOOD MORNING AMERICA BOOK CLUB PICK 

"A roar of rage, a pacy page-turner, I loved it with all my broken heart. Read it. You’ll love it."--New York Times bestselling author Marian Keyes

"Miller triumphs...THE CHANGE is that rare treat: a suspenseful story with great pacing, memorable characters, and an engaging voice. Fantastic in every way, this fierce anthem against misogyny is a smash."--Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"A pointed, punchy, and potent thriller...wry and clever, serious and exacting, and masterfully suspenseful."--Booklist (starred review)

Big Little Lies meets The Witches of Eastwick—a gloriously entertaining and knife-sharp feminist revenge fantasy about three women whose midlife crisis brings unexpected new powers—putting them on a collision course with the evil that lurks in their wealthy beach town. 

In the Long Island oceanfront community of Mattauk, three different women discover that midlife changes bring a whole new type of empowerment…

After Nessa James’s husband dies and her twin daughters leave for college, she’s left all alone in a trim white house not far from the ocean. In the quiet of her late forties, the former nurse begins to hear voices. It doesn’t take long for Nessa to realize that the voices calling out to her belong to the dead—a gift she’s inherited from her grandmother, which comes with special responsibilities.

On the cusp of 50, suave advertising director Harriett Osborne has just witnessed the implosion of her lucrative career and her marriage. She hasn’t left her house in months, and from the outside, it appears as if she and her garden have both gone to seed. But Harriett’s life is far from over—in fact, she’s undergone a stunning and very welcome metamorphosis.

Ambitious former executive Jo Levison has spent thirty long years at war with her body. The free-floating rage and hot flashes that arrive with the beginning of menopause feel like the very last straw—until she realizes she has the ability to channel them, and finally comes into her power.

Guided by voices only Nessa can hear, the trio of women discover a teenage girl whose body was abandoned beside a remote beach. The police have written the victim off as a drug-addicted sex worker, but the women refuse to buy into the official narrative. Their investigation into the girl’s murder leads to more bodies, and to the town’s most exclusive and isolated enclave, a world of stupendous wealth where the rules don’t apply. With their newfound powers, Jo, Nessa, and Harriett will take matters into their own hands…

Book List: My Hocus Pocus Inspired TBRA Marvellous Light by Freya Marske
Published by Tom Doherty Associates on November 2, 2021
Genres: Fiction / Fantasy / Gaslamp, Fiction / Fantasy / Historical, Fiction / Fantasy / Romance, Fiction / LGBTQ+ / Gay
Pages: 384

An International Bestseller!
Winner of the 2022 Romantic Novel Award in Fantasy!
Locus Award Finalist!

An Indie Next pick and LibraryReads pick—with four starred reviews!
A Best of 2021 Pick for NPR | Amazon | Kobo | Barnes & Noble

Red, White & Royal Blue meets Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell in debut author Freya Marske’s A Marvellous Light, featuring an Edwardian England full of magic, contracts, and conspiracies.

Robin Blyth has more than enough bother in his life. He’s struggling to be a good older brother, a responsible employer, and the harried baronet of a seat gutted by his late parents’ excesses. When an administrative mistake sees him named the civil service liaison to a hidden magical society, he discovers what’s been operating beneath the unextraordinary reality he’s always known.

Now Robin must contend with the beauty and danger of magic, an excruciating deadly curse, and the alarming visions of the future that come with it—not to mention Edwin Courcey, his cold and prickly counterpart in the magical bureaucracy, who clearly wishes Robin were anyone and anywhere else.

Robin’s predecessor has disappeared, and the mystery of what happened to him reveals unsettling truths about the very oldest stories they’ve been told about the land they live on and what binds it. Thrown together and facing unexpected dangers, Robin and Edwin discover a plot that threatens every magician in the British Isles—and a secret that more than one person has already died to keep.

At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.

Book List: My Hocus Pocus Inspired TBRThe Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson
Published by Viking Press on August 31, 2022
Pages: 246

Book List: My Hocus Pocus Inspired TBRThe Year of the Witching by Alexis Henderson
Published by Penguin on June 15, 2021
Genres: Fiction / Fantasy / Dark Fantasy, Fiction / Horror, FICTION / Occult & Supernatural
Pages: 368

A young woman living in a rigid, puritanical society discovers dark powers within herself in this stunning, feminist fantasy debut.

In the lands of Bethel, where the Prophet's word is law, Immanuelle Moore's very existence is blasphemy. Her mother's union with an outsider of a different race cast her once-proud family into disgrace, so Immanuelle does her best to worship the Father, follow Holy Protocol, and lead a life of submission, devotion, and absolute conformity, like all the other women in the settlement.

But a mishap lures her into the forbidden Darkwood surrounding Bethel, where the first prophet once chased and killed four powerful witches. Their spirits are still lurking there, and they bestow a gift on Immanuelle: the journal of her dead mother, who Immanuelle is shocked to learn once sought sanctuary in the wood.

Fascinated by the secrets in the diary, Immanuelle finds herself struggling to understand how her mother could have consorted with the witches. But when she begins to learn grim truths about the Church and its history, she realizes the true threat to Bethel is its own darkness. And she starts to understand that if Bethel is to change, it must begin with her.

Book List: My Hocus Pocus Inspired TBRWitchful Thinking by Celestine Martin
Published by Grand Central Publishing on September 27, 2022
Genres: Fiction / Fantasy / Romance, Fiction / Romance / Contemporary, Fiction / Romance / Paranormal / Witches, Fiction / Romance / Romantic Comedy, Fiction / Small Town & Rural
Pages: 352

Love is the trickiest spell of all.
 
Lucinda Caraway loves living in Freya Grove, the mystic seaside town where charms, hexes, and magical beings of all kinds are the norm. She spends her days teaching high school history and her nights reading tea leaves and tending to her conjure garden. It’s a good life . . . but she can’t stop wishing for more.

Until one night, that wish turns into a spell, and suddenly Lucy can’t say no. Not to a public karaoke performance. Not to running a 10K. And, most alarmingly, not to her high school crush, Alexander Dwyer, who needs her help unjinxing his new house—which just happens to be right across the street from hers.

Alex has spent the last ten years traveling the world on adventures Lucy has only ever dreamed of, and he’s planning to leave again as soon as his house is safe to sell. But until Lucy can unhex herself, she and Alex are stuck together. And with so much magic in the air, maybe the next spell Lucy casts will be the one that convinces him to stay.
 

Book List: My Hocus Pocus Inspired TBRMexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Published by Random House Worlds on June 30, 2020
Genres: Fiction / Fantasy / Historical, Fiction / Gothic, Fiction / Horror
Pages: 320

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • “It’s Lovecraft meets the Brontës in Latin America, and after a slow-burn start Mexican Gothic gets seriously weird.”—The Guardian
 
IN DEVELOPMENT AS A HULU ORIGINAL LIMITED SERIES PRODUCED BY KELLY RIPA AND MARK CONSUELOS • WINNER OF THE LOCUS AWARD • NOMINATED FOR THE BRAM STOKER AWARD

ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR: The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, NPR, The Washington Post, Tordotcom, Marie Claire, Vox, Mashable, Men’s Health, Library Journal, Book Riot, LibraryReads
 
An isolated mansion. A chillingly charismatic aristocrat. And a brave socialite drawn to expose their treacherous secrets. . . . From the author of Gods of Jade and Shadow comes “a terrifying twist on classic gothic horror” (Kirkus Reviews) set in glamorous 1950s Mexico.

After receiving a frantic letter from her newly-wed cousin begging for someone to save her from a mysterious doom, Noemí Taboada heads to High Place, a distant house in the Mexican countryside. She’s not sure what she will find—her cousin’s husband, a handsome Englishman, is a stranger, and Noemí knows little about the region.   
 
Noemí is also an unlikely rescuer: She’s a glamorous debutante, and her chic gowns and perfect red lipstick are more suited for cocktail parties than amateur sleuthing. But she’s also tough and smart, with an indomitable will, and she is not afraid: Not of her cousin’s new husband, who is both menacing and alluring; not of his father, the ancient patriarch who seems to be fascinated by Noemí; and not even of the house itself, which begins to invade Noemi’s dreams with visions of blood and doom.
 
Her only ally in this inhospitable abode is the family’s youngest son. Shy and gentle, he seems to want to help Noemí, but might also be hiding dark knowledge of his family’s past. For there are many secrets behind the walls of High Place. The family’s once colossal wealth and faded mining empire kept them from prying eyes, but as Noemí digs deeper she unearths stories of violence and madness. 
 
And Noemí, mesmerized by the terrifying yet seductive world of High Place, may soon find it impossible to ever leave this enigmatic house behind.

“It’s as if a supernatural power compels us to turn the pages of the gripping Mexican Gothic.”—The Washington Post

“Mexican Gothic is the perfect summer horror read, and marks Moreno-Garcia with her hypnotic and engaging prose as one of the genre’s most exciting talents.”Nerdist

“A period thriller as rich in suspense as it is in lush ’50s atmosphere.”Entertainment Weekly

Book List: My Hocus Pocus Inspired TBRThe Witches of New York by Ami McKay
Published by HarperCollins on July 11, 2017
Genres: Fiction / Fantasy / Historical, Fiction / Historical / General, FICTION / Occult & Supernatural
Pages: 560

A Buzzfeed Best Gift Book of the Year

“A dark, atmospheric, and feminist story of three women in New York City's Gilded Age, each determined to thrive in a society hell-bent on keeping them down, and using their coven to do so."    —Buzzfeed

INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER

Respectable Lady Seeks Dependable Shop Girl. Those averse to magic need not apply.

New York in the spring of 1880 is a place alive with wonder and curiosity. Determined to learn the truth about the world, its residents enthusiastically engage in both scientific experimentation and spiritualist pursuits. Séances are the entertainment of choice in exclusive social circles, and many enterprising women—some possessed of true intuitive powers, and some gifted with the art of performance—find work as mediums.

Enter Adelaide Thom and Eleanor St. Clair. At their humble teashop, Tea and Sympathy, they provide a place for whispered confessions, secret cures, and spiritual assignations for a select society of ladies, who speak the right words and ask the right questions. But the profile of Tea and Sympathy is about to change with the fortuitous arrival of Beatrice Dunn.

When seventeen-year-old Beatrice leaves the safety of her village to answer an ad that reads "Respectable Lady Seeks Dependable Shop Girl. Those averse to magic need not apply," she has little inclination of what the job will demand of her. Beatrice doesn't know it yet, but she is no ordinary small-town girl; she has great spiritual gifts—ones that will serve as her greatest asset and also place her in grave danger. Under the tutelage of Adelaide and Eleanor, Beatrice comes to harness many of her powers, but not even they can prepare her for the evils lurking in the darkest corners of the city or the courage it will take to face them.

 

Book List: My Hocus Pocus Inspired TBRThe Last House on Needless Street by Catriona Ward
Published by Tom Doherty Associates on September 28, 2021
Genres: Fiction / Horror, Fiction / Thrillers / Domestic, Fiction / Women
Pages: 352

"The buzz...is real. I've read it and was blown away. It's a true nerve-shredder that keeps its mind-blowing secrets to the very end." —Stephen King

A World Fantasy Award and August Derleth Award Finalist!
An Indie Next Pick! A LibraryReads Top 10 Pick!
A Library Journal Editors' Pick! STARRED reviews from Library Journal and Publishers Weekly!
Named one of the "50 Best Horror Books of All Time" by Esquire!

"Brilliant....[a] deeply frightening deconstruction of the illusion of the self." The New York Times

Catriona Ward's The Last House on Needless Street is a shocking and immersive read perfect for fans of Gone Girl and The Haunting of Hill House.

In a boarded-up house on a dead-end street at the edge of the wild Washington woods lives a family of three.

A teenage girl who isn’t allowed outside, not after last time.
A man who drinks alone in front of his TV, trying to ignore the gaps in his memory.
And a house cat who loves napping and reading the Bible.

An unspeakable secret binds them together, but when a new neighbor moves in next door, what is buried out among the birch trees may come back to haunt them all.

“The new face of literary dark fiction.” —Sarah Pinborough

At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.

Book List: My Hocus Pocus Inspired TBRBunny by Mona Awad
Published by Penguin on June 11, 2019
Genres: Fiction / Humorous / Black Humor, Fiction / Literary
Pages: 320

"Jon Swift + Witches of Eastwick + Kelly 'Get In Trouble' Link + Mean Girls + Creative Writing Degree Hell! No punches pulled, no hilarities dodged, no meme unmangled! O Bunny you are sooo genius!" —Margaret Atwood, via Twitter

"A wild, audacious and ultimately unforgettable novel." Michael Schaub, Los Angeles Times

"Awad is a stone-cold genius." —Ann Bauer, The Washington Post

The Vegetarian
meets Heathers in this darkly funny, seductively strange novel from the acclaimed author of 13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl.

"We were just these innocent girls in the night trying to make something beautiful. We nearly died. We very nearly did, didn't we?"

Samantha Heather Mackey couldn't be more of an outsider in her small, highly selective MFA program at New England's Warren University. A scholarship student who prefers the company of her dark imagination to that of most people, she is utterly repelled by the rest of her fiction writing cohort--a clique of unbearably twee rich girls who call each other "Bunny," and seem to move and speak as one.

But everything changes when Samantha receives an invitation to the Bunnies' fabled "Smut Salon," and finds herself inexplicably drawn to their front door--ditching her only friend, Ava, in the process. As Samantha plunges deeper and deeper into the Bunnies' sinister yet saccharine world, beginning to take part in the ritualistic off-campus "Workshop" where they conjure their monstrous creations, the edges of reality begin to blur. Soon, her friendships with Ava and the Bunnies will be brought into deadly collision. 

The spellbinding new novel from one of our most fearless chroniclers of the female experience, Bunny is a down-the-rabbit-hole tale of loneliness and belonging, friendship and desire, and the fantastic and terrible power of the imagination.

Named a Best Book of 2019 by TIME, Vogue, Electric Literature, and The New York Public Library

Book List: My Hocus Pocus Inspired TBRWe Ride Upon Sticks by Quan Barry
Published by Pantheon Books on February 16, 2021
Genres: Fiction / Coming of Age, Fiction / Literary, FICTION / Occult & Supernatural, Fiction / Sports
Pages: 384

"From the author of the widely acclaimed She Weeps Each Time You're Born--a new novel, at once comic and moving, set in 1989 Danvers, Massachusetts, where a high school field hockey team discovers that the witchcraft of their Salem forebears may be the key to a winning season. In this tour de female force, the Danvers High School Falcons Varsity is on an unaccountable streak. In chapters dense with '80s iconography--from Heathers to Big Hair--Quan Barry expertly weaves the individual and collective journeys of this enchanted team: the quiet, husky goalie Mel Boucher, who signs her name to a pledge of darkness in a notebook with heartthrob Emilio Estevez on the cover; the top bitch forward, Jen Fiorenza, whose bleached blond "Claw" sees and knows all; the good-girl captain Abby Putnam (a descendant of the famous Salem witness Ann Putnam), who is hesitant to sign her name to the Emilio pact; AJ Johnson, the team's one black player, for whom enchantment brings racial awakening; the untouchably beautiful Girl Cory and her name-twin Boy Cory, who plays this female sport for his own reasons. These "witches" and their teammates are as wily and original as their North of Boston ancestors, flouting society's stale notions of femininity to find their true selves in a celebration of teen girldom in all its glory"--

Which of these reads was your favorite? Feel free to let me know in the comments!

Thanks for stopping by!

Rae

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