10 Contemporary Witchy Reads for a Magical Spooky Season - Nerdist
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10 Contemporary Witchy Reads for a Magical Spooky Season

‘Tis the season to be spooky! Yes, Nerdoween is here and we’re ready to help you find the best ways to celebrate. One of our favorite Fall activities is to curl up with a good book. Luckily, there are plenty of those that fit the bill. We’ve covered some of our fave recent horror novels, as well as romance and even books you can read for free. But this list is all about that wonderful witchcraft. From cozy YA to haunting historical fiction all the way through a cute graphic novel about witches, there’s something for every kind of witch.

Edie In Between by Laura Sibson
the cover for edie in between shows a young girl on a tarot card

Penguin Random House

If you’re a fan of Practical Magic, then this witchy book is for you. Edie in Between is a sweet contemporary tale of witches, family, and finding yourself. It all starts when Edie’s mother dies, upending her life in Baltimore and sending her to live on her grandma’s houseboat in the small marina town of Cedar Branch. Here, she’ll find the connection to family that she never had as she realizes her magical roots can’t be trimmed. And when she unearths a dark old secret, she’ll use everything she has to save her loved ones.

Magic Lessons by Alice Hoffman
The cover for Magic Lessons shows a young woman looking to the right wistfully

Simon & Schuster

Speaking of Practical Magic, it’s the perfect time to pick up the third book in the beloved Owen family saga. The fourth and final entry into the decades-long tale, The Book of Magic, hits shelves in October, so what better reason to pick up Hoffman’s most recent Owen sisters novel. Magic Lessons is a great jumping-on point for new readers because it’s a prequel. Tracing the curse that haunts the Owen sisters back hundreds of years, this is a bewitching family saga that begins in 1600s Salem where a young woman feels the pain of unrequited love and sets her family on a path that will change their lives forever.

The Year of Witching by Alexis Henderson
The cover for the year of witching shows a young girl wearing puritanical clothes looking serious

Ace

If you’re looking for a darker thrilling read, The Year of Witching is a must. Immanuelle Moore has lived a life defined by a mistake she never made. In the puritanical community of Bethel, her mother’s union with a man of a different race has set the pair apart. As she tries to live a submissive, pious life, Immanuelle feels herself drawn to the woods that surround Bethel, and once she enters them her life is changed forever. See, the problem with Bethel isn’t the witches that the Prophet killed but the Prophet and his church. And only Immanuelle has the power and knows the truth that can save her home. Powerful stuff.

Witches Steeped in Gold by Ciannon Smart
The cover for Witches Steeped in Gold shows the heads of three Black women with gold accents

HarperTeen

Want a little bit of Killing Eve cat-and-mouse in your witch tale? Then Witches Steeped in Gold is made for you. Iraya has spent her life as a prisoner and wants nothing more than freedom… except revenge. Jazmyne is a princess but her station promises nothing other than death. Together, these two witches are going to have to make a dangerous pact in order to save themselves and take down the fearsome power that threatens them both! Engaging, immersive, and drenched in tension you could cut yourself on, you’ll be thinking about this Jamaican-inspired fantasy for days after you turn that final page.

The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco
The cover for the Bone with shows the title with a skull underneath and a girl looking up at the stars

Sourcebooks Fire

In this brilliant fantasy novel, Tea accidentally brings her brother back from the dead. She’s a witch so it’s not too surprising that she has powers, but this specific power set means she’s a Bone Witch. This subset of witches is feared by their community and often ostracized. Luckily, Tea finds a mentor in an older Bone Witch and together they embark on an unbelievable journey. Her path leads Tea to embrace her powers, but as nefarious threats rise she’ll have to make an incredibly hard choice. This is one to lose yourself in!

Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas
The cover for Cemetery Boys shows 2 boys back to back in front of the moon

Swoon Reads

We’re huge fans of this gorgeous and emotionally driven supernatural romance here at Nerdist. You might have even read along with us as part of Nerdist Book Club! If not, the story goes like this: Yadriel, a young trans boy wants nothing more than for his family to recognize him as a brujo. In his struggle to get them to accept him and his wishes, he inadvertently resurrects a dangerous spirit. While it seems like a simple mistake, it soon becomes much more when the spirit decides he wants Yadriel’s help. But like any unexpected partnership, the longer they stay together the less they want to part…

The Witch Haven by Sasha Peyton Smith
The cover for the witch haven shows the title The Witch Haven surrounded by starts

Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

Haunted by the recent death of her brother, Frances is struggling to keep her job as a seamstress in 1911 New York. Her already crumbling world is thrown upside down when she wakes up next to her boss. Sadly, he’s dead with her scissors in his neck. Before she can come to terms with what she’s done or pay for her crime, she’s whisked away to Haxahaven Sanitarium. But all is not what it seems. The Sanitarium is actually a school for witches, and Frances is there to learn her craft. Soon, answers about her brother’s untimely death are offered. But is the price worth paying? Frances will have to choose for herself…

Within These Wicked Walls by Lauren Blackwood
The cover for Within these Wicked Walls shows a young girl looking out to the reader with a serious expression a scary building lurks beneath her face

Wednesday Books

The haunting gothic of Jane Eyre gets transported to the vast deserts of Ethiopia in this stunning horror tale inspired by Charlotte Brönte’s classic novel. Blackwood does a great job building out her own lore, impressive magic system, and more here. Andromeda is an exorcist who is hired by Magnus Rochester to cleanse his home. But this is a job like no other, and as she enters she realizes she might never leave. An inventive, original, and legitimately scary debut, this is a must for fans of witchcraft, horror, and romance.

The House in the Cerulean Sea by T.J. Clune
The cover for the House in the Cerulean Sea shows an illustration of a cute orange house on the edge of strangely spindly cliff

‎ Tor Books

While this book doesn’t technically include any witches, it still feels very witchy. It’s also one of the loveliest stories that we’ve read in a long time. Linus Baker is a lonely man. He lives a solitary life as a caseworker keeping an eye on magical children in their government-assigned care homes. But his dystopian existence is turned upside down when he gets assigned a new case. The magical home of Arthur Parnassus is filled with some of the most powerful and unique children Linus has ever met, but his higher ups are afraid of the idyllic hideaway and those who live there. This is an unbelievable yarn about love, found family, and home.

Witch Hat Atelier by Kamome Shirahama
The cover of Witch Hat Atelier shows a young girl running through a beautifully illustrated world, a small village behind her and the words witch hat atelier in a diamond next to her

Kodansha

It’s the perfect time to pick up one of our favorite current manga series. Witch Hat Atelier is nothing short of absolutely magical. Coco is a delightful daydreamer who wants nothing more than to understand the magic that is present in her world. After a true witch comes to her mother’s fabric shop, Coco learns the secret behind magic and changes her world forever. Shirahama has crafted one of the best comics in decades with this immersive magical tale of inner-power and fantastical magic worlds. Make sure you’re reading this and the other witchy books listed here!

Featured Image: Penguin Random House, Ace, Wednesday Books

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