The best books on occult, witchcraft, and a little mystery

Who am I?

From the time I was very young, Witchcraft and the supernatural have always fascinated me. I can remember staying up late to watch horror movies or reading an Edgar Allen Poe book under the sheets with a flashlight when I was supposed to be asleep. I knew this was never a phase or something I would “outgrow”; the spell had been cast and I was forever in its power. I’ve tried to read everything I could on Witchcraft, its history and practice and anything regarding the occult. It was all of this reading and research that really helped me to write Widdershins and everything that came after. Enjoy the list!


I wrote...

Widdershins

By Eve Lestrange,

Book cover of Widdershins

What is my book about?

Widdershins introduces a strong female character into the horror genre-Christina Lafage, an Eighteenth-Century French girl who sells her soul for the fierce power of the black arts. Christina's world is filled with spell casting, black magic, distant lands, and intense power. The story unfolds with Christina's introduction to the black arts by a mysterious benefactor that she meets in a wooded grove. This benefactor, Madame Duchamp, takes Christina under her wing and teaches her to use the powers of the occult and bend the laws of nature to her will as they provide spells and services for the wealthy aristocrats of Paris. The story quickly explodes into an electrifying series of events that lead her to Egypt where her power is put to the ultimate test.

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of The Tomb and Other Tales

Eve Lestrange Why did I love this book?

This was the first book I ever read by HP Lovecraft and after reading it, I read everything else that I could find by such a talented writer. Lovecraft’s stories are dark, doom-ridden tales that are filled with cosmic horror, nightmarish landscapes, and indescribable monsters. But it’s not only the tales themselves that captivated me, it’s the style in which they were written. Lovecraft has such a beautiful literary style of writing that really made me feel what the characters felt and see what horrors they witnessed. His work definitely inspired me to pick up pen and paper and write stories of my own.

By H. P. Lovecraft,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Tomb and Other Tales as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This extraordinary collection features 13 spine-tingling tales of delicious terror by the unquestioned master of the horror genre, as well as portions of stories he never fully completed. Discover how the mind of H.P. Lovecraft worked, and how much his early and late stories tell about this intriguing writer.


Book cover of The Golden Bough

Eve Lestrange Why did I love this book?

Being a fan of history, mythology, and folklore really drew me to this book. It delves into ancient magic, pagan practices, and other traditions that continue to this day. The book was thoroughly researched and opens a window into mankind’s beliefs and superstitions throughout the ages. The book explores the similarities between different cultures’ creation myths and ritualistic practices as well as Christianity’s appropriation of many pagan holidays, rituals, and locations. Anyone interested in mythology or folklore should definitely have this on their reading list.

By James George Frazer,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Golden Bough as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Published originally in two volumes in 1890, this extraordinary study of primitive myth and magic, collected from sources around the world, led Frazer to identify parallel patterns of ritual, symbols and belief across many centuries and many different cultures.
Frazer's learning inspired a whole generation of ethnographers and comparative anthropologists, and had a particularly powerful effect on many other thinkers and writers such as Sigmund Freud, D H Lawrence, Joyce, Yeats and T S Eliot.


Book cover of The Complete Book of Magic and Witchcraft

Eve Lestrange Why did I love this book?

This was the first occult book I ever bought, so it holds a special place in my heart. The title alone, drew me to it and I was not disappointed. The book is full of all kinds of spells and information on herbs, amulets and talismans, ceremonial magic, Satanism & Witchcraft, potions, and many other wicked goodies. I love old occult books and this one, first published in 1970, started my occult library which has continued to grow. 

By Kathryn Paulsen,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Complete Book of Magic and Witchcraft as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Complete Book of Black Magic and Witchcraft is a mainstay for both beginners and advanced seekers into genuine occult methods because it is the first instruction manual to systematise the techniques and aims of Ritual Magic. Including how to prepare for rituals of exorcism and purging, and the rites and mysteries of sorcery, and Infernal Necromancy. This was achieved this by years of research pooling information from rare manuscripts on these subjects and comparing the various sub-sections of each to find the central methods of Ceremonial Magic. While crucially informing the readers of the differences so they can experiment…


Book cover of Raising Hell: A Concise History of the Black Arts and Those Who Dared to Practice Them

Eve Lestrange Why did I love this book?

This is an excellent, yet brief history of the Black Arts and the famous (or infamous) people who practiced them. It was while reading this book, particularly the chapter on LaVoisin, that inspired the story of Christina Lafage, the main character in Widdershins. The book also describes other interesting practitioners, such as Dr. John Dee, Eliphas Levi, Nostradamus, Aleister Crowley, and many more. The chapters on Black Magic and Sorcery and Raising the Dead also contributed to my ideas for my book. I often find myself referring to this book over and over again for great source material.

By Robert Masello,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Raising Hell as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A concise history of the black arts and those who practise them.


Book cover of The Da Vinci Code

Eve Lestrange Why did I love this book?

I loved this book because it made me think. What if everything we were conditioned to believe is a lie? How many historical facts have we lost, or how many are being deliberately kept from us?

I really love the way Dan Brown blurs the line between historical facts and myth while inserting plenty of drama and mystery. I’ve always appreciated art, but this book definitely showed me a new way of looking at and interpreting paintings and sculptures. Are there really hidden meanings in art? Hmmm…

By Dan Brown,

Why should I read it?

10 authors picked The Da Vinci Code as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 12, 13, 14, and 15.

What is this book about?

Harvard professor Robert Langdon receives an urgent late-night phone call while on business in Paris: the elderly curator of the Louvre has been brutally murdered inside the museum. Alongside the body, police have found a series of baffling codes.

As Langdon and a gifted French cryptologist, Sophie Neveu, begin to sort through the bizarre riddles, they are stunned to find a trail that leads to the works of Leonardo Da Vinci - and suggests the answer to a mystery that stretches deep into the vault of history.

Unless Langdon and Neveu can decipher the labyrinthine code and quickly assemble the…


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Bessie

By Linda Kass,

Book cover of Bessie

Linda Kass Author Of Bessie

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Who am I?

Author Bookstore owner Learner Reader Historical novelist Long distance cyclist

Linda's 3 favorite reads in 2023

What is my book about?

In the bigoted milieu of 1945, six days after the official end of World War II, Bess Myerson, the daughter of poor Russian immigrants living in the Bronx, remarkably rises to become Miss America, the first —and to date only— Jewish woman to do so. At stake is a $5,000 scholarship for the winner.

An intimate fictional portrait of Bess Myerson’s early life, Bessie reveals the transformation of the nearly six-foot-tall, self-deprecating yet talented preteen into an exemplar of beauty, a peripheral quality in her world. It is the unfamiliar secular society of pageantry she must choose to escape her roots as she searches for love and acceptance, eager to make her mark on the world.

Bessie

By Linda Kass,

What is this book about?

Just days after the close of World War II, Bess Myerson, the college-educated daughter of poor Russian Jewish immigrants living in the Bronx, is competing in the Miss America pageant. At stake: a $5,000 scholarship. The tension and excitement in Atlantic City's Warner Theatre is palpable, especially for traumatized Jews rooting for one of their own. So begins Bessie.


Drawing on biographical and historical sources, Bessie reimagines the early life of Bess Myerson, who, in 1945 at age twenty-one, remarkably rises to become one of the most famous women in America. This intimate fictional portrait reveals the transformation of the…


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