The best witchy books to read on a full moon night

The Books I Picked & Why

Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West

By Gregory Maguire

Book cover of Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West

Why this book?

My mom used to give me a lot of propaganda to read like Little Women and the Bobbsey Twins. Good books but obviously intended to form me into a well-behaved and compliant little angel. I preferred MAD Magazine, Captain Blood, and anything I could get my hands on about magic and witches. While witches were almost always the villains, the wicked witch of the west never scared me—I thought she was totally justified in her pursuit of Dorothy and her gang of thugs. My own sister and I have our differences, but if someone dropped a house on her I’d be out for revenge, too. Wicked takes another look at Elphaba and how she became the Wicked Witch of the West. I’ve waited decades for this story.


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Widdershins

By Charles de Lint

Book cover of Widdershins

Why this book?

I won this book in a contest, put it on a shelf, and forgot about it for months. When I finally got around to reading it, I was captured! Urban fantasy is supposed to take the normal world and twist it like the focusing bits on a pair of binoculars. The results are that what you were looking at gets blurry, but something else becomes crystal clear. Widdershins did that for me. The normal world blurred and suddenly I could see the magical world that was all around complete with alliances and enemies. 


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Dance Upon the Air

By Nora Roberts

Book cover of Dance Upon the Air

Why this book?

I‘m cheating a bit here and recommending the trilogy. Nora Roberts is a storyteller par excellence and this trilogy from early in her career pre-curses (see what I did there?) the fantastic tales she will pen later. The trilogy is about three sisters—witches, of course, and their quaint New England hometown. Romance is only part of these stories, but if you like romance, you’ll be happy. Magic and curses abound, all tied up neatly in three books by Queen Nora. 


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The Colour of Magic

By Terry Pratchett

Book cover of The Colour of Magic

Why this book?

Anything by Terry Pratchett is going to fly! One of my favorite quotes is Pratchett’s “A witch ought never to be frightened in the darkest forest, Granny Weatherwax had once told her, because she should be sure in her soul that the most terrifying thing in the forest was her.” The Colour of Magic is the first in the Discworld series and was recommended to me by a student who was trying to curry favor in a college composition class. Pretty sure he got a C because he couldn’t write, but I owe him something for turning me on to this series. Magic and fantasy and snarkiness fill this series. Witches aren’t always the main characters, but they are forces to be reckoned with in this fantasy world. 


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Witch Is When It All Began (A Witch P.I. Mystery)

By Adele Abbott

Book cover of Witch Is When It All Began (A Witch P.I. Mystery)

Why this book?

I’m cheating again and giving you a recommendation for forty-four books instead of just one. This series takes the main character on a journey of discovery into her witchy heritage and solves murders along the way. I’ve read several, but not all, of the series and I find them funny and engaging. Nothing earth-shaking here, but lots of magical fun. Very pleasant to read by the light of the moon after you’ve cast your spells and put away your potions.


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