We used to read witchy books during October, leading up to Halloween. Then we decided that Spooky Season is a little bit longer, like Christmas, and witchy books should be consumed from mid-September to Thanksgiving. And then, after losing all control, we realized that witchy books should never ever leave our nightstands or bookcases, and that we deserve to read about potions and brooms and black cats year round, just like our little black hearts desire.
Thankfully, there’s no shortage of witch novels and witchy fiction, from light-hearted YA picks to dark dusty tomes. In fact, it can be kind of overwhelming at times. But don’t worry. We’re here with a list of our favorite picks, from a few of the timeless classics to some of the newest witch-tastic releases. So put on your long black gloves and pointy hats and explore the best of the best witchy reads we could find.
The Practical Magic series by Alice Hoffman might just be the best witchy book series of all time, and the fourth installment is the pinnacle of them all. It all began in 1992 with the titular first book and our first introduction to the Owens family of witches, followed by two prequels. Now we have The Book of Magic, which centers on the entire cast of characters we have come to know and love—along with all of our favorite themes from the series, which is about way more than magic and spells.
How about a book about one of the greatest witches of all time and all literature? In Madeline Miller’s Circe, we get to spend time with a woman who’s just learning her powers—as well as how to use them (and who to use them on). Gorgeously written, the book is full of magic, gods, spells, and family D-R-A-M-A, and yes, don’t worry, some men are turned into pigs.
Based on true events, Everyone Knows Your Mother Is A Witch takes place in the early 1600s when Katharina Kepler is accused of being a witch—and her son must put aside his budding career as an astronomer to defend his mother at a trial. You will be completely won over by the no-nonsense Kepler and drawn into a trial that tells us so much about how these accusations happen as well as the impact they have on the community.
If you want to read a book about a 1980s high school varsity field hockey team that are also Salem witches, we have found the book (and probably the only book) for you. We Ride Upon Sticks is literally wickedly funny, fast, and fun—and weird to boot. A Best Book of the Year pick by places like NPR, Time, and Book Riot.
In Salem in 1692, a Caribbean woman named Tituba was arrested for witchcraft and imprisoned for two years. Three hundred years later, famed Guadeloupean author Maryse Condé decided to tell her whole story, from her childhood to her old age. The result is a epic story, translated from French, from a voice that we’ve never heard from before (and guess what: yep, she’s a real witch).
Just because you like witches doesn’t mean you want all of your witchy book reading to be dark and brooding. How about a romantic comedy that involves not one but two witches, an unfortunate hex, and a talking cat? Written by Rachel Hawkins writing as Erin Sterling, this book is on the Hocus Pocus and Practical Magic side of the witch spectrum, except with some very steamy scenes.
The queen of the supernatural novel, Anne Rice doesn’t just write about vampires. In fact, she has a three-book series called Lives of Mayfair Witches that will seep you in 400 years of witchy goodness. The first book, The Witching Hour, is over 1200 pages of witchcraft, spells, and cackling, so buckle in.
If you’re looking for a feminist witchy tale, look no further than The Once and Future Witches. It takes place in 1893 during the Suffragist movement and focuses on three sisters who decide to dabble in the dark arts in order to help the cause of women—and of course things get pretty interesting from there.
This is a YA selection, but don’t let that stop you from picking up the first in this three-book trilogy, which centers on Tea, a young witch who accidentally discovers that she’s in fact a bone witch—a witch that can bring people back from the dead. This book sits squarely in the fantasy space, so it’s a great choice if you’re looking for lots of character development, lots of world-building, and tons of magic.
Stacey Halls’ debut novel, The Familiars is based on real characters and focuses on a real event: the 1612 Pendle Hill Witch Trials. We meet Fleetwood Shuttleworth, who is in danger of dying in childbirth, and Alice Grey, a midwife who is soon accused of witchcraft. Together the two women must save each other, and fight the patriarchal system that has almost ended both of them.