TBR Thursday: Witchtober 2022 Edition

Welcome to another TBR Thursday! Rather than featuring just one title today, I’m digging in to my entire Witchtober stack.

Last year, I spent all of October reading books about witches and magic, and it was a ton of fun! This was the first time I can recall being really intentional about theming my reading to a time of year, and leaning into the witchy vibes was a ton of fun. So much fun that I have decided to do it again this year. I even came up with a name–Witchtober! (I make no promises that I didn’t actually see that somewhere, forget I’d seen it, and imagine I came up with it).

I’ve been collecting witchy books for my October TBR with an optimism that fully ignores just how busy this month is going to be. I may not–okay, almost definitely will not–finish all of these this month, but here’s what we’re looking at for Witchtober 2022:

From Bad to Cursed by Lana Harper

I read the previous book in this series, Payback’s a Witch, last year and have been looking forward to From Bad to Cursed ever since it was announced, but knew I’d save it for October. I’ll be doing a buddy read of this one with my IRL book friend, Mel.

The Kiss Curse by Erin Sterling

I didn’t care too much for The Ex Hex, mainly due to issues with pacing and character development. The small town and some of the humor was great, but everything just happened too quickly, and I’m a hard sell on a second chance romance in the best of times. Because those issues could easily be resolved with Sterling becoming more comfortable in this genre, I’ve decided to give The Kiss Curse a go.

The Heartbreak Bakery by A.R. Capetta

I’ve been wanting to read The Heartbreak Bakery for a while and figure Witchtober is as good an excuse as any to read about magical break up brownies.

Wild is the Witch by Rachel Griffin

I loved The Nature of Witches, which I read last year. Can’t wait to see what Griffin has in store for Wild is the Witch.

Initiated: Memoir of a Witch by Amanda Yates Garcia

I started Initiated on a trip a while ago but haven’t picked it back up. I’m really excited for it, but it just hasn’t fit into the flow of my reading habits. What better time to read a witchy memoir than during Witchtober?

A Spindle Splintered by Alix E. Harrow

I adored The Once and Future Witches by Alix E. Harrow, so now I have to pick up any and all other books by the author. I’m hoping to get to A Spindle Splintered during my exceptionally jam-packed Witchtober. Thankfully, it’s super short, so I think I might pull it off.

I could probably add to this list forever, because I love a witchy read, particularly during spooky season (I can’t hang with horror). Do you have any witchy books on your TBR for the season?


Invite Light into Your Life with “Spells for Good Times” 

Photo by Cat Crawford on Unsplash

(Heads up! This post uses Bookshop.org affiliate links)

When I saw the description for Kerri Conner and Krystal Hope’s Spells for Good Times, I knew I had to check it out. This year, I’ve been trying to read more self-care and spiritual books. There’s a lot of intersection between these categories, and this book illustrates that beautifully. Here are the basics: 

Featuring a variety of simple spells, rituals, meditations, and more, this practical guide helps you and your community raise positive energy and create the loving, compassionate world you desire. Bring out the best in yourself and others with more than fifty activities, such as a spell to cope with loss and a ritual to heal a community divide. This book also covers how to nourish your body, mind, and spirit with wholesome self-care recipes, like revitalizing shower steamers and lavender rose hot chocolate. Filled with tools that can be used throughout the day, this cheerful book shows you that now is the perfect time to step into the sunny, joy-filled life you deserve. -Goodreads Synopsis

A magical take on self-care, Spells for Good Times is full of practices to support your emotional wellbeing and take care of yourself. The book is divided into the following sections: 

  1. Witchy Basics
  2. Everyday Morning Magic
  3. Water Works
  4. Love, Pray, Eat
  5. Bedtime Routines
  6. Workings for Self-Esteem
  7. Magic for Coping
  8. Shadow Work
  9. Healing Others 
  10. Conclusion 

Now that we’ve looked at what the book is about, let’s get into what I thought of it. 

Cover image courtesy of Goodreads

Full disclosure: I received a digital advanced review copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review this book. 

What I Liked

First up, I have to mention that there is a “cheese board ritual” that suggests crafting yourself a tasty snack as a way to ground your energy after a ritual. This is the kind of witch-meets-mundane that I adore, and made me chuckle to myself. 

This book infuses magic into all sorts of every day practices like bathing, eating, waking up, and going to bed. Many of the rituals require relatively few ingredients/tools, which makes the book feel accessible. I think many of these practices would be nice self-care tools even for those who do not identify as magic workers, though there are also some rituals and spells that feel full-on witch. It’s a nice balance, overall, though I will say that the later chapters feel witchier while the opening ones feel more mundane. Perhaps intentional to slowly walk readers in? 

I appreciated the overall tone of the book, as well. There is an acknowledgement that the world is big and scary (this title was written post-pandemic, so COVID exists), and that magic can’t fix everything. But it can sustain us and help us have the energy to do what we can to fix the bigger issues in the world. That kind of realistic approach was refreshing, in my opinion. 

I can’t decide if it’s a pro or a con, but this book doesn’t fuss around with explaining too much about the why behind things. Some spells and rituals don’t explain why a certain color of candle or string is used, while others do. The author often invites you to open a close rituals “according to your spiritual practice.” This is great if, like me, you’ve covered the basics in your prior reading and don’t necessarily need every book to list the meanings of every color. 

What I Didn’t Like

Speaking of the lack of Witch 101 content, I did wonder if this book might be a bit less accessible to someone newer to these concepts, and if the “witchy basics” opening chapter is really enough to get someone started. It’s very hard for me to remember back to middle school Amanda hiding magic books under her bed, though, so I can’t say I’m the best judge. 

My biggest issue with this book is one I complain about fairly often with magic books. The morning ritual section especially seems to fit only one kind of lifestyle, suggesting rituals that include waking up to music and performing rituals while still in bed. This is great if you’re a solo witch living in the woods, but a bit harder to put into practice if you sleep in bed with a husband and a dog, as I do. 

Azula would hardly stand for it if I went full on meditation mode in bed before letting her out, and Andy wouldn’t appreciate chanting while he’s still asleep. I don’t know why so many witchy writers fail to acknowledge that some folks might need to adjust or adapt rituals to fit their lifestyle, but I once again found myself wishing for alternatives. I love my mornings. I love inviting ritual into them. But I found this chapter very inaccessible for my own life. 

Overall, I’m glad I read this book! Like many spellbooks, it feels more like a reference text that one you read cover-to-cover, and I’m excited to add it to my arsenal of texts to pull from when I’m feeling the need for a little witchy self-care. 

Spells for Good Times came out from Llewellyn Publications on May 8th, 2022, so you can grab a copy now if it sounds of interest! 

(*This post originally appeared in our publication on Medium.)