Witch fiction I love: fantasy, supernatural, and magical realism
Witches tend to be a very literary bunch; we love to read. And when we’re not reading spell books and witchcraft 101 manuals, most of us love a good fiction to sink our teeth into. So in the spirit of sharing the love, here is a list of books about or featuring witches that I own and love.
The Witches of Eileanan series by Kate Forsyth - Dragonclaw, The Pool of Two Moons, The Cursed Towers, The Forbidden Land, The Skull of the World, The Fathomless Caves. Set in the land of Eileanan, this series follows the adventures of Isabeau and Iseult, twin sisters with powerful magical gifts. Epic battles, high magic, witches casting circles and revering nature, magical creatures, and a cast of strong female protagonists and antagonists. This was the series that first got me interested in witchcraft lo those many years ago. A fantastic read, you won’t regret it!
The Rhiannon’s Ride trilogy by Kate Forsyth - The Tower of Ravens, The Shining City, The Heart of Stars. Forsyth returns us to the magical world of Eileanan, set some 20 years after the events of The Fathomless Caves. A whole new cast of characters to love, and the return of some old favourites, will delight fans of the original series and newcomers to Eileanan alike.
The Wicked Years by Gregory Maguire - Wicked: the life and times of the Wicked Witch of the West, Son of a Witch, A Lion Among Men, Out of Oz. Read the book that led to one of the most successful Broadway musicals of all time. Wicked recounts the story of Oz, but from the Wicked Witch of the West’s point of view, and takes a close look at the nature of evil and wickedness. While A Lion Among Men fell a little short in my opinion, the series as a whole is fantastic, and turns the loveable, musical world of Oz on its head into an industrial revolutionary-era dystopia, complete with egomaniacal dictators, oppressed minorities, civil war, domestic terrorists, and a persecuted goddess-based religion. So much happened before Dorothy came along, and so much happened after she left.
The Witches Saga of Discworld by Terry Pratchett - Equal Rites, Wyrd Sisters, Witches Abroad, Lords and Ladies, Masquerade, Carpe Jugulum. If you love fantasy but want a bit of a laugh, then these are the books for you. Whilst the Discworld novels as a whole are fantastic, for me it is the Witches novels, and Granny Weatherwax in particular, that really stand out. The novels at once pay homage and lightly mock the staples of witchcraft: the Maiden, Mother, and Crone concept, fairytale witches, cunning women, and modern Wiccans, all are victims and heroes in Pratchett’s hilarious novels. ‘As the cauldron bubbled an eldritch voice shrieked: “When shall we three meet again?” There was a pause. Finally another voice said, in far more ordinary tones: “Well, I can do next Tuesday.”
Supernatural / Urban fantasy.
The Lives of the Mayfair Witches by Anne Rice - The Witching Hour, Lasher, Taltos. Anne Rice, master of gothic thrillers, spins for us a tale of the Mayfairs, a centuries old line of powerful witches, given to poetry, melancholy, and incest, haunted by a dark spirit hell-bent on attaining life. Though The Witching Hour is the strongest of the trilogy, Lasher and Taltos are definitely worth the read. Money, psychic powers, history, New Orleans, these books will have you wishing that you lived in a dilapidated old mansion in the Garden District seeing ghosts everywhere.
The Physic Book of Deliverance Dane by Katherine Howe - previously published as The Lost Book of Salem. A post grad Harvard student majoring in early colonial history is on the hunt for original source material for her doctorate whilst spending the summer cleaning up her late Grandmother’s old house for sale in Marblehead, Massachusetts. Going into too much detail will give away the ending, but suffice it to say any witch will be a fan of this book. It’s not going to win any awards, but it is a very enjoyable read, nonetheless.
Magical Realism (or as I like to call it, my new favourite genre)
Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman. The book, as always, is so much better than the movie, and boy did I love the movie. Sisters Sally and Gillian Owens could not be more different, one a diligent mother, homemaker, and member of the PTA, the other a notorious party girl with a new man every week, both seeking to escape the history of magic and tragedy that has dogged their family since the 1600s. The book provides rich detail that the movie glosses over, and Hoffman’s beautiful prose will leave you at times breathless.
The Probable Future by Alice Hoffman. Women in the Sparrow family are always born in March, and each inherit a unique power upon their 13th birthday. Not being able to feel pain, being able to spot a lie, and to foretell the manner of a person’s death are but three of the magical abilities possessed by the Sparrows of this small, New England town. But more than their powers, The Probable Future is about the relationships between Elinor, Jenny, and Stella, grandmother, mother, and daughter, respectively. Each daughter hates her mother, and each mother tries to mend the pieces of the tattered relationship. A definite favourite of mine.
Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen. Each woman in the Waverly family of Bascom, North Carolina, has a subtle magical gift, which sees them relegated as outsiders by townsfolk who paradoxically pay through the nose for their magic. Garden Spells is at its core about the strength of love, be family, friend, or lover. Most of Allen’s books touch on the same subjects, but Garden Spells for me is the original and the best, and I return to it at least once a year.
im supposed to be finishing some essays but i need to say something really quick- i love how the carpe dm tag is growing, i love how more people are listening, i love how more people are talking about it. the time between new posts in the carpe dm tag, also, is going down and its so cool to be able to see the growth of a cool podcast? like just. thanks @carpedmpodcast for making such a cool thing
“History shows again and again how nature points out the folly of man.”
—Blue Oyster Cult
In the 1970’s, Arkansas farmers began to import four species of Asian carp to the United States; black carp, silver carp, grass carp, and bighead carp. Asian carp are like large underwater vacuum cleaners, sucking up any and all nutrients as it swims through the water and mud. Thus, they were often stocked in farmer’s commercial pondss to keep the clean from agricultural wastes and runoff. Of course, the introduction of Asian carp is problematic; they are a non-native species with no natural predators, they reproduce quickly and in great numbers, and their feeding methods are very destructive. Supposedly, the carp were able to escape from their ponds into the Mississippi River due to flooding. Once the carp invaded the Mississippi River, all hell broke loose.
Immediately the carp began to reproduce exponentially, quickly invading the Mississippi River while destroying everything in their path. They have annihilated entire freshwater habitats and driven local species to extinction. In many parts of the Mississippi River and its tributaries, the Asian carp has been so destructive that they are inhabited with nothing but thousands of Asian carp. Silver carp are especially noted for their jumping ability, and often seen jumping like mad when boats go by, as pictured above.
Today the Asian carp threat has become a critical issue. The species are now invading tributary rivers of the Mississippi, and considering that ¾ths of the United State's waterways are part of or connected to the Mississippi watershed, this is a truly frightening problem. Perhaps the biggest worry is that the Asian carp will eventually invade the Great Lakes, an event which would be devastating to the Great Lakes habitat. The US Army Corps of Engineers has actually installed an electric fence in the Illinois River to prevent carp from entering Lake Michigan. However, Asian carp DNA has been found in Lake Michigan, and Asian carp has been found to have infested ponds near the Great Lakes. It’s only a matter of time. Ecologists, conservationists, and other scientists predict that unless nothing is done, Asian carp will have infested most of America’s freshwater rivers and lakes, and will continue north into Canada.
Currently some measures are being done to curtail the Asian carp apocalypse. The US Fish and Wildlife Service considers the Asian carp a pest species, therefore anyone can catch them in any quantity without a license or regulation. The US Geological Survey, US Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Deartment of Interior have developed action plans, but they are very slow to do anything. Many local towns hold annual culls where fisherman will go out in boats and catch tens of thousands of carp, however, these events never even put a small dent in the carp population. Many professional fisherman are catching Asian carp for fertilizer and pet food. Despite myths, the Asian carp is a good eating fish that is comparable to cod, but needs to be carefully cleaned and de-boned. Many chefs and cooks along the Mississippi River are trying to reverse the myth and encourage people to begin eating carp. If you are ever visiting, please do your part, and murder a carp or two, or ten thousand.
Asian Carp Baja Tacos
Recipe from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.
10-15 small taco-sized fillet portions (recipe can be used for fish such as crappie and perch as well)
1 can spray-on olive oil
1 cup bread crumbs
1 cup milk
½ package Taco Seasoning Mix
Package of small, soft, white corn tortillas
½ cup mayonnaise
½ cup plain yogurt
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 Tbsp lemon juice
½ package Taco Seasoning Mix
2 Tbsp salsa
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. First, prepare the fish. In a medium-sized bowl, combine bread crumbs, garlic powder, half of the taco seasoning mix, and salt to taste. Dip individual fillets in milk, and transfer to bread crumb mixture until completely coated on all sides. Place on a cookie sheet, lined with aluminum foil. Repeat until all fillets have been breaded. Spray all sides of breaded fillets with a light coating of olive oil. Place in pre-heated oven for 10 to 15 minutes or until golden brown and slightly crispy.
While fish is baking, mix together in a separate bowl, all ingredients for the Baja sauce. Place in refrigerator until fish is ready. When fish is done baking, heat the tortillas in the stove until warm, or microwave for 35 seconds. Assemble tacos by adding 2 to 3 fillet portions, shredded cabbage, and Baja sauce to each tortilla. Top with chopped tomato. Serve.
a shadow crept into my bones and left something behind– something alive, something awake, something barely tangible– it digs its claws into my scalp and begs for something i cannot yet give
i can hear it breathing next to me when i close my eyes and right before i wake something heavy sits on my chest, but when my vision clears it burrows back into its dark lair– and my ribcage greets it with open arms
i have forgotten dreams and i have nearly forgotten sleep because midnight in the city is blacker than ever, yet the moon is neon-bright, pulsing with secrets, and i (the thing buried inside of me), i am finally home.
Prompt: “With Schools AUs it’s always Badboy!Phil with Nerd!Dan or Badboy!Dan with Nerd!Phil. What about a fic where both are bad, and meet behind the bike shed for a smoke, or both are nerds, and meet in the library.”
Summary: Dan Howell is one of the most popular kids in school, with a badboy reputation to uphold. On the day that he meets the new boy, Phil Lester, who seems just as bad as himself, he wants to get to know him better…
Okey I’m like…. the worst Valentine eveeeeeer. But now to the point! This gift is like two weeks delayed because I totally forgot about Valentine’s Day (I was at a big lowprice mall spending money all day, DON’T BLAME ME. Just google Ullared)
So this is a delayed Valentines-gift for my absolutely amazing, lovely and fantastic friend thesimsqueen! (or the Simone *fartingcamel* as my phonebook says. I love her just as much wether she’s a queen or a camel)
• 5 recolours of Jonesi’s bedblanket and it’s slaved so the recolours show up on everything that’s slaved to the mastermesh! They’re knitted and really really pretty. • 5 recolours of the sign from Jope’s bedroom 11. Threw in two of my Carpe Fucking Diem-recolours, 2 The Shawshank Redemption-quotes and…. A GRUMPY CAT. Cuz she likes cats and grumpy cat izh cuteizh.
A plain silk miyamairi boys kimono created as the main accessory during the child’s anointment at a Shinto shrine. This kimono features two hand-painted jumping carp, with metallic couching embroidery highlights. Mid-Showa period (1940-1960), Japan. The Kimono Gallery