50 Best Books About Witches


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Witchy reads and books about witches are just the thing to dive into with Halloween around the corner. Witches are generally depicted as being mysterious and powerful, and have often been feared or shamed throughout history, and it all makes for fascinating stories.

Here’s some of the best witchy reads and books about witches! (P.S. This list is divided into two sections, General Fiction and Young Adult Fiction. Plus there are a couple titles for young readers and non-fiction titles tacked on at the end. Happy reading!)


General Fiction

Circe
Madeline Miller

What It's About: In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. But Circe is a strange child--neither powerful like her father nor viciously alluring like her mother. Turning to the world of mortals for companionship, she discovers that she does possess power: the power of witchcraft, which can transform rivals into monsters and menace the gods themselves...

Publication Date: April 10, 2018
  
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A Discovery of Witches (All Souls Trilogy #1)
Deborah Harkness

What It's About: A richly inventive novel about a centuries-old vampire, a spellbound witch, and the mysterious manuscript that draws them together.

Deep in the stacks of Oxford's Bodleian Library, young scholar Diana Bishop unwittingly calls up a bewitched alchemical manuscript in the course of her research...

Publication Date: February 8, 2011
  
fantasy romance paranormal


A Secret History of Witches
Louisa Morgan

What It's About: A sweeping historical saga that traces five generations of fiercely powerful mothers and daughters - witches whose magical inheritance is both a dangerous threat and an extraordinary gift.

Brittany, 1821. After Grand-mere Ursule gives her life to save her family, their magic seems to die with her...

Publication Date: September 5, 2017
  
fantasy historical fiction witches


The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane
Katherine Howe

What It's About: A crime lost to time. A secret buried deep. One book unlocks an unimaginable truth.

Salem, Massachusetts, 1681. Fear and suspicion lead a small town to unspeakable acts.

Marblehead, Massachusetts, 1991. A young woman is about to discover that she is tied to Salem in ways she never imagined...

Publication Date: June 9, 2009
  
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The Witch's Daughter
Paula Brackston

What It's About: THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

An enthralling tale of modern witch Bess Hawksmith, a fiercely independent woman desperate to escape her cursed history who must confront the evil which has haunted her for centuries

My name is Elizabeth Anne Hawksmith, and my age is three hundred and eighty-four years...

Publication Date: December 1, 2008
  
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Wicked
Gregory Maguire

What It's About: When Dorothy triumphed over the Wicked Witch of the West in L. Frank Baum's classic tale we heard only her side of the story. But what about her arch-nemesis, the mysterious Witch? Where did she come from? How did she become so wicked? And what is the true nature of evil?

Gregory Maguire creates a fantasy world so rich and vivid that we will never look at Oz the same way again...

Publication Date: September 29, 1995
  
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The Witch of Willow Hall
Hester Fox

What It's About: Two centuries after the Salem witch trials, there’s still one witch left in Massachusetts. But she doesn’t even know it.

Take this as a warning: if you are not able or willing to control yourself, it will not only be you who suffers the consequences but those around you, as well.

New Oldbury, 1821

In the wake of a scandal, the Montrose family and their three daughters—Catherine, Lydia, and Emeline—flee Boston for their new country home, Willow Hall...

Publication Date: October 2, 2018
  
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Practical Magic
Alice Hoffman

What It's About: Alternate covers can be found here and here

The Owens sisters confront the challenges of life and love in this bewitching novel from New York Times bestselling author Alice Hoffman.

For more than two hundred years, the Owens women have been blamed for everything that has gone wrong in their Massachusetts town...

Publication Date: July 1, 1995
  
fantasy magical realism romance


The Rules of Magic
Alice Hoffman

What It's About: Find your magic

For the Owens family, love is a curse that began in 1620, when Maria Owens was charged with witchery for loving the wrong man.

Hundreds of years later, in New York City at the cusp of the sixties, when the whole world is about to change, Susanna Owens knows that her three children are dangerously unique...

Publication Date: October 10, 2017
  
fantasy magical realism historical fiction


What Should Be Wild
Julia Fine

What It's About: Cursed. Maisie Cothay has never known the feel of human flesh: born with the power to kill or resurrect at her slightest touch, she has spent her childhood sequestered in her family’s manor at the edge of a mysterious forest. Maisie’s father, an anthropologist who sees her as more experiment than daughter, has warned Maisie not to venture into the wood...

Publication Date: May 8, 2018
  
fantasy magical realism dnf


The Ocean at the End of the Lane
Neil Gaiman

What It's About: UK National Book Awards 2013 "Book of the Year"

“Fantasy of the very best.” Wall Street Journal

A middle-aged man returns to his childhood home to attend a funeral. Although the house he lived in is long gone, he is drawn to the farm at the end of the road, where, when he was seven, he encountered a most remarkable girl, Lettie Hempstock, and her mother and grandmother...

Publication Date: June 18, 2013
  
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I, Tituba, Black Witch of Salem
Maryse Condé

What It's About: At the age of seven, Tituba watched as her mother was hanged for daring to wound a plantation owner who tried to rape her. She was raised from then on by Mama Yaya, a gifted woman who shared with her the secrets of healing and magic. But it was Tituba's love of the slave John Indian that led her from safety into slavery, and the bitter, vengeful religion practiced by the good citizens of Salem, Massachusetts...

Publication Date: February 5, 2009
  
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The Witches of New York
Ami McKay

What It's About: In the vein of Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, comes a new novel from historical fiction maven Ami McKay that transports readers to the heart of Victorian New York, where three witches practice their craft—to the delight of some—but at their own peril.

Respectable Lady Seeks Dependable Shop Girl...

Publication Date: October 8, 2016
  
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The Familiars
Stacey Halls

What It's About: Young Fleetwood Shuttleworth, a noblewoman, is with child again. None of her previous pregnancies have borne fruit, and her husband, Richard, is anxious for an heir. Then Fleetwood discovers a hidden doctor’s letter that carries a dire prediction: she will not survive another birth. By chance she meets a midwife named Alice Grey, who promises to help her deliver a healthy baby...

Publication Date: February 7, 2019
  
historical fiction fantasy historical


The Master and Margarita
Mikhail Bulgakov

What It's About: A 50th-anniversary Deluxe Edition of the incomparable 20th-century masterpiece of satire and fantasy, in a newly revised version of the acclaimed Pevear and Volokhonsky translation, made from the complete and unabridged Russian text.

Nothing in the whole of literature compares with The Master and Margarita...

Publication Date: May 3, 2016
  
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The Vine Witch
Luanne G. Smith

What It's About: A young witch emerges from a curse to find her world upended in this gripping fantasy of betrayal, vengeance, and self-discovery set in turn-of-the-century France.

For centuries, the vineyards at Château Renard have depended on the talent of their vine witches, whose spells help create the world-renowned wine of the Chanceaux Valley...

Publication Date: October 1, 2019
  
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The Heretic's Daughter
Kathleen Kent

What It's About: Martha Carrier was one of the first women to be accused, tried and hanged as a witch in Salem, Massachusetts. Like her mother, young Sarah Carrier is bright and willful, openly challenging the small, brutal world in which they live. Often at odds with one another, mother and daughter are forced to stand together against the escalating hysteria of the trials and the superstitious tyranny that led to the torture and imprisonment of more than 200 people accused of witchcraft...

Publication Date: September 3, 2008
  
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The Witch's Trinity
Erika Mailman

What It's About: The year is 1507, and a friar has arrived in Tierkinddorf, a remote German village nestled deeply in the woods. The village has been suffering a famine, and the villagers are desperately hungry. The friar's arrival is a miracle, and when he claims he can restore the town to prosperity, the men and women gathered to hear him rejoice...

Publication Date: September 25, 2007
  
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Corrag
Susan Fletcher

What It's About: February 13, 1692. Thirty-eight members of the MacDonald clan are killed by soldiers who had previously enjoyed the clan's hospitality. Many more die from exposure. Forty miles south, the captivating Corrag is imprisoned for her involvement in the massacre. Accused of witchcraft and murder, she awaits her death...

Publication Date: March 4, 2010
  
historical fiction scotland historical


The Hangman's Daughter
Oliver Pötzsch

What It's About: Magdalena, the clever and headstrong daughter of Bavarian hangman Jakob Kuisl, lives with her father outside the village walls and is destined to be married off to another hangman’s son—except that the town physician’s son is hopelessly in love with her. And her father’s wisdom and empathy are as unusual as his despised profession...

Publication Date: March 13, 2008
  
historical fiction mystery historical


Dark Witch
Nora Roberts

What It's About: The first novel in Nora Roberts’ New York Times bestselling Cousins O’Dwyer trilogy—now in mass market.
 
With indifferent parents, Iona Sheehan grew up craving devotion and acceptance. From her maternal grandmother, she learned where to find both: a land of lush forests, dazzling lakes, and centuries-old legends...

Publication Date: October 29, 2013
  
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Equal Rites (Witches Trilogy #1)
Terry Pratchett

What It's About: The third Discworld novel.
"They say that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, but it is not one half so bad as a lot of ignorance."
There are some situations where the correct response is to display the sort of ignorance which happily and wilfully flies in the face of the facts. In this case, the birth of a baby girl, born a wizard -- by mistake...

Publication Date: January 29, 2013
  
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Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch
Neil Gaiman

What It's About: The classic collaboration from the internationally bestselling authors Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett, soon to be an original series starring Michael Sheen and David Tennant.

According to The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch (the world's only completely accurate book of prophecies, written in 1655, before she exploded), the world will end on a Saturday...

Publication Date: May 10, 1990
  
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Witches of East End
Melissa de la Cruz

What It's About: From the author of the highly addictive and bestselling Blue Bloods series, with almost 3 million copies sold, comes a new novel, Melissa de la Cruz's first for adults, featuring a family of formidable and beguiling witches.

The three Beauchamp women—Joanna and her daughters Freya and Ingrid—live in North Hampton, out on the tip of Long Island...

Publication Date: June 21, 2011
  
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Witch & Wizard (Book #1)
James Patterson

What It's About: The world is changing-the government has seized control of every aspect of society, and now kids are disappearing. For fifteen-year-old Wisty and her older brother Whit, life turns upside-down when they are hauled out of bed one night, separated from their parents, and thrown into a secret compound for no reason they can comprehend...

Publication Date: December 14, 2009
  
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Mules and Men
Zora Neale Hurston

What It's About: Mules and Men is a treasury of black America's folklore as collected by a famous storyteller and anthropologist who grew up hearing the songs and sermons, sayings and tall tales that have formed an oral history of the South since the time of slavery.
Returning to her hometown of Eatonville, Florida, to gather material, Zora Neale Hurston recalls "a hilarious night with a pinch of everything social mixed with the storytelling...

Publication Date: January 8, 2008
  
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Swansong
Kerry Andrew

What It's About: In this stunningly assured, immersive and vividly atmospheric first novel, a young woman comes face-to-face with the volatile, haunted wilderness of the Scottish Highlands.

Polly Vaughan is trying to escape the ravaging guilt of a disturbing incident in London by heading north to the Scottish Highlands...

Publication Date: January 25, 2018
  
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The Crucible
Arthur Miller

What It's About: "I believe that the reader will discover here the essential nature of one of the strangest and most awful chapters in human history," Arthur Miller wrote of his classic play about the witch-hunts and trials in seventeenth-century Salem, Massachusetts. Based on historical people and real events, Miller's drama is a searing portrait of a community engulfed by hysteria...

Publication Date: May 1, 1946
  
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The Witching Hour
Anne Rice

What It's About: From the author of the extraordinary Vampire Chronicles comes a huge, hypnotic novel of witchcraft and the occult through four centuries.

Demonstrating, once again, her gift for spellbinding storytelling and the creation of legend, Anne Rice makes real for us a great dynasty of witches—a family given to poetry and to incest, to murder and to philosophy; a family that, over the ages, is itself haunted by a powerful, dangerous, and seductive being...

Publication Date: October 1, 1990
  
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Celtic Tales: Fairy Tales and Stories of Enchantment from Ireland, Scotland, Brittany, and Wales
Kate Forrester

What It's About: Selkies, wyverns, witches, and giants. Perilous quests, true love, and animals that talk.

The traditional stories of Ireland, Scotland, Brittany, and Wales transport us to the fantastical world of Celtic folklore. These timeless tales brim with wit and magic, and each on is brought to life with elegant silhouette art in this special illustrated edition.

Publication Date: August 30, 2016
  
mythology fantasy short stories


Chocolat
Joanne Harris

What It's About: When the exotic stranger Vianne Rocher arrives in the old French village of Lansquenet and opens a chocolate boutique called “La Celeste Praline” directly across the square from the church, Father Reynaud identifies her as a serious danger to his flock. It is the beginning of Lent: the traditional season of self-denial...

Publication Date: March 4, 1999
  
romance magical realism france


The Bloody Chamber And Other Stories
Angela Carter

What It's About: For the 75th anniversary of her birth, a Deluxe Edition of the master of the literary supernatural’s most celebrated book—featuring a new introduction by Kelly Link

Angela Carter was a storytelling sorceress, the literary godmother of Neil Gaiman, David Mitchell, Audrey Niffenegger, J...

Publication Date: May 26, 2015
  
fantasy horror gothic

Young Adult Fiction


The Wicked Deep
Shea Ernshaw

What It's About: Hocus Pocus and Practical Magic meets the Salem Witch trials in this haunting story about three sisters on a quest for revenge—and how love may be the only thing powerful enough to stop them.

Welcome to the cursed town of Sparrow…

Where, two centuries ago, three sisters were sentenced to death for witchery...

Publication Date: March 6, 2018
  
young adult paranormal witches


Serpent and Dove
Shelby Mahurin

What It's About: For her sixteenth birthday, Louise le Blanc’s mother gave her three things: a sacrificial altar, a ritual knife, and a wicked scar.

Lou’s death would have ended the ancient war between the Church and witches, but Lou refuses to become a martyr. Forsaking her coven, she escapes to the gloomy city of Cesarine and hides her magic as a thief in the criminal underworld...

Publication Date: September 3, 2019
  
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Uprooted
Naomi Novik

What It's About: Naomi Novik, author of the bestselling and critically acclaimed Temeraire novels, introduces a bold new world rooted in folk stories and legends, as elemental as a Grimm fairy tale.

“Our Dragon doesn’t eat the girls he takes, no matter what stories they tell outside our valley. We hear them sometimes, from travelers passing through...

Publication Date: May 19, 2015
  
young adult romance dnf


Toil & Trouble
Tess Sharpe

What It's About: A young adult fiction anthology of 15 stories featuring contemporary, historical, and futuristic stories featuring witchy heroines who are diverse in race, class, sexuality, religion, geography, and era.

Are you a good witch or a bad witch?

Glinda the Good Witch. Elphaba the Wicked Witch...

Publication Date: August 28, 2018
  
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When the Moon Was Ours
Anna-Marie McLemore

What It's About: To everyone who knows them, best friends Miel and Sam are as strange as they are inseparable. Roses grow out of Miel’s wrist, and rumors say that she spilled out of a water tower when she was five. Sam is known for the moons he paints and hangs in the trees, and for how little anyone knows about his life before he and his mother moved to town...

Publication Date: October 4, 2016
  
young adult magical realism lgbtq


These Witches Don't Burn
Isabel Sterling

What It's About: Hannah's a witch, but not the kind you're thinking of. She's the real deal, an Elemental with the power to control fire, earth, water, and air. But even though she lives in Salem, Massachusetts, her magic is a secret she has to keep to herself. If she's ever caught using it in front of a Reg (read: non-witch), she could lose it...

Publication Date: May 28, 2019
  
fantasy lgbtq young adult


Magic for Liars
Sarah Gailey

What It's About: Ivy Gamble has never wanted to be magic. She is perfectly happy with her life life—she has an almost-sustainable career as a private investigator, and an empty apartment, and a slight drinking problem. It's a great life and she doesn't wish she was like her estranged sister, the magically gifted professor Tabitha...

Publication Date: June 4, 2019
  
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Akata Witch
Nnedi Okorafor

What It's About: Akata Witch transports the reader to a magical place where nothing is quite as it seems. Born in New York, but living in Aba, Nigeria, twelve-year old Sunny is understandably a little lost. She is albino and thus, incredibly sensitive to the sun. All Sunny wants to do is be able to play football and get through another day of school without being bullied...

Publication Date: April 14, 2011
  
young adult middle grade africa


Witch Child
Celia Rees

What It's About: During the witch hunts of the mid-1600s, many young Englishwomen died on the gallows, innocent victims of false or hysterical accusations of witchcraft. But what of those women who actually claimed the name "witch" as their own? In the pages of her secret journal, Mary Nuttall reveals what it is like to live in a climate of mistrust and piety in which differences are dangerous and rumors can kill, where she must hide her heritage as a healer and pagan...

Publication Date: June 4, 2000
  
young adult fantasy historical


Labyrinth Lost (Brooklyn Brujas #1)
Zoraida Córdova

What It's About: I was chosen by the Deos. Even gods make mistakes.

Alex is a bruja, the most powerful witch in a generation…and she hates magic. At her Deathday celebration, Alex performs a spell to rid herself of her power. But it backfires. Her whole family vanishes into thin air, leaving her alone with Nova, a brujo she can’t trust, but who may be Alex’s only chance at saving her family.

Publication Date: September 6, 2016
  
young adult lgbt lgbtq


Beautiful Creatures
Kami Garcia

What It's About: Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small Southern town of Gatlin has ever seen, and she's struggling to conceal her power, and a curse that has haunted her family for generations. But even within the overgrown gardens, murky swamps and crumbling graveyards of the forgotten South, a secret cannot stay hidden forever...

Publication Date: December 1, 2009
  
fantasy young adult paranormal


The Bone Witch
Rin Chupeco

What It's About: A story of scorned witches, sinister curses, and resurrection, The Bone Witch is the start of a dark fantasy trilogy. When Tea accidentally resurrects her brother, Fox, from the dead, she learns she is different from the other witches in her family. Her gift for necromancy means that she’s a bone witch, a title that makes her feared and ostracized by her community...

Publication Date: March 7, 2017
  
fantasy young adult dnf

Young Readers

The Witches
Roald Dahl

What It's About: Note: This edition shares ISBN 0590032496 with another edition.

This is not a fairy-tale. This is about real witches. Real witches don't ride around on broomsticks. They don't even wear black cloaks and hats. They are vile, cunning, detestable creatures who disguise themselves as nice, ordinary ladies...

Publication Date: September 28, 1981
  
fantasy childrens children


The Witch of Blackbird Pond
Elizabeth George Speare

What It's About: In this Newbery Medal–winning novel, a girl faces prejudice and accusations of witchcraft in seventeenth-century Connecticut.

Sixteen-year-old Kit Tyler is marked by suspicion and disapproval from the moment she arrives on the unfamiliar shores of colonial Connecticut in 1687. Alone and desperate, she has been forced to leave her beloved home on the island of Barbados and join a family she has never met...

Publication Date: January 10, 2011
  
young adult classics childrens

Non-fiction

Waking the Witch: Reflections on Women, Magic, and Power
Pam Grossman

What It's About: A whip-smart and illuminating exploration of the world’s fascination with witches from podcast host and practicing witch Pam Grossman (The Witch Wave), who delves deeply into why witches have intrigued us for centuries and why they’re more relevant now than ever.

When you think of a witch, what do you picture? Pointy black hat, maybe a broomstick...

Publication Date: June 4, 2019
  
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The Penguin Book of Witches
Katherine Howe

What It's About: Chilling real-life accounts of witches, from medieval Europe through colonial America

From a manual for witch hunters written by King James himself in 1597, to court documents from the Salem witch trials of 1692, to newspaper coverage of a woman stoned to death on the streets of Philadelphia while the Continental Congress met, The Penguin Book of Witches is a treasury of historical accounts of accused witches that sheds light on the reality behind the legends...

Publication Date: September 30, 2014
  
non fiction history witches


The Witch
Ronald Hutton

What It's About: Streghe che cavalcano lupi e iene, cortei notturni di morti senza riposo, uomini trasformati in animali, formule magiche in grado di controllare spiriti e divinità: ogni popolo e ogni cultura del mondo, dall’alba dei tempi fino a oggi, ha creduto nell’esistenza di individui capaci di nuocere agli altri attraverso poteri magici; personaggi che incutono paura o provocano repulsione, dai quali è necessario difendersi, le cui caratteristiche vanno a formare la sfaccettata figura della strega...

Publication Date: September 5, 2017
  
history non fiction witches


Witches, Midwives, and Nurses
Barbara Ehrenreich

What It's About: As we watch another agonizing attempt to shift the future of health care in the United States, we are reminded of the longevity of this crisis, and how firmly entrenched we are in a system that doesn't work.

Witches, Midwives, and Nurses, first published by The Feminist Press in 1973, is an essential book about the corruption of the medical establishment and its historic roots in witch hunters...

Publication Date: November 30, 1972
  
non fiction history feminism


A Storm of Witchcraft
Emerson W. Baker

What It's About: Beginning in January 1692, Salem Village in colonial Massachusetts witnessed the largest and most lethal outbreak of witchcraft in early America. Villagers--mainly young women--suffered from unseen torments that caused them to writhe, shriek, and contort their bodies, complaining of pins stuck into their flesh and of being haunted by specters...

Publication Date: January 1, 2014
  
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