Here at Off the Shelf, we’re big fans of fall. The leaves are turning; the moon is rising; the temperature is cooling; the apples are ripening; and, of course, the cauldrons are bubbling. That can only mean one thing: it’s time for a theme reading list! This year, we’re feeling a little bit witchy. So from Salem to England to Oz and everywhere in between, here’s an end-of-October list featuring a mix of compelling, magical women—real and imagined—whose covens you’ll be begging to join.
Based on L. Frank Baum’s beloved The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, Gregory Maguire’s novel views the land of Oz, its inhabitants, its Wizard, and the Emerald City, through a darker lens. Brilliantly inventive, it offers a radical new evaluation of one of the most feared and hated characters in all of literature: the much maligned Wicked Witch of the West.
A centuries-year-old witch looks back at her introduction to the craft in a small town in 1628 and through her various lifetimes as she struggles to evade the man who first taught her everything she knows.
For five years, Alex Mar traveled deep into the world of the American occult, as both a journalist and someone searching for her own feelings about faith. The book is a mix of immersive experience and cultural history—Mar explores the roots of Paganism, travels to the woods of Illinois for a massive gathering of witches, and finds her way into one of world’s most influential magical societies.