📝 Spells8 Book Club IV - Readers' Reviews!

Wishing a very warm welcome to all of the Witchy Readers! :open_book:

The current reading period for Book Club [January 22 - February 19] has now ended - well done to everyone who joined in!

Book Club Members This Reading Period:

  • Girls of Storm and Shadow by Natasha Nagn
    @TheTravelWitch

  • Supermarket Sabbats: A Magical Year Using Everyday Ingredients by Michael Furie
    @Amethyst
    @Francisco

  • How to Live a Good Life, A Guide to Choosing Your Personal Philosophy by Massimo Pigliucci, Skye Cleary, Daniel Kaufman
    @praecog29

  • Aristotle’s Way, How Ancient Wisdom Can Change Your Life by Edith Hall
    @praecog29

  • The Witch’s Book of Self Care by Arin Murphy-Hiscock
    @Rowan

  • Drawing Down The Moon bye Margot Alder
    @Jeannie1

  • Witchcraft: A Secret History by Michael Streeter
    @colin

Even if you are not listed above but you read a book during this reading period/ you decided to read a different book than listed- you are very welcome to share and discuss here too!


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[Gif from Fanpop]

Time to share your thoughts with your coven! :star_struck:

This discussion post will serve as a place to share your thoughts and opinions on the book you chose.

  • :heart_eyes: If you loved your book and think everyone should read it- awesome! Talk about your favorite points or something you learned.

  • :woman_shrugging: If you didn’t connect with the book- consider explaining why it wasn’t for you.

  • :angry: Absolutely hated your book of choice? Warn others to stay away!

This is a great place to share your love for books and find recommendations for new books to read :+1:

Your book review can be as simple or elaborate as you’d like :writing_hand:

If you’re not sure what to talk about, here is a suggested format you can use. Feel free to write as little or as much as you’d like!

Book Title and Author:

Status? : Finished / Still Reading

My overall rating of the book : ???/10

How does this book relate to my magickal practice?:

My personal thoughts/opinions:

An interesting quote from the book: " "

All in all, would I recommend this book?: Yes / No

Remember that your review is uniquely yours- this is a chance to let your opinions and voice be heard! :raised_hands:

Please keep in mind that others may have opinions that differ from yours- when responding to the thoughts of others please always show respect! Remember that 100 people will read 1 book and have 100 different experiences. That’s what makes sharing interesting! :hugs:

What if I didn’t finish my book / joined late? :raised_hand:

No worries at all!

You are welcome to share your thoughts about the part you have read so far. If you joined the session late and have just started, feel free to talk about your expectations for your book. You can continue reading it into the next reading period.

And always, whether you read or not - you are very welcome to jump in and discuss what others share about their books! :handshake:

Deadlines and Dates :spiral_calendar:

You have 5 weeks to share your thoughts and discuss- until the next Readers’ Review Post appears in the forums!

Deadline for Reviews for this Session: Friday, March 26th

While you have plenty of time for reviews, know that the next reading period will begin in one week:

The Next Reading Session will Begin: Friday, February 26th

On this day a post will appear where you can announce your next book (or continue with your current reading!). Until then, you can find more info about the club in the Book Club FAQ.

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[Gif from Tenor]

It can be hard to find the time and motivation to read on your own- hopefully book club helped you to find time for reading and that it led to some wonderful new knowledge and discoveries.

And as always, hooray for more book recommendations! :raised_hands:

Thanks again for joining in and being a part of Book Club! I am so excited to read your thoughts and learn more about the book you spent time with :blush::open_book:

Blessed be! :sparkling_heart:

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Book Title: Girls of Storm and Shadow

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[Picture from Goodreads]

Author: Natasha Ngan

Status? Finished

Overall Rating: 9/10

How does this book relate to my magickal practice: This book is a fantasy adventure that does not directly relate to my magickal practice. I read the first book as inspiration for some of my own writing projects and fell in love with the characters and world :heart_eyes: .

While this book doesn’t include spells or rituals, I was able to find inspiration for creative works that has helped me to further expand my other projects- some of which are magickal! :sparkles:

My personal thoughts: While it has its flaws, this book offers a world and characters that are unique- it features a main character and pairing that don’t often get the spotlight- a strong female lead in an LGBT relationship. The book also touches on dark themes (warning: sexual assault) and explores the ups and downs of the long road of healing.

Powerful quotes:

“Fear is good. It means you care. And caring is its own kind of magic.”

Would I recommend it? Yes- if you enjoy dark fantasy stories with meaningful messages :+1:


I flew through this book so quickly that I got started on my next book already! :laughing:

I found a list of Free Online Astrology Books through CafeAstrology :books: :milky_way: and I already jumped into Studies in Astrology by Elman Bacher.

I’ll be continuing with Volume One for the next Book Club reading session :grin::+1:

I hope everyone else is having fun with their current books too! :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

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OH I’ve read the witch’s book of self care! It’s as though I knew :black_heart:

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Book Title and Author: The Witches Book of Self-Care by Arin Murphy Hiscock

Status? : Finished

My overall rating of the book : 10/10

How does this book relate to my magickal practice?: This book allowed me to acknowledge that we all need to just slow down and appreciate ourselves as much as our craft, our families, our to dos, etc. My craft is for me, it opens my eyes to many wonderful things, it opens my heart and soul in that I achieve in being the best me that I want to be. Its also made my life fuller by meeting each one of you.

My personal thoughts/opinions: It clicked something in me to do even the smallest things for myself sometimes in the form of self care. Many of us, forget that I believe…We get so busy with our responsibilities and caring for others that we too often put ourselves last.

An interesting quote from the book: “One of magic’s main focuses is healing—healing of the self, healing of the earth, healing of humanity and nature. In this sense, magic and self-care go hand in hand. Self-care is a way to maintain your health, heal your spirit, and maintain or optimize your emotional, mental, and physical health. Magic helps with self-empowerment and exerting control over your life, encouraging a focus on yourself as the best person you can be. These are all things that resonate well with the general goal of self-care.”

Murphy-Hiscock, Arin. The Witch’s Book of Self-Care: Magical Ways to Pamper, Soothe, and Care for Your Body and Spirit (p. 11). Adams Media. Kindle Edition.

All in all, would I recommend this book?: Yes

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Book Title and Author: Witchcraft: A Secret History by Michael Streeter

Status?: Almost Finished. Sorry about this, I got mixed up on the dates but I will finish in the next couple days or so for sure, there isn’t much left. It’s a fairly short book.

My overall reating of the book: 7/10

How does this book relate to my magickal practice?: Well considering that I’m fairly new to the occult this book served me well in stabilizing my foundation of knowledge about the history of the Craft. From what I’ve read it’s good to have a foundation of history early on so I feel like I’m on the right track. It’s good to know the roots of this new life I’ve started for myself. :slight_smile:

My personal thoughts/opinions: This book was a pretty good read. It definitely focused a lot on the Witch Trials. It has a lot of information on how Witchcraft formed in different parts of the world and good info on different deities and how they came to exist. It feels, as I read this, that it was not necessarily created to be read specifically by witches, and so, I feel that it provides me with an outsiders view of the Craft and gives me some perspective. It’s pretty broad and touches lightly on numerous subjects. I feel like I’m ready for a deeper read next time around.

An interesting quote from the book: “Odin himself was also closely identified with magic. The great one-eyed All-Father God–also known as Woden or Wotan in other parts of Europe–was, among other things, the god of magic.”

As interested in the magickal side of things as I am, it is hard for me not to be inspired by Odin, who sacrificed so much for the gaining of knowledge and power.

All in all, would I recommend this book?: Yes, especially if you feel like you need to take a step back and look at the bigger picture for a minute.

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Book Title and Author: Supermarket Sabbats: A Magical Year Using Everyday Ingredients by Michael Furie.

Status? : Finished

My overall rating of the book : 10/10

How does this book relate to my magickal practice?: This book had loads of ideas for people who can’t get to anything but the grocery store for magical ingredients. I shop mainly at my local store so it seemed perfect for me!

My personal thoughts/opinions: This is a really great book for everyone wanting to celebrate the seasons. Especially if you don’t have a witchy store around or if you’re in the closet. It’s filled with simmering potpourris, magical oils, incenses and other recipes to celebrate the season. The author has another book, Supermarket Magic, that I’m wanting to get after reading this. He also came out with a book on potions just this month that looked interesting.

An interesting quote from the book: "A great deal of magic is centered around correspondences and sympathetic connections. Sympathetic magic is the style focused on the idea that things which share a similar nature can affect one another.”

A good way of explaining magic in my book. Without being too confusing.

All in all, would I recommend this book?: YES!

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@TheTravelWitch thanks for the links to the astrology books, I found that the Rosicrucian’s have a free course list for astrology and other topics that interest me. I am going to be giving that a go.

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You are very welcome, @Magdelina! And ohhh- that sounds awesome :heart_eyes: I found the website of the Rosicrucian Order and you are absolutely right- it looks like they have a bunch of free books available for everyone:

Rosicrucian Books

Here you will find a selection of books from the Rosicrucian Library that will be of interest to all mystics and students of mysticism and metaphysics including precious writings from all three Imperators: H. Spencer Lewis, Ralph M. Lewis and Christian Bernard. Almost all of the books that you will find here are free for you to download and enjoy.

[From Rosicrucian Books]

Thanks for bringing it up, CrazyT- this is a great resource for book lovers! :books:

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It sounds like this book opened many new doors and helped to deepen your appreciation of not only the craft, but also your own life, Tamera! :sparkling_heart:

It sounds like a really wholesome and enjoyable read- thanks so much for sharing your thoughts! :grin:

A very interesting read, Colin- it sounds like this book gave a pretty good overview of the history of witchcraft! It’s interesting that it took a very broad view- it sounds like it is pretty unbiased in its approach (offering a perspective not specifically for witches/those who aren’t witches).

Looks like you were able to learn a lot- and that you also opened to the door to new areas of magickal history and additional pagan paths! :star_struck: Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

This sounds like a fantastic book that boosts creativity and helps a witch find what they need in the local supermarket. I imagine there are plenty of delicious recipes and creative crafting- truly a great find! :heart_eyes:

Reading the quote makes me want to explore “Sympathetic magic”- it sounds like a lovely aspect of the craft and great way to find correspondences :blush:

Thanks for sharing your thoughts and feedback, Kasie! :sparkling_heart:

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It’s got a lot of good information in between the recipes. It was a fun read. Glad you liked my review! :purple_heart:

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I finally found a book! I can’t wait for the next session to start now!

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I love your excitement, Krissie! :raised_hands:

For anyone ready to begin reading- the next book club session has begun! :open_book: :grin: You can join in by sharing your current book in Spells8 Book Club V.

Love and Light!

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It’s a true story about a crime that was commited on Nantucket. The writer, Christina Worthington, was murdered. The book goes through what happened. I love reading books about things that have gone on in Massachusetts or where I live. They are so interesting.

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Brianna, Did you read the other book, Girls of Paper and Fire? I love fantasy. Thank you for the review.

Tamera, self care is extremely important. I am glad you found this book and so thoroughly impacted by it.

Colin, your book sounds extremely interesting. Have you finished it since your review?

Kasie, fascinating book. Thank you for sharing. Question: I think you said elsewhere that this feels more like a reference book. Is that correct?

Krissie, I can’t wait for you to be doing this with us! :slight_smile:


Book Title and Author
How to Live a Good Life, A Guide to Choosing Your Personal Philosophy
by Massimo Pigliucci, Skye Cleary, Daniel Kaufman

Status
Finished

My Overall Rating of the Book
8/10

How does this book relate to my magical practice?

An Interesting Quote from the Book
This is an impossible book for me to quote. I literally made hundreds of notes in the margins. I’ll share from the table of contents so you can see all the fascinating topics covered.

Would I recommend this book?
Yes! My only caveat is a couple of chapters in the Religious Traditions section feel more like the authors are proselytizing instead of sharing philosophy from their camps.


How To Live A Good Life


Book Title and Author
Aristotle’s Way, How Ancient Wisdom Can Change Your Life
by Edith Hall

Status
Finished

My Overall Rating of the Book
7/10

How does this book relate to my magical practice?

Interesting Quotes from the Book
I made dozens of notes in this book. (Some of them were in disagreement with the author’s conclusions.) I’m sharing two here that really resonated with me.

Our collective intelligence, quite simply, is much greater than the sum of its parts.

Surely responsible citizens of the global village need to take the initiative and argue for an education which covers the “things which are of common interest” for their fellow citizens. Aristotle would have agreed with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who on 7 January 1968…delivered a sermon…

“…I don’t ever want you to forget that there are millions of God’s children who will not and cannot get a good education, and I don’t want you feeling that you are better than they are. For you will never be what you ought to be until they are what they ought to be.”

We cannot as twenty-first-century citizens fully achieve the actualization of our own Aristotelian dynamis until we make part of our work ensuring that everyone else on the planet is given the education and support that allows them to fulfill their potential as well. For we will never be fully what we ought to be until the human race can do so in entirety.

Would I recommend this book?
Yes. This was a deep first dive into Aristotle and the author references her research so the reader can learn more. The chapters in this book are Happiness, Potential, Decisions, Communication, Self-Knowledge, Intentions, Love, Community, Leisure, and Morality. Each one can stand alone but they also all build on each other and are perfect for modern living.


Aristotle’s Way

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I will be reading this time, I started Reasonable Doubt today & I can’t wait to share my review! I’m not feeling as disoriented as I was this morning, but I took some time to do my thing today with a visit from each of my boys, so it’s turning out to be a good day. Even if it is cold, raw, and raining.

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Yes, in a way. I mean its got good information on Sabbats but it’s mostly recipes of a sort. Powders, incenses, brews and the like. All geared around the holidays and seasons.

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It is always fun to connect with your home through new stories and tales- it sounds like a fun book, Krissie! Nantucket is a truly beautiful and magickal place :beach_umbrella: :blush:

Yes- I did! :grin: I finished up the first book (Girls of Paper and Fire) a few weeks back. It’s definitely one of those series that has to be read in order to make sense! I devoted both of the books and am eagerly awaiting the third. Highly recommended! :blush::books:

It’s always amazing to find a book that has you writing notes in the margins- it sounds like this one was full of helpful advice and interesting ideas!

Congrats to you on finishing two books, Benjamin- your reading talents are amazing! :star_struck: :open_book: You make me inspired to spend more time exploring good books :blush:

Aristotle is interesting- a famous figure that just about every book, article, or media on philosophy references at some point. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and quotes about this book- it makes me interested in learning more about Artistotle!

Awesome- good for you, Krissie! Enjoy the book :blush:

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Through reading the book I realized the writer is from Truro, MA, which is further down the Cape than I am, it’s at least an hour probably more away from me.

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That’s so cool, Krissie! :heart_eyes: I worked in Truro in summer 2019 at the international hostel (although I think the organization may have unfortunately shut down due to covid). The beaches out there are absolutely stunning!

I think it’s wonderful you can explore the area more through your book- enjoy! :books::two_hearts:

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The fourth session of the Spells8 Book Club and its review period have closed. But no worries! Visit Activities to jump in on the current reading session.