Edmonds Booktalk: Spooky books suitable for the season

Greetings and happy October!

We are already being warned about “supply-chain issues.”  So, we are passing the warnings on to you, and recommending that you make plans to shop a little bit earlier than usual for any of the holiday festivities in which you plan to partake: October is the new December.

As cliché as this may be, there are quite a few new books that are witch-related and witch-adjacent… and it is indeed October, so what the heck – it’s a Halloween books column! Starting with witches, I also am adding ghosts and vampires and all things spooky to the mix… ‘cuz they’re all fun!

  • “The Once and Future Witches” by Alix E. Harrow. In the late 1800s, three sisters use witchcraft to change the course of history in this powerful novel of magic, family, and the suffragette movement. New in paper.
  • “All Souls Series” by Deborah Harkness: “A Discovery of Witches #1;” “Shadow of Night #2;” “The Book of Life #3;” “Time’s Convert #4.” Equal parts history and magic, romance and suspense–a richly inventive story about a centuries-old vampire, a spellbound witch, and the mysterious manuscript that draws them together. Staff recommended.
  • “Witch Please: Fix-It Witches Book #1” by Ann Aguirre. A charming small-town paranormal romantic comedy. Can a fully modern witch find love with an old-fashioned mundane who refuses to settle for anything less than forever?
  • “Payback’s a Witch: A Novel” by Lana Harper. “Queer witches plotting revenge against the rich boy that played them. A laugh-out-loud funny story of heartbreak, nostalgia, and new beginnings wrapped up in spooky fall magic.” Paperback coming October 5, 2021. Chosen for Indie Next.
  • “The Ex Hex: A Novel” by Erin Sterling. In paperback. Looking for a wildly fun Halloween read? Witches, curses, ghosts, sizzling romance, and a swoon-worthy ending — this rom-com has it all! Chosen for Indie Next.
  • “The Practical Magic” series by Alice Hoffman. She wrote them completely out of order – so you can read them in any order you wish! All so good. Susan and Elaine recommend all!
  1. “Magic Lessons” (2020). New in paperback. “Magic Lessons” by Alice Hoffman. Now in paper. Staff recommended by Susan and Elaine. Chosen for Indie Next.
    2. “Rules of Magic” (2017)
    3. “Practical Magic” (1995)
  2. “The Book of Magic” (2021). The conclusion of the Practical Magic series is a spellbinding and enchanting final Owens novel brimming with lyric beauty and vivid characters. Chosen for Indie Next. Coming October 5.
  • “Everyone Knows Your Mother Is a Witch” by Rivka Galchen. Drawing on real historical documents but infused with the intensity of imagination, sly humor, and intellectual fire this is a tale for our time-the story of how a community becomes implicated in collective aggression and hysterical fear.
  • “Plant Witchery: Discover the Sacred Language, Wisdom, and Magic of 200 Plants” by Juliet Diaz. In paperback, coming October 26, 2021.
  • For ages 8 and up. “The Witches” by Roald Dahl. A young boy and his Norwegian grandmother, who is an expert on witches, together foil a witches’ plot to destroy the world’s children by turning them into mice. A classic
  • For ages 10 and up. “The Witch of Blackbird Pond” by Elizabeth George Speare. In this classic Newbery Medal-winning novel, a girl faces prejudice and accusations of witchcraft in seventeenth-century Connecticut.
  • For ages 8 and up. “The Thirteenth Cat” by Mary Downing Hahn. From the master of middle grade horror comes a new thriller about bravery, unexpected friendship, and sinister cats [owned by the witch next door!] that will captivate readers with its chilling mix of mystery and magic.
  • “The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires” by Grady Hendrix. Steel Magnolias meets Dracula in this ’90s-set horror novel about a women’s book club that must do battle with a mysterious newcomer to their small Southern town. New in paperback. Staff recommended.
  • For young adult readers “The Lost Girls: A Vampire Revenge Story” by Sonia Hartl. Getting over your vampire ex is as easy as killing him and stealing his girlfriend.
  • For young adult readers “White Smoke” by Tiffany D Jackson. Chilling psychological thriller and a modern take on the classic haunted house story. Secrets always find their way through the cracks.
  • “Under the Whispering Door” by TJ Klune. Hilarious, haunting, and kind, this is an uplifting story about a life spent at the office and a death spent building a home. A delightful queer love story. Staff highly recommended author.
  • “Mercy Thompson series” by Patricia Briggs. Our main heroine is a shapeshifter [and a skilled car mechanic]. There are also werewolves, vampires, witches, goblins… A really entertaining, sexy, contemporary urban fantasy series. Staff recommended.
  • “The Harry Dresden series” by Jim Butcher. Our hero is a private investigator. And a wizard. Named Harry. He saves Chicago from all things evil and paranormal. A lot. Staff recommended.
  • For ages 10 and up. “Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark” by Alvin Schwartz. Stories of ghosts and witches, “jump” stories, scary songs, and modern-day scary stories.
  • For ages 10 and up. “The Graveyard Book” by Neil Gaiman. Newbery Medal Winner, 2009. Nobody Owens, known as Bod, is a normal boy, except that he has been raised by ghosts and other denizens of the graveyard, with a guardian who belongs to neither the world of the living nor the dead. Fascinating, friendly, frightening and fearsome all in one fantasy.

Show your Edmonds Bookshop love! Choose a v-neck tee, a classic long-sleeve tee, or a pullover hoodie. Multiple colors available in each style. Order here.

Edmonds Bookshop Events.

Write on the Sound 2021: Held Oct. 1-3, Write on the Sound writers’ conference (WOTS) is a small, affordable conference focused on the craft of writing. A broad variety of sessions, workshops and panel discussions are available for all levels and interests, including valuable information regarding today’s writing and publishing industry. We are once again thrilled to be your source for the books written by, and/or recommended by, the presenters from this years’ conference.

Edmonds Bookshop Book Club.

We are still doing Zoom meetings for Edmonds Bookshop Book Club.

Zoom meeting Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021 – 9-10 a.m.: “Deacon King Kong” by James McBride.

In September 1969, a fumbling, cranky old church deacon shuffles into the courtyard of the Cause Houses housing project in south Brooklyn, pulls a .45 from his pocket, and in front of everybody shoots the project’s drug dealer at point-blank range. The reasons for this desperate burst of violence and the consequences that spring from it lie at the heart of Deacon King Kong, James McBride’s funny, moving novel and his first since the National Book Award-winning “The Good Lord Bird.”

Staff recommended!
A great review on NPR here. Fast, Complex And Funny, “Deacon King Kong” Is A Love Letter To New York City.

More information about the book and the club is here.

Send us an email here to register your email for book club membership. We will send you an invitation with a Zoom Meeting link as each book club meeting is scheduled. Once you accept the invitation it will show up in your calendar.

Oct. 28, 2021. Thursday, 6-7 p.m. Join us to welcome Kip Greenthal with her debut novel, “Shoal Water!”

Join us online Live on Facebook to celebrate with her!

Ms. Greenthal will be in conversation with our very own David Brewster.

Visit her website, here. There is an excerpt from the book as well as all kinds of information about the author and what else she has been up to.

She has written several short stories and this, her first novel, won the 2020 Landmark Prize for Fiction. Kip lives with her husband on Lopez Island, Washington.

Recent book releases of note:

“Matrix” by Lauren Groff. Chosen for Indie Next.

“The Magician” by Colm Tóibín.

For young readers “Willodeen” by Katherine Applegate.
For ages 6 – 8 “Narwhal’s School of Awesomeness: A Narwhal and Jelly Book #6” by Ben Clanton.

“On Freedom: Four Songs of Care and Constraint” by Maggie Nelson. Chosen for Indie Next. On NPR, here.

“Apples Never Fall” by Liane Moriarty.

“Fuzz: When Nature Breaks the Law” by Mary Roach. Chosen for Indie NextStaff recommended author.

“Harlem Shuffle” by Colson Whitehead.  A gloriously entertaining novel of heists, shakedowns, and rip-offs set in Harlem in the 1960s. Chosen for Indie Next.

“The Book of Form and Emptiness” by Ruth Ozeki.

“Bewilderment: A Novel” by Richard Powers.

“The Speckled Beauty: A Dog and His People” by Rick Bragg. Included in my August “Dog Days” column, here.And on our blog along with more great dog books, here.

“Under the Whispering Door” by TJ KluneStaff highly recommended author!

“Peril” by Bob Woodward, Robert Costa.

For ages 4+ “Change Sings: A Children’s Anthem” by Amanda Gorman. A lyrical picture book debut from the presidential inaugural poet.

“Cloud Cuckoo Land: A Novel” by Anthony Doerr.
“A Little Book of Self-Care for Those Who Grieve” by Paula Becker and Rebekah Nichols (Illustrator). A thoughtful and gentle approach to working through grief.

“Poet Warrior: A Memoir” by Joy Harjo.
“Vanderbilt: The Rise and Fall of an American Dynasty” by Anderson Cooper.  Cooper teams with bestselling historian and novelist Katherine Howe to chronicle the rise and fall of a legendary American dynasty–his mother’s family, the Vanderbilts.
“The Cold Millions: A Novel “ by Jess Walter. Now in paperback.

Some books of note being released in October:

“Crossroads” by Jonathan Franzen. His gift for melding depth and vividness of character with breadth of social vision has never been more dazzlingly evident. October 5, 2021.

“The Lincoln Highway” by Amor Towles. The master of absorbing, sophisticated fiction returns with a stylish and propulsive novel set in 1950s America spanning just ten days and told from multiple points of view. October 5, 2021.

“Plain Bad Heroines: A Novel “ by Emily M. Danforth. In paperback. Staff recommended. October 5, 2021.

“Fight Night” by Miriam Toews. A compassionate, darkly humorous, and deeply wise new novel about three generations of women. October 5, 2021.

“Silverview” by John Le Carre. In this posthumously released novel, he writes about his favorite subject –the secret world of spies. October 12, 2021.

“The Brides of Maracoor: A Novel“ by Gregory Maguire. The first in a three-book series spun off the iconic ‘Wicked Years,’ featuring Elphaba’s green-skinned granddaughter. October 12, 2021.

“State of Terror” by Louise Penny and Hillary Clinton. “…a novel of unsurpassed thrills and incomparable insider expertise.” October 12, 2021.

“Oh William!” by Elizabeth Strout. The iconic heroine Lucy Barton recounts her complex, tender relationship with William, her first husband. October 19, 2021.

“Baking with Dorie: Sweet, Salty & Simple” by Dorie Greenspan. For her fourteenth cookbook, she offers an absolute celebration of the recipes she loves, creating a thoroughly explained and understated-yet-elegant collection that will keep bakers joyously busy. October 19, 2021.

“Winter Recipes from the Collective” by Louise Glueck.  Her first poetry book since winning the Nobel Prize last year. October 20, 2021.

“Renegades: Born in the USA” by Barack Obama and Bruce Springsteen. Two longtime friends share an intimate and urgent conversation about life, music, and their enduring love of America. October 26, 2021.

“Better Off Dead” by Lee Child and Andrew Child. Jack Reacher is back. Digging graves had not been part of my plans when I woke up that morning. 10/26/2021

We will keep posting our favorite reads, along with links to all kinds of book-related interesting things! In all the places: on our website, facebook, Instagram, and twitter.

You may pre-order any forthcoming title by visiting our website. Stay safe. Do your best to stay sane. And as always: Happy reading!

— By Elaine Mattson

Edmonds native Elaine Mattson has worked at The Edmonds Bookshop off and on since she was 12 years old, and has also worked at a book wholesaler, a book publisher, and for the book publishing division of a large local software company (yes, that one). “I was raised a book lover [thanks, Mom!],” Mattson says. “We got book lights by our beds as soon as we were old enough to read. And then I probably got in trouble for reading too late the very next night. And I still read too late!



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