Archive for October, 2017

Take Ten: Witches

If you’re a kid of the 20th Century, you probably dressed up as a witch one Halloween. With so many fun fictional witches to choose from – like the Wicked Witch of the West, here – many of us had a good time turning ourselves into hags (or pretty witches, if you happened to be a fan of, say, Bewitched).

And while Hermione might be what the younger generation pictures when they hear the word, witches certainly haven’t gone away, they’ve just gotten more interesting. Pick up one of these novels and brew up a good time this Halloween season, my pretty!

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Dark Witch – Nora Roberts

  • Morgana Donovan, a beautiful woman gifted with extraordinary abilities, proves to Nash Kirkland, a hardheaded skeptic who is using her to research his latest screenplay, that magic really does exist. (First in the fourbook Donovan Legacy series.)

Dead Witch Walking – Kim Harrison

  • American Iona Sheehan searches for her Irish ancestors, the O’Dwyers, to learn more about her powers and break an ancient curse, and meets Boyle McGrath. (First in the Cousins O’Dwyer trilogy.)

A Discovery of Witches – Deborah Harkness

  • Discovering a magical manuscript in Oxford’s library, scholar Diana Bishop, a descendant of witches who has rejected her heritage, inadvertently unleashes a fantastical underworld of daemons, witches and vampires whose activities center around an enchanted treasure. (First in the All Souls trilogy.)

The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane – Katherine Howe

  • Forced to set aside her Ph.D. research in order to help the settling of her late grandmother’s abandoned home, Connie Goodwin discovers a hidden key among her grandmother’s possessions that is linked to a darker chapter in Salem witch trial history.

Practical Magic – Alice Hoffman

  • The story of two sisters, Gillian and Sally Owens, brought up by their elderly guardian aunts in a small New England town. The aunts possess magic that they in turn hand down to their nieces. (New prequel: The Rules of Magic)

A Secret History of Witches – Louisa Morgan

  • Follows five generations of women—all of whom happen to be witches—from 19th-century Brittany to London during World War II.

Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West – Gregory Maguire

  • Set in an Oz where a morose Wizard battles suicidal thoughts, the story of the green-skinned Elphaba, otherwise known as the Wicked Witch of the West, profiles her as an animal rights activist striving to avenge her dear sister’s death. (First in the Wicked Years four-book series.)

The Witches of Eastwick – John Updike

  • Alexandra, Jane, and Sukie ply their individual witcheries in contemporary Eastwick, Rhode Island, and are themselves bewitched by a dark, wealthy, decadent stranger. (Next read: The Widows of Eastwick)

The Witches of New York – Ami McKay

  • A tale inspired by Manhattan’s 19th-century witchcraft revival finds a celebrated teahouse proprietress and a gifted medium teaming up with a dream interpreter in the aftermath of a psychic colleague’s disappearance.

The Witching Hour – Anne Rice

  • Moving in time from today’s New Orleans and San Francisco to long-ago Amsterdam and the France of Louis XIV, Anne Rice introduces a dynasty of four centuries of witches–a family that over the ages is itself haunted by a powerful, dangerous, and seductive being called Lasher who haunts the Mayfair women. (First in the Mayfair Witches trilogy.)

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Annotations are courtesy of NoveList Plus. Log in to NoveList Plus for book recommendations, series information, book club guides, and more!

The Way Back Machine – Best Sellers 1971

Let’s all take a groovy ride back to 1971 this month – a year we at the TFPL Reference Desk can appreciate, and not just because Starbucks was established the same year. We’re showing our age, literally, to admit more than that…

Still, you might remember that Dyn-O-Mite year for the following events:

  • The Ed Sullivan Show, a staple in homes each Sunday for more than 20 years, broadcasts its last episode in March.
  • Jim Morrison of The Doors (who had a memorable appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show) dies in his Paris apartment in July.
  • Walt Disney World in Florida opens in October.

Relive the year through its literature – here are the New York Times Best Sellers for the week of October 10, 1971.

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FICTION

1. The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty

2. The Day of the Jackal by Frederick Forsyth

3. Wheels by Arthur Hailey

4. The Other by Thomas Tryon

5. The Shadow of the Lynx by Victoria Holt

6. The Drifters by James A. Michener

7. Message from Malaga by Helen Macinnes

8. Theirs Was the Kingdom by R.F. Delderfield

9. The Passions of the Mind by Irving Stone

10. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

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NONFICTION

1. Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee Brown

2.  Any Woman Can! by David Reuben, M.D.

3. The Gift Horse by Hildegard Knef

4. America, Inc, by Morton Mintz and Jerry S. Cohen

5. The Ra Expeditions by Thor Heyerdahl

6. The Sensuous Man by “M”

7. Madame by Patrick O’Higgins

8. Do You Sincerely Want To Be Rich? by Charles Raw, Bruce Page and Godfrey Hodgson

9. The Female Eunuch by Germaine Greer

10. Living Well Is the Best Revenge by Calvin Tomkins

Read, Watch, Listen: Horror

The calendar has turned and the weather is reminding us it’s fall – which means it’s a great time to cozy up and get invested in some horror before Halloween. Ranging from good old-fashioned blood and guts stories, to haunted house tales, to psychological thrillers, horror can encompass a wide variety of good spooky scares – and what better time than October to enjoy one!

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READ

Damnation Game – Clive Barker

  • In a nightworld where decomposing corpse-assassins stalk their prey, Marty Strauss, the bodyguard to a famous industrialist, discovers that someone is coming to collect the soul of his employer as payment for an ancient debt.

We Have Always Lived in the Castle – Shirley Jackson

  • The inhabitants of the Rochester house wield a strange power over their neighbors.

My Soul to Keep – Tananarive Due

  • Jessica believes she has it all — a loving husband, a wonderful daughter and a rising career as a Miami Herald reporter. David, her husband, is a master of languages, history and jazz music. But unbeknownst to Jessica, he is also 500 years old. He belongs to the house of the Life Blood Brothers, an Ethiopian brotherhood of immortals.

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WATCH

The Girl With All the Gifts

  • Humanity has been all but destroyed by a fungal disease, with only a small group of children seem to be immune to its effects. At an army base in rural England, these unique children are being studied and subjected to cruel experiments. When the base falls, one little girl escapes and must discover what she is, ultimately deciding both her own future and that of the human race.

Cujo

  • A young boy befriends a hulking, but lovable St. Bernard owned by the town’s mechanic. When his mother takes their decrepit car for repairs at the mechanic’s remote farmhouse, Cujo appears. The once docile dog has undergone a hideous transformation, and has become a demonic, impeccable killer possessed of an almost supernatural strength.

Paranormal Activity

  • Katie and Micah are a young middle class couple who begin hearing noises while trying to sleep in their new “starter” house. Not knowing if the presence is demonic or not, they attempt communicating through a Ouija board, angering the spirit further. Now they may never sleep again, or they may never wake up!

 

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LISTEN

It – Stephen King

  • They were seven teenagers when they first stumbled upon the horror. Now they were grown-up men and women who had gone out into the big world to gain success and happiness. But none of them could withstand the force that drew them back to Derry, Maine to face the nightmare without an end, and the evil without a name.

Edgar Allan Poe Audio Collection

  • A collection of Edgar Allan Poe’s poetry and short stories read by Vincent Price and Basil Rathbone.

Something Wicked This Way Comes – Ray Bradbury

  • Story of two young boys who begin to encounter evil secrets when a lightning rod salesman gives them one of his contraptions covered with mystical symbols.

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Annotations for books and audiobooks courtesy of NoveList Plus. Movie annotations adapted from the TFPL Catalog.