What books are we reading | December 2022

Though Thanksgiving is over and Yule is just around the corner we are still slowing down on the homestead. Which gives us lots of time to catch up on our reading list before the year ends. Here is what our family is reading this month! Hopefully you find a title or two that you are excited to read too!

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Kids Books (9 to 13):

Sheilded

The kingdom of Hálendi is in trouble. It’s losing the war at its borders, and rumors of a new, deadlier threat on the horizon have surfaced. Princess Jennesara knows her skills on the battlefield would make her an asset and wants to help, but her father has other plans.

As the second-born heir to the throne, Jenna lacks the firstborn’s–her brother’s–magical abilities, so the king promises her hand in marriage to the prince of neighboring Turia in exchange for resources Hálendi needs. Jenna must leave behind everything she has ever known if she is to give her people a chance at peace.

Only, on the journey to reach her betrothed and new home, the royal caravan is ambushed, and Jenna realizes the rumors were wrong–the new threat is worse than anyone imagined. Now Jenna must decide if revealing a dangerous secret is worth the cost before it’s too late–for her and for her entire kingdom.

My daughter loves fantasy books involving magic, and warrior princesses. This book is right up her alley and she is excited to read it!

Dragon Captives: Unwanteds Quests Book 1

Identical twins Fifer and Thisbe Stowe have amazing yet uncontrollable magical abilities. They’re naturally more gifted than even their brother, Alex, the head mage of Artimé, could hope to be. But when they accidentally use their magic in the jungle of Artimé to strike down a beloved creature, Alex is furious, and threatens to lock them away until they can learn to control their power.

The threat is soon forgotten, though, when Hux, the ice blue dragon, comes to Artimé bearing the horrible news that his siblings have been enslaved by the notoriously evil Revinir, ruler of the dragon land.

Seeking a chance to right their wrong and escape their brother’s wrath, Thisbe, Fifer, and their friend Seth sneak away to rescue the dragons from grave peril. Will their untrained abilities be enough to save the dragons—and themselves—when they come face-to-face with the Revinir?

My daughter quickly devoured the first book in this series and loved it! She loved the Unwanteds so much and was thrilled for this series!

Adult Books (Fiction):

Magic Lessons: A Prequel to Practical Magic

Where does the story of the Owens bloodline begin? With Maria Owens, in the 1600s, when she’s abandoned in a snowy field in rural England as a baby. Under the care of Hannah Owens, Maria learns about the “Nameless Arts.” Hannah recognizes that Maria has a gift and she teaches the girl all she knows. It is here that she learns her first important lesson: Always love someone who will love you back.

When Maria is abandoned by the man who has declared his love for her, she follows him to Salem, Massachusetts. Here she invokes the curse that will haunt her family. And it’s here that she learns the rules of magic and the lesson that she will carry with her for the rest of her life. Love is the only thing that matters.

Practical Magic is one of my favorite books and movies. I love all of Alice Hoffman’s work but this series is by far my favorite. I am excited to read the prequel! 

Gravemaidens

The start of a fierce fantasy duology about three maidens who are chosen for their land’s greatest honor…and one girl determined to save her sister from the grave. 

In the walled city-state of Alu, Kammani wants nothing more than to become the accomplished healer her father used to be before her family was cast out of their privileged life in shame. 

When Alu’s ruler falls deathly ill, Kammani’s beautiful little sister, Nanaea, is chosen as one of three sacred maidens to join him in the afterlife. It’s an honor. A tradition. And Nanaea believes it is her chance to live an even grander life than the one that was stolen from her.

But Kammani sees the selection for what it really is—a death sentence.

Desperate to save her sister, Kammani schemes her way into the palace to heal the ruler. There she discovers more danger lurking in the sand-stone corridors than she could have ever imagined and that her own life—and heart—are at stake. But Kammani will stop at nothing to dig up the palace’s buried secrets even if it means sacrificing everything…including herself.

I love a good story of a young woman breaking away from her destiny and this story has it all! I am excited to read it!

Adult Books (Non-Fiction):

Hearth & Home Witchcraft: Rituals and Recipes to Nourish Home and Spirit

For author Jennie Blonde, witchcraft is, in and of itself, comforting. Sure, there are not-so-comfortable parts as well—working with the shadow, coming face to face with that which holds you back. But for Jennie, witchcraft is about connecting with nature, your higher self, and with something beyond—a deity, deities, Spirit, the universe—and being comfortable with your true self in all aspects of your life.

“In times of anxiety,” Jennie writes, “I turn to my practice. When I need a moment of calm and reflection, I retreat to my sacred space for quiet meditation, pulling tarot cards, and journaling to nourish my soul. When I want to nourish my family, I turn to my garden and herbs and cauldron (my stockpot) for a bit of kitchen witchery. When I wish to nourish my body, I turn to mindful movement and self-care rituals and spell work. And throughout the day, every day, there are small rituals I perform to keep me connected to my practice. It’s all of those things together that is the heart of my craft.”

The book explores:

 

  • Rituals for protection and cleansing the hearth and home.
  • Comfy cozy witchcraft in the kitchen, creating a kitchen altar, and recipes and rituals for nourishment.
  • Creating a sacred space—no matter the size of the home—the witch’s altar, tools, and spells.
  • Grounding rituals, working with herbs and plants, and meditations to connect you with the earth.
  • The importance of self-care for balancing witchy wellness, complete with rituals and recipes for bath salts, oils, balms, and more.

This book embodies everything I love! I am so excited to curl up with it this month and dive into all the things that make me happy!

The Path of the Hedge Witch: Simple Natural Magic and the Art of Hedge Riding

Natural Witchcraft for the Solo Practitioner

Relying on wits, intelligence, integrity, and strength, the hedge witch walks a simple and solitary path that requires few tools or complex rituals. This path teaches you how to create a more beneficial life for all beings through traditional folkloric knowledge, a relationship with nature, and the art of hedge riding (trance work). Joanna van der Hoeven shows you how to work with the elements, harmonize with the cycles of the moon, walk between worlds, and establish an ever-growing relationship with the Fair Folk. Covering everything you need to build your own Hedge Witchcraft tradition, this beginner-friendly book connects you to the wisdom of wild places and inspires you to find enchantment every day.

As a practicing hedge witch I love all the books about hedge witchery and learning new persepectives on it. I am so excited to dive into this book.

Happy Reading and Happy Holidays!

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