Blogtober Day Thirteen: Review – Under My Hat Anthology

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Day One: Spooky TBR    /   Day Two: October Releases    /   Day Three: Bookish Autumn Bucket List    /   Day Four: Perfect Cosy Reading Nook    /   Day Five: Top 5 Disney Villains    /   Day Six: Strong Woman Horror Trope    /   Day Seven: Reading Snacks    /   Day Eight: 5 Autumn Reads    /   Day Nine: Vampires and Werewolves    /   Day Ten: Spooky TBR Update    /   Day Eleven: Witches    /   Day Twelve: Books I Should Have Read

Challenge List – Anniek’s Library 

Under My Hat is an anthology, featuring some of the best known voices in fantasy fiction. The stories are all based off the idea of witches, some with the traditional ideas we know but with a slight twist, others with more varied, unrecognisable characters, and each one a delight to read.

There are elements of fantasy and horror in here, but most lean away from horror, focusing on other aspects of witchcraft. The first (Stray Magic) is a really sweet, endearing story about a dog separated from her master. There’s a story about a young woman who has recently joined a wiccan coven, and is searching for her belief. A tale about a cursed girl takes an interesting twist when her dead grandmother is bought back to life to protect her. And a young man in a forest comes across a woman who seems to be half cat, half human.

The anthology is well written, really well put together, and none of the stories blur into the other. Each has its own voice, and its own unique charm, carrying you from one tale to the next and making the book as a whole quite difficult to put down.

Overall, this is a really strong, interesting collection of stories, one that’s perfect for spooky season, and one that takes what could be seen as a stock character, and adds layers upon layers to it, without making the witches completely unrecognisable.

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Blogtober Day Eleven: Witches

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Day One: Spooky TBR    /   Day Two: October Releases    /   Day Three: Bookish Autumn Bucket List    /   Day Four: Perfect Cosy Reading Nook    /   Day Five: Top 5 Disney Villains    /   Day Six: Strong Woman Horror Trope    /   Day Seven: Reading Snacks    /   Day Eight: 5 Autumn Reads    /   Day Nine: Vampires and Werewolves    /   Day Ten: Spooky TBR Update

Challenge List – Anniek’s Library 

Another slight amendment from the list – the challenge notes ‘Witchy YA’, but I don’t read enough YA (I wish I did – I love YA!) to talk about that. So I’ll talk more about witches in fiction in general.

Firstly, I can’t do a blog about witches without mentioning Harry Potter. This series Harry_Potter_and_the_Philosopher's_Stone_Book_Cover.jpgreally got me hooked on reading, and reading about J.K’s struggles (I know, not as many rejections as they made out, but to 10-year-old me it was A LOT, not to mention everything else) made me think maybe it was something I could do, too. And the female characters (in the books, maybe not the films so much) helped me see how strong  and varied women could be, from Ginny to Hermione to Luna to Tonks, Lily, and even McGonagall. These were women to admire, and as a kid who loved nothing more than reading, Hermione was great to read about, and earned a place in my heart right next to Matilda.

The next book is one I’ve mentioned a few times this month, and I finally finished reading it last night! Under My Hat is an anthology about witches, fromunder my hat a variety of different authors. It’s a great collection of short stories, each story presenting something different, and the book itself was an absolute pleasure to read. From young teenage girls trying to protect their school, to older witches trying to ensure their family’s happiness, each story was intriguing and interesting in different ways. A book very fitting for spooky season,

Next, Equal Rites. It’s the third Discworld novel, and the first of the Witches series. This novel introduces us to Granny equal ritesWeatherwax, who travels with a young woman to the wizard’s university, trying to help her learn how to control her powers. It’s a fantastic book, full of Pratchett’s brilliant humour, and well worth a read.

The last book I’ll mention here is a bit different than the ones above. Although there are some elements of horror in Under My Hat, and really dark moments through the Harry Potter series, they aren’t full horror, unlike Hex (review and review-with-spoilers). This novel deals with a town held hostage by a witch who died a long time before. She wanders the streets, her eyes and lips stitched shut, and is very much part of hexthe town. But the townspeople cannot stay away for long, and the younger generation, fed up of this arrangement, look for ways to stop her. The book is eerie in ways that haunt the reader, especially with the imagery of the witch, standing in the corner of a living room, unseeing yet always watching.

So there we have it! Some of my favourite witches in fiction. Do you have any favourites? Have you read the books listed here? I’d love to know!

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Blogtober Day 1: My Spooky TBR

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I saw this Blogtober list over on Anniek’s Library, and thought it sounded like a lot of fun. I was a little caught up the last few days trying to make sure I got some other stuff written, so I am a little behind, but hopefully I can get a few of these up and try to keep up with it for the rest of the month!

The full list is at the bottom of this post, and definitely pop over to Anniek’s Library to check out the blog there!

Spooky TBR

My horror TBR has increased a fair bit recently, mainly because I’ve started reviewing for Dead Head Reviews, which is awesome as it means I’ve recently read some absolutely fantastic horror.

At the moment, I’m reading two books. One for the website, and one anthology. The anthology isn’t ‘horror’ as such, but it is all themed around witches. Perfect for October. under my hatThe anthology is Under My Hat, which includes authors such as Neil Gaiman, Holly Black, Tanith Lee and Garth Nix. I’ve only read a few stories from it so far, but they have been really good.

I’m also reading Laurel Hightower’s Whisper’s In The Dark which, if you are any kind of horror fan, you really should pick up. Strong female MC, creepy but adorable kids, and scenes where I’ve literally had to put my Kindle down and take a moment. Which doesn’t happen to me a lot. I’m just under whispershalfway through the book, and I already absolutely, without a doubt love it.

For the TBR, there’s a few spooky books I’d like to get to this month, if I can.

The Sea Was A Fair Master – Calvin Demmer

Danse Macabre – Stephen King

dear lauraWorld Of Horror Anthology

Dear Laura – Gemma Amor

It’s doubtful I’ll get to read much more than that, but I will try! And of course, you can look out for my reviews of the books I’ve read on this blog, Dead Head, and on Goodreads.blogtober.png