Books with Magic

Books & Bites Podcast, Ep. 84

JCPL librarians bring you book recommendations and discuss the bites and beverages to pair with them.

This month, we discuss books with magic, our final prompt from the 2023 Books and Bites Bingo Reading Challenge. Our picks include an anthology of witchy tales; a novel about the magic of sourdough starter, robot arms, and the human who works with both; and a YA fairytale set in contemporary times.

If you’re participating in Books & Bites Bingo, don’t forget to turn in your bingo card throughout the month of December!

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Hex Life book cover

Michael’s Pick

The anthology Hex Life: Wicked New Tales of Witchery, edited by Christopher Golden and Rachel Autumn Deering, contains 18 stories from authors like Sherrilyn Kenyon, Sarah Langan, Tananarive Due, Alma Katsu, and Kelley Armstrong.

These stories of witchery range from cozy and humorous, to fantastical, to spooky and downright scary.

Pairing: Channel your inner Audrey from the story “Bless Your Heart” and whip up a batch of Seven-Layer Magic Bars.

Sourdough book cover

Carrie’s Pick

In Robin Sloan’s novel Sourdough, main character Lois is a young programmer who works at General Dexterity, a San Francisco tech company that programs robotic arms.

Lois works so much, she sometimes sleeps at the office and drinks meal replacements instead of eating. But when two brothers give her their sourdough starter, a whole new world opens up to her, one filled with the magic inside a new community food market–including her own singing, possibly sinister starter.

Pairing: San Francisco Sourdough from the book Super Sourdough by Great British Baking Show contestant James Morton.

Jacqueline’s Pick

The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black is an enchanting YA fairytale set in contemporary times. In this novel, Black returns to her dangerous, alluring world of faerie tales. This fantasy novel’s complex worldbuilding is full of romance, terror, and adventure.

Pairing: Old Fashioned Blackberry Pie, a recipe that will remind you of the magic that is childhood, when you could play all day, spending hours in the sun picking wild blackberries.

More Magical Books