Positive Magic: Nonfiction About Witches and Witchcraft

We previously discussed fiction titles featuring witches, including popular titles such as Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J. K. Rowling and Hocus Pocus, the movie and the ebook/e-audiobook (on Overdrive or hoopla); as well as some lesser known titles which include Hannah Abigail Clarke’s novel The Scapegracers or Hallmark Channel’s romance movie The Good Witch.

If you want to learn facts about witchcraft, check out the following nonfiction books. Discover the different traditions and practices of witchcraft, spells you can cast, crystals to help enhance your spiritual energies, and more!

The Witches’ Almanac is a yearly publication founded in 1971 by Elizabeth Pepper, modeled after the Farmers’ Almanac. This publication features not only time-specific information such as the annual Moon Calendar (weather forecasts and horoscopes), but also legends, rituals, herbal secrets, mystic incantations, interviews, and stories that are relevant and interesting even after the dates for the issue have passed. If you want to know this year’s moon calendar, check out the Spring 2020 – Spring 2021 issue

How do you know if you’re a witch? What are the different practices of witchcraft? The Weiser Field Guide to Witches: From Hexes to Hermione Granger, from Salem to the Land of Oz by Judika Illes answers these and more questions you may have about the subject, and the book introduces witches from fiction and real life. Gabriela Herstik’s Inner Witch: a Modern Guide to the Ancient Craft is a handy introduction to various aspects of witchcraft, including understanding the meaning of the different tarot cards, learning the different chakras, creating your own grimoire and altar, using herbs and crystals for divination, and more. 

Below are some other nonfiction titles you can check out to learn more about these subjects. The print books can be reserved now for Curbside Pickup after staff return to the building on November 2nd.

also on hoopla in e-audiobook format

Books in Translation

The thrill of exploring other cultures, the joy of listening to other languages, the pleasure of being transported elsewhere — all are available through the magic of books. 

Books, both fiction and nonfiction, and stories told by the people native to places and written in their languages, give readers the sense of authenticity and a chance to see the place through the eyes of its inhabitants. Thus, these works have to be translated with all the specifics and the tone preserved.

You can learn about the art of translation in a couple of books found on hoopla–free and available with your library card.

If your interests in literature go deeper, and you enjoy literary criticism and would like to learn about the particulars of the art of translation, the Abbot Public Library’s digital Literary Reference Center is there for you, with easy, anytime access.

There, you will find digital reference resources, such as Masterplots and Magill’s Survey of World Literature, articles from various magazines and journals, and interviews with writers and translators.

You can search the database, or you can browse by selection of choices that include author’s name, genre, subject, literary character, etc.

You can read about various translations of iconic classic works, such as The Iliad, and how they compare with each other, about the exquisite art of translating poetry, the specifics of translating children’s literature or translating for children, and the challenges of translating plays.

Here are some books, originally written in various languages and translated into English, found on Overdrive/Libby or hoopla, and all of them are free and accessible with your library card.

Bhagavad Gita (Song of Lord) is a Sanskrit poem, one of the greatest literary and spiritual texts in Hinduism. While there are multitudes of translations of this poem, the more contemporary one by Stephen Mitchell gained a lot of praise.

The Odyssey is another great Classical work that attracted numerous translators. This particular version is praised not just for its translation, but also for the narration.

The Quarter, by the pre-eminent Egyptian writer and winner of the 1988 Nobel Prize for Literature, Naguib Mahfouz, is a collection of stories about Cairo and its inhabitants, their daily lives and observations.

The Neapolitan Novels, a 4-book series by the Italian author Elena Ferrante, became a simultaneous international bestseller when the first book in the series was initially published. 

The series, also dubbed Neapolitan Quartet, is a captivating and entertaining family saga that immerses the reader into the atmosphere of post-war Naples, where the story of a childhood friendship begins. The books follow the two main characters throughout their lives, observing not only how the story of their lives evolved, but also the changes happening in Italy and Naples through the years.

The books have been adapted into a TV series in Italy; the first two seasons (based on the first two novels) also aired on HBO.

Books by Scandinavian authors give you not only all the thrilling excitement of  well-conceived and executed mysteries, but also portray vivid images of Scandinavian landscapes, lifestyle, and living.

You can find many more books in translation on hoopla, brought to you by the Abbot Public Library.

Invest Your Time Into Free Financial Databases Through Abbot Public Library!

Learn about stocks, mutual funds, and more with the Abbot Public Library’s financial databases: Value Line and Morningstar! You’ll even discover which companies are making a positive social and environmental impact. Check out a full list of databases on the Digital Resources page. 

Value Line provides current information on stocks, mutual funds, options, and other securities. See the “Dashboard” tab for quick links to Value Line Investment Survey’s Summary & Index report and Selection & Opinion report.

The “Markets” tab is for featured commentaries on the Stock Market, daily updates, and articles. Use “Browse Research” to see companies’ last close price, stock reports, financial strength ratings, and more.“Find Ideas” has research tools and “Investment Education” has instructional videos, articles, and a glossary.

Founded in 1931, Value Line provides investors with objective research and analysis for 6,000 stocks, 18,000 mutual funds and other securities. In addition, Value Line offers investors data tools, rankings, and expert company, industry and market commentaries.

Morningstar Investment Research Center provides up-to-date financial information and ratings on mutual funds, stocks, and ETFs to help investors with mutual fund selection. This database replaces the Morningstar Mutual Funds print version, which is no longer being published. Please note that the library’s license is for ‘one user at a time.’ If the database is in use, please try again at a later time.

Find useful Articles & Videos, Newsletters, and Help & Education tutorials and a glossary.

Morningstar is a global research firm that has provided investors with proprietary data tools, analytics, and independent research on stocks, bonds, and mutual funds for over thirty-five years. 

There is a new style of investing called “ESG” investing, which stands for Environment, social responsible, governance. This style focuses on investing in companies that are making a positive social and environmental impact. Morningstar recently acquired a company to provide ESG ratings, and is on the forefront of supplying ESG data to help investors understand the impact companies are making, positively or negatively.
Email the Reference Staff at mar@noblenet.org for assistance with logging into these resources.