Salem is an extremely popular destination during the month of October. There are more than 500 different events during the month to celebrate Halloween. The city aims to educate visitors about its mysterious past, especially the famous Salem Witch Trials. I traveled to Salem in May of 2016 but I would love to go back and visit during the month of October. Here are some interesting books about Salem that you can start reading in anticipation of your next trip.
Welcome to Witch city! Learn about the historical sites and attractions in Salem as well as experience the thrills of Halloween as seen through the eyes of a curious and adventurous outsider. Author J.W. Ocker spends a month with his family in the city of Salem in order to experience firsthand the season with the witch.
Along with suffrage and prohibition, the Salem Witch Trials represent one of the few moments when women played a central role in American history. An introduction to the strains on a puritan adolescent’s life, the demands of a rigorous faith, and the vulnerability of settlements adrift from the mother country. A look into the world of 17th century America.
The riveting story of the victims, accused witches, crooked officials, and mass hysteria that turned a mysterious illness affecting two children, into a witch hunt that took over a dozen people’s lives and ruined hundreds more.
Something wicked was brewing in the small town of Salem in 1692. Over the next year and a half, nineteen people were convicted of witchcraft and hanged while more languished in prison as hysteria swept the colony. An inside look at this sinister chapter in history.
Discusses the 1692 Salem, Massachusetts, witch trials. Emphasizing how innocent people were jailed on the evidence of dreams and visions and how the legal system allowed nineteen people to be hanged before the governor of the state brought the people of Salem to their senses.
“Narrative is the binding thread of human experience, and stories are a medium that we use to know one another and ourselves.” –Leanne Prain, Strange Material: Storytelling Through Textiles
Storytelling is everywhere! We constantly speak in stories—from telling a potential employer about why we’re perfect for the job to a photo snapshot of a loved-one’s milestone. We talk about ourselves, about others, and about our experiences.
And we have stories we tell ourselves, quietly, about the way we look at the world and how the world looks at us.
Yet while this skill is often considered essential for those writing a book, or for actors on a stage, do we consider how to develop our own skill in telling our own stories? Everyone is captivated by a good story and a good story can come from anywhere. Everyone has at least one story to tell.
Storytelling comes in a variety of forms, so let’s take a look at some different ways to express the stories we live. Do you have ideas about what stories you can tell? Are you a visual or a verbal storyteller? No matter how you express them, the stories you have can only be told by you!
Long Story Short was my initial plunge into the art of storytelling, a book picked out due to boredom several years ago that turned out to have far more impact than I could imagine. Margot Leitman is a long-time storytelling teacher and award-winning storyteller champion (yes, that’s a thing) who paces the reader through examples and exercises with humor and spunk. Consider this a fantastic catch-all primer for the practical application of storytelling to your everyday life.
Perhaps watercolor is not the first thing to come to mind when thinking about storytelling, but Felix Scheinberger does a fantastic job with teaching technique with a purpose. Storytelling with watercolor, he argues, requires balance. “The secret to using watercolor to create pictures lies in striking a balance between control and letting go. Pictures are often only ‘really good’ when they surprise us.”
Daemon Voices is a collection of 32 essays written by Philip Pullman over a variety of subjects, spanning a 17-year time period, and representing several perspectives and contexts considered by the acclaimed author. With a unique “topic finder” guide at the front of the book, the reader can turn directly to whatever interests them or read the whole collection front to back. And the one theme tying everything together? Storytelling. Daemon Voices is a fantastic glimpse at how any experience can become a story worth telling.
Author and artist Leanne Prain provides a compelling and thought-provoking argument for ways to weave (heh) life experiences into the physical and often underappreciated medium of textiles. Personal anecdotes and interviews with textile artists are punctuated with project ideas you can do at home. Strange Material looks at everything from story quilts to comedic embroidery and how to turn your own crafts into tangible stories.
With the library closed and more of us using electronic resources for reading, here’s some tips for limiting searches on Libby. These filters are especially helpful if you are browsing a subject or one of the many lists that Utah’s Online Library has available. The photos are from an Android device, but these options should be the same on an iOS device as well.
Today I want to show you three of Libby’s search filter options. Preferences, Refine, and more.
Anything changed under Preferences will save and apply to all future searches as well, until changed again. This is great if you only want Audiobooks, for example.
Something to keep in mind with Preferences however is that changes made here will apply to all future searches. So, if you change Availability to Available Now and get reading a series, if any of the books in that series has a waitlist then you won’t find that book in any of your searches until you change Availability back to Everything. I may or may not be speaking with the voice of experience there.
Filters added under Refine will only apply to the current search. This is great for narrowing down your search results, especially when those results include thousands of books, all without changing what shows in future searches.
The Search Within Results is an especially great feature because you can do a search within a search! If you have already put a few filters on your search but still not finding what you want, you can add another search term here without losing your previous filters.
Above Preferences and Refine, each search will have a list of genres that appear in the search result. It will list a handful, ending with “and more.” Selecting “and more” shows all of the genres that appear in the search results. This is great if you want a book that falls under two or more genres, such as Mystery and Historical Fiction.
It also tells you how many books fall under both categories, listed from most to least. In this example of looking at Mystery as the main genre, you can see there are 1,458 books that are also tagged Historical Fiction. Further down the list than what is shown here, you’d see Western with 38 books that fall under both Mystery and Western.
Browsing Libby is different than browsing a physical collection of books, but by using the above search filters makes browsing for a good read easier and quicker than trying to browse through all of Libby. Play around with it and see what you can find!
‘Tis the season for truly bewitching stories. Here are our picks for new graphic novels filled with witches, magic, curses, and more!
Real witches are all around us. You might never know it, though, because they’re in disguise. They wear gloves to hide their crooked fingers, wigs to cover their scaly bald heads, and perfume to cover the stench of the thing they hate most – children! In this full-color graphic novel adaptation of Roald Dahl’s darkly humorous classic, an eight-year-old boy travels to a seaside resort with this grandmama where he encounters all of the witches in England and goes head-to-head with the Grand High Witch. Eisner-winning artist Penelope Bagieu brings a quirky sense of child-like fun to a classic spooky story.
In the middle of the night, Effie, who has just lost her mother, is brought to live with her elderly aunts she’s never met. Her aunts, named Carlota and Selimene, run a holistic healing practice from their Brooklyn home, specializing in acupuncture, healing herbs, and more. Not long after Effie arrives, the aunts get another surprise visitor – Tilly Shoo, the biggest pop-star on the planet, who has been cursed with a bright-red face and needs their help. Luckily, Carlota and Selimene are more than just healers – they are witches, and it apparently runs in the family. A heartfelt series opener and a celebration of good witches everywhere.
Beetle is a 12-year-old goblin who has grown pretty tired of staying at home learning goblin magic with her grandma, the town witch. She longs to go to school to learn sorcery – like her old friend Kat Hollowbone, who has just returned from a prestigious boarding school. Beetle and Kat struggle to pick up where they left off, as new feelings seem to change the relationship between the two girls. This is only made more complicated by Kat’s aunt, Marla, an ambitious and powerful sorceress who longs to return their town to the way it was generations before – with a Hollowbone as town witch and the Hollowbone home on the site of the town mall. The mall to which Beetle’s best friend Blob Ghost is tied. For older middle grade readers, this is a colorful and unexpected coming of age story featuring a diversely witchy world.
Moth is… a little obsessed with witches. So imagine her excitement when she discovers that witches are real, and she is one! In fact, Moth is descended from a long line of witches in her hometown of Founders Bluff, Mass. Her mother, a witch who gave up her own powers during the witch hunts in 1692, warns Moth never to use her powers. In an act of rebellion, Moth decides to teach herself magic by stealing her mom’s diary which inadvertently transports her to the magical realm of Hecate where their family’s coven escaped. Touching on serious topics like racism and misogyny, this middle grade graphic novel is as sophisticated as it is fun. Moth is a relatable and winning narrator and her familiar (a talking cat) adds comic relief throughout.
Blackwell was supposed to be a safe haven for witches. In Blackwell, women hold magical powers and their powers are protected by law, as long as they never leave Blackwell. Things seem idyllic. Then, fifteen-year-old Bucky Orson’s little sister Heidi goes missing. His dad, the town sheriff, can’t work around town politics to investigate the case and his mother becomes so bereaved that torrential downpours start to flood Blackwell – a side effect of powers. With the help of his estranged friend Chamomille, Bucky takes the investigation into his own hands and uncovers centuries of hidden secrets in the meantime. This is a spooky and atmospheric witch-read, well suited for fall. As the title suggests, the story takes on a Noir quality with artwork to match – mostly black and white with dabs of colors. Appropriate for middle school readers and older.