Saturday, April 17, 2021

10 Mother's Day Gift Ideas for Your Book-Loving Mom

These may or may not be hints for my own family. 😜 You know the drill.. these are affiliate links. So, at no cost to you, I'll get like a penny or two if you purchase from Amazon when you click through from these links.  THANK YOU!  

I won't be recommending books... there are plenty of other posts on this blog to see what books I like and read and books are so personal. Unless I specifically have a book on a wish list or unless it's a really extra super duper special book the giver just knows I will love and may not have already heard of, I prefer to obtain my own books and not receive them as gifts. Plus, I'm a wannabe minimalist so I really, really love the simplicity of using the library for most books I read. 

You will notice a theme on all these items (CATS! The theme is CATS! Well, and books - did you see the name of this blog?).  Use these ideas to spark your own ideas if your mom isn't as into cats as I am.  

1. Kindle Paperwhite $129.99  

I love, love, LOVE my Paperwhite. I still love a good physical book but I do the majority of reading on my Paperwhite. It props nicely for reading while I'm eating breakfast or lunch and it's pretty easy one-handed use when my cat demands my other hand for petting. 

2. A blank journal $5.99

If your mom reads a lot of self-improvement books (this one does), then she probably engages in journaling. Journaling is a super helpful practice, whether you're journaling gratitude, working on that long pondered novel, or just keeping track of the day-to-day workings of a household. The actual journal should be something your mom wants to see every day!  I know this cute kitty cat journal would look mighty sweet on my desk. Check out more from Whimsy Books Publishing here

3. Bookmarks $7.99

Yea, duh. Book lovers love bookmarks. I personally prefer just the standard heavy cardstock bookmark rather than the fancy ones with magnets or some such. While tassels are cute, for someone with foster kittens (me!), they are not practical if you want the bookmark to remain in the book and not be pulled out and dragged across the house by a playful cat or kitten.

Speaking of libraries... books are heavy! A decent-sized tote bag with long enough handles to hold on your shoulder is a must. 

Some stereotypes are stereotypes because they are true. Book lovers tend to drink coffee and tea in large quantities. A mug that also involves a favorite book is always appreciated! 

Fact: One cannot own too many soft cotton t-shirts. 

If we're leaving the house to go to the library or bookstore, we have to mask up. Why not show our love of all things books?

I don't know about all readers, but THIS reader gets a cold neck a lot. So, between being cold and tensing up from the cold and then leaning over to read, a scarf to keep my neck warm is a very appreciated gift. Alas, I couldn't find one with books AND cats, but this one from Alice in Wonderland with the Cheshire Cat's famous quote comes close enough to keep with my theme.  See more options from the Literati Club Store here

Because who doesn't love a mashup of tea and literary quotes wrapped up with a pun! English Breakfast Tea with a literary quote on each tag. 

These are SO GOOD, but just the sort of thing that this mom would never buy for myself! And that is exactly the sort of thing that is great to buy for your mom for Mother's Day. What treat does she like but never gets for herself? These are nice because they don't make your hands messy... important when reading! 

What ideas can you add?  What are you hoping to receive on Mother's Day morning (but not too early on Mother's Day morning)? 

Thursday, April 1, 2021

New World Witchery: A Trove of North American Folk Magic by Cory Thomas Hutcheson


New World Witchery: A Trove of North American Folk Magic by Cory Thomas Hutcheson

Publisher: Llewellyn Publications

Publication date: April 8th, 2021

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

The link above is an affiliate link. If you make a purchase through it, I will receive a small amount of the sale, at no cost to you. It helps me make a little money to support my book reviewing hobby. Thank you! 

Publisher's description: 

Featuring nearly 500 samples of folklore, including stories, artifacts, rituals, and beliefs, New World Witchery is one of the most comprehensive collections of witchcraft and folk magic ever written. This treasure trove of witchery is designed to help you integrate folk traditions into your life and deepen your understanding of magic.

Folklore expert Cory Thomas Hutcheson guides you to the crossroads of folk magic, where you'll learn about different practices and try them for yourself. Explore chapters on magical heritage, divination, flying, familiars, magical protection, spirit communication, and more. This in-depth, accessible book also provides brief profiles of significant folk magicians, healers, and seers, so you can both meet the practitioners and experience their craft.

My review:

I received a free copy of the ebook from Netgalley in exchange for my review. All opinions shared are 100% my own.

The world of witchy books resides heavily in the pantheons and lore of the eastern half of this globe. I can’t recall another book I have seen that even made much mention of western folklore and folk magic. Of course, the author admits, this book misses the western mark a bit too, as it focuses on the stories and tales passed down on the North American continent so it isn’t even the entire “new world”.  At 480 pages, that’s okay! Someone should definitely take up the gauntlet and give South American folklore focus as well. 

I’ve always loved folk tales and stories and this book is a veritable treasure trove. It’s definitely a book worth having as a physical copy. I particularly liked the herbal healing stories. While there are some rituals and remedies to lace the past and present together, those aren’t really what the book is about. There is definitely fodder there for a second book to go into far greater detail on some of the information shared there. Dr. Hutcheson is a folklorist and an academic - an interesting combination - and I learned a lot. If I lived closer to Pennsylvania, I would love to take one of his college courses. In the meantime, I do enjoy listening to his podcast, New World Witchery, and recommend it. 

This book is jam-packed with stories and information and still doesn’t dive deeply into any one story due to just how rich and colorful the story of North American folklore is. (The book would be 1200 pages long if it did!) There are definitely places where I was left wanting more information. Thankfully, there are recommended reading sections for every chapter with some words on what to expect to find from each recommendation, not just a strict bibliography (though there is a sizable bibliography too). 

This book is not a quick read. There’s just too much to digest. It is as much a reference book as it is a storybook. While there are rituals and spells throughout that relate to the folklore shared, it’s not really a ritual or spell book so I don’t recommend getting it for that purpose. If you are interested in North American folklore and spirituality and the melting pot that helped shape it, then this book belongs on your bookshelf. 

Fun stuff:

New World Witchery podcast

About the author:

Cory Thomas Hutcheson is the cohost of the popular podcast New World Witchery. He has a doctorate in American Studies with specializations in folklore, religion, and ethnicity from Penn State. He is a contributor to the Oxford Handbook of American Folklore and Folklife Studies and American Myths, Legends, &Tall Tales, and he has written for popular occult publications, including Witches & Pagans. Visit him online at