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Hey, coven! In this episode, we discussing The Burning God by R.F. Kuang — the third and final book in The Poppy War series. Rin is working to take down a bunch of people, and change the way Nikara is run. But is she the best person to do that? Rin doesn’t think so! Let’s just start with the content warnings for this episode and for the book. This …
 
In this episode, we’re transported to a magical Brooklyn in Daniel José Older’s novel Shadowshaper, the first in the Shadowshaper Cypher series. Congratulations to Daniel, who has the esteemed honor of being the first (and so far only) cis-dude we’ve read for the show. In Shadowshaper, we follow Sierra, a Black Puerto Rican Brooklyn-ite, who discov…
 
hey, coven! we’re excited to bring you this discussion of Elatsoe by Darcie Little Badger. J & K both loved this book and are gonna recommend it widely going forward. *ALERTA* Darcie has a new book coming out November 9th, A Snake Falls to Earth. We’re definitely pre-ordering and/or requesting from the library!! Please take our survey if you haven’…
 
Welcome back! In this episode, we chat about A Heart So Fierce and Broken by Brigid Kemmerer. We share thoughts on such topics as special editions, disability as a disguise, the trope of naming dudes “Hawk,” and whether “Iisak” is pronounced “eye-sack.” And be ye warned, there are some ACOTAR and Star Wars spoilers ahead. Check out our episode on t…
 
Hello, beautiful ones! This fortnight we’re discussing Vicious Spirits by Kat Cho, the second book in the Gumiho series. Join us to find out how Somin, Junu, Miyoung and Jihoon deal with grief and magical/inter-dimensional disruption. There’s romance. There’s banter. What’s not to love? Check out Episode 40 for our discussion of Wicked Fox (Gumiho …
 
Hello, wonderful Coven! This week we’re bringing you a discussion of We Free the Stars by Hafsah Faizal, the second and final (maybe?) book in the Sands of Arawiya series (Check out episode 32, where we discuss the first book, We Hunt the Flame). We had a great time reading this one, and we will read anything Hafsah writes in the future (really loo…
 
This fortnight, the amazing debut novel streak continues! We’re discussing Witches Steeped in Gold by Ciannon Smart. Tune in for a deep dive into a nuanced magical system and some close reading of Smart’s excellent wordsmithing. Also, we have a good time trolling each other in the “Real Talk” segment. Content warning for brief discussions of rape, …
 
Hello, Coven! This week we’re coming at you with a discussion of The Gilded Ones by Namina Forna. We had such an amazing time reading this debut novel, and we can’t wait to see what happens with the future of the series! On to the notes! Content warning for discussions of rape, sexual assault, violence, parental death, and mentions of Harry Potter.…
 
Hey, everyone! We’re so incredibly excited to share this episode about Legendborn by Tracy Deonn. It’s a captivating, innovative and insightful riff on Arthurian legend set in contemporary North Carolina. Jessie and Cynthia’s (of @cynthiasreadinglist) campaign to get everyone to read this book continues! Content warning for discussions of racism, s…
 
Hello, beautiful coven! We’re back for season 4 with all new episodes, and we’re starting out strong with A Sky Beyond the Storm by Sabaa Tahir, the final book in An Ember in the Ashes series. If you want to check out the other books’ discussions you can find them here: An Ember in the Ashes, A Torch Against the Night, & A Reaper at the Gates. A qu…
 
Final interview episode coming at you with Reni K. Amayo, author of The Return of the Earth Mother series and founder of Onwe! The first book in the series, Daughters of Nri is available now, and you can pre-order the forthcoming book in the series, Decedents of the First, which is available October 5th! You can find Reni on Instagram or Twitter, a…
 
We’re excited to bring you our second interview! This time we’re chatting with Katy Michelle Quinn. She is the author of Girl in the Walls, which is out June 1, 2021 from Clash Books. You can preorder the book here! Say ‘hi’ to Katy Michelle Quinn on twitter or instagram. Katy has attended Bizarro Con and misses those moments of connection at in-pe…
 
We’re thrilled to bring you this interview with author Ashaye Brown (she/her) whose debut novel, Dream Country,will be released on April 27, 2021. Aka next week (!!) for those of you listening when the episode drops. This will be the first in a mini-series of three author interviews we will be releasing in the lead up to our next season of the podc…
 
It’s here! Our final episode of Season 3, in which we discuss A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas, the 3rd book in the Court of Thorns and Roses series. It’s a longer episode…#SorryNotSorry because we have so many thoughts and feelings! We’ll be back to regularly scheduled programming (aka bi-weekly podcasts about a-mah-zing books) starting …
 
Hello, Coven! How is your winter going? We’re excited to bring you a new episode discussing Deathless Divide by Justina Ireland and finishing up the Dread Nation series. If you need a recap of what in the first book, you can check out our episode about Dread Nation! Please consider taking our supporter survey! It should require only 5-10 minutes an…
 
Please consider taking our supporter survey! It should require only 5-10 minutes and it will help us get to know our audience and get your feedback about the content we create. http://bit.ly/LibraryCovenSurvey Greetings, coven! In this episode we discuss Pet by Akwaeke Emezi, their debut young adult novel. It’s a pretty quick read that deals with s…
 
Hold on to your hats, folks! This fortnight we’re reading The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin, the first book in The Broken Earth Trilogy. And no matter how many people talk about their love for this book, it was not our cup of tea! We spent a lot of time being confused, and maybe had more questions than answers in this episode. What are your thoughts…
 
In this episode we’re discussing Queen of the Conquered Kacen Callender (they/them), the first book in the Islands of Blood and Storm series. The book takes place in a Caribbean-inspired fantasy world and follows our main character, Sigourney, as she makes a bid for power as the only Black person in contention to rule the islands that have been col…
 
Let’s take a look back at all the wonderful things we loved in this shit show of a year– most of them book-related, although we chat about film/TV a fair amount too. We want to share our favs with y’all in the hopes of spreading a bit more joy around. Please reach out and let us know yours as well! We know this time of year is filled with wrap ups,…
 
Hello, coven! And welcome to one of the last episodes of the shit show that has been 2020! This week we’re discussing Blanca & Roja by Anna-Marie McLemore (they/them). Let’s talk about some swans! What is magical realism? We talked a bit about being Latinx and white. There have been lots of great discussions about this, and here are 2 videos that e…
 
Hello everyone, and most especially to Saidah, who emailed us in December 2019 asking about when we were going to record an episode about R.F. Kuang’s The Dragon Republic. Saidah, we’re only a year late, but that time is now! If y’all need to recap the first book in the series, you can check out Episode 15 of the podcast in which we discussThe Popp…
 
And just like that series 11 (or collection 8 for us folks in the US) is over. It was so much fun to have this during this fairly terrible time, and we hope you’ve all enjoyed listening to our ramblings about the show. Now time for a re-watch! [gif of Matt waving to Noel] Transcript to come Spring 2021 As always, we’d love to be in discussion with …
 
Hello, coven! This week we’re discussing Wayward Witch, the third and final (?) book in the Brooklyn Brujas series by Zoraida Córdova. You can check out our episodes about Labyrinth Lost and Bruja Born if you need a refresher about what happened in the earlier books! Which was your favorite of the series? What would be your sinmago power be? Full e…
 
Hello, Coven! We’re at week eight of Great British Bake Off, and where did the time go!? This week, it’s all things desserts, and a very unusual technical. Who do you think is making it to the final? Just a few notes: compote is “a dessert originating from medieval Europe, made of whole or pieces of fruit in sugar syrup. Whole fruits are cooked in …
 
ahoy, bakers and reader/listeners! This season of GBBO is nearly over (NOOOOOO), but we’re still excited to share this bonus ep with y’all. We talk quiche, donuts, and ice cream cake. Oh, and Jessie gives us a lesson on air fryers. Enjoy! [gif of Mel and Nadia holding up index and pinky fingers – metal!]…
 
hiya, coven! This week we’re coming at you with a discussion of Nocturna by Maya Motayne. We both loved this book and didn’t realize how complex the world building and magical system were until we came together in conversation (aka we’re both a little befuddled, and that’s fine!). Motayne’s debut novel is full of relatable characters and exquisite …
 
Hi, everyone! We can’t believe that it’s already halfway through this season of GBBO. Tune-in for our discussion of the much-anticipated pastry week. Visit The Traveller Movement website , check out this op-ed in the Guardian about antiziganism/racism, or this handy “GRT Representation: Media Response Toolkit” for more on GRT (Gypsy, Roma, Traveler…
 
Hello, Coven! This week we’re coming at you with a discussion of Wicked Fox by Kat Cho. We really enjoyed reading some urban fantasy that took place in South Korea. What are your thoughts about this book? We’re a bit light on notes, because we actually stuck to the book more than usual! Call to action: It’s November 3, and if you haven’t already, b…
 
We’re coming at you this week to talk about all things episode 4 of series 11 or Chocolate Week! This week was a wild ride, so prepare yourselves! Here is the article J mentioned about GBBO [a gif of the Prue-gasm] As always, we’d love to be in discussion with you, magical folx. Post or tweet about the show using #criticallyreading. Let us know wha…
 
It’s finally time for Bread Week! Here is our third bonus episode in the GBBO series. [actual footage of Jessie and Kelly preparing for recording this episode. JK! it’s Mel and Sue wearing front zip hoodies and shaking out their shoulders] As always, we’d love to be in discussion with you, magical folx. Post or tweet about the show using #criticall…
 
hey, magical beings! This fortnight we’re bringing you a conversation about A Song of Wraiths and Ruin by Roseanne A. Brown, the first in a planned duology. The second/final installment, A Psalm of Storms and Silence is due out in early 2021. Content Warning for discussions of parent death, panic attacks, and child abuse. ChildHelp Call 1-800-422-4…
 
Time for biscuits and episode 2 of our very special bonus episodes about GBBO! What did you think of biscuit week? How are you feeling about the season? [gif of Steph trying to get her merengue off the beater into a metal bowl] As always, we’d love to be in discussion with you, magical folx. Post or tweet about the show using #criticallyreading. Le…
 
Greetings, dear coven. We are excited to introduce our new series of bonus episodes following each new episode of Great British Bake Off! The program is also known as the Great British Baking Show on Netflix/in the USA ( because copyright law). J & K are both amateur bakers who enjoy making everything from bread and patisserie to cookies and cakes.…
 
Hello, coven! This is one of the last few episodes where we refer to ourselves as JK, It’s Magic. We hope you like our new name, and that you feel like you’re part of the coven. This week we’re talking about Bruja Born by Zoraida Córdova, were we get to know a lot more about Lula! If you need a recap about what happened in the last book, check out …
 
We’re coming at you with a super special bonus episode discussing all things about the first two seasons of Umbrella Academy! If you enjoy this episode, let us know, and let us know about any other bonus episode things you’d like to see in the future!! As always, we’d love to be in discussion with you, magical folx. Post or tweet about the show usi…
 
Greetings to all you magical beings out there! This fortnight, we’re discussing A Curse so Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer. We immensely enjoyed Kemmerer’s spin on the whole Beauty and the Beast tradition, and we found Harper to be one of the most relatable and badass protagonists! There’s so much about this novel that we found relevant to our p…
 
Hello, magical folx! This fortnight we’re discussing Crier’s War by Nina Varela! This book is fantasy adjacent, and leans a bit more toward science fiction, but we have lots of world building and robot things to talk about! Call to action: This week we’re educating ourselves on how the various technologies we use impact BIPOC and disabled people. H…
 
Hello, magical friends! We’ve got a bonus episode for you! We recently celebrated 2 years of the podcast! We are so excited to have been in communication with you for the last two years! The time has really flown by. We just wanted to take this time to thank you all who have been here since the beginning, and thank you to those who have just discov…
 
hello, everyone! We’re excited to bring you this episode about The Queen of Nothing by Holly Black, the final installment of the Folk of the Air series (after The Cruel Prince and The Wicked King– which we discuss in episode 8 and episode 16, respectively). In the novel, we finally get to find out what happens to Jude and Cardan, and we see everyth…
 
Hello, magical friends! This fortnight we’re coming at you with a discussion of Children of Virtue and Vengeance by Tomi Adeyemi, the second book in the Legacy of Orïsha series. If you need a recap of the story or what we talked about in the first book, check out episode 2 (so long ago!!!) about Children of Blood and Bone. First up, let me say ther…
 
Hey, magical folx! In this episode we discuss Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia, which is *NOT* YA. We gotta say this at the top because its some sexist bs that women/femme adult fantasy writers get miscategorized as YA (read about how sexism impacts genre categorization). *Call to action* This fortnight, we’re urging our magical comm…
 
Hello, magical ppl! In this episode we dive into We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal, which J & K both enjoyed immensely. Join us for a conversation about how much we <3 enemies-to-lovers ships, badass protags like Zafira and Kifah, Faizal’s impressive world-building, and much more. Content Warning for discussions of child abuse. ChildHelp – Call 1-…
 
Hello, magical folx! This week we’re discussing A Dream so Dark by L.L. McKinney, the second book in the Nightmare-verse series! In this episode we’re making predictions about the future books in the series, talking about “urban” fantasy, and coming at you with some major Star Wars: Rise of the Skywalker spoilers (you’ve been warned!). For a refres…
 
Hey, magical folx! This fortnight we discuss The Marrow Thieves by Cherie Dimaline, a prolific author who is a member of the Georgian Bay Metis Community. Hope you enjoy and learn something(s). BLACK LIVES MATTER. Content warning for discussions of sexual violence and addiction. RAINN – Anti-sex violence assistance. Call 800-856-4619 or visit their…
 
Hello, magical folx! This week we’re discussing Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo, the second book in the Six of Crows series. Check out our Six of Crows episode for a refresher on what happened in the last book! Side Note & Content Warning: We know we’ve been gone for a bit, and we appreciate you patience as we get back in the swing of things. We r…
 
Happy New Year! With 2020 upon us, we wanted to take a look back at 2019. In this very special episode, we’re looking back at some of our favorite books, TV shows, movies, and other things from 2019, and talking about what we’re looking forward to in 2020. We’d love to hear about your favs from the year and what you’re looking forward to in the upc…
 
Hello, magical listeners! We’re coming at you this week with a discussion of Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Córdova, the first in the Brooklyn Brujas series. J & K discuss the failed system of incarceration and the implications of those systems on brown people, beautiful world building, and Latin American folklore. There may also be a few tangents along…
 
Oh hello again, magical listeners! J had the pleasure of reading an ARC of Rena Barron’s Kingdom of Souls, and we’re finally bringing you our conversation about this expansive, thrilling novel. It has one of the the most complex magical systems of anything we’ve read for the podcast so far. Enjoy! Content warning: we briefly discuss sexual violence…
 
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