Friday memes and 'Storms of Witchcraft' by Emerson W. Baker

Alison Can Read Feature & FollowIt's my birthday!! I'm officially 21 which means I'm not allowed to legally drink in America, not that that does me any good over here in the UK. It does feel like I'm not at an 'officially grown up' age, so I'll try to be a bit more adult ;) No promises though. Now, let's get onto these memes!

Follow Friday is hosted by Alison Can Read and Parajunkee and this week's question was suggested by Jess over at GREAT Read and is:
Before blogging (dark times people!) how would you find out about new books or did you?

I actually am not quite sure, it feels like such a long time ago! I got most of my books from family, I think, and because I wanted to study English I looked up a lot of lists of books to read which meant I tried to read Catcher in the Rye at twelve, which wasn't a good idea. The first Twilight book on the other hand was a bit more of a hit at that age, although when I was fifteen those two switched around and Catcher in the Rye became a new favourite. OK, got side-tracked there. I got most of my new books from just seeing them in stores and since I tend to be wary of books that get hyped I missed out on most of them even then!
Book Blogger Hop
Book Blogger Hop is hosted by Billy over at Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer. This week's question was submitted by Camille over at Girl meets Books (great blog name!):
What books would you want to read again for the first time?

Ugh, which wouldn't I? I watched Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince last night and realized I would love to read the Harry Potter books again for the first time and just be completely new to J.K.'s whole magical world. It was just such fun! I would also love to read Wuthering Heights again because I think I have decided on it being my all time favourite book and I would just love to experience that rollercoaster all over again. There are lots of other ones as well, like Pride & Prejudice, Frankenstein, Special Topics of Calamity Physics and more.

This week I'm using a book that has me slightly obssessed and fascinated for Book Beginnings (hosted over at Rose City Reader) and Friday 56 (hosted over at Freda's Voice). That book is A Storm of Witchcraft by Emerson W. Baker. This isn't the whole blurb, but it's a bit long:

Beginning in January 1692, Salem Village in colonial Massachusetts witnessed the largest and most lethal outbreak of witchcraft in early America. Villagers--mainly young women--suffered from unseen torments that caused them to writhe, shriek, and contort their bodies, complaining of pins stuck into their flesh and of being haunted by specters. Believing that they suffered from assaults by an invisible spirit, the community began a hunt to track down those responsible for the demonic work. The resulting Salem Witch Trials, culminating in the execution of 19 villagers, persists as one of the most mysterious and fascinating events in American history. 
Baker shows how a range of factors in the Bay colony in the 1690s, including a new charter and government, a lethal frontier war, and religious and political conflicts, set the stage for the dramatic events in Salem. Engaging a range of perspectives, he looks at the key players in the outbreak--the accused witches and the people they allegedly bewitched, as well as the judges and government officials who prosecuted them--and wrestles with questions about why the Salem tragedy unfolded as it did, and why it has become an enduring legacy.
I'm fascinated by witchcraft and Baker's account is really interesting. I've already learned so much about not only the Salem trials but also about Puritanism, Massachusetts' history and other, fascinating, witchcraft cases and I'm only a third in.

'Tucked away in a corner of the Peabody Essex Museum in the City of Salem sits one of the great artifacts of early American history: a small oak valuables cabinet. - Introduction'In the middle of January 1692, strange events began to take place in the Salem Village parsonage. Reverend Samuel Parris and his wife, Elizabeth, began to notice that their daugter, Betty, and niece, Abigail William, were behaving oddly.' - p.14
I decided to give you the beginning both of the intro and the actual book because it shows two examples of why the book is so interesting. Baker approaches the trials from a lot of different angles, such as for example the cabinet, while also giving quite detailed accounts of what the documents tell us. It's simply really interesting!

'Even the climate seemed to be part oft he conspiracy against New England. The 1680s and 1690s were part of the Maunder Minimum, the most extreme weather of the Little Ice Age, a period of colder temperatures occurring roughly from 1400 to 1800. Strikingly cold winters and dry summers were common in those decades.' p.58
Climate and environment are really important contributors to culture and this makes the book even more interesting because currently out climate is changing quite a lot as well. I'm not suggesting we'll soon have new witchcraft trials, but I can imagine some of our current world problems can be brought back to it.

So, that was my post for today, now I'm going to go blog-hopping!


  1. This sounds fascinating. I've seen some documentaries about this but not read a book. I'd like to read this.
    Here is my 56 -

  2. I love that you got your books from family members! I was the only reader in my household growing up. The only "adult" books I remember my parents owning were a natural home remedies book and a Michael Jordan biography. -_- Now my dad and brother are both big readers, but my mom will only skim magazines. Happy Friday!

    Here's my F&F!

  3. Hmmm... Before blogging,I got to know about only a few new books and that was on Goodreads but now my wishlist is growing faster than ever!
    I would love to read Harry Potter for the first time too! I remember I took my e-reader to every place I go (even bathroom) just so I could read HP! It was an amazing experience!
    As for A Storm Witchcraft, the writing style of this book is definitely not my cup of tea but I hope you enjoyed it! Great post :)
    Thanx for stopping by my blog! :)

    Book Maniac Reviews

  4. Harry Potter is a great choice! I do remember the first time I read a HP book. It was dazzling! A Storm of Witchcraft sounds interesting. I've read about Salem but have yet to go though it's on my one day list. The history there is horrifying though I've heard some interesting theories about what happened.

  5. A book on witchcraft is perfect for this time of year, don't you think? Spooky things are going to happen...and I can feel the chill in the air.

    Thanks for sharing...and for visiting my blog.

  6. I wouldn't mind reading the Harry Potter books again.

  7. I like thinking about how climate definitely affects the culture as your 56 talked about. Great choice!
    Check out my Friday 56

  8. Haha, I love that you tried to read the suggested lists when you were younger. I definitely still go to those tables in Barnes and Noble that are the school required reading lists and see if there's anything that I should read.

    Thanks for stopping by my FF.

    Old Follower

    Kat @ Readiculous Blog

  9. Happy official birthday Julie! I had completely forgotten that they changed the legal drinking age in America ha ha!

    I can't quite put my finger on it, but for some strange reason, I've always been drawn to the colonial times; specifically the Salem days. I actually have two books lined up that specifically have this particular setting as the main scene. I just added your BB feature to my TBR :)

    Thanks for sharing and may your day be just as magical as books! :D

    Sparrow's BB & Friday 56

  10. Yes, the talk about the cold and dry weather does make this book seem very timely.

  11. Yeah hype books are scary sometimes. I feel like they're definitely a 50/50 thing! But I got most of my new reads from just strolling the shelves too! That and Amazon recommends!

    Here's my Follow Friday

    Have a GREAT day!

    Old Follower :)

  12. It's been so long since I have read Catcher in the Rye. I remember finding that at my school library. Thank you for stopping by. :)
    Old follower

  13. Love your answer about "which wouldn't I" re-read. Very good answer. :)

    I don't normally re-read, but after I share a book with a friend and discuss, that seems to be like re-reading. :)

    I love the cover of A Storm of Witchcraft.

    Thanks for sharing your posts.

    Happy Hopping!! My blog hop link is below.

    Silver's Reviews
    My Blog Hop Answer

    1. Sharing a book with someone else is almost like rereading through them!

  14. How interesting to hear that was part of the little ice age.

  15. Happy birthday to you
    Happy birthday to you
    Happy birthday dearest Juli
    Happy birthday to you!!!

  16. Hi Juli,

    'Happy Birthday', now you are all good and legal, at least here in the UK! Have a good birthday celebration!

    I generally make it a point never to re-read a book. In fact I always pass on my books when I have read them. There are simply too many great books out there, with more being added all the time, to spend valuable hours re-visiting past stories!

    I am going to stick my white flag of surrender above the parapet and admit that I have never read a Harry Potter book and have no urge to do so! We also have all the films on DVD, yet have only ever watched the first one in the series.

    I am also not much of a non fiction reader, although I do enjoy what I call 'coffee table' books, which you can pick up randomly and always find something interesting to browse for a few minutes.

    I can remember always being fascinated by the book 'Salem's Lot', which I had to study for GCE's, so very long ago! Therefore, whilst I probably wouldn't read 'A Storm Of Witchcraft', I did enjoy your teaser lines and of course, I do hope that you continue to enjoy it as much as you seem to be.

    Have a good weekend,


  17. Happy 21st! I'm a new Bloglovin' follower. It's good that you tried to read some of the classics at a young age-most kids have to be forced into that!

    My FF post

  18. Yeah I also got books from my family, my mom and brothers are all big readers so anytime they loved something I was forced to read it(not that I'm complaining). =)

    New GFC follower!

  19. I love getting books from my mom when I am in the mood for a good murder mystery book. I give her alot of recs too. I recently met some people at work who like to read alot too so it's nice trading books with them.
    Since started blogging though I get so much more recs and i get to tlk about books more with people who like as much s I do and I love it!
    -Amanda @ Escaping Within Pages

  20. Your book about the Salem Witch Trials sounds very interesting. I take it that it is nonfiction. If you want to read some historical fiction about the time period try The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane. I quite liked it. Here are my quotes---Anne

  21. Other way around I guess. Although I walk up and down the aisles of the bookstore, my eyes were used to be drawn to the "showcase display", the bestsellers at that time.

    Thanks for stopping by. Old follower.

  22. Happy Birthday, I hope you had a fantastic day. I understand about being wary over books that are hyped up as a lot of them fall short of expections I find. Hope you have a great week and thanks for stopping by my blog.
    I'm a bloglovin follower.
    Sharon @ Sharon's Book Nook!

  23. The beginning gets my curiosity going.

  24. Happy Birthday! I hope you have a great day! Thanks for dropping by my blog!

  25. I also used to get books from family members too! Thanks for stopping by my blog! I am a new GFC follower. Happy Birthday! :)

  26. I think it's awesome that you had books passed down to you--it's like they were giving you the gift of reading.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog!
    Old Follower :)

  27. Happy birthday! I hope you have a brilliant day and that you celebrate well :) Haha I love the Twilight books, and isn't it funny that I just read Harry Potter for the first time myself? Super cool blog you have here and I am proud to be a follower of it :D

    Check out my post and giveaway:

  28. The Book Beginning is really interesting. I read the abridged Pride & Prejudice a long time back. But I want to take some time out and read the unabridged one. Have a great week! Thanks for stopping by my blog.

  29. Awesome answers! I've been meaning to at least reread HP! Existing GFC Follower! Thanks for stopping by! Happy reading!

  30. I also used to get books from my family. Thanks for stopping by my blog. Following you back on Bloglovin.


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