Goodreads Monday: A Discovery of Witches

Goodreads Monday is a weekly meme where we randomly select a book from our Goodreads To Be Read list and share it with the world. It’s hosted by Lauren’s Page Turners, so be sure to link back to her site so that we can all see what everyone plans to read!


A Discovery of Witches (All Souls Trilogy #1)
by Deborah Harkness
579 pages
Published in February 2011 by Viking Penguin

From Goodreads: Deep in the stacks of Oxford’s Bodleian Library, young scholar Diana Bishop unwittingly calls up a bewitched alchemical manuscript in the course of her research. Descended from an old and distinguished line of witches, Diana wants nothing to do with sorcery; so after a furtive glance and a few notes, she banishes the book to the stacks. But her discovery sets a fantastical underworld stirring, and a horde of daemons, witches, and vampires soon descends upon the library. Diana has stumbled upon a coveted treasure lost for centuries-and she is the only creature who can break its spell.


I’ve heard about Deborah Harkness’s All Souls Trilogy many times but had never really been interested in it until I listened to a recent episode of the Folger Shakespeare Library’s podcast, Shakespeare Unlimited featuring Harkness, who is a historian as well as an author. The All Souls Trilogy has been adapted for television on the BBC and AMC. In the interview, Harkness discusses how her own real-life discovery of a lost manuscript blended with her contemplation of the shelves in an airport bookshop in Mexico to help her come up with the idea of her own books. Her take on the powers of humans, witches, vampires, and demons was incredibly interesting and made me want to give her A Discovery of Witches a shot, just to see how a historian would deal with vampires, witches, and ancient manuscripts. It’s bound to be different from most writers’ perspectives, so hopefully that will translate to an interesting book.

2 thoughts on “Goodreads Monday: A Discovery of Witches

  1. Did not know that Folger Shakespeare had a podcast. Thanks for that tip. I did learn that she’s a historian from another podcast (I forgot which) and that got me interested in her book, which I haven’t yet read.

  2. You’re welcome! I’ve been listening to the Folger’s podcast for a couple of years, and it’s great! They talk about all sorts of things to do with the Elizabethan era and the world of Shakespeare and Shakespearean theater.

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