Welcome to our Ten Book Challenge where our favorite authors share their “Book-It List”—a book bucket list with 10 of their most beloved and memorable reads—from the books with their favorite covers and best opening lines, to the reads they gift and the bookstores they frequent. This is a peek into your favorite authors’ perfect bowl of literary comfort food. We hope you discover something delicious! 

Who doesn’t love a summery witchy read? We could hardly wait for the August release of The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches by Sangu Mandanna. This fantasy romance appeals to our Practical Magic obsession (heavy on the powerful feminine magic!) and it’s Mandanna’s first novel for adults, to boot. Known as an acclaimed children’s author, Mandanna has crafted an uplifting read about an isolated witch whose opportunity to embrace a quirky new family—and love—changes the course of her life.

In The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches, Mika Moon is one of the few witches in Britain, and she knows how to hide her magic and keep her head down. And as an orphan who lost her parents at a young age, she’s used to being alone and following the rules—with one exception: an online account, where she posts videos “pretending” to be a witch. No one will take it seriously, right? Then someone sends her an unexpected message, asking her to travel to the mysterious Nowhere House to teach three young witches how to control their magic, Mika decides to break the rules and go. Amidst the lives and secrets of her three charges—along with an absent archaeologist, a retired actor, and two long-suffering caretakers—Mika starts to find her place at Nowhere House, daring to dream that she might actual belong somewhere. Then there’s also . . . Jamie. The handsome and prickly librarian of Nowhere House who would do anything to protect the children, and as far as he’s concerned, a stranger like Mika is an irritation, albeit an appealing one.

But magic isn’t the only danger in the world, and when a threat comes knocking at their door, Mika will need to decide whether to risk everything to protect the found family she didn’t know she was looking for.

The Book I……

I last bought/am currently reading: Always Be My Duchess by Amalie Howard

I recommend to everyone: The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune

That was my favorite to read last year, and why: The Witch’s Heart by Genevieve Gornichec because a book hasn’t made me cry that much in years!

Whose author I would love to have lunch with: Evie Dunmore, author of Bringing Down the Duke

That made me realize language had power: Frankenstein by Mary Shelley 

I’d like to see adapted to the screen: Bringing Down the Duke by Evie Dunmore

That made me laugh out loud—or cry—while reading it: Nettle and Bone by T Kingfisher

That has the most gorgeous cover: Daughter of the Moon Goddess by Sue Lynn Tan

With the best opening line: A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James

Bookstore that I frequent/is my favorite: It’s a tie between Waterstones (the one in Norwich, England) and Bookbugs and Dragon Tales (also in Norwich!)

Bonus question: The book I’ve reread the most times: The Secret Countess by Eva Ibbotson

Don’t miss our exclusive interview with Sangu Mandanna about second-guessing oneself, captivating a new audience, and the witchy power she would pick for herself.