Ep 55: Alice Hoffman’s “The Rules of Magic”; “What Should I Read Next?”

Alice Hoffman is the New York Times bestselling author of Practical Magic, which inspired the cult-classic film by the same name starring Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman.

In this week’s episode of Just the Right Book Podcast, the New York native joins Roxanne to discuss witches, feminism, family secrets, and her latest book, The Rules of Magic. The book which is set in New York City in the sixties is a prequel to Practical Magic and was picked by Reese Witherspoon for her October 2017 Book Club read. The actress and book lover described the story as “full of magic, love, family, heartbreak and redemption.”

When asked what attracted her to witches and magic, Alice Hoffman reveals how she grew up reading fairy tales, folk tales and myths. “What you read as a child influences who you become as a writer and who you become as a person. For me, it’s not a choice. Magic and literature are just wound together…braided together…they exist together. I always feel like realism is the new kid on the block and that literature is magic.”

And stay tuned after Roxanne’s conversation with Alice Hoffman to hear from Anne Bogel, the host of the popular book podcast What Should I Read Next? and the creator of the blog Modern Mrs. Darcy.

Books in this episode:

Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman

The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

The Burning Girl by Claire Messud

The Weight of Ink by Rachel Kadish

The Ninth Hour by Alice Dermott

Tell Me a Riddle by Tillie Olsen

Epilogue: A Memoir by Anne Roiphe

Reading People: How Seeing the World Through the Lens of Personality Changes Everything by Anne Bogel

This Must be the Place by Maggie O’Farrell

The Riders by Tim Winton

Nothing Remains the Same: Rereading and Remembering by Wendy Lesser

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard

The Writing Life by Annie Dillard

Draft No. 4: On the Writing Process by John McPhee

Walkable City: How Downtown Can Save America, One Step at a Time by Jeff Speck


  • Linda Sullivan Posted December 7, 2017 8:55 pm

    Thanks for talking with Alice Hoffman my favorite writer/I love how she uses words and never thought I would like magical realism until I read her books. Hoping she will come to RJ’s soon as I have been to all her previous events.

  • Linda Sullivan Posted December 7, 2017 9:02 pm

    Just a suggestion: it would be great if you could do a podcast with Dolly Parton /she also has a book giveaway similar to Read to Grow which she gives books to children and has written a children’s book I believe/I think it would be an awesome talk/thanks

  • Andrea Methvin Posted December 10, 2017 3:23 am

    It was so great to hear my two favorite book podcasters chat with one another. Thanks Roxanne and Anne. It was like when I was a kid, and The Flintstones met The Jetsons! Perfection.

    • Just the Right Book Podcast Posted December 19, 2017 2:44 pm

      Glad you enjoyed, Andrea!

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