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 writing. Oh, and there’s magical texting and pining. Have we convinced you to put this on your TBR yet?!

Content Warning: this book deals with some heavy topics like emotional and physical abuse, which we discuss at length (although in general terms). Please take this into account when deciding whether to dive into this episode.

Call to action this week is some wisdom from Jessie. “This has been a great weekend! Biden won, and I think people should take some time to celebrate, take some time to rest, and then remember that there is still a lot of work to do. Just because 45 is out, doesn’t mean everything will be perfect. Support the dems in the run off races in GA, check out local politics in your area and aid the causes you believe in in whatever way you can.”

Also, did ya’ll know we have a bookshop.org affiliate page? Probably yes because we mention it on the regular. It’s bookshop.org/shop/thelibrarycoven. Consider checking out our lists and maybe you’ll be inspired to treat yourself to something…and we get a tiny sliver of proceeds! It’s a win-win <3

Onto the show notes!


  • K croons some of the lyrics to “Despacito” (by Luis Fonsi ft. Daddy Yankee) and is disappointed (understatement!) when J doesn’t know the song. De nada for this song being stuck in your head. #sorrynotsorry
  • etymology of the Spanish word propio
    • definition: “Que pertenece de manera exclusiva a alguien” (source: RAE)
    • comes from the Latin propius which means own, individual, special, characteristic or particular. (wiktionary)
  • Here is an article about OODA Loop (Observe, Orient, Decide, Act). K highly recommends both episodes on How to Survive the End of the World podcast featuring Queer Nature (episode 1 and episode 2, which gets into detail about the OODA loop)

Books and other media mentioned in the episode

  • Oculta, the sequel to Nocturna, is out mid-December (2020). Sweet!!
  • If you enjoyed the visceral and violent action scenes, J recommends several Marvel shows in particular: The Punisher, Daredevil and Jessica Jones. These are available on Netflix.
  • Brené Brown has written a lot on shame and you can check out some of the highlights in her 2012 TED talk “Listening to Shame.”  
  • Sylvia Wynter is a badass writer and philosopher from the Caribbean. K first learned about her formulations of the “Genre of Man” from the article “Unsettling the Coloniality of Being/Power/Truth/Freedom: Towards the Human, After Man, Its Overrepresentation–An Argument” (2003, PDF here)

As always, we’d love to be in discussion with you, magical folx. Post or tweet about the show using #criticallyreading. Let us know what you think of the episode, anything we missed, or anything else you want us to know by dropping a line in the comments or reaching out to us on twitter or Instagram (@thelibrarycoven), or via email (thelibraycoven@gmail.com). You can also check out the show notes on our website, thelibrarycoven.com.

We really appreciate ratings and reviews on iTunes, Google Podcasts, Spotify, or any other platforms. Help us share the magic by spreading the word about the podcast!

Please support our labor by leaving us a one-time tip on Ko-fi or purchasing books from our Bookshop! Even better yet, become a monthly patron via Patreon and you can unlock a bunch of exclusive perks like mini-sodes, bonus episodes, and access to our community of reader-listeners on Discord.

The podcast theme song is “Unermerry Academy of Magics” by Augustin C from the album “Fantasy Music”, which you can download on FreeMusicArchive.com.

The Library Coven is recorded and produced on stolen indigenous land: Arapahoe, Cheyenne, and Ute (Kelly) and Chickasha, Kaskaskia, Kickapoo, Mascoutin, Miami, Mesquaki, Odawa, Ojibwe, Peankashaw, Peoria, Potawatomi, Sauk, and Wea (Jessie)

You can support Indigenous communities by donating to Mitakuye FoundationNative Women’s Wilderness, or the Navajo Water Project. These suggested places came from @lilnativeboy


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