"Gripping... Helmuth [makes] a strong feminist case for reclaiming the word ‘witch’ from stereotypes, associating it instead with ecological acumen and prevailing over patriarchy." - The New York Times
"Stirring up a perfect brew of history, honesty and humor, Diana Helmuth's The Witching Year is a magical read for those searching for true north." - Kristin Russo, host of Buffering the Vampire Slayer
"Before I started reading this book, I had a limited and warped view of wicca, sort of like Diana’s mom who asked when she was going to start sacrificing animals. But thanks to The Witching Year, I got an entertaining crash course in this tradition. Diana is a wonderful guide, and her journey is thoughtful, funny, simultaneously open-minded and filled with doubt, and dare I say it, magical. I rooted her on as she learned her first hex, summoned the elements, and sprinkled spices around her house." - AJ Jacobs, bestselling author of The Year of Living Biblically
"This is a book that I shall keep. It is the best available portrait of witchcraft in contemporary America. It is also highly intelligent, extremely funny, and good-hearted, and it asks some profound questions to which it provides plausible answers. Understanding attitudes to magic is another way of understanding people, and this book enables us to do both better." - Ronald Hutton, PhD, author of Triumph of the Moon
"Helmuth's Witching Year is a deeply human recounting of one woman's mission to craft and discover what often feels undiscoverable. It is so rare to see a heart bared in this way as Diana shares her deeply intimate walk on her quest to claiming her space at the Witching table. Witty, raw and relatable, it feels like being invited along to a close friend's personal, spiritual journey; the tears, the laughs and the realizations that may just surprise you." —
Rebecca Beyer, author of Wild Witchcraft
"I made it to p. 8 before my pen was out, taking notes in the margins. Helmuth’s book is a witty crash course in witchcraft cloaked in the guise of a compelling memoir about one woman's quest for spiritual fulfillment. This is a valuable read for the blushing witch-curious among you." -Frances Denny, award winning photographer, Major Arcana
“[Helmuth’s] wry tone will charm readers, and those who have taken on similar spiritual quests will relate to the author’s desire to know if she’s ‘doing it right.’ Aspiring witches and readers itching to learn more about the occult will find inspiration and amusement.” - Publisher's Weekly
"Diana is a fearless and fun guide in The Witching Year, delightfully bumbling through the occult, engaging the questions we're scared to admit we've been asking, too. I laughed out loud many times and felt a kindred connection to Diana's earnest search for a larger meaning. She demonstrates that magic is made in the process of seeking.” - Lorraine Monteagut, PhD, author of Brujas: The Magic and Power of Witches of Color
"[Helmuth's] wry perspective keeps the narrative deeply entertaining. But it’s also an endeavor with ample heart, rigorous inquiry and an extensive bibliography. Comedic tendencies never eclipse Helmuth’s genuine curiosity about, and respect for, her subject matter." - Susannah Felts, Bookpage
"Both readable and relatable, this book models how a person seeking faith outside of organized religion's rigidity might conduct a search for authentic connection and belief." - Booklist
How to Suffer Outside:
A Beginner's Guide to Hiking and Backpacking
There's a right way to go backpacking, and then there's the "that's probably good enough way." This is about the latter.
Featuring the art of Latasha Dunston.
Winner of the National Outdoor Book Award
for Best Instructional
What Critics Are Saying
"One of the top new adventure books to read right now"
"Funny, relatable and great for any outdoors person on your list, from the casual walker to the experienced backpacker."
Bay Area News Group
“It’s the humor that knocked me on my ass…it’s a book about what happens when you confront yourself with something that you feel like you want to do but maybe you don’t feel like you have the expertise to do.”
Da7e and Neil's Podcast Adventure
"With empathetic, good-natured humor... [Helmuth's] book critiques modern hiking culture while outlining everything beginners need to know."
There were very real issues I wondered if she would explore: the financial barrier to entry, the whiteness of it all, the privilege of taking extended time off from work, the safety aspects of being a woman outdoors alone, the fact that people die out there! Helmuth addressed them all and even raised some I hadn’t considered.
Andrea Marks Joseph
"An ideal DIY instructional guide and manual for aspiring hikers and novice backpackers, How to Suffer Outside: A Beginner's Guide to Hiking and Backpacking is especially 'user friendly' in tone, commentary, content, organization and presentation."
Midwest Book Review
"Her perspective is a breath of fresh air on the whole fresh-air-and-nature thing...I would press this book on customers regardless of their interest in backpacking. I would recommend it for the voice and storytelling: "Here, stay inside if you want. Turn off Netflix, and read this."
"It had me giggling out loud as I read it, but it was also filled with so much practical information and fun illustrations that it’s a keeper. Humorous, honest, and useful, this book combines personal anecdotes with research and input from other people to provide reassurance and information about everything you could want to know.”
"Diana has a way of making even the most mundane subjects funny"
Author of Will to Wild and host of REI's Wild Ideas Worth Living podcast
The End of the Golden Gate: Writers on Loving and (sometimes) leaving San Francisco
Bestselling anthology of essays by Bay Area writers, introduced by Gary Kamiya.
A percentage of the proceeds will be given to charities that help those in the bay experiencing homelessness.