THE WITCHING YEAR— Author Diana Helmuth in Conversation With Joanna Robinson


October 4, 2023 - 7:00pm

Photo of author and cover and time/date of event

Please join us on Wednesday, October 4 at 7:00 PM as we welcome author Diana Helmuth for a conversation with Joanna Robinson about Diana's new memoir, THE WITCHING YEAR: A MEMOIR OF EARNEST FUMBLING THROUGH MODERN WITCHCRAFT.

This event will be in person at the store at 6120 La Salle Ave., Oakland, CA 94611.

Order your copy of THE WITCHING YEAR at, or in audiobook from our audiobook partner at


A skeptic’s year-long quest to find spiritual fulfillment through modern Witchcraft, perfect for fans of A.J. Jacobs and Mary Roach.

Diana Helmuth, thirty-three, is skeptical of organized religion. She is also skeptical of disorganized religion. But, more than anything, she is tired of God being dead. So, she decides to try on the fastest growing, self-directed faith in America: Witchcraft.

The result is 366 days of observation, trial, error, wit, and back spasms. Witches today are often presented as confident and finished, proud and powerful. Diana is eager to join them. She wants to follow all the rules, memorize all the incantations, and read all the liturgy. But there’s one glaring problem: no Witch can agree on what the right rules, liturgy, and incantations are.

As with life, Diana will have to define the craft for herself, looking past the fashionable and figuring out how to define the real. Along the way, she travels to Salem and Edinburgh (two very Crafty hubs) and attends a week-long (clothing optional) Witch camp in Northern California. Whether she’s trying to perform a full moon ritual on a cardboard box, summon an ancient demon with scotch tape and a kitchen trivet, or just trying to become a calmer, happier person, her biggest question remains: Will any of this really work?

The Witching Year follows in the footsteps of celebrated memoirs by journalists like A.J. Jacobs, Mary Roach, and Caitlin Doughty, who knit humor and reportage together in search of something worth believing.

About Diana Helmuth

Diana Helmuth is a nonfiction author. Before delving into writing, she studied anthropology and Arabic at UC Berkeley and went on to moonlight in Silicon Valley’s startup land as an operations manager for several seed-stage companies. Her first book, How to Suffer Outside, won a National Outdoor Book Award, and her freelance work on travel, millennial cultural trends, and nature journalism can be found in various books and online magazines. When she’s not writing, she helps produce the occasional podcast. Helmuth was born and raised in Northern California.

About Joanna Robinson

Joanna Robinson is a podcaster and cultural critic for The Ringer appearing on several shows including The Ringer-Verse (covering all things fandom), Trial By Content, The Prestige TV feed, and more. Formerly a senior writer at Vanity Fair from 2014-2021. She was the founder and co-host of both A Storm of Spoilers and A Cast of Kings podcasts as well as Vanity Fair’s Still Watching podcast and the magazine’s awards season show Little Gold Men. She has also served as a featured panel moderator at marquee events such as SXSW, Con of Thrones, Mill Valley Film Festival, and ATX Television Festival.


6120 LaSalle Avenue
Oakland, CA 94611
United States