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Under My Hat: Tales from the Cauldron (Innkeeper's World #1.5)

3.84 of 5 stars 3.84  ·  rating details  ·  991 ratings  ·  137 reviews
Black Cats.
Pointy Hats.

They can mean only one thing - somewhere nearby, there must be a witch. From fairy tales to fims to fiction, witches cast their spells and capture our imaginations.

Now the biggest names in fantasy and young adult literature have come together to make a little magic of their own. Neil Gaiman, Holly Black, Diana Peterfreund, Margo Lanagan,

Hardcover, 424 pages
Published August 28th 2012 by Random House Books for Young Readers
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Let It Snow by John GreenBeware the Little White Rabbit by Shannon DelanyGeektastic by Holly BlackNever Be Younger by Rachel BatemanSummer Crush by Sasha Hibbs
YA Anthologies
13th out of 37 books — 45 voters
Geektastic by Holly BlackHow They Met, and Other Stories by David LevithanThe Tales of Beedle the Bard by J.K. RowlingBeware the Little White Rabbit by Shannon DelanyLet It Snow by John Green
YA Short Stories & Collections
237th out of 279 books — 132 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Sep 15, 2015 Julianna rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of PNR Fantasy Short Stories; Witches; YA/NA Fantasy Fiction
Reviewed for THC Reviews
"3.5 stars" Overall
*newest review for this anthology

Stray Magic by Diana Peterfreund - Stray Magic is a really cute story about a stray dog that is brought into an animal shelter. Mary Louise aka Malou, the girl who works there, was told by her friend that it is a Golden Retriever, but what she sees is a ragged, ancient-looking dog, who can mysteriously communicate with her psychically. The dog tells Malou that she's lost her master, and must find him within three days
I received a free copy of this when I went to the DWJ convention, and liked it enough that I'm hoping I'll be able to cart it home with me, despite limited luggage allowances. Just the sort of short stories I enjoy, and very readable indeed. Well recommended.

(view spoiler)
Oct 28, 2012 Kendra rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: ya
I discovered this book via the Forever Young Adult blog, and it sounded too good to pass up. Of course, in order to get it in time to read before Halloween, I had to bite the bullet and actually buy the digital version (which is rare for me).

I'm really glad I took the gamble. These short stories are woven together nicely. They are all very different kinds of tales coming from a variety of authors, but each had the central theme of witches in them, so I was able to go from one story to the next w
Oct 02, 2012 Laura rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: urban fantasy fans
Really excellent collection of stories with witches at their center. Once again, the Jim Butcher contribution was worth the price of the book. The rest of the stories were pretty awesome too. There were several with characters that I'd read whole books about. This is marketed for YAs, but it's very adult friendly.
So, one of these stories begins "Liesl, that grinch, stole my G string."


It turned out to be about musicians. It would have been much more original, if less appropriate for the audience, if it had been about magical strippers.
Standout stories: Tanith Lee's Felidis, Charles de Lint's Barrio Girls, Ellen Kushner's Threefold World, and most surprisingly for me, Jim Butcher's B is for Bigfoot.

Honourable mention: Garth Nix's A Handful of Ashes, for turning me around even when I saw it was set in a made-up world and groaned.

Worst story: Holly Black's Little Gods. I got about three pages into her book White Cat and had the exact same reaction there as I did here - this is a story for American teenagers and no-one else.

Not i
Its rare that I find such a strong collection of stories, but I breezed through this one in a day. The selections were well made mixing in stories set in the modern age to more fantastical times.
Since this is an anthology, I left reviews on what was the most memorable to me but I had many points in the stories I wanted to reference so I left it all under the spoiler tag.

(view spoiler)
Althea Ann
*** “Stray Magic”, Diana Peterfreund
A sentimental and cute story with a message - about a kindly animal shelter worker, and the magical dog that comes into her care.

*** “Payment Due”, Frances Hardinge
After an uncaring agent repossesses her grandmother's belongings, a young witch decides to take revenge into her own hands. A sense of street justice and a vein of real creepiness runs through this.

*** “A Handful of Ashes”, Garth Nix
A tale of a plot to overthrow the administration of a witches' col
Kathy Davie
An anthology of eighteen short stories revolving around a theme of witches and magic.

"B is for Bigfoot", (Bigfoot Trilogy, 3 published); (Bigfoot, 1 chronological), & Dresden Files: Short Stories, 15

The Stories
Diana Peterfreund's "Stray Magic" is so sweet! Peterfreund created a lovely story that really pulled my heartstrings with a seemingly abandoned dog who desperately wants his master back.

Frances Hardinge's "Payment Due" is wicked good! Even short stories can suffer in this econo
Amy Lignor

For anyone who is a lover of the world of witchcraft, and admires those little darlings who wear the black, pointed hats and have that feline as their familiar - these are the tales for you! A ton of beloved novelists from the fantasy realm have come together, each offering their own story about the witch-‘y’ women we have come to love.

As we all know, just like the dove is the symbol for peace and the red, white and blue is all about America, the witch has her own symbols. But what is most inter
Okay, I'm cheating a bit here. I didn't read the whole book. I only got my hands on this book for the Jim Butcher short story, B is for Bigfoot. So my review was solely based on JB's story and it alone.

Interestingly, I had previously read a short story about Bigfoot and his son Irwin in another anthology (the name escapes me at the moment). So I wasn't entirely unfamiliar with Bigfoot. What I found surprising was that this story was about the first time that Dresden met Bigfoot!! So did I read t
I’ve undergone a transformation. For most of my life I thought of short stories as the second-class citizens of the reading world. Why read a short story anthology when you could pick a thick book that would keep you reading the same story for hours? I wanted epic stories, the longer the better.

Things have changed since those days. I don’t have hours-long blocks of time to spend immersed in a book (unless I want to stay awake all night and then deal with a reading hangover at work the next day).
A good collection, full of variety regarding how the authors twisted the theme Witches, one of the best twisted stories was Tanith Lee's "Felidis" and Jim Butcher's Harry Dresten story "B is for Bigfoot" but both Isobelle Carmody's "The stone witch" and Peter S. Beagle's "Great-grandmother in the celler" must be named too.

Jane Yolen took a H. C. Andersen tale and changed it which I liked.
Then there are of course one author who like Tanith Lee never disappoints me are Gareth Nix which in a "A han
I think my top three were the Holly Black, Charles de Lint and Jim Butcher. Special mention for Neil Gaiman's poem as well :)
David Caldwell
A collection of 18 magical tales of witches. As with any collection with multiple authors, some stories are better than others(or appeal to me more directly at least).

1, Stray Magic. Diana Peterfreund. The bond between a magician and his familiar is stronger than can be expected.
2, Payment Due. Frances Hardinge. You should always be fair in you dealings with witches or you may live to regret it.
3, A Handful of Ashes. Garth Nix. A group of poor student witches may end up being their school's only
Under My Hat is a great collection of short stories about witches, which could be read by young adults and up. It includes great authors. I've read this book twice. The second time, I didn't get to read every one. So my memories of them are weaker. I can remember being blown away by the inventiveness of them all. Neil Gaiman was the only disappointment. I usually like his work, but this was just a two-page poem.

This collection is so good that I must buy it, poor though I am.

Here are the short s
Alison C
Under My Hat: Tales from the Cauldron, edited by Jonathan Strahan, is an anthology of original YA short stories, each of which features a witch (or, in one case, a wizard). Authors range from some I've never heard of (Diana Peterfreund, Isobelle Carmody) to some old and familiar favourites (Neil Gaiman, Peter S. Beagle, Charles de Lint, Patricia A. McKillip, Jane Yolen, Tanith Lee) and a few in the middle. As a themed anthology, one would expect there to be a certain sameness in the stories, but ...more
Richard Stueber
The hat in the title of this anthology refers to the tall, black, pointy hat associated with witches. These are stories of witchcraft and wizardry.
I got the book for yet another Harry Dresden story, 'B Is For Bigfoot'. Harry has to meet his new client in the woods in northern Wisconsin. It turns out to be a Bigfoot or Sasquatch called Strength of a River in His Shoulders. River Shoulders has a half human son attending an exclusive school in Chicago. The son, 8 or 9 years old is being bullied by
Heather Iveson
I'm a long-time fan of fantasy short story collections and with names like these on the cover, how could I resist? Under my hat contains a lot of stories, and pleasantly every single one of them was new to me. I often find that modern collections contain quite a few that have been recycled over and over. I'm not sure if they can be found elsewhere or not but they're a great read! Don't be turned off by the book being listed as for children - the stories are full of depth and detail and are reall ...more
I picked this book for the short story "B is for Bigfoot" by Jim Butcher featuring character Harry Dresden. I was tempted to just read the short story I was interested while standing in the library and not bother with checking it out, but the premise for the collection seemed like something that might strike my fancy if done correctly. I am so glad I rented this collection from the library! I really enjoyed almost all of the tales. Each one was so unique, but yet still tied to the central theme. ...more
Sarah Churchill
I really enjoyed most of the stories, though of course some are stronger than others. I did feel a bit over-witched by the end, but it's a very good collection.
Snail in Danger (Sid) Nicolaides
A reasonably strong anthology. I think I actually read all the stories, even though I probably couldn't recall the details of them all without prompting.
Fantastic collection of YA stories involving witches (in some way).
Andrew Pagel

I'm loving it! Great collection of everything witch!
Honza Prchal
This is a compilation, so one has a very interesting and ambiguously weird poem by Neil Gaiman and a rollicking short story by Jim Butcher and some very different work too.
It is a good sampler of widely different styles, unified by a common theme, and with a lighter touch than George R. R. Martin's related compilation Dangerous Women.
This is a fun read, with little that will be life-changing except perhaps for a teenager (or parent of one considering letting one go to a Wiccan happening unchaper
Stephanie (Stepping out of the Page)
I love a good seasonal read and Under My Hat: Tales from the Cauldron was my choice of read for Halloween this year. The book is a collection of short stories by several well known and talented authors, with all of the stories relating in some way, to the iconic witch hat, witchery or in general, magic.

I don't often read short stories, but with a choice of eighteen tales, I thought this would be a fun choice and I was guaranteed to enjoy at least a few of the stories! I haven't reviewed many sh

Introduction: Looking under the hat, Jonathan Strahan. I was very pleased with his introduction, it had facts, but also the familiar feel of the author. (4 stars)

Stray Magic, Diana Peterfreund. I've never read or heard from her before picking up this book, so I didn't know what to expect. I still can't decide if I like her style of writing, it's not terrible, but is just kind of plain. It's a cute story that involves a dog and her magical master. (3 stars)

Little Gods, Holly Black. This shor
Another fantasy anthology! I really liked this one, it was full of cool, funny and magical stories. Most, luckily, I really liked and I'm going to talk about those in this review. But I have mention that some I didn't like. Maybe because of the content, or the writing style, whatever it was, I sometimes wished I'd skipped them. But they all offered something unique and I can appreciate that.

So, a few stories that I liked. First up, the first story of the book in fact, was Stray Magic by Diana P
Michelle (Much Loved Books)
From the moment I saw Under My Hat at a blogger event earlier this year I knew it was a book I had to read. With a mix of authors that we know and love like Holly Black (Little Gods), Garth Nix (A Handful of Ashes), and Neil Gaiman (Witch Work) and to me, some not well know authors.

One of the best things about books from Hot key books, is that they have their own special ring, the Hot Key Ring, on the back of each book. The ring lets you, the reader, know what to expect from each book. Under My
I really loved almost all of the eighteen stories in this anthology, which is very unusual. But first, this copy has thirty plus pages from toward the beginning at toward the ending, so I didn’t get the beginning of Jane Yolen’s story “Andersen’s Witch” or the end of Isabelle Carmody’s story “The Stone Witch.” Bummer! I've asked SFBC where I bought the book to replace it, we'll see...
*“Andersen’s Witch” seems to be how Hans Christian Andersen came to be such a prominent storyteller. (Since Yolen
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“Here's the thing. I hate kids. Always have.
I mean, I know the job of the race, biologically speaking, is to achieve immortality through reproduction, but the idea of getting impregnated and blowing up like a balloon as I serve as a carrier and service unit for this other person who will eventually burst out of me in the most terrifying way imaginable, then carry on using me one way or another for the rest of my life, is right up there with throwing myself off the top of a twenty-story building. If I have a biological clock, it is digital and does not tick.”
“Whenever you've got a choice, do good, kiddo. It isn't always fun or easy, but in the long run it makes your life better.” 12 likes
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