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Pagan Perspectives

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Question of the Week: 113

Pagan Problem Children: What Can We Do About Them?

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Responses: [2,666]

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112. Elders: Who Are They and Do We Really Need Them? - [74]

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110. What’s Your Favorite Element? - [119]

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105. Are Pagans TOO Individualistic? - [56]

104. Have You Changed Your Mind About the War in Iraq? - [258]

103. What Are You Reading? - [95]

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97. What Natural Objects Are On Your Altar? - [103]

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 Author:    Posted: Sep. 8, 2002   This Page Viewed: 22,084,075  

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Times Viewed: 32,767

Reponses: 95

Lurker/Post Ratio: 344 to 1

Question of the Week: 103 - 3/17/2003

What Are You Reading?

What was the last book(s) that you read or what favorite book would you recommend to others? When in the bookstore or library, which section do you head for first?

Do you prefer fiction or non fiction? Do you read mostly for enjoyment/entertainment or for knowledge/information?

What media besides books do you read? What is your literary skeleton in the bookcase (such as comics, fashion mags, tabloids, showbiz gossip, sports)?

 Reponses:   There are 95 responses posted to this question. Reverse Sort 

Houseload Of Books Mar 17th. at 1:00:50 pm EST

Dark Moon Panther (Rolling Hills of NJ) Age: 40 - Email

I got a houseload of books, so many I can't even find shelf space for 'em all. Right now, I'mreading Mooney's "Myths of the Cherokee", which I recommend for ANYONE interested in Native American ethnography and/or mythology. Caveat: this was written in the late 1800's, so one must gloss over the "white man's burden" attitude. Also contains a comprehensive history of the tribe up to 1900 or so. Also reading current issues of Fantasy and Science Fiction Magazine and Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine. I'm getting ready to re-read "Lord of the Rings" for the (mumble-mumble-th) time. Have recently delved into P. Geyerl's "Master Book of Herbalism" again, and into J. Lust's "The Herb Book" (a remedial herbal) . As mentioned below, "His Dark Materials" trilogy is really good, especially if you've ever read Dante's "Inferno". It also contains one of the best descriptions of real-magick invisibility technique I've ever seen.

My favorite books are legion, but to name a few: "The Lord of the Rings", Erdoes and Ortiz' massive tome on Native American Mythology, "The Broken Mirror" and "The Adonis Complex" by Phillips and crew in Providence, RI (these are lay-accessible books about Body Dysmorphic Disorder, the subject of my recent dissertation) , Jung's "Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious". Favorite skeletons: Anne McCaffrey's Pern books (I've read them all, multiple times) and Harry Potter (can't shake him, either) . As with checking to see if the stove is off, once is fine, a zillion times is problematic.

At the bookstore, I head for the psychology section, then the metaphysical section, then the science fiction/fantasy section. Lately, I usually find myself disappointed with the selection, go home, and go to a big online bookstore and/or the one of the psychology online bookstores.

History And Mythology Mar 17th. at 1:14:25 pm EST

Hearthstone (Northern Michigan) Age: 40 - Email

I'm currently reading Wotan: The Road to Valhalla by Kveldulf Gundarsson. It's an ebook, which I hate, but I got tired of waiting for it to come out in a civilized format!

Favorite book: The Life and Loves of a She-Devil by Fay Weldon. Thought-provoking and entertaining fiction, gives a different perspective on transformation and will.

In a bookstore I usually head straight for the history section; as a semi-reconstructionist I'm particularly fond of histories of pagan religions and wish there were more of them. I almost always prefer non-fiction to fiction (although I did read almost the entire Nero Wolfe corpus in about 6 months last year!) , and I usually find enjoyment and information in the same book. Learning *is* entertaining!

Literary skeletons...I'm not sure I have any. Although I do have a shelf of old Llewellyn books, which served their purpose when I got them many years, but which I no longer find useful (and which I tend not to lend without providing a caveat or two :) ) .

Reading... Mar 17th. at 1:37:28 pm EST

Sara (MA) Age: 41 - Email

My reading requirements are simple: for entertainment purposes: a good book, any genre, that captures my attention and holds it all the way through. My favorite fiction writer is Janet Evanovich - I love her Stephanie Plum series!!! For education/enlightenment: a well-written, believable tome which deals with a subject matter I'm interested in. My current favorite non-fiction book is Ellen Cannon Reed's "The Heart of Wicca". It seems to be "more sincere" (for want of a better way to put it) than some of the other books I've read on the subject (Scott Cunningham's "The Truth About Witchcraft Today", Laurie Cabot's "The Witch in Every Woman" (is that right?) and "The Power of the Witch", Starhawk's "Spiral Dance", Amber K's "True Magick A Beginner's Guide") . I've ordered a copy of "Drawing Down the Moon" as it's been recommended to me several times now.

On a lighter note, my children & I enjoy "The Adventures of Professor Poopypants", Harry Potter and Ramona Quimby books, the "Unfortunate Incidents" series and sometimes just a book that has a neat cover...

The first stop in a library/book store is usually the metaphysical section; followed by mystery and new releases (if my kids let me linger that long!!!) and finally, the children's section.

My literary skeleton would be Ruth Bebe Hill's book "Hanta Yo". Even though I've heard that it's not very accurate historically, it was still a good novel and it opened my eyes, at the age of 18, to the sad, unchangeable fact that sooooooooo many cultures and religions have been destroyed for some reason or other over the centuries and that we need to respect each other's beliefs, not destroy and replace them with our own. If it weren't for that one book, I probably would not be on the path I am today.

Yay Books! Mar 17th. at 1:47:25 pm EST

Amber Heathen (Cornelius Oregon) Age: 22 - Email

The last book I read was The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold--very, *very* good book, ya'll have to read it. I haven't had time to pick up anything else lately. I'm thinking about re-reading East of Eden by John Steinbeck after I get it back from my brother (I loaned it to him like 5 months ago :-S )

Books I would recommend:
The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
The Handmaids Tale by Margaret Atwood
1984 by George Orwell
Animal Farm by George Orwell
The Stand by Stephen King
Practical Magic (can't remember the authors name) --If you haven't seen the movie, don't bother, it sucks, read the book instead.
Of Mice And Men by John Steinbeck
East of Eden by John Steinbeck

Books I wouldn't recommend to my worst enemy:

Anything by Anne Rice
Animal Dreams by Barbara Kingsolver


I think I prefer fiction over non-fiction, I read more for fun--it passes the time on my way to work, and during lunch and cigarette breaks.

Ya HAAAAADD To Ask Me This One, Didn't Ya? Mar 17th. at 2:08:05 pm EST

Gaia (Wisconsin, USA) Age: 22 - Email

OK, this might take awhile, so lemme just dig up my library. Here goes.

What was the last book (s) that you read or what favorite book would you recommend to others?

Last read were some D&D books....both DragonLance and Forgotten Realms; I'm usually reading anywhere from 2-5 of them at a time. I forget the exact titles, but book 1 of the Lost Souls Trilogy, and the Drizzt Do'Urden trilogy, and I think one more, but i can't quite remember the title. And it is quite impossible for me to recommend a "favorite book" without knowing the reader's age or perferences. I have MANY favorites. For instance, The Lord of the Rings trilogy (and add The Hobbit in to make it a foursome) ; The Dark is Rising set by Susan Cooper (young adults section) ; any sort of Dungeons and Dragons-based books; 1984; the Harry Potter set (and I don't care what anyone says: anything so imaginitive and thought-provoking, even for children, is considered by me to be worth reading) ; as well as various paganism books on herbalism and celtic/green magick. I'm also looking for good books about druidism, particulary the celtic leaning ones.......any suggestions? Also, does anyone know of a book or two that compares druidism with wicca? I'm trying to figure out my particulars, and I seem to fall dead on the drawing line betwixt the two.

When in the bookstore or library, which section do you head for first?

Generally the fantasy/sci-fi or the new age/metaphysical/pagan (depending on the store I'm in) , then the other of the 2 aforementioned, next to the young adults and maybe the non-fiction or adult section.

Do you prefer fiction or non fiction?

By far, fiction. However, knowlege is power, and so I am also drawn to readable non-fiction.

Do you read mostly for enjoyment/entertainment or for knowledge/information?

I'd have to say I'm dead-split on that. The books I read, if read purely for information, have to be entertaining as well, no monotonous stuff for me.

What media besides books do you read?

This website, a few others. An occasional magazine as I wait in line or at an office, generally entertainment/fashion/home mags then.

What is your literary skeleton in the bookcase (such as comics, fashion mags, tabloids, showbiz gossip, sports) ?

I don't think I have any. And just for the record, I DO read most of my books many times over, same as watching my favorite movies. You catch alot that you miss by rereading/watching things. The first time I tend to get caught up in the emotions of the tale/movie, then i usually pick details later on in subsequent readings/viewings.

Just my Dime's Worth!

Lady Gaia NiCiamahra

Books And Such Mar 17th. at 2:27:59 pm EST

Nikos Wolf (Maine, USA) Age: 21 - Email

Right now, I am close to finishing Lord of the Rings. Just prior to picking that up, I read The Hobbit. I'm also constantly re-reading a few Tom Brown books on wilderness survival and tracking. I also enjoy the Dragonlance novel "The Companions", and am part way through "The Oath and The Measure". Month by month I read through Mara Freeman's Kindling the Celtic Spirit, and enjoy reading through my book on wolves (the title escapes me) . I'm always scanning through my copies of the National Audubon Society's Field Guild to New England and Field Guide to Trees (of eastern forests) . Other than that, I casually pick up a comic book or two for fun, and the National Geographic has never let me down. When I go to the bookstore, I head right over to the nature and ecology section to scan for books on wolves, wilderness survival, or new field guides to flora and fauna native to Maine. I also peruse the martial arts books to see if there is anything of value, and if I feel so inclined I'd head to the "new age" section and (usually in vain) look for a solid, practical, well-researched pagan book, though I find I have better luck reading through historical guides to the ancient Celts and Norsemen.

I read for a mix of fun and education; for instance, when I read Tom Brown's survival guides, I gain a lot of useful information, but I enjoy myself doing so. The same goes for my other non-fiction choices. I do not enjoy tabloids one bit, nor do I care for fashion magazines or anything even hinting at pop-culture trends. I try to read the paper, but I find the stories focus too much on doom and gloom and sensationalizing the facts.

I would highly recommend Tolkien to the two people on earth who have not yet read it. =P

For The Love Of Books Mar 17th. at 2:53:11 pm EST

jade (canada) Age: 16 - Email

first of all i want say that i love books, all books. right now, for school i just finished The Catcher in the Rye, for myself, i am currently reading The Challenge Box, it's the 14th book in a series of 15 called The Circle of Three. the author is Isobel Bird, it's about three young witches. I suggest it to everybody, especially teens, because that is what the stories are about. they are all really great books, and she's a great author! i am excited to find out what happens to the girls, but i don't want the story to end!

My Book Case.. Mar 17th. at 3:30:22 pm EST

Mathair Cat (Clarksville TN, USA) Age: 29 - Email

I am currently reading Silver RavenWolf's "Murder in Witch's Bluff" (something like that) . Just read her other book "Beneath A Moutian Moon."
I am pathetic loser who loves to read Scottish, medieval Highland romance novels. Or Vampiric novels of any kind (as long as they are not campy) . I also like to read about Theology.

In my bookcase, I have Frost poems, to Poe poems. Tolkien seires, Vampire Clan and Werewolf Clan books. Books on Fairies/myth and legen. Harry Potter Books. Anne Rice, Laurell K Hamilton books. Celtic Legend and myth books. Autharian books. The list goes on, even a nice pagan libary, and a medical dictionary. All that with some dust. That's my book case!

"When Their Logic Ties You Up And Rapes You..." Mar 17th. at 6:15:24 pm EST

Filomena Sophia (Chaos and Void) Age: 32 - Email

Last book read:
Two of them. "Stupid White Men" by Michael Moore (bought after seeing his most recent film "Bowling for Columbine." I am becoming a HUGE fan of his.) And Marylin Manson's semi-autobiography, which I recommend giving to out fundie Christian family members to shock them and to get them to understand what a parody of a person looks like (it is my contention that MM wrote this intending it to be a shock book for those who are clueless and a semi satire/parody of his life for those of us "in the know" and who don't believe everything that's printed on paper.)
When I'm in the bookstore, I head directly over to the Mythology/Folklore section because I feel that the information there is a lot more accurate than the garbage one picks up in the New Age section (though I still would like to get a copy of Amber K.'s "CovenCraft" just for ideas...) I also spend a goodly deal of time in the cookbook section, pouring over Italian cookbooks and wine books.
I would recommend anything by Tom Robbins to others, particularly "Jitterbug Perfume" (which is the first book I ever read by him way back in high school) , "Even Cowgirls Get the Blues" (which, of course, is WAY better than the movie starring that weirdo Uma Thurman [anyone who would marry Ethan Hawke has GOT to be at least a little strange]) , and "Skinny Legs and All" (which is a great twist on a lot of the Biblical myths, including Jezebel) .
I prefer non-fiction, particularly anything having to do with the Etruscans and Platonic Gnosticism.
As far as periodicals go, I have found no other magazine better than "Bitch." Yes, indeedy, you saw that correctly. It's called "Bitch" magazine, and it is publishes for b*tchy women like me. I also do read the standard "PanGaia" magazine, which I subscribe to, but I sure do miss "The Green Egg" which I thought had much better writing. Other than that, I read the "Letters to the Editor" in the Opinion section of the local daily paper on-line, mostly to see what the crazy fundies in this mid-sized town are going to come up with next. I often answer back. Sometimes politely.

"bitch" Is The Best Mar 17th. at 6:41:03 pm EST

lilith (lost angeles) Age: 33 - Email

one of the best magazines ever. mother jones rocks too. will read rolling stone only when it contains something interesting about Bob Dylan.

books: just finished "one hundred years of solitude", by gabriel garcia marquez, and "mr. lincoln's wars", author's name escapes me. am reading "full contact magick", james baldwin's "tell me how long the train's been gone", and tom wolfe's "the electric acid kool-aid test". i tend to start several books at a time. also "days of war, nights of love", a CrimethInc publication, highly recommend it, and, um, there is something open on druidism, a travel book on ireland, and one more magick text the title of which is escaping me at the moment.

there is no such thing as a dirty book or a skeleton in the library closet.

What Am I Reading? Mar 17th. at 7:12:04 pm EST

Ahnvil (Los Angeles, CA) Age: 29 - Email - Web

Blossom of Bone. Simply amazing the way that Robert Barzan has brought together fragmented and often concealed histories on the spiritual traditions of the gay man and woman.


Proud To Enjoy Comics Mar 17th. at 7:35:43 pm EST

Stormwind (Canada) Age: 25 - Email

I certainly don't consider my comic books to be skeletons in my literary closet, and am proud to tell the world that I read Transformers (the graphic novel reprints AND the new Dreamwave series) , Catwoman, and Hitman and Sovereign Seven while they were running.

The last good literature that I read was /The Jungle Book/ by Rudyard Kipling.

The last pop book I read was Tom Clancy's Power Plays: Shadow Watch.

The last Pagan-oriented book I read was /Paganism/ by the Higginbothams which was very useful to me in its theory of magic, isn't afraid to explore the concept of Satan (without glorifying a figure of pure evil) and also explained a lot of Pagan beliefs to some of my relatives who weren't well informed about my practices.

The last history book I read was...*points to stack of 20+ books on the First World War* I don't remember. One of those. Researching is a way of life for me, and I don't read them cover to cover...

I suppose the closest thing I could get to a literary closet would be some of those trashy spell books that are obviously written for non-Witches (and possibly /by/ non-Witches) but I take them out of the library anyway just for a peek, because the library is free :) "The Girls' Book of Spells" is an example (the author escapes me) .

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