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Posted: Sep. 8, 2002
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Question of the Week: 64 - 10/29/2001
What Are YOUR book/video/dvd Recommendations?
What books do you like? Which ones do you read over and over again? What ones do you recommend for those 'taking a mental break' moments or for holiday gift giving? Do you have some suggestions for videos/dvds that deserve a viewing? Your suggestions need not be Pagan specific. In fact, we encourage you here to offer tips on good selections that may be found in the often-overlooked area of mythology, history, humor, sociology, sci-fi or art sections of the bookstores or video sections.
| Reponses: There are 119 responses posted to this question.
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| Hmmmmmm..... What To Pick, What To Pick? I'm Going To Limit Myself... ||Oct 23rd. at 11:26:26 am UTC|
|Merry Arianrhood (West Haven, Connecticut US) ||Age: 41 - Email |
Hmmmmmm..... what to pick, what to pick? I'm going to limit myself to books only (hah! Now THERE'S a contradiction in terms!) because I don't own a DVD player and I'm not much into videos. I'll start with non-fiction first and save the mind-candy for last. First of all, since I'm a Pagan parent, I'd like to write about some fabulous parenting books I've read. These would make great gifts for any of your friends who have children. Doreen Virtue's books, 'The Indigo Children' and 'The Care and Feeding of the Indigo Child' are especially helpful when you have a child who has been diagnosed with ADD (there IS a reason why over a million children are zonked out on Ritalin these days!). Her gentle and loving approach to aiding parents dealing with overactive children is like a miracle (and believe me - it works!) and knowing the REASONS why your child is seemingly a reincarnation of a Maenad will bring every overstressed parent peace of mind and heart. Another wonderful book for Pagan parents is, of course, entitled 'Pagan Parenting' by Kristin Madden. I knew that I wanted to introduce my children to my spiritual path, I just wasn't sure how to go about it. Ms. Madden's approach is like slowly immersing oneself into a warm, comforting bath. She provides a wealth of interesting ways to introduce your children to an earth-based spiritual path, from infancy to teenage years. And she deals with all of the difficult rites of passage that face our children, from teenage pregnancy, abortion and death (including dealing with the death of a beloved pet), and she even includes a ritual for boys approaching manhood - something that our culture is sadly lacking. At the end of the book she supplies a number of contacts and resources, including legal references. I could go on forever, but that would take all of the fun out of your own discovery of this remarkable tome. There is just one set of books for children I'm going to mention, not because there aren't more, but because these aren't that widely known and might slip through the cracks largely unnoticed (which would be a shame). Ted Andrews (prolific author of a number of wonderful metaphysical books including 'Way of the Shaman' and 'Animal Speak') has recently come out with a set of books entitled 'The Young Person's School of Magic and Mystery'. Volume I is called 'The Magic of Believing' and Volume II is 'Psychic Power'. Volume III is called 'Star Magic' and is due out this month. Volume IV is due out in December and is entitled 'Faerie Charms' (Mr. Andrews has some wonderful adult books about the Faerie Realm and I highly recommend them) and Volume V ('Spirits, Ghosts and Guardians') is due out next April. The books are geared for age 10 and up (although I've seen precocious 8 year olds get right into them!) and are written clearly and concisely, but also in a fascinating manner sure to hold the attention of any child hooked on the 'Harry Potter' series. If you're wondering what to get the children of that Pagan friend of yours, these books would be it. I'm going to leave non-fiction here, mostly because I've been doing alot of spiritual work lately and so I'm more focused on reading for pleasure these days (we all need a little mundane vacation now and then!). If you're a mystery buff, check out Rosemary Edghill's series 'Bell, Book and Murder' about a Witch in NYC and the mysteries that seem to plague her community. I especially like the way she subtlely delineates Wicca from other spiritual paths, including Satanism. Any non-pagans who might be reading get enough information to come away understanding the tenets of Wiccanism without a nagging lecture, as well as enjoying a great murder mystery. There are also a wealth of great fantasy books out there, but here are a few that really stand out for me: Anything by Patricia McKillip can be considered a classic (sadly - many of her books are out of print, but many libraries do still carry them.), but aside from her Harpist Trilogy, which goes without saying, there is also 'The Tower at Stony Wood' a wonderfully woven tapestry of Celtic and Gothic folklore that includes magic mirrors, illusory towers, knight's quests, dragons, and selkies. I know a book is really good when I actually get sucked into the story and find myself walking side by side with the characters. Tolkien is an author who does that for me, Ms. McKillip is another. One of her books which is out of print, but a treasure if you can obtain it, is called 'Something Rich and Strange' with illustrations by Brian Froud of 'Faeries' fame. Mr. Froud got together with three fantasy authors and spread a group of his drawings out. He then asked each author to choose several and write a story based on the illustrations. Three marvelous stories were the result, but I best loved Ms. McKillip's tale, a modern day romance with selkie overtones. Another fantasy series is a set of books by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro about the historically odd figure of St. Germain, as a vampire who has spent his two thousand or so years upon the earth trying to reach enlightenment. There are at least a dozen books in the series so far and each one places St. Germain in a different era of history and in a different country. Ms. Yarbro's exhaustive research of the history of these times and places actually puts her reader squarely into that particular era, not with boring facts and figures, but with a highly personal viewpoint - that of Le Comte St. Germain. If history had been taught this way in school, I'd have paid more attention! Start with 'Hotel Transylvania' and work your way from there. There are also a few offshoots about a female vampire named Atta Olivia Clemens. St. Germain rescues her in 'Blood Games' and Ms. Yarbro rightly devotes a few tomes to Olivia's life and times. My favorite is 'A Candle for D'Artagnan', which places Olivia in France during the time of Richelieu as a spy for the pope. She is saved from a maddened mob by Musketeer D'Artagnan and a romance developes from there. If you're a history buff you'll enjoy the attention to detail and the accuracy that Ms. Yarbro uses in her writings. If you're not a history buff, you soon will be! These are but a few of some of 'my favorite things'. There are many more, but I wouldn't want to take up too many megabytes in the telling! I've included what I've found helpful, whether in an informative way or a 'sitting-by-the-fireside-wrapped-in-an-old-quilt' sort of way. Enjoy!
| Well, Since Opions Count...here's What I Enjoy. Book Wise: David Eddings... ||Oct 23rd. at 11:55:02 am UTC|
|sabrann (Milledgeville, Georgia US) ||Age: 25 |
since opions count...here's what I enjoy.
David Eddings fantasy series the Belgariad and the Mallorean.
Raymon Feist Krondor series
Ann Rice Vampire series
R.A. Salvatore Forgotten Realms Drizzt's series
Star Wars ( ALL of them )
X-Files ( season Premier Nov.4th )
The Godfather series
Schendlier's List ( ya, i know ....spelling is off )
Waiting for releases in Theater's :
Harry Potter ( my 6 year old nephew is dying to see this )
Lord of the Rings
From Hell ( it's out now )
I cann't think of anything else....biggest thing with me personally is Star Wars, X-Files, and books. I guess video games can join in but, I really don't play them that much so, I don't know any good ones.
Hope this helps and brings joy to someone else like they have for me.
| Well, In The Categorie Of Disney Flicks, Hercules Is Up There...kind... ||Oct 23rd. at 11:58:10 am UTC|
|Silverpixie Wings (Greenfield, Indiana US) ||Age: 18 |
Well, in the categorie of Disney flicks, Hercules is up there...kind of wierd, but I like it that Pegasus whistles and tweets like a bird. Tamora Pierce's books (The Lioness 4, The Immortals 4, Circle of Magic set, and her new set)are a fun way to relax. She takes nature, myths, Gods(with their names changed or spelled differently), magic, and sort of a midievil setting to teach children, teenagers, and adults lessons. And, speaking of magic and lessons in books...You can't forget Harry Potter! Though it would be totally killer if magic were that easy(point and *POOF*) or had such a different school, it would be a major bummer if magic were restricted to a small number.
| Waking The Moon By Elizabeth Hand Is A Book I Have Read... ||Oct 23rd. at 11:59:20 am UTC|
|Nihila (Albuquerque, New Mexico US) ||Age: 23 - Email |
Waking the Moon by Elizabeth Hand is a book i have read four times in the six years since i discovered it. The follow-up, Black Light, is also excellent. These are stories concerning the old gods and goddesses and their followers in a modern world. The consequences and benefits are very well thought out, and the writing is gorgeous. Turning anyone onto Neil Gaiman's work is always a good idea too, and they will thank you. The Sandman series is some of the best fiction ever written in any format, and his new novel American Gods is very much of interest to us.
| Okay, So I Forgot Some... For Cat Lovers Out There, The Cat... ||Oct 23rd. at 12:21:41 pm UTC|
|Silverpixie Wings (Greenfield, Indiana US) ||Age: 18 - Email |
Okay, so I forgot some...
For cat lovers out there, The Cat Who Dunit series is pretty good. A guy and his siamese, or two siamese, depending on which book you choose, solve mysteries where they live and travel to.
The Jane Churchill books are goofy.
Someone else suggested two discworld books, but I would read all of them, Especially Three Ecks, and Death takes a Vacation.
For the teenagers out there, I would suggest reading Silver Ravenwolf's newfiction series, Witches Night Out, with the characters from the cover picture of Teen Witch. Pretty cool, and gives teen characters to empathize with.
| I Recommend The Robert Jordan Series "the Wheel Of Time". So Far... ||Oct 23rd. at 12:58:02 pm UTC|
|jake hardwick (carlsbad, California US) ||Age: 21 - Email |
i recommend the robert jordan series "the wheel of time". so far it is a series of nine books, it is fantasy, and i find them enjoyable to read over and over again. also, the "sword of truth" series by terry goodkind. both series are captivating and the authors are very good writers.
| I Just Finished An Excellent Book Last Night; Charles Delint's The Onion... ||Oct 23rd. at 2:37:54 pm UTC|
|Gray Jay (Labrador City, Newfoundland CA) ||Age: 26 |
I just finished an excellent book last night; Charles deLint's The Onion Girl. For those of you not familiar with his work, you are missing out! He is an amazing writer of mythic fiction and you really can get sucked into the cities of Newford and Ottawa and the characters he creates. Other great fantasy writers include Guy Gavrial Kay, Emma Bull, Steven Brust, Jane Yolen, Terri Windling, Mydori Snyder and Terry Prachett, just to name a few. Any of the books by these authors are excellent... Enjoy!
| Oh!! The Book Of Moons And Speak Daggers Too Her By Rosemary... ||Oct 23rd. at 3:33:13 pm UTC|
|SapphireStar (Kindsbach) ||Age: 29 - Email |
Oh!! The Book Of Moons and Speak Daggers Too Her by Rosemary Edgehill!!! Absolutely! These books are one and two of the Bast mystery series.
Bast, a typical New York witch living her life as best she can on the New Aquarian Frontier, deals with life and death in her own magickal way. They are witty, richly drawn, and complex. They give some of the best depictions of modern day paganism anywhere and were major influences in my direction onto the Pagan path.
| Books: "the Cat Who..." Series Of Mysteries By Lillian Jackson Braun - Burned... ||Oct 23rd. at 4:10:25 pm UTC|
|Moselle (Glen Gardner, New Jersey US) ||Age: 29 |
"The Cat Who..." series of mysteries by Lillian Jackson Braun - burned out journalist finds a new life with two siamese cats and solve crimes.
The Herbal Mysteries series by Susan Wittig Albert - ex-lawyer turned herb shop owner solves mysteries with her new age best friend.
"Practical Magic" starring Sandra Bullock & Nicole Kidman, love story with lots of magic worked in.
"The Nightmare Before Christmas" by Tim Burton, one of my favorites (good for kids)
| Ok, I'll Go With My Pagan Specific One First: That Is Buckland's... ||Oct 23rd. at 4:46:01 pm UTC|
|Izlanyth (Kingsville, Texas US) ||Age: 18 - Email |
Ok, i'll go with my pagan specific one first: that is Buckland's Complete Book of Witchcraft by Rayford Buckland or as my friends and I call it, "BIG BLUE" If one does not have this book get it. It is a great book everyone of my wiccan friends who does no have it always tries to borrow mine or someone else's especially mine. A few series I suggest you read, they're not a pagan series but they are very good series: The Lord of the Rings, The Sword of Truth series by Terry Goodkind and hmmm I can't think of any more at the moment, but I know I know of more. oh oh-well, if they come to me later I'll send 'em but until then...Merry Meet and Merry Part and let us Merry Meet again!
| Myself, I Find I Am Enamored With The Harry Potter Books. True... ||Oct 23rd. at 6:28:16 pm UTC|
|danielle (Oil City, Pennsylvania US) ||Age: 18 - Email |
myself, i find i am enamored with the harry potter books. true, they may be for children, but they are wonderful nonetheless.
i also enjoy the movei practical magick. semi-factful, and extermely funny, i love this movie.
| Oh, I Do Love A Good Book! I Could List Dozens And... ||Oct 23rd. at 7:20:56 pm UTC|
|Orionova (London, England UK) ||Age: 30 - Email |
Oh, I do love a good book! I could list dozens and dozens I love. However, I will do my best to keep this short. Honest.
Non-Pagan, I absolutly adore Terry Pratchett. ANY Discworld book is worth a read, believe me. A fantasy novel I read several times over the years (until I lost my copy in a fire. ::sigh:: Can't find it again, darn it!) is The Darkangel by Meredith Ann Pierce. It is about a vampyre that drinks souls, not blood, and the girl that sets out to save her friend from it. It is classed as juvenial fiction, but I wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone. If only I could find it again...
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