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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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| Pagan Or 'occult' Themed Books: There Are Very Few That I Have... ||Oct 25th. at 1:08:31 am EDT|
|Elissa Carey (Newark, Delaware US) ||Age: 29 - Email |
Pagan or 'occult' themed books: There are very few that I have read more than once, simply because I've acquired so many new ones that I'm busy trying to read those before re-reading old favorites. Nevertheless, a few of my favorites because of the impression they made on me (and not always for their scholarship) -
Robert Graves' "The White Goddess". I've been told from myriad sources that his scholarship was sloppy. Fine and good - but there is much to be gained from reading this nevertheless. As I have been taught over the years, one must learn how to pick out the wheat from the chaff, and this has some meaty kernels of wheat in amongst the chaff.
Starhawk's "The Spiral Dance". Basic? Maybe. But there are fundamental lessons in here that are worth repeating or refreshing from time to time, as well as passing on. The exercises are highly recommended.
Ellen Cannon Reed's "The Witches Qabala". I'm not sure if I should recommend this as one of the first things one reads or the last, simply because I came at it from the latter. However, this is one book I firmly believe is absolutely essential. We all have the basics, and scads of information about everything else, so why not mentally organize it? This book will help you do exactly that, and then some.
On lighter notes: There's a wealth of fiction and such that it's hard to get started. My biggest hobbies are writing and role-playing games, so many things I read tend toward those subjects - especially in the realms of science-fiction and cyberpunk.
Stephen King's "On Writing". I strongly urge anyone serious about their craft (writing, that is) to get this book, devour it, and derive your own lessons from it. This is one man's approach to writing which can benefit the rest of us greatly. (And then go get Strunk & White's "Elements of Style"!)
Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett's "Good Omens". Neil Gaiman is an utter master at telling a modern fairy tale as well as other enthralling adult-oriented stories, and pairing him with the indomitable Terry Pratchett of Discworld fame has to have been an inspiration worthy of the gods. It's an interesting look at 'the end of the world', and the nature of humanity, ultimately. Children say the darnedest things. :)
Tad Williams' Memory, Sorrow and Thorn Trilogy. To me, this will be the penultimate in fantasy, rivalling only the likes of Tolkien and MZB's "The Mists of Avalon", and Guy Gavriel Kay's Fionavar Tapestry trilogy. Follow the trials and tribulations of a scullion caught up in events that may spell doom for all.
| I Recently Read "the Dress Lodger" Which Is In Paperback From My... ||Oct 25th. at 1:43:44 am EDT|
|evergreen (Baltimore, Maryland US) ||Age: 60 |
I recently read "The Dress Lodger" which is in paperback from my paperback book club- a historical (accurate) novel of the life of a 16 year old prostitute in Sunderland England in the 1830's and tells about poor characters dealing with the cholera morbus and doctors digging up the dead to find out anatomy and causes of death and the ignorance they faced when the poor rebelled. There is a fascinating photo of the slums of London at that time on the cover.
| I Read The Sprial Dance By Starhawk Over And Over Again. I... ||Oct 25th. at 10:12:55 am EDT|
|Berkana (Farmington, Maine US) ||Age: 19 |
I read the Sprial Dance by Starhawk over and over again. I love it.
| I Think A Good And Rather Fun Book Is Stonehenge: A Novel... ||Oct 25th. at 11:32:42 am EDT|
|Alex Snow (Gt. Barrington, Massachusetts US) ||Age: 18 |
I think a good and rather fun book is STONEHENGE: A NOVEL OF 2000 B.C. by Bernard Cornwell. It uses a three part story (in one book) to try and answer why Stonehenge was built and the different phases of Stonehenge.
| I Like Murder At Witchs Bluff By Silver Ravenwolf I See That... ||Oct 25th. at 12:03:02 pm EDT|
|Coyo (Akron, Ohio US) ||Age: 18 - Email |
I like Murder At Witchs Bluff by Silver Ravenwolf I see that she is a great story tellr and thats the only book besides Hannibal I can read over and over im on my 4 time of reading The Bluff it just intrest me the caraciters are great!
| I Could Easily Go On For Pages About This, So I Am... ||Oct 25th. at 12:45:07 pm EDT|
|Christina (Elgin, South Carolina US) ||Age: 28 - Email |
I could easily go on for pages about this, so I am going to restrict myself to food related suggestions:
Chocolat -- What happens when an unconventional woman sets up chocolate store in the middle of a conservative French village during Lent...? Read or watch and find out! The book and movie are very different, but both VERY worthwhile. Johnny Depp fans get ready to salivate!
Babette's Feast -- This is an older foreign film in Danish with English subtitles -- most video stores have it. Reminds us of the magical qualities of a delicious meal...
Like Water For Chocolate -- Another film about magical cooking, with quite a lot of passion to boot... I understand there is also a cookbook out with passion-stirring recipes...
My Dinner With Andre -- If you are patient with it, you will find this to be a great film. The character Andre talks about his life, including time spent at Findhorn. It might be tough to find, but it is well worth the search.
The Milagro Beanfield War -- This is a super flick about a man who unwittingly stirs things up in his little town of Milagro, New Mexico by defying water regulations and stifling development of a resort that would wipe out his town.
| I Believe If Your Are Looking For A Real Good Book And... ||Oct 25th. at 1:51:08 pm EDT|
|Arcana Darkmoon (Harrisburg, Pennsylvania US) ||Age: 18 - Email |
I believe if your are looking for a real good book and your a teen, try The Circle of Three by Isobel Bird. Its about three girls who are interested in wicca but are still teens at heart. They have the normal things girls like to do but the only thing that is different is their belifs. I mean I think its a good book for all types of ages. Because it reminds us that magick is everywhere but everyday we all face problems. Just because we study witchcraft doesn't mean we don't have any problems like everyone else.
But if that isn't your choice hey there's a whole differnt book interest that is waiting in the stars!
| One Of My Favorite Somewhat Non-pagan Books Is "ahab's Wife". I Forget... ||Oct 25th. at 2:04:27 pm EDT|
|DragonStorm (Lakeland, Florida US) ||Age: 26 |
One of my favorite somewhat non-Pagan books is "Ahab's Wife". I forget who it's by since I loaned it to my boyfriend. Una sees the divine in everything, from the sea to the lighthouse. It's an incredible book!
My latest favorite reference book is "The Master Book of Herbalism" by Paul Beyerl (ISBN: 0-919345-53-0). It has great info on remedial and magickal aspects of many herbs, and includes guidelines for dosages. It's written so anyone can understand. The information is wonderful.
Oh, and one other thing not actually on the list. The best store for Pagan things that doesn't advertise as such is Jo-Ann Fabrics. My boyfriend and I go there a lot to get fabrics (some of the best celestial prints are in the calico section), sealed jars for storing herbs, glass dishes and paints to make altar ware, brooms and dried flowers, candlemaking supplies, soap making supplies, etc. I always go there first to get supplies that I need. It's one of the best Pagan friendly stores around. Granted, where I live I don't think they're aware that's what I'm shopping for! :)
| Some Of My Faveorite Books Are By James Patterson...especially His Alex... ||Oct 25th. at 2:39:40 pm EDT|
|Buttercup (Phoenix, Arizona US) ||Age: 25 |
Some of my faveorite books are by James Patterson...especially his Alex Cross books, like Kiss the Girls, and the newest paperback Roses are Red. Also Dean Koontz, is an excellent author for horror novels. A couple quick, a nd easy reads are The Tao of Pooh, and the Te of Piglet. Toaism with a twist. Hope you enjoy. Blessed Be.
| I Enjoy Reading Dark Fiction Instead Of "normal" Stuff. Here Is A... ||Oct 25th. at 3:03:59 pm EDT|
|JourneyWalker (Covington, Kentucky US) ||Age: 17 |
I enjoy reading dark fiction instead of "normal" stuff. Here is a great list so far:
1.) Anne Rice "The Vampire Chroncles" I am a die hard fan, and she inspires me to write.
2.) Clive Barker "Books of blood" A book on demons and fallen angels who live in a underground city known as Cabal
3.) Janet Finch "White Oleander" A poetic book on how a girl comes to her personal strength.
4.) Anything by Francesca Lia Block. She is the most Pagan writer who isn't pagan.
5.) For a Wiccan Book try Ann Moura's Green Witchcraft II
6.) Romeo & Juliet nuff said (p.s I don't do Marion Zimmer Bradley or J.K. Rowlings)
Movies:(I know most of you have seen these)
Interview with a Vampire
Rocky Horror Picture Show
The Fanatasia movies and that's it
| Wow, One Of My Favorite Subjects. I'm Away From Home Right Now... ||Oct 25th. at 4:13:52 pm EDT|
|Moria V. (Burlington, Vermont US) ||Age: 32 - Email |
Wow, one of my favorite subjects. I'm away from home right now, so I'm sure I'm leaving out a lot. Nevertheless, my list is huge, even though I'm leaving out things that others have already mentioned.
Starting with books, my favorite author is Morgan Llywelyn. I consider her a modern day bard. She's so talented at telling an exciting, well crafted, well researched story with so much plausibility it's like she was there. She writes historical novels, mostly dealing with ancient or Celtic history, but there are many exceptions. My favorite is The Horse Goddess. Like many of her stories, this book uses the theory that many myths and legends are based on actual events or people and here is a possible story for the myth of Epona. I also loved Red Branch, again a "what if" type retelling of the legend of Cuchulain. This is one of the only books that actually can make me cry, which says a lot for Llywelyn's talent.
A couple of recent discoveries I'm excited about: Joseph Citro, who writes both true and fictional accounts of the supernatural in Vermont...Sarah Dreher, who writes new age/Wiccan mysteries. I just read Shaman's Moon and can't wait to read the rest of the series. Unlike some writing this type of fiction she actually writes well and with some wisdom, instead of seeming to be cashing in on a trend. Her matter-of-fact descriptions of rituals and astral journeys reminded me vaguely of Lynn Andrews, another all time favorite - although her most recent books don't seem to be as insightful or authentic, I still read her over and over.
Let's see I constantly refer to Louise Hay's book on affirmations, You Can Heal Your Life...Year of Moons, Seasons of Trees by Pattalee Glass-Koentop gets me in the mood for sabbats and esbats...Mary K. Greer's Tarot For Your Self takes you beyond Tarot 101...Marian Green's A Witch Alone keeps me on the right path...I refer to Nancy B. Watson's Practical Solitary Magic over and over, following all directions and reading suggestions, it's been invaluable for taking my practice to a new level.
I constantly seek out all retelling of fairy tales, Angela Carter is the best for this...I started reading Ursula K. LeGuin's Earthsea books as a kid and the first book especially had a major part in forming my beliefs on how magic works...Mario Puzo's The Godfather has much more depth than the movie and speaks like a modern Machiavelli on how to deal with people...I'm addicted to everything by Laurell K. Hamilton, she's not the greatest writer but the world she creates, the characters, and the action are great escapes from reality...John Updike's The Witches of Eastwick makes amazing use of language and is more realistically witchy than the movie...Dave Barry and Bill Bryson are great for laughs...and Scott Adams' books are incredibly intelligent and insightfull, while cracking me up.
There are tons of movies that I'll watch every time they're on tv...Legend with Tom Cruise was just on last week and is visually gorgeous...most anything by Mel Brooks and Tim Burton (but not Edward Scissorhands, sorry)...Better Off Dead with John Cusack always makes me feel good, especially after a break up...I have a thing for all summer camp movies, of which Meatballs is king...I can't get enough of anything Addams Family - original comic, both tv shows, movies (except the one with Daryl Hannah, feh)...and of course, the original Star Wars trilogy.
I have to recommend one of my favorite tv shows, even though it's not the topic. I watch episodes of Big Wolf On Campus, on FoxFamily, over and over 'til they're memorized. It's one of those shows that are seemingly for kids but you probably need to be an adult to fully appreciate it. It's incredibly funny and smart, better than Buffy these days. I can't wait for the new season to begin. Every should check it out.
| My Favourite Movie (despite The Blatant Goofs) Is Practical Magic. One Of... ||Oct 25th. at 4:51:30 pm EDT|
|Mike (Oxford, Kansas US) ||Age: 43 - Email |
My favourite movie (despite the blatant goofs) is Practical Magic. One of my favorite books is "To Ride a Silver Broomstick".
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