The opinions posted on the Pagan Perspective pages are those of individuals and are not neccessarily shared or endorsed by the Witches' Voice inc.
Posted: Nov. 17, 2002
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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.
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| Well... ||Mar 22nd. at 1:05:24 pm EST|
|Stone Wolf (WA, USA) ||Age: 22 - Email |
Well, I came to the conclusion a long time ago that most non-fiction Pagan writings were fluffy crap. When I go to the bookstore and I see Silver Ravenwolf's glam-filled teen witchcraft books, it's actually fairly nauseating. Mostly because of what she largely gets wrong, and the the tidbits that she gets right. In magick writings today, that's the way things work. You have to have an eye good enough to filter the worthless junk from the useful stuff.
So what am I reading currently? I usually stick to fiction these days. It stirs my mind better and has proven to be more thought provoking. Currently though, I am working on Haunted America. It's a book of ghost stories from across the US (they also have an earlier book called Haunted Heartland) . Most of the stories are pretty mundane. You know what I mean; he saw this, or she heard this sound, most of the ghosts exhibit signs of non-sentience, or unintelligence, leading to my theory that ordinary ghosts are simply mindless leftover energy usually.
However, one story The Evil on South Larabee Street, was very interesting, and I believe not a ghost at all. I came to the conclusion that it was rather an artificial elemental feeding off a family for it's own survival needs. The story happened some years ago back in the 80's back and was featured on Unsolved Mysteries sometime later. I'd recommend looking through the book for that one story.
| These Are A Few Of My Fav-o-rite Things... ||Mar 22nd. at 12:33:13 pm EST|
|Wade (Iowa) ||Age: 26 - Email |
Well, when I get into a reading bindge, I often multi-task, going back and forth from title to title. However, some books which have landed themselves on my required reading list include within recent months include:
* "The Holographic Universe", by Michael Talbot
* "The Gods of the Celts", by Miranda Green
* "Celtic Goddesses", by Miranda Green, and...
* "The Ancient British Goddess", by Kathy Jones
- I picked up that last title on a recent trip to Borders when I initially believed that I wouldn't walk out with anything! It's absolutely wonderful- and so inspirational! I recommend it to everyone...
However, this list barely cracks the surface of what I have on my "required reading list".
| I Love BOOKS ||Mar 22nd. at 11:01:35 am EST|
|Jan Fairlee (Chula Vista, Ca) ||Age: 59 - Email |
Alot of my private library are herbal books and Aromatherapy. My Pagan and Wiccan books take up most of the rest of the space. I have everything that Cunningham and Ravenwolf have written. Also Raven Grimassi. The first section I go to in a book store is New Age, then to Mysteries. I love Rosemary Edgehill too and Bell, Book andMurder are such fun to read. I also just finished reading two books by M.R. Sellars, Harm None and Never Burn a Witch.They are good, but very graphic. I am reading Green Witchcraft again since it is my favorite series. It is by Ann Moura. The skeletons on my bookshelves are trashy love stories and cozy murders. Not much literary value, but lots of fun.
| Reading For Knowledge *is* Entertainment! ||Mar 21st. at 10:11:26 pm EST|
|Kathy Williams (Brodhead, KY) ||Age: 38 - Email |
I am a word junkie and I read voraciously. When I go to a bookstore (we have a great one in Lexington called Joseph Beth's) , I head straight to the New Age section, then I head for cookbooks, then I head for the travel section. Right now, I'm re- reading "One Hundred Years of Solitude" by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. I also like The World According to Garp and a lot of classics, like the Scarlet Letter and Other Voices, Other Rooms by Truman Capote (it's excellent) . I also read a lot of books on writing (Natalie Goldberg, Anne Lamott, etc. because I teach writing workshops) and books on creativity by Julia Cameron. I'm also re-reading Drawing Down the Moon. I first read it in the '80s. In rereading it, I've discovered that I appreciate it a lot more than I did when I was a younger (not so faithful) Witch. I also read about a magazine a day (Prevention, Cooking Light, Oprah, the Utne Reader, Body and Soul, etc.) My skeleton on the bookshelf? The Weekly World News. I mean, really, is there any better tabloid in the world?
| Current And Upcoming ||Mar 21st. at 9:52:31 pm EST|
|Bryony Ravenwillow (Independence MO) ||Age: 34 - Email |
I'm currently rereading Phyllis Curott's 'Witch Crafting' and Clive Barker's 'Weaveworld' (his best book, IMO) .
The last book I read was a Rosemary Gladstar herbal and Margaret Atwood's 'The Handmaid's Tale'.
I'm planning to reread George R.R. Martin's 'Song of Ice and Fire' series. Book 3 just came out in mass market paperback, so I can finally afford to buy it. However, I heard that Book 4's release has been pushed back to September. Waaahhhh!!!! I highly recommend the series. Book 1 is 'A Game of Thrones', Book 2 is 'A Clash of Kings', and Book 3 is 'A Storm of Swords'. The delayed fourth book will be called 'A Feast for Crows'.
I'm also planning to reread 'Tigana' and 'A Song for Arbonne' by Guy Gavriel Kay. Two of the best fantasy novels ever written.
At the bookstore, I usually head for the sci-fi/fantasy, New Age, and alternative medicine sections, in that order. If I have time, I also visit the magazine section.
The skeleton in my literary closet are those little monthly cookbooklets you can purchase at the grocery store checkout line. It's something my husband has learned to turn a blind eye to, since he has yet to complain about any of the new recipes I keep foisting on him! And my mother-in-law turned me on to historical romance. I've discovered that I REALLY like Mary Jo Putney's romances!
| So Many Books, So Little Time... ||Mar 21st. at 3:24:10 pm EST|
|RuneWolf (Reston, VA) ||Age: 44 - Email - Web|
I try to balance fiction and non-fiction. Most of my non-fiction reading relates to the Craft, or to some form of spiritual practice or philosophy, so it also comes under the heading of “study, ” which is, in the final analysis, work. And it’s important to take a break from work every now and then. Unfortunately, I don’t achieve balanced reading that often, mostly ‘cause I don’t find a lot of fiction that I like out there anymore. Not that the books being written aren’t good, in and of themselves, I’m just picky about what I read. I was raised on The Lord of the Rings, Dune, Ringworld, The World of Teirs, The Faded Sun and other such classics, and I just don’t get the same “buzz” out of most of the new stuff.
The last really good non-fiction book I read was “When Someone You Love Is Wiccan” by Carl McColman. Quite an excellent book, even for experienced practitioners, and now at the top of my list as suggested reading for newcomers. It’s perhaps the best introduction to the Craft that I have ever read. It is intentionally focused on education rather than instruction (“why do” instead of “how to”) , and answers a lot of questions newcomers or “outsiders” might have.
I am currently re-reading “Shambhala: Sacred Path of the Warrior” by Chogyam Trungpa, and reading the “Brigit” chapter from “Devoted to You, ” edited by Judy Harrow. I highly recommend “Shambhala” also, especially for anyone who incorporates sitting meditation into their Pagan practice.
Besides the Classics, one of my favorite fiction books, oddly enough, concerns the Craft. (Geez, go figure...) It is “Bell, Book and Murder” by Rosemary Edghill, and is actually an omnibus of three novels concerning the adventures of a New York City Witch named Bast. It is extremely entertaining and well-written, and I highly recommend it.
| An Old Favorite ||Mar 21st. at 1:49:46 pm EST|
|Summer (Tonkawa, OK) ||Age: 22 - Email |
Right now I'm rereading some old favorites. Drawing Down the Moon, Aradia, and Spiral Dance in fact. I keep going in search of some new books to add to my collection but so far nothing has caught my eye. To its back to the classic for me. These books have brought me more joy and knowledge than I could possibly express here, and they will continue to be my favorites.
| The Terror Of Moving... ||Mar 21st. at 11:58:21 am EST|
|K Dolen (Yukon, Canada) ||Age: 28 - Email |
I'm in the process of moving and have discovered that I own a great deal more books than I had imagined. Needless to say, my unread pile is quite large. So I think I'll be doing a lot of reading this year once I get to the new place. Read books go on the bookshelves in the livingroom, unread books everywhere else... in the cupboards, the dresser drawers, the china cabinet, in the knitting basket, the linen closet...
I'm currently reading "The Books of Blood volume 1" by Clive Barker in ebook format on my Palm, as all my physical books are packed up. I also read the area newspaper and several different magazines. Besides spooky horror novels, I read a lot of fantasy, some science fiction, mystery/thrillers, suspense and the occasional "dramatic, heartwrenching" novel. But I love to read non-fiction as well, and have several sitting in a box that I am anxious to get to. One is on the flu epidemic of the turn of the century, and I recently completed "Stupid White Men and other sorry excuses for the state of the nation" by Michael Moore.
And as I spend a lot of time on the road or knitting and quilting, I love to listen to audio books (unabridges whenever possible) . That way, I can enjoy working on my textile arts, and have the enjoyment of a good book.
What can I say... I caome from a family of hardcore bookaholics!
| A Bookaholic ||Mar 21st. at 11:03:53 am EST|
|Lauryl Stone (Durham, NC) ||Age: 34 - Email |
I'm a bookaholic, and so's my husband. We keep outpacing our bookshelves... :)
I just finished reading Alice Sebold's "The Lovely Bones, " and a Laura Joh Rowland mystery, "The Concubine's Tattoo." Rowland's mysteries are set during the Tokugawa shogunate of Japan, and they're rich with historical detail as well as being good page-turner mysteries.
"The Lovely Bones" is a novel about loss and healing and redemption, and I highly recommend it.
I always read for fun: history, science fiction, fantasy, mystery, true crime, astrology, etc. Not being in school anymore I'm never forced to read, I just love to -- my parents instilled that in me at an early age.
At any given time I'm likely to be reading books on medieval Spanish history, books by Katherine Kurtz, Guy Gavriel Kay, Charles DeLint, Terri Windling, James Morrow, David Weber, etc.
I highly recommend James Morrow's religious satires: "Towing Jehovah, " "Blameless in Abaddon, " "The Eternal Footman" and "Only Begotten Daughter." Of those, Towing Jehovah is probably my favorite -- it's quirky, funny, serious, has something to offend nearly everyone without a sense of humor. :) Its sequels are darker and less funny but still quality fiction. I'm just starting his "Bible Stories for Adults, " which my husband has read and loved.
And in these dark times I can't recommend enough Amin Malouf's "The Crusades Through Arab Eyes."
| Update On Current Reads ||Mar 21st. at 6:25:35 am EST|
|clio (York PA) ||Age: 30 - Email |
I just finished "We Were Soldiers Once and Young" and have now picked up the Penguin Classics edition of Thucydides' "History of the Pelopennesian War".
Blessings to all :)
| What I'm Reading ||Mar 21st. at 6:15:14 am EST|
|Lisa (Melbourne, Australia) ||Age: 13 - Email |
I read quite a lot, for entairtainment and knowledge.
At the moment I'm reading a book called The Diviner's Son by John Marsdon. I've just started it but it seems really interesting. It's about a man who's wife and daughter were murdered, and they are trying to solve the case. I'm not sure what else is happening in the book at the moment.
I'm also reading Altars Made Easy by Peg Streep, I'm not very far into it but it is quite interesting. At the moment it's just explaining about Sacred Space.It's a book for people of all religions and beliefs.
One of the best Wiccan books I've read is The Idiots Guide to Wicca and Witchcraft by Denise Zimmermann and Katherine A. Gleason, it has alot of information and is really easy to understand.
| Strange Timing As Usual! ||Mar 20th. at 10:19:22 pm EST|
|Sarah (Ontario (Canada, not California)) ||Age: 30 - Email |
I am just about to finish "The Demon in the Freezer" by Richard Preston. Nothing about reading all about smallpox at this point in the space-time continuum to make you want to seal up your habitat with duct tape and plastic sheeting. I picked it up out of Dad's pile a couple of days ago - I'd been meaning to read it for a while, but was trying to cut down the size of my unread pile (which I still keep adding to, drat it all!) Didn't even think about war starting up and the resultant threat of bioterror attacks. I really recommend it, but you might want to wait awhile.
I read a lot - average about two books a week. I read mostly fiction, 'cause I read for enjoyment. I like mysteries, chick lit, some more serious literature. I usually make a pass by the pagan section of my local bookstore, and frequently pick up something new and tempting (my local library doesn't have a pagan section, but then again, it doesn't stock anything else tempting either) . Love Douglas Adams (reread most of the Hitchhiker's trilogy recently) , Phil Rickman, Lauren Henderson, Margaret Atwood, Michael Chabon... this list could go on forever, these are just the authors who jumped to mind quickly!
What else do I read? I read the paper daily, plus my local weakly ... oops, that should be weekly, since weakly is more a comment on content or lack thereof. I read tons of magazines, because I'm living at home and my parents subscribe to 50+, so there they are, and I'll read what comes to hand. The deep dark guilty secret of my reading is - soap opera magazines. Again, I read them because they're there. I never watch soaps or read the magazines when I'm not home, but my mom watches 4 soaps, and if I'm downstairs (eating, reading mail/paper) then they are there and I'm stuck (changing the channel just gets me in trouble) .
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