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Posted: Nov. 17, 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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| 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 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.
| 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.
| Fiction: I Recommend Anything By The Following: Storm Constantine, In Particular "sign... ||Oct 25th. at 1:05:06 am EDT|
|Astarte Syracia (Sydney, New South Wales AU) ||Age: 24 - Email |
I recommend anything by the following:
STORM CONSTANTINE, in particular "Sign for the Sacred", The Grigori trilogy (Stalking Tender Prey, et all), The Wreaththu Trilogy, Thin Air
Also TANITH LEE- who writes everything from sci-fi to dark fantasy to kids books . . .In partilcuar, the Silver Metal Lover, Sabella, the Paradis books (The book of the mad, the book of the dammed, the book of the dead . . .)
FREDA WARRINGTON, whose Dark Cathedral and Pagan Moon are brilliant. Also The Rainbow Gate and Darker than the Storm. She has a trilogy of vampire novels whose names
KIM WILKINS, Grimoire, Angel of Ruin, The Infernal . . .
SOPHIE MASON - The Firebird, The Green Prince, also Clementine and Cold Iron
PAMELA DEAN - Tam Lin
TERRI WINDLING - The Wood Wife
NEIL GAIMAN - Neverwhere, Stardust, Smoke and Mirrors, Good Omens (with Terry Pratchett - a hoot!) and his Sandman comics
Tom's Midnight Garden by Phillipa Pearce
Charlotte Sometimes by Penelope Farmer
Diana Wynne Jones: Fire and Hemlock would be one of my favourites
Scary Godmother by JILL THOMPSON
| The Black Company By Glen Cook. The Best Series I Have Ever... ||Oct 25th. at 12:23:01 am EDT|
|Wisper (Bennett, Colorado US) ||Age: 31 - Email |
The Black Company by Glen Cook. The BEST series I have ever read!
I like Silver RavenWolf's Books, I also really like Witchcraft theory
and practice by Ly De Angeles. Witchcraft A Tradition Renewed by
Doreen Valiente and Evan Jones is a great book. The mysteries of
ISIS by DeTraci Regula is my favorite. As far as movies, Gone
with the wind is hard to beat. The first two Alien movies were
good, three and four, not so good. I'm not real big on movies,
how about t.v. Babalyon 5 (i'll watch the repeats for as long as
there on) I must admit I love Buffy. I thought Firstwave was great
I must have been the only one, oh well. As long as Scully's on The
x-files, I'll watch. I can't think of anymore, as soon as I turn
this off I'll think of a bunch.
| Okay, I'll Avoid The Obvious Lord Of Rings, Harry Potter Et Al... ||Oct 25th. at 12:16:11 am EDT|
|Joe Leeman (Dallas, Texas US) ||Age: 34 - Email |
Okay, I'll avoid the obvious Lord of RIngs, Harry Potter et al....
1) The original OZ books are better than Potter - Ozma of Oz was a personal favorite
2) The Incarnations of Immortality Series by Piers Anthony
3) THe Ender Series by Orson Scott Card- Highly recommended
2) Memento - should be on pay per view now
3) Warlock - love this awful excuse for a movie - it really give witches a horribly bad rap - quote from the movie "A witch must make a potion from the fat of an unbaptized child in order to fly". Makes a great drinking game.
4) Return to OZ - really cool movie
| As Far As Non Pagan Go, I've Enjoyed The Wheel Of Time... ||Oct 24th. at 9:27:50 pm EDT|
|Justin (Rochester, New York US) ||Age: 21 |
As far as non pagan go, I've enjoyed the Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan. They're long books but definitely good for the fantasy fans. Also Enders Game by Orson Scott Card is an interesting sci-fi book about a young boy who was genetically altered in an attempt to combat alien attacks. It doesn't sound good but I don't want to give much away. Also for a kind of real world based fiction Cryptonomicon is excellent, it takes place during the modern day but the story line is split and you see events happening during World War II.
| For Pagan Oriented, I Would Recommend Anything Published By Llewellan. Even If... ||Oct 24th. at 8:47:59 pm EDT|
|drekfleth (Wolfeboro, New Hampshire US) ||Age: 18 - Email |
For Pagan oriented, I would recommend anything published by Llewellan. Even if you find the book a little "off, " they have a couple of pages of books in the back. That is how I heard of almost all of my books. For astrology, _The Secret Language of Birthdays_ by Gary Goldschneider and Joost Elffers (0-670-85857-9). Personology, personality by birth date.
For fiction, I absolutely must say _DUNE_ By Frank Herbert. It is a true epic by any standards, although I will say it can get a little deep at times. It is not a simple adventure. I will also say the _Otherland_ series by Tad Williams. It is actually one story split into four, very thick, books.
I also recommend _Stonehenge_ By Bernard Cornwell (0-06-10914-4). It describes the creation of Stonehenge in a way that rings true as _Mists of Avalon_ does.
For various magic "systems" in fiction, you can read The Death Gate Cycle (7 books) starting with _Dragon Wing_ By Weis and Hickman (0-553-28639-0) [Rune magic], _Dragon Prince_ and sequels by Melanie Rawn (0-88677-450-0) [Using light itself], _Magic of Recluce_ etc. By L.E. Modesitt, Jr., (0-812-50518-2) [Chaos/Order] and the Valdemar books By Mercedes Lackey _Arrows of the Queen_ (0-88677-378-4) was the first written out of 22 now published [Energy work, some include ÔactiveŐ Deities].
One interesting non-fiction is _The Elegant Universe_ By Brian Greene (0-375-70811-1). An interesting look into physics and Superstring theory. It isnŐt as boring as it sounds though. It had my attention until I had to read another book for school, and I am not one for non-fiction. A brief look at this theory is in the Witchvox article "Of Strings and Gods: Modern Physics and Pagan Spirituality." http://www.witchvox.com/words/words_2000/e_science1.html
And for humor, _The Darwin Awards_ by Wendy Northcutt(0-525-94572-5) "commemorating those individuals who ensure the long-term survival fo our species by removing themselves from the gene pools in a sublimely idiotic fashion."
| The Best Movie To Watch When You're Down (or Anytime Really) Is... ||Oct 24th. at 6:06:45 pm EDT|
|Stacey (Richmond, Virginia US) ||Age: 20 |
The best movie to watch when you're down (or anytime really) is Brain Candy from the best comedy troupe ever the Kids in the Hall.
| The Book That Turned My Mind Around As A Pagan And Threw... ||Oct 24th. at 5:37:32 pm EDT|
|Hearthstone (Calumet, Michigan US) ||Age: 39 |
The book that turned my mind around as a Pagan and threw me bodily onto a new path was Ronald Hutton's _The Pagan Religions of the Ancient British Isles_; it's a real myth-breaker, yet the author is very Pagan-friendly. I also recommend highly Hutton's _Triumph of the Moon_. Heck, anything by this guy is an excellent and thought-provoking read!
| An Absolute Must Read By Every Witch/pagan Out There Is The... ||Oct 24th. at 5:24:21 pm EDT|
|aspasia tiresias (Maine & Arizona, Maine US) ||Age: 35 - Email |
An absolute must read by every witch/pagan out there is The Chalice & The Blade by Riane Eisler. To say it is enlightnening is a huge understatement.
"The most important book since Darwin's Origin of Species." (Ashley Montagu)
"Some books are like revelations, they open the spirit to unimaginable possibilities. The Chalice and the Blade is one of those magnificent key books that can transform us." (Isabel Allende, author of The House of the Spirits) is quoted from the amazon.com website for the book.
The Chalice and the Blade : Our History, Our Future by Riane Eisler List Price: $18.00 (October 1988) Harper San Francisco; ISBN: 0062502891 is the info for the paperback it is also available in hardcover & the ISBN for that is 084466734X (December 1994) Peter Smith Pub. it lists at $28.50.
For that matter everything this woman has written is worth reading multiple times. But this one must be in every witch's library & especially the elders.
| Richard Adams (you May Know His Book "watership Down") Has Always Been... ||Oct 24th. at 4:17:13 pm EDT|
|Katrina (Metuchen, New Jersey US) ||Age: 37 - Email |
Richard Adams (you may know his book "Watership Down") has always been one of my favorite authors. I once heard someone describe reading his books as "being woven into a tapestry", and it's such an apt description! He's a magickal storyteller, and my absolute favorite book of all time is his novel, "Maia". It's the story about a young, beautiful peasant girl who is sold by her mother into slavery, and ends up a concubine in the mythical, semi-barbaric kingdom of Bekla. The story traces her adventures over the course of a year, to a heart-pounding conclusion. To say that this book is an epic is a serious understatement! This book has everything....politics, war, excitement, romance, and all with an underlying current of paganism that's magickal to behold. I think the book may be out of print now, but I was able to find used copies over the internet, and I think my local library even has a copy. Find it and read it...you won't be sorry!
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