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What with writing, painting, eye problems and having to keep all of my things in little boxes for the time being, I’ve been majorly slacking on a lot of the reading I still want to do. I have my Kindle, which I’m extremely thankful that I was able to buy when I was, but I haven’t really added to my collection of books. Mostly, I just kind of cycle through bits of The King in Yellow and my little collection of Tudor history.
I have a pretty substantial list of things I’d like to read, though. Some are for fun, others are for information, and still others are things I feel like I really should’ve read by now and simply haven’t. Like:
- Geek Love: A Novel by Katherine Dunn. Geek Love is the story of a couple that sets out to breed their own family of carnival sideshow performers. I really want to read this book because it sounds reminiscent of (but decidedly more in-depth than) one of my favorite movies– Tod Browning’s Freaks. It’ll be interesting to see how the different dynamics (a family seeking to create sideshow performers versus a “normal” woman seeking to marry one for his fortune) influence how they explore the same questions: What measure is normal? Or beautiful? Or profane?
- Mary, Queen of Scots, and the Murder of Lord Darnley by Alison Weir. I’ve read exactly one other book about Mary, Queen of Scots– Mary, Queen of Scots by Antonia Fraser. While I liked Fraser’s work, I feel like it veered a bit too far into Mary apologism at times. I enjoy Weir’s work, and I’d like to see how she handles the same subject.
- The Bhagavad Gita. I don’t have a link to purchase this, chiefly because there’s an abundance of translations available and I’m not entirely sure which to get. Every one I see recommended comes with an equal number of detractors that recommend another. I’m leaning toward the translation by Mahatma Gandhi right now, though, since that seems to be the most often recommended.
- Gasoline by Dame Darcy, is the story about a family of orphaned witches attempting to maintain a utopian enclave in a post-apocalyptic dystopian world. It’s by Dame Darcy. It has witches. It’s post apocalyptic. There is basically no way I am not going to read this eventually, I ain’t made of stone.
- Ink: The Book of All Hours by Hal Duncan. I read Vellum: The Book of All Hours, Duncan’s debut novel, several years ago. While it wasn’t my favorite, I was invested deeply enough in the story that I’d like to see the rest of it. While both Vellum and Ink have had their detractors (largely because of Duncan’s very strange way of constructing a story around a very non-linear timeline), I liked them well enough. I also liked House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski, for what it’s worth– I wouldn’t be surprised if readers that disliked one wouldn’t be big fans of the others, since there seems to be a pretty decent crossover between them fan-wise.
- The Poetic Edda. I read bits and pieces of this years ago, from a copy a friend had. I’ve kind of felt bad about having neglected it since, and feel like it deserves a fair share of my actual attention.
- Veneficium. Magic, Witchcraft and the Poison Path by Daniel A. Schulke. I can’t tell you how many other witches I’ve seen drooling over this book, and for good reason. It’s very difficult to come by, and I haven’t seen another resource as comprehensive. The publisher gives a pretty solid description: “Veneficium concerns the intersection of magic and poison, originating in remotest antiquity and reaching into the present day. Beyond their functions as agents of bodily harm, poisons have also served as gateways of religious ecstasy, occult knowledge, and sensorial aberration, as well as the basis of cures. […] Beyond consideration of the toxicological dimensions of magical power, the concurrent thread of astral and philosophical poisons are also examined, and their resonance and dissonance with magical practice explored. Veneficium will be of interest to students of magic, witchcraft, alchemy, botanical folklore, medicine, and occult pharmacology.” Unfortunately, it’s also close to two hundred dollars.
- Practical Sigil Magic: Creating Personal Symbols for Success by Frater U.:D.: I’ve used sigil magic, but it hasn’t ever really been a cornerstone of my practice. I doubt this’ll change much, but I would like some more knowledge about the subject anyhow. While this book has its problems (like any book on magic, history, or any other insert-nonfiction-topic-here) it has been recommended to me numerous times, by numerous people, as a good reference for sigil work.
- Enchantment: The Witches’ Art of Manipulation by Gesture, Gaze and Glamour by Peter Paddon. This is another aspect I don’t work with much. I do see a ton of young or freshly-starting-out witches that don’t necessarily have the money (or the ability– many of them live with parents that may be strongly opposed to witchcraft) to build a collection of tools. This seems like it could give me better information to pass on to them, but, considering how many books and authors are hugely problematic *coughcough*SilverRavenwolf*coughcough*, I’d also like to vet it before I go recommending it to anyone who hasn’t yet developed a critical eye for books on witchcraft or paganism.
- The Resurrection of the Meadow by Robin Artisson. This is another book that was highly recommended to me, particularly by witches who seem opposed to a more pop culture approach to witchcraft. While I’m not particularly opposed to that, this does seem like the kind of book that’d fit well with my practice. And, like I mentioned before, it’s something I’d like to vet before putting it forth as a resource for new or young witches.
I should probably get cracking…
(Also? I’ll be honest with you– a big part of my motivation for writing this post was to get the Amazon links to the left to stop freaking displaying Food Babe products after I wrote this post a few days ago. No, Amazon. No.)