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Lining the Walls

What rocks my literary world?

Currently reading

To Kill a Mockingbird
Harper Lee
If Life Is a Game, These Are the Rules
Cherie Carter-Scott, Jack Canfield
Witchcraft Today
Gerald B. Gardner
The Everything Paganism Book: Discover the Rituals, Traditions, and Festivals of This Ancient Religion (Everything (New Age))
Selene Silverwind

What Currently Rocks My World?

What currently comprises my store of books?

Basically anything that doesn't suck: metaphysics, erotica, classics, Dover Thrift Editions (I am a sucker for any type of "library" series of classics), sci-fi, speculative, beat authors, cool cheesy stuff, cool looking how-to and nonfiction, stuff that I find in thrift stores and library sales, you name it, I'll probably read it. Oh, and did I mention all those For Dummies books and Complete Idiot's Guides?...

About 75% of the wall space in my room is filled with books. And I have recently fixed up a milk crate bookshelf in the bathroom that almost covers one wall, so we're talking serious book addiction here.

First of all I have a lot of fiction--Saul Bellow, Hemingway, Richard Brautigan, the Beats--Kerouac, Burroughs, Diane di Prima, etc.

Typical stuff like Stephen King, Jonathan Kellerman, Clive Barker, Thomas Harris, etc.

Business motivational stuff like Cluetrain Manifesto, Tom Peters, etc.

Then I have stuff like the Collected Works of Antonin Artaud--one of my literary idols. The edition that has an intro by Susan Sontag is really good, because she talks about gnosticism. Like Crowley, Artaud was an insane(?) drug addict. Like Crowley, his ideas went on to shape the second half of the twentieth century.

I also have a bunch of antique books I inherited from my grandmothers. A set of Dickens, a set of Balzac, a series of children's fiction and history.

A huge passel of pocket paperbacks, with stuff like Nietzsche, H.P. Lovecraft, Pat Conroy, Jackie Collins, and Ayn Rand. I find the Ayn Rand a little embarrassing, but I keep it in there because it tends to weird out & intimidate people who don't read much.

There are also things from the fifties, like Bob Hope's "I Owe Russia $1200" and "Barbara Owen, Girl Reporter".

Tons of Complete Idiots Guides and for Dummies books.

An embarrassing amount of Llewellyn books--They were shiny, happy, pagan books that were about three bucks apiece at one store I worked at.

Tons of books on yarn crafts.

Tons of books on Tarot (my current favorite is the Complete Idiots Guide to...")

Some Hippie dippy type stuff like Ram Dass "Be Here Now" and Timothy Leary "Confessions of a Hope Fiend" and also that book he did with R. A. Wilson, the title of which escapes me now. I also have tons of R. A. Wilson, except for that one about Bob & Slack (post-modernism kind of gets on my nerves.)

One of the first books on metaphysics I ever read was Colin Wilson's "the Occult".

I also have some stuff on Gnosticism, like Pagels & Steiner.

I also have a lot of Ouspensky/Gurdjieff--but the only Ouspensky book I even got halfway through was New Model of the Universe, and that was because I really dug the parts where he talked about his disillusionment with society through his newspaper job, and subsequent search for wisdom. "There are enough lies in the world without mine." There is a very cool book about the 4th Way community called "Struggle of the Magicians: Why Ouspensky Left Gurdjieff" by William Patrick Patterson, which reads like a spy novel. You should check it out if you're into them.

I have some things like Godwin's Cabalistic Encyclopedia, Regardie's Golden Dawn and Garden of Pomegranates.

Of course I have a lot of Crowley books, one of my favorites being an edition called "Portable Darkness: An Aleister Crowley Reader" edited by Scott Michaelson, which provides a nice introduction to his work. I have the Confessions, Laurence Sutin's "Do What Thou Wilt," The Law is For All, Holy Books of Thelema, Book of Lies, Magickal Diaries of AC, 777, Book of Thoth, Magick W/O Tears, Tarot Divination, Magick in Theory & Practice.

Recently I have been branching out into Wicca and related topics, so I got a few Scott Cunningham titles, Margot Adler's Drawing Down the Moon, T. Thorn Coyle's Evolutionary Witchcraft, and Modern Pagans by Vicky Vale, among other titles.

Dropped Names: Famous Men and Women As I Knew Them

Dropped Names: Famous Men and Women As I Knew Them - Frank Langella Frank Langella as an actor is one of those guys who doesn't go in for a lot of rigmarole; he just does the job. I happen to think he does it quite well--check out the 1979 version of Dracula, or The Ninth Gate, where he stood out well against Johnny Depp's scenery chewing performance if you don't know what I'm talking about.On to the book review, though (one gets the impression Mr. L. wouldn't stand for too much ass kissing about his accomplishments, "Get it done." he might say.)As a memoir, this is adequate. There are some details about his life, how he started in acting as a theater apprentice, how he eschewed the Actor's Studio way of acting in favor of Stella Adler, how he met JFK as a young man, his friendships with people like Raul Julia, Alan Bates, a few people he didn't care for, such as Rex Harrison, he tells it like it was. There were some details about ladies he dated that seemed like too much information--not salacious details, just stuff that seemed a little unflattering.This is more of a remembrance of the more famous and the slightly less famous people Frank has known, basically, it does what it says on the tin. Again, don't look to this for overly salacious dish, but do appreciate the way he reveals his own character and values in the way he speaks about friends and the not so friendly.If you're a fan like I am, this book is highly recommended.

The Small-Town Pagan's Survival Guide: How to Thrive in Any Community

The Small-Town Pagan's Survival Guide: How to Thrive in Any Community - Bronwen Forbes Not as good as I expected from an author that used to write really good WitchVox articles. She will be missed, but this was not a favorite.

In the Center of the Fire: A Memoir of the Occult 1966-1989

In the Center of the Fire: A Memoir of the Occult 1966-1989 - James Wasserman Meh. An 18 dollar eBook should be better than this was.

Niagara Falls, or Does It? (Hank Zipzer Series #1)

Niagara Falls, Or Does It? - Henry Winkler, Lin Oliver, Jesse Joshua Watson This was a cute kid's book. I'm going to see if Henry Winkler wrote anything else--you can really hear his voice in the book, it reads like a friendly, cute sitcom that he would play in.I would also recommend this to anyone with a child with a learning difference.

The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur

The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur - Mike Michalowicz Strong language and plain talk may be just the kick in the rear you need to get started!Warning: This book contains cuss words. Not something you expect from a business book. Business people are supposed to be button-down, professional, projecting an image at all times. However, this book speaks plainly, using language most of us use, and leaves behind stuffy business jargon and concepts that business newbies probably wouldn't know. The result is a book that pulls no punches and challenges us to move on what we do know.Throughout this eBook are sprinkled tips to help entrepreneurs with practical ideas to run start-ups. You are taught the basics about formulating your vision and plans for a company, how to deal with funding a company and dealing with investors (Michalowicz maintains that these should be kept to a bare minimum, if used at all), as well as a few ideas for how to run the money side of the business.One important thing I want to let people know about this eBook, which I've seen discussed on some of the Kindle boards: This is an extremely well written, well edited piece of writing. The author acknowledges the team behind this publication, and their work definitely shows. A very pleasant thing when you often see Kindle eBooks that sorrowfully forgo any editing at all.

A Charmed Life: Celebrating Wicca Every Day

A Charmed Life - Patricia J. Telesco This book was a nice easy read. I would recommend this for anyone that already knows a little bit about Paganism/Wicca but wants a few ideas for things like meditations one can do, or ideas for good times to do rituals and such.It's kind of Wicca 101ish, but not quite, it's more about ideas about holidays (not necessarily just wheel of the year holidays, but all holidays), rituals for various purposes and such.

Stitches: A Memoir

Stitches: A Memoir - Wow. Very sad, very good.

Spellcraft: A Primer for the Young Magician

Spellcraft: A Primer for the Young Magician - Lilith McLelland Not only did I love this book on Kindle, but as soon as I finished I fired off an order for it in paperback to give to a young friend who is curious about witchcraft and magic.I would recommend this for kids in the 8 - 10 age group and reading level. As a person that is interested in magic myself, this book gives very sound advice to kids about how to get started, presenting the information in very uncomplicated language.I would even recommend this for teens and adults who are new to the study of magic. The concepts here are sound, I can't think of any stripe of neo-pagan tradition that would have a problem with the stuff being taught here, it's that basic to things that can be found in *all* practices.There are things in here on theory and getting in touch with one's own magic, crafts to make magical charms, mojo bags, cord magic, magic wands, how to cast a circle, herbs and stones, how to make potions, the elements, book of shadows, even getting in touch with spirit guides and such. Any young magician that reads this and puts it into practice would have a good foundation for life and whatever magical tradition that they took up later.

Let ESP work for you

Let ESP work for you - Patsy Ruth Welding Read this a long time ago, currently reading again. This book helped me learn psychic skills. It may be too "motherly" or whatever for some folks, but I really liked it.Mrs. Welding was a retired secretary for the Clark County school district in Las Vegas, and she passed away in 2008, at the age of 83. She was not as famous as some other psychics, and apparently didn't see the need to gain a huge amount of fame or fortune. She didn't even charge money to her "clients."Although, in her book she does talk about how she used her skills to get a ring, a mink stole, and a car. She predated the current popularity of the Law of Attraction, but her book has very little rigamarole; just, "Ask yourself why you want ESP, here are some exercises to develop it." surrounded by a *lot* of stories from her own practice.That's the way the old-school metaphysical books used to be, I think. A lot of stories that went, "Here's what happened when "Jim", a young accountant, came to see me..." This book is very much in that vein.

Everything 101: A Complete Education in a Snap

Everything 101: A Complete Education in a Snap - Lisa Sonne A great reference that puts general knowledge into bite-sized pieces. I love books like this. Now I feel like I could go on Jeopardy and win. All for about five bucks at B&N.

The Abortion

The Abortion: An Historical Romance, 1966 - Richard Brautigan Read this, and like I do with most Brautigan, I found myself alternating between feeling "That's so beautifully written, I want to cry. Why can't *I* write like that?" and busting out laughing at his subtle humor.I think people think Brautigan is that hippy-dippy "Watermelon Sugar" guy, but he really was a deeply gifted writer, I think if people read this and "Confederate General from Big Sur" they will definitely see what lies beneath the hippy surface.He is one of my favorite writers of all time, and this book is one of the reasons why.

The Phantom Tollbooth

The Phantom Tollbooth - Pretty good, may want to read other stuff by Norton Juster.

The Power (The Secret)

The Power - Rhonda Byrne Maybe a little bit better than The Secret.

The Rotten Years by Maia Wojciechowska

Unknown Book 1141327 - Unknown Author 328

Well, this was sitting in my bookshelf for a long time, and I'm currently going through a "read it and get rid of it" culling thing. Didn't know I was sitting on YA fiction gold. I have to put it in a bag of books that's going to be sold at a garage sale, and whoever gets this will be pleasantly surprised.It's a book about "the hippie revolution" and the "generation gap" from the late sixties, so it's a little dated, it talks about "the moral depression", and has a rather melodramatic ending, but for young kids, it would make a great read.Maia Wojciechowska won a Newberry Award medal, and I seem to remember reading "Shadow of a Bull" as a kid, but this book sends me into a mood to revisit her work, to learn more about great writing, whatever the topic.

Secrets of a Buccaneer-Scholar: How Self-Education and the Pursuit of Passion Can Lead to a Lifetime of Success

Secrets of a Buccaneer-Scholar: How Self-Education and the Pursuit of Passion Can Lead to a Lifetime of Success - James Marcus Bach I think what appealed to me about this book was the fact that it was the story of someone who had dropped out of school early and yet made a success of themselves.What I didn't know was that I would learn things that go completely against what I've been taught. Things like, "Procrastinating isn't a way of running away from problems, it's a way of *solving* problems." And that it's ok to *quit* trying sometimes if you feel like it.Of course, one wonders how well James Bach would have done, if he wasn't the son of Richard Bach, author of "Jonathan Livingston Seagull", himself a rather free-spirited, outside the box kind of thinker.For people that want to learn that being "disorganized" isn't always a bad thing, and who want to take a look at learning from a different angle, this is a very good book.I came away from this book with a reinforced idea that "experts" aren't always more knowledgeable about things than we are, some of them just know how to think creatively.