It’s been this way for years. I have a couple of stacks of books next to my bed. On the nightstand, in the nightstand, on the floor. It’s a miracle I’ve never tripped over them on a midnight foray to the bathroom and broken my neck. Knock on wood.
Unless I get completely drawn in by a suspense potboiler which I can’t put down until I’m done, I usually am reading about 5 books at any given time with others on back burners to be pulled out when I’m ready for them again.
The Books At The Top Of The Stack
The Knitting Sutra: Craft as Spiritual Practice – Susan Gordon Lydon
I heard about this book from some one recently, probably someone on line (I remember now! Skyclad Crafting!). At any rate it arrived from the library and I started reading it last night. I just love a book that discusses the spiritual nature of artistic crafts. And when I discovered in the first few pages that the author was in recovery like me I got really interested. I was saddened this morning to discover that my new favorite author died in 2005 from cancer. But I’m going to read whatever I can get my hands on. Because this lady really understands the spiritual life of crafters. “If the devil makes work for idle hands, then could constantly busy hands entice angels to whisper in the knitter’s ear?” Oh yes. Yes indeed.
Spirits of the Sacred Grove: The World of a Druid Priestess – Emma Restall Orr
At first glance at the Table of Contents you see the chapters laid out in the order of the Sabbats. They are even named for the sabbats. One might be tempted to assume it is yet another newbie book on, yeah, the sabbats. And it is not. Not in any way whatsoever. Each chapter is a discussion, a tale, a handbook. She talks about her experiences living the sabbats, the things that changed her, inspired her, challenged her. Well worth that look see.
The Rebirth of Witchcraft – Doreen Valiente
I have been meaning to get my hands on this book for a very long time and when it practically jumped off the shelf at a local second hand bookstore I knew it was mine. Basically it is not another book on the history of the craft per se. It is but there is the difference between a biography and an autobiography. Doreen Valiente, Gerald Gardner’s one-time High Priestess, tells all. A must read. It keeps you in mirth and reverence and while she does talk about her experiences and disappointments with Gerald, she does it with fairness and notes that they mended their differences long before his death and were fast friends if no longer HPs and HP. A must read for anyone interested in how things started.
People of the Earth: The New Pagans Speak Out – Ellen Evert Hopman and Lawrence Bond
A compendium of interviews with modern pagans of difference stripes. Artists, Witches, Legal Eagles, influential all. I’m a bit offended by the Frosts, still, really don’t like their tone and am sorry that they are the first interviewees in the Wicca section as I don’t believe they give a good representation of Wicca. They’d make most folks freak. Too bad. But there are many more to choose from. All interesting, even the Frosts. It’s good to know they’re out there in their way. What really blew me away the first time I got this book from the library (I really should buy it, it’s on amazon used for $0.47), was how many people I actually knew. Back in the very early 90’s there was no internet. There were chat rooms and email lists and the alt.pagan bulletin boards and the like. I belonged to as many as I could and through them met and “knew” and discussed much with the folks I found there. Only to find out years later that I was talking with some of the forerunners, some of the important forerunners. You know what was most amazing about them? You would never know by their attitudes that they thought they were forerunners or important. They just wanted to help. Amazing. And they put me to shame. Back them, pre-sobriety, I was a bigger hot head than I am now. Scary huh? And they still talk to me sometimes. Love this book. We have much to be grateful about.
Druidcraft: The magic of Wicca and Druidry – Phillip Carr-Gomm
This book discusses the area where Wicca and Druidry meet. All from the wonderful mind of Philip Carr-Gomm, a leader in the OBOD, The Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids. Not far enough along to give a review but worth getting your hands on.
Dreams From My Father – Barack Obama
You want to learn something about the man who is going to be the next President of the United States? Read his own writing. Find out about who he is. Find out how it is that Barack came to “get it.” I’d read something by John McCain, also a prolific writer, but it scares me too much. I think I’d feel slimed.