Dragon Rider #2: The Griffin’s Feather, Cornelia Funke
Another exciting tale of magical creatures, with lots of thoughts about conservation and wildlife.
India: one man’s personal journey round the continent, Sanjeev Bhaskar
The fact that Sanjeev Bhaskar is part of the Indian Diaspora and visited India as a child gives him a really good perspective on India, as both insider and outsider. He also writes in a very engaging way, so this book is easy to read. The TV series it was written to accompany was also very good, and both the book and the series explore the multifaceted nature of modern India. He also writes very movingly about Partition, the massacres that took place, and its effects, both on his family and on India and Pakistan.
“Inviting us to examine many different aspects of Initiatory Wicca, this book is aimed at both initiates and non-initiates. It could certainly be used as the basis of a coven training programme but is also invaluable for the solo practitioner.”
“The Night Journey utilizes the historical legend of the witch’s flight to the sabbat to expand Aburrow’s notion of a modern witchcraft which is “queer, transgressive, and resistant to authoritarian versions of reality.” In the spiritual world of The Night Journey, witchcraft isn’t seen as some sort of rarefied practice isolated from the messy mundane world, but as a beautiful, viable, and practical way of living in the world as a person of power and integrity … a revolutionary vision of traditional Wicca which looks to the Craft’s future while simultaneously honoring its traditions.”
Misha Magdalene, author of Outside the Charmed Circle: Exploring Gender & Sexuality in Magical Practice
“an outstanding Wicca 201, intended for already-active, primarily initiatory covens, that examines Wiccan praxis and theology. This is the next step once you have established a solid Wiccan practice. Many aspects of Wicca are examined with an eye towards inclusivity; Aburrow covers LGBTQ, BDSM, polyamory, and asexuality; physical and mental disabilities; cultural appropriation; and trauma recovery in the context of ritual practice, relationship to divinity, and mythology. …The author looks at some of the common Wiccan myths and makes suggestions for ways to incorporate deep ecology, from adapting the Wheel of the Year to appropriately reflect your climate and geography to reducing your carbon footprint.” — Sable Aradia
At the start of the year, I figured I’d try to read around one book a week. Then I faffed around in January starting books and not finishing them, and thought I’d fall well short of 52 books, so I reset my Goodreads target to 42 books (42 being a resonant number for Hitch-hikers fans).
Around the middle of the year, I did a lot of reading, especially while we were camping, so I got ahead of schedule, and ended up with 52 books by the middle of December. Of course, I don’t read to complete targets, but since the advent of smart phones, I find it is good to note the amount of books I am reading, just to remind myself to put down the phone and pick up a book.
So here’s a list of my 2021 book review posts, and a list of books that I have read.
This month has been an odd mixture. I finally finished Mighty Stories, Dangerous Rituals, which I started in November. And I read Rewards and Fairies which is quite a melancholy book. I also finally got hold of The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows in book form, for which I’ve been waiting for a long time, but it’s more of a dipping book. I read Esmond in India and found it a bit depressing. Then I read a collection of interviews with Ursula K Le Guin.
Reading about hygge, which seems very akin to Pagan ideals of comfort and pleasure, and about the Indigenous sense of humour, gives me hope that one day all of humanity will again see the Earth as sacred. I also reread some Dion Fortune.
I read Crosstalk by Connie Willis and then decided to re-read The Deptford Trilogy. Then I read a book on Indigenous stories, and then a book on walking in Paris, which I bought secondhand ages ago and only just got around to reading. And then I re-read Terry Pratchett’s last book, The Shepherd’s Crown.
I’m still reading Gerald Gardner’s The Meaning of Witchcraft and it’s taking ages (it’s my bedtime reading and I am only getting a few pages read at a time. I very much enjoyed Ithell Colquhoun: Genius of the Fern-loved Gully by Amy Hale.