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Author Topic: Really well-written books on any aspect of paganism  (Read 1721 times)

Sage

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Re: Really well-written books on any aspect of paganism
« Reply #15 on: June 17, 2014, 06:28:33 pm »
Quote from: Jack;150337
I really enjoyed Kindling Our Stars by Genevieve Wood and The Traveller's Guide to the Duat by Kiya Nicoll.

 
Would have to second these recommendations. Genevieve Wood's book is the intro to spirituality I wish I had when I started my Pagan journey seven years ago as a wee high schooler. And I haven't read Nicoll's book yet but it's been on my wishlist for ages. Too bad these authors aren't better known.
Maker, though the darkness comes upon me,
I shall embrace the light. I shall weather the storm.
I shall endure.
What you have created, no one can tear asunder.

-Canticle of Trials 1:10

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Aranel

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Re: Really well-written books on any aspect of paganism
« Reply #16 on: June 17, 2014, 07:10:27 pm »
Quote from: Jenett;150307
Beyond Darkhawk's excellent suggestion of your local library (wherein there are librarians who would likely be delighted to help with this kind of question, because it is much more interesting than "Where is your bathroom?" and "How do I turn on this computer?") there are other considerations.

There are many different approaches to writing about religion, religious topics, and topics of interest to people in a particular religious perspective (Um. In my case, we're talking about cooking, knitting, astronomy, folklore, other religions and their approaches to prayer, a philosophical look at the history of poisons in the US and what it says about our culture, and that's just in books I've opened in the last week or so.)

Some of those books are going to be about facts (things we know happened.) Some of them will be about guesses or theories or approaches (that start with facts, and build from there.) Some are going to be practical - here is how you deal with this religious situation, or this religious community situation, or this ritual technique. (Spell books and the like mostly fall in here too.)

Some things will be about someone's personal experience (and I'm wondering if that's a thing that particularly interests you, because both Starhawk and Currott go in that direction very heavily)

But these are all very different kinds of books.

Reading history or archaeology or science well takes some degree of literacy not just with reading, but with those kinds of books. Reading a book written by a modern academic means understanding some of the conventions of academic writing. (And reading a book from 100 years ago means understanding the writing conventions then). And these things are both different from a personal story, a book about personal current practices, about lived experience.

Plus, as Darkhawk says, you're talking about a large number of religions, which often have very little in common.

If you'd like recommendations, I suspect you'd get much better answers if you can provide more context. If you walked into the library I work in, and asked for help, I'd do what is called a reference interview.

I'd ask you what kind of material you were looking for. (Books? Ok, what kind of books? Academic texts? Personal texts?)

About religion? Which religions? (And while not all librarians are going to know about the incredible variety of religions under the Pagan umbrella, I do, so I'd ask you about which specific groups, if not specific paths. Are you interested in a reconstructionist perspective? An American approach? A particular kind of community or interaction?)

What kind of things are you going to want to do with the information? You want to use it for a fictional project. Ok, so do you want purely factual information (because you're trying to write from the perspective of a particular path?) Information about what it's like to live a particular path? (In which case there's a few books, but really, I'd suggest looking for blogs or forums, too.)

And so on.

Simply saying "Hey, give me some books" is not a good use of your time, and it's generally a frustrating question to be asked, without more of an idea what's going to be of interest.

Completely off-topic but I wish I could come to your library. If I went into my local library and asked for a few books on Iron Age Britain I'd first be given a look for interrupting their discussion about what happen on Made In Chelsea the night before, then I'd been asked if I had any specific books/authors in mind (obviously not otherwise I'd ask if they had those books) and then I'd been directed to a computer where I could do a keyword search of the library catalogue by myself.
So after that and a few other similar instances I've given up using the library altogether. Because I just search on the Internet for book recommendations now, and the library doesn't tend to have them so I have to buy them.

Aranel

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Re: Really well-written books on any aspect of paganism
« Reply #17 on: June 17, 2014, 07:37:19 pm »
Quote from: Jack;150337
I really enjoyed Kindling Our Stars by Genevieve Wood and The Traveller's Guide to the Duat by Kiya Nicoll.

Quote from: Sage;150338
Would have to second these recommendations. Genevieve Wood's book is the intro to spirituality I wish I had when I started my Pagan journey seven years ago as a wee high schooler. And I haven't read Nicoll's book yet but it's been on my wishlist for ages. Too bad these authors aren't better known.

Yeah I'd recommend them too. Well, I haven't read both of them, I just skimmed read Wood's book when I got and it did look really well laid out and well written so should hopefully be useful to the OP.
Nicoll's book had been on my wish list for ages too Sage, although I have a feeling I might have it on my kindle. I really need to get around to reading them.

Anyway, other books that are relevant to my paganism and which I think are well-written* are The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien; most of Terry Pratchett's Discworld books, especially all the witches books including the Tiffany Aching ones; The Triumph of the Moon and The Stations of the Sun, both by Ronald Hutton; American Gods by Neil Gaiman; Bernard Cornwell's Warlord Chronicles, and also his Warrior Chronicles but to a lesser extent in relevance to my paganism and how they're written. The Warlord ones are a lot better.

That's all I can think of at the moment.

* I'm trying to figure out my 20 books for the Your Personal Booklist thread. Selenography, you may find that thread relevant: http://ecauldron.com/forum/showthread.php?t=9941

Sefiru

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Re: Really well-written books on any aspect of paganism
« Reply #18 on: June 17, 2014, 07:52:45 pm »
Quote from: Aranel;150351
most of Terry Pratchett's Discworld books, especially all the witches books including the Tiffany Aching ones

 
Seconding this. The Wee Free Men is IMO one of the better witchcraft 101 books. Good Omens was good also.

I liked Daily Life of the Egyptian Gods, keeping in mind that one of my criteria for good nonfiction works is footnote density.

Aranel

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Re: Really well-written books on any aspect of paganism
« Reply #19 on: June 17, 2014, 07:57:39 pm »
Quote from: Sefiru;150354
Seconding this. The Wee Free Men is IMO one of the better witchcraft 101 books. Good Omens was good also.

I liked Daily Life of the Egyptian Gods, keeping in mind that one of my criteria for good nonfiction works is footnote density.

How could I forget Good Omens? Adding that to my list. I read it about 6 times a year and I always notice sometime for the first time on each re-read. Plus it never fails to make me laugh hence the near continuos re-reading.

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