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in media res

I don't think I've ever found myself in the middle of so many books at once. It's a nice problem to have, but it is a problem. Most of them are library books; they need to go back soon.

Back in September we had a guest speak at church about paganism--or, really, her spiritual-artistic-path-thing. She was a fascinating person but not much of a lecturer. When she asked if anyone had questions, Brian asked if there was a standard text to which pagans referred. She was stumped, but one of the guys in the congregation suggested that a good book about paganism was Margot Adler's Drawing Down the Moon. He was right, probably. I started the book but returned it to the library after reading only the first three chapters. There were so many references to unfamiliar works that I thought I'd look at a few of them before continuing.

She refers to an essay by Starhawk. I didn't find that, but I did take out The Spiral Dance and I was fortunate to get the 20th anniversary edition. The introductions (there was also a 10th anniversary edition) are sufficient for my purposes as a curious bystander and I am just skimming through the book.

The one that's really interesting to a folklore buff is Charles Godfrey Leland's Etruscan Roman Remains. It's a collection of magic formulas and stories from northern Italy and how cool is it that the copy they found for me is 115 years old?

The funniest book I'm reading is A Razor for a Goat by Elliot Rose, subtitled A discussion of certain problems in the history of witchcraft and diabolism; however, one does not have to read far into the book to discern that this subtitle is code for "Margaret Murray is a doodyhead, nyah." He never misses a chance to rip Miss Murray, that's for sure. It's kind of ranty for a scholarly work, but I like cranky old men in general and I am enjoying it.

And I LOVE Margaret Murray. I'd already got the heads-up on her fallacious theories so I just went for her autobiography, titled My First Hundred Years and it is a winner. Once I've finished these I will be ready to tackle the Adler book again. So that's five.

Then I started to read The Hour of our Death by Philippe Ariès, which has some interesting ideas in it about the nature of cultural trends, along with his observations about how personal and public documents reveal (western European) attitudes about death. This was also mentioned at church, as was Women Who Run with the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estés. That one is unopened as yet, but on the to-be-read stack. Maybe I will skip church tomorrow to spare myself further trouble.

So the Rose book is the funniest, but the FUNNEST book I'm reading is Peter O'Donnell's Modesty Blaise. Oh, wow. This book is killer fun but if I don't wrap this up soon I will miss posting today. I'll tell you more when I finish.

I am also reading Farnham's Freehold and finding that it holds the same annoying charm as most the Heinlein books do for me. I sneer, I roll my eyes, but I keep reading.

Dam Nation, too. Still. I swear, the format makes it so hard to read I can get through an article or two and then I set it aside. The articles are good, too! It's quite frustrating.

And finally, Parenting with Love and Logic by Foster Cline and Jim Fay. A friend took a course based on this so I wanted to read the book. It has its good points but not really my thing. These kind of books rarely are.

Ok, that's it.

Comments

slightlymadmom
Nov. 19th, 2007 01:32 am (UTC)
Ooo. I liked both. However -- they both have racist overtones, and because I was in High School or college at the time, and had very little dealings with the entire Idea of Racism, I just kind of...skipped over all that. (Hard to imagine, but there it was.) In fact, I don't think I have gone back to read Farnham...I do remember that the ending (as in other of Heinlein's books) seemed...sudden? Not quite right? Not sure, it's been a while.

I liked Sixth Column because it was sneaky and spy-like. Based on racism and all that...but if you can successfully ignore that at a time in your life when you think spying and sneaking around and running a rebellion undercover is cool, then....

Come to think of it, I haven't re-read Heinlein in a while. Of all of my favorite authors, I re-read his stuff the least. That's an interesting thought...

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