Well, I couldn’t leave New Orleans without visiting the grave of Voodoo queen Marie Laveau, could I?
St. Louis No. 1 is the most famous graveyard in New Orleans, probably because she’s buried there. Nick Cage, despite still being alive, also has a grave there. Apparently he bought it after he visited a local voodoo practitioner for help with some life problems, and she told him he’d been cursed and would need to buy a plot in order for the curse to be lifted. Read more
Previously I’ve been mini-reviewing books in the reading list section at the end of my weekly round-ups, but they’ve been getting a bit long and unwieldy of late so I thought I’d move them to their own separate post.
Sometimes a book will merit a post all of its own, or I’ll be given a book by a publisher in exchange for a full review, in which case they’ll be reviewed separately. But I do like to keep track of the books I’ve read and what I liked / disliked about them, and I read so much that I don’t have time to write full reviews of everything. So here we go: the first of the weekly book review lists.
The past week can mainly be summed up by this picture:
2016 was seriously the best year I’ve had for books in ages. Despite it not being a great year for, well, pretty much everything else globally.
But in times like these, you grab what happiness you can get, right? So here are my favourite non-fiction books of 2016.
I love Umberto Eco’s books. The Prague Cemetery, however, is the one I find the hardest. I finally got through it, having started it a couple of times and put it down again because I hate the depiction of Jews in it. I know it’s there to make a point, to highlight the prejudiced views of some of its main characters, but I still find things like that hard to read.
However, there were one or two quotes I enjoyed. I’m glad I read it, because I’m gradually making my way through all Eco’s books, but I have no desire to revisit it.
A couple of interesting thoughts about human spirituality and the beginnings of religion, from The Beginnings Of Religion by E.O. James.
The Occult Tradition by David S. Katz is a book I read a few years ago and thoroughly enjoyed, mainly because it didn’t just discuss dubious claims of current witches dating back their ancestry to ancient Egypt, but took an in-depth look at ‘occult’ concepts in a very literal sense – in the sense of discussing hidden or obscure material.
A lot of the book focused on Jewish and Christian mysticism, which was interesting because again this isn’t something that’s always heavily discussed in books on occult themes.
Tattoos, I have found, tend to have quite a polarising effect. I have several of them (23 at last count), mostly in places that are openly visible (hands, arms, fingers, neck).
People either love them or hate them: rarely do I meet someone who doesn’t have an opinion on whether I’m “ruining my body” or “making meaningful art”.
I have had an odd life. I often feel like I’ve lived several of them already, in fact. One of them was as a cult member.
My mother started going along to their meetings when I was three-ish. She joined properly a few years later, and I didn’t manage to extract myself until I was in my late teens. I had many negative experiences growing up in a cult (naturally), but I also learned some good lessons from it, and had some positive experiences too. So today I thought I’d focus on the latter and share some of those in a post.
I am so impressed with 2016 as a Year of Books so far. From the moment I picked up Solitude on day one and completely fell in love with it, my luck with book lists has remained at an excellent level.
This week was no exception. Four books, three of them excellent, one of them quite good.