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.