For the first three months of this year I didn’t read much at all, because I was doing an intensive university course that proved to be very intense, which meant that when I got home all I could bring myself to do was stare at Netflix.
Now, however, I’m back in the swing of reading – for the moment, at least – so here’s what I read last week. Read more
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.