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To Ride A Silver Broomstick: New Generation Witchcraft
To Ride A Silver Broomstick: New Generation Witchcraft
by Silver Ravenwolf
Edition: Paperback
Price: $13.47
277 used & new from $0.48

14 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars To Read a Silver Book, March 19, 2000
I read "To Ride A Silver Broomstick" mainly because of the ongoing debate I'd been hearing about Ravenwolf's books. Frustrated with the conflicting views, I thought it best to read one for myself and form my own opinion. (And I encourage any other curious readers to do the same.)
Personally, I had trouble sustaining interest in the book. I respect Ravenwolf's right to express her opinions and insights regarding the Craft, but the book is not a comprehensive guide and it tends to move very slowly. Moreover, I feel there are other introductory books available that do a better job covering the rudiments.
On the plus side, Ravenwolf has a straight-forward presentation style that may appeal to many beginners, and she works to make the book and its subject accessible to the novice. Furthermore, she provides book lists at the end of each chapter that include some fabulous suggested readings. I also appreciated her candor, even when I didn't agree with her approach.
So...I didn't love it, I didn't loathe it, and I still don't understand the fervor of the debate. My advice? If you're interested, read it with an open mind and form your own opinion.


Drawing Down the Moon: Witches, Druids, Goddess-Worshippers, and Other Pagans in America Today (Compass)
Drawing Down the Moon: Witches, Druids, Goddess-Worshippers, and Other Pagans in America Today (Compass)
by Margot Adler
Edition: Paperback
61 used & new from $4.58

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Solid Look at A Vast Subject, March 19, 2000
Above all, "Drawing Down the Moon" is excellent journalism. Adler accepts the challenge of a broad subject with limitless scope, and manages to present her findings with careful scholarship and literary grace.
The book is suitable for Pagans and non-Pagans alike, as long as the reader is willing to invest the time to do a thorough, close reading of the text. The book is (unavoidably) dated, and though Adler provides notes like "this group is no longer active" and "this publication is no longer in print," the reader must be paying attention to catch such references.
Overall, "Drawing Down the Moon" is a successful attempt at a challenging task, and I respect Adler greatly for her efforts. This book repays a second reading, and I recommend it to anyone interested in Neo-Paganism and its roots.


Book of Shadows
Book of Shadows
by Phyllis W. Curott
Edition: Paperback
51 used & new from $0.86

20 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Kudos For Curott, March 16, 2000
This review is from: Book of Shadows (Paperback)
Part journal, part novel, and part historical text, "Book of Shadows" is the smart, engaging story of Phyllis Curott's personal journey toward the Goddess. More importantly, it's the brave, unflinching documentation of one woman's awakening to Nature, beauty, and spiritual fulfillment.
Or, if you prefer, it's just plain good. I read the (rather lengthy) book in one sitting and then called a friend to recommend it.
Curott is a fine storyteller and an excellent writer. In particular, she does a nice job balancing the descriptive, spiritual passages with the facts and history. As a narrator, she's warm, relaxed and welcoming -- this is her story, but she also allows it to become ours. Despite her impressive education (or perhaps because of it), Curott writes on the reader's level and, unlike many books I've read on similar subjects, does not proclaim to have the final answers. Above all, she stresses the process and the journey.
This is one of the most inspiring and illuminating books I've read this year. I recommend it highly.


Women
Women
by Annie Leibovitz
Edition: Hardcover
79 used & new from $4.51

76 of 83 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "WOMEN" is Challenging, Purposeful, January 6, 2000
This review is from: Women (Hardcover)
I'd give Leibovitz four stars for the sole reason that she tackled "WOMEN" as a concept.
How does one portray "WOMEN" completely? It's as daunting and impossible as stating that one can portray "ETERNITY" or "LIFE" or "TRUTH" in their fullest senses.
There are those that have argued that Leibovitz's book gives preferential treatment to some subjects, while demeaning or diminishing others. For example, the photos of famous women are often glossy, flattering, and classically "pretty," while the photos of non-famous women are more often stark, harsh, and jolting to the senses.
I do not disagree.
What comes into question, however, is our definition of beauty. Society tells us that Drew Barrymore sprawled on the ground is beautiful. A group of coal-blackened female miners is not. That's society talking, not Annie Leibovitz - and certainly not the individual reader/viewer.
Instead, I choose to think that what Leibovitz was trying to do with "WOMEN" was to challenge these stereotypes and expectations. On every page, she attempts to portray the essence of the women she is photographing. For a Hollywood actress, that may very well mean a glamorous, "pretty" setting. For Helene Grimaud, it's a piano. For Wendy Suzuki, it's a scientific laboratory, and for Lenda Murray, it's a Ms. Olympia costume. Instead of labeling and sorting these images, (as society is often apt to do), Leibovitz presents them one after another in a colossal photographic accomplishment she calls "WOMEN."
No, she doesn't manage to express the concept completely. I doubt if anyone could. But she does manage to challenge, enlighten, and empower her readers/viewers with her portrayal of the diverse women she selected to photograph.
For me, that in itself is beautiful.


The God of Small Things
The God of Small Things
by Arundhati Roy
Edition: Paperback
775 used & new from $0.01

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "The God of Small Things" is Lush, Hypnotic, December 22, 1999
I originally read this novel a few years ago for a college course, but since that time I have re-read it twice and recommended it to several friends.
First off, a disclaimer: Don't read this book if you don't like words. Roy can be quite verbose at times.
Okay, now that we're past that...
"The God of Small Things" is a lush, hypnotic journey that is well worth taking. This is a book to savor, ponder, and reference. Roy tackles the tough issues as well as the trivial issues with great style and soul.
A very visual and satisfying read.


Tuesdays with Morrie: An Old Man, A Young Man and Life's Greatest Lesson
Tuesdays with Morrie: An Old Man, A Young Man and Life's Greatest Lesson
by Mitch Albom
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $18.48
1783 used & new from $0.01

42 of 46 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sweetness and Sensibility in "Morrie", December 22, 1999
My mother is one of those Oprah's Book Clubbers who always reads the latest top sellers and tries to force them on me, her lit student daughter, when she's through.
Needless to say, I usually refuse.
For some reason, however, I accepted her copy of "Tuesdays With Morrie." I'm not sure what prompted me to open the cover and give it a shot...but for the next hour or so, I found myself completely absorbed in the book.
Okay, so it's not the best writing. And yeah, okay, it's sort of cliche at times. But it's sincere. This book was created from a very real place in the author's heart, and I've gotta give that some credit.
Oh, alright...and I got a little weepy near the end.
Most of all, I completely understood the book's mass-appeal factor. This is a story for everyone: young; old; educated; non-educated; white collar; blue collar...it doesn't matter. It's not a story about being something...it's a story about just being.
This book isn't going to tell you anything you haven't heard before, but it may make you listen with a different perspective.
And for what that's worth, I recommend it.


The Complete Poems: Anne Sexton
The Complete Poems: Anne Sexton
by Anne Sexton
Edition: Paperback
Price: $13.43
106 used & new from $3.95

21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sexon's Work Is Both Gritty and Incandescent, December 21, 1999
To read the poetry of Anne Sexton is to drown in the moment between sleeping and waking. Although Sexton's poems range in tone from gritty to incandescent, her content is consistently sharp, insightful, and stinging. She's one of those rare talents who manages to write with a purpose AND a passion. The first time I read her work, the thought that sprang to mind was: "Wow. She's writing what everyone else is only thinking." Sexton has a great capacity to verbalize the unspeakable, and she does it in such a way that it scars you and heals you simultaneously. Take, for example, her "Transformations" series (the re-written fairy tales.) Here we have incest, beauty, fear, love, repression, magic...all tangled between translucent words with spines of steel. To say I am in awe of this book is to only scratch the surface.


Death in Venice: And Seven Other Stories
Death in Venice: And Seven Other Stories
by Thomas Mann
Edition: Paperback
Price: $8.12
363 used & new from $0.01

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Man as Artist in "Death in Venice", December 11, 1999
In "Death in Venice," Mann crafts an exquisite portrait of "man as artist." Through the character of Aschenbach, Mann explores the artist's role in the public realm as well as his need for fulfillment in his private life. Using the character of Tadzio as a symbol of true artistic beauty, Mann weaves a love story that is at once both destructive and redemptive. This novella is painfully beautiful and hauntingly memorable -- a staggering accomplishment.


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