Sunday, January 1, 2017

Books I Read in 2016

  • I'm not going to edit this text, since it's so long.  It's basically a copy/paste from my journal, so please excuse my bad grammar, spelling errors, and run-on sentences.  Also not going to include links to books, authors, or references, so please message me if you need clarification, links, etc
  • Physical books plus audio books (I do a ton of driving for my job)
  • Read/listened to 55 books (which is a tiny bit above my average.  I owe this to my broken foot, which gave me plenty of time to read this year.)

The Drawing of the Three – Dark Tower II – Stephen King
A re-read, quite enjoyable

30 Days of Night – Steve Niles – Been Templesmith
Great art, good concept, not my fave graphic novel.  Another re-read

Jesus: the Unauthorized Version
Yawn.  Started this in 2015 I think.  A collection of selections of source materials.  Don’t waste your time with this one, just read the source materials (apocrypha or gnostic gospels)

The Book of Strange New Things – Michel Faber
OMG LOVE HIM.  Great author, one of the best fiction books I’ve read in recent years.  I will read anything this man writes.

Mother of Eden – Chris Beckett
Not quite as good as Dark Eden, but still very good.  Again, I will read anything this man writes

The Things They Carried – Tim O’Brien
Read selections of this freshman year of college.  Good, challenging, upsetting.  Worth reading.  Why anyone still thinks warfare is a viable option for anything is beyond me.

Big Girl: how I gave up dieting and got a life – Kelsey Miller
My girl-crush/hero of this year, memoir of a beautiful fat chick and her experience with dieting, body image, self-love.  Gave me some heavy considerations regarding intuitive eating.  Cool, smart gal.  #goals

Waiter Rant – “The Waiter”
Has been on my to-read list for a while, tons of fun, makes me so happy I’m not a barista any more (even though being a barista isn’t the same as waiting, food service is still food service)

Sister of the Dark Moon – Gail Wood
Worked through this book with Gaia’s Circle.  A good jumping off point, though it left a lot to be desired.  I heavily adapted her rituals, and it was a great hear of going both wider and deeper for Gaia’s Circle.  Just what we needed

American Gods – Neil Gaiman
How many times have I read this book?  Another re-re-re-re-read.  If you want a tiny glimpse into my spiritual life and my UPG of the Cosmos, this book is very close and makes many important points

How to Talk so Kids will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk – Faber and Mazlish
Recommended to me by my supervisor when I was at the psychiatric hospital as an intern, a good, useful book.  I had many parents step forward and tell me how much they appreciate it.  This is one I’ll probably go back to in a few years.  Full of information, and I’d say that it has changed the way I communicate with both children and adults

The Gift of Therapy – Irvin Yalom
Yawn.  Wanted to love this, but… I actually really like Dr. Yalom, but maybe I should have read another of his books first.  Hard to keep my attention and I’m not sure how much it influenced my own practice (aside from maybe a reinforcement of compassion, patience, unconditional positive regard – all good things)

Promethea Book 1 – Alan Moore
OMG.  Like American Gods, this one explains my own personal UPG SO MUCH.  Will probably read again this year since I never got around to finishing the series (needed to take a break because of all of the mystical, cosmic feels)

Child Psychopathology: a social worker’s perspective – Francis Turner
Review book for the licensing exam.  Useful but I think it’s a bit old and some of the content was outdated.

Trump of Chaos – Jen McConnell
The thrilling conclusion to her Chaos series, rewarding to see the progress of these characters and this book (I was one of her beta readers for the first book!)

Beltane – Llewellyn
My favorite holiday!  Cute book.  What a complex holiday.  It’s not given enough credit by Pagans.  So much depth.

Persepolis: the story of a childhood – Marjane Satrap
Great book, my favorite of the two.  In middle school I wrote a paper about a friend’s father who was a child in Iran before the war, and it was nice to revisit

On Being a Therapist – Jeffrey A Kottler
Useful and challenging, I don’t think Kottler is a social worker, because I think his perspective on some things would be a bit different, but a really encouraging book when I was a point in my life/work when I was thinking “wow, I suck so much!”  No, I don’t suck.  The job is just that hard.

Promethea – book two – Alan Moore

Get Jiro – Anthony Bourdain
One of my guilty faves, a silly story, but still fun

Get Jiro: blood and sushi – Anthony Bourdain
Better than the first, a prequel.

You are Not So Smart – David McRaney
Really boring.  HOWEVER.  It is on my required reading list for students and mentoring.  Any Baby Pagans who want me to initiate them into my tradition are required to read this book.

Kitchen Confidential – Anthony Bourdain
One of the many books I read while with a broken foot, spent hours watching Netflix and reading.  Loved this (paired well with Waiter Rant)

The Casquette Girls – Alys Arden
OMMMGGGG  I met a friend when I went to UU Women’s Spirit, and she recommended this to me.  Vampires?  New Orleans?  YES!  A long YA book, and I tend to not enjoy YA, but I like vampires and I LOVE New Orleans.  Looking forward to more books in this series

Hope: New Orleans
Used graphic novel I found at a used book store.  It was published as a fundraiser after Katrina, and it’s basically a collection of a few dozen little short comics and panels, and the money went to hurricane aid.  Enjoyed this a lot (even with the gratuitous, dumb comic boobies)  Some were so touching and devastating I had to put it down and I cried a lot

Walking to Mercury – Starhawk
Another one that has been on my list FOREVER.  Don’t even remember when I bought this book, but Starhawk came out with the sequel to 5th Sacred Thing this year so I decided I’d read the series (though I haven’t read Walking to Mercury yet).  I liked this a lot, though it’s a very personal story and not a community story, so don’t expect a repeat of 5th Sacred Thing

Salt: a world history – Mark Kurlansky
Bought this 10000 years ago from Hastings when I worked there.  LOVED IT.  I love gastro-history, and this was just interesting.  Read with an internet browser up and pair it with Wikipedia

Season of the Witch – how the occult saved rock and roll – Peter Bebergal
OMG.  This one had been on my to-read list for a while, LOVED THIS.  OMG.  Again, pair this with Wikipedia and Youtube.  I learned so much about music.  Rock plus occult?  YES PLEASE.

Ritual – David Pinner
Another re-read, third time.  The novel that inspired the Wickerman.  Such a strange, wild, ride.  Some of the writing is just gorgeous, super descriptive and evocative.  But the writing is racist, sexist, homophobic, abelist, classist, insensitive, outdated, indelicate, and ridiculous.  Major trigger warning for this (I guess the 1960s were just terrible, or Pinner is just terrible.)

The 5th Sacred Thing – Starhawk
Ssiiiigh.  The book that started it all, back in 2005 when I was a Baby Pagan.  Can’t say enough about this book.

The Ocean at the End of the Lane – Neil Gaiman
Maybe my favorite book by him.  Another heavily UPG book

Curse of Stone – Jen McConnell
A cute little book that was fun to read while I had a broken foot and was feeling sorry for myself

The Golden Eye – Jonathan Stroud
Read the first one years ago based off of a recommendation from a friend, this one was a bit better than the first, really loved the character development

Kink in the Rope - Oliver Tremble
Won this one from Goodreads, a collection of naughty one-line poems and vignettes, heavily kinky.  Was charming and only sometimes scandalous.

Lost Souls? – Poppy Z. Brite
My friends lost their shit when they found out that I had never read Poppy Z. Brite (“omg, I thought you loved New Orleans and Vampires!”)  Given to me by a friend, loved everything about this larger-than-life book.  Can’t wait to read more

Castle Waiting – Linda Medley
Cute collection of comics in a charming, funny fantasy setting, just what I needed

We – Yevgeny Zematin
OMG yes good book read this.  I’ve always been a huge fan of Brave New World and 1984 and this is just basically 1984 like Orwell barely tried

Talking to Crazy – Mark Goulston
No, wish I hadn’t read this. it just made me angry.  Some good stuff in here, but I didn’t really find it to be useful.  Then again, Goulston has dozens of books and is probably filthy rich, so what do I know?

John Dies at the End – David Wong
I don’t like funny stuff or body humor, but I adored this and couldn’t put it down

Under the Skin – Michel Faber
OMG LOVED THIS. Love the movie, book was so good.  Both are amazing, very different.  Read this book

The Devil Rides Out – Dennis Wheatley
So, I picked up this book because it was mentioned in Season of the Witch, and also, because the movie stars Sir Christopher Lee.  I can’t find a copy of the movie, unfortunately.  I did not like this book.  A boring, bougie, British boy’s adventure story with some occult stuff thrown in.  Wheatley seems to know a thing or two about the Occult, but meh.  I’m glad I read it but it was a trial, for sure

Bedtime Stories for Children You Hate – Antoinette Bergin
Yes omg so good

Who Goes There? – John W. Campbell
I guess I had a “body imposter” them going on this summer?  The novella that The Thing was based off of.  Very good.  Enjoyed it a lot

The Invasion of the Body Snatchers – Jack Finney
Loved this!  the type of classic sci-fi thing I enjoyed.  A bit dated at times, but what isn’t, in the end?

The Explosive Child – Ross W Green
Accidentally found an abridged version of this but I’m on the fence about reading the complete work. Some useful stuff here, I think, but hard to implement without more context

Eden Green – Fiona Van Dahl
Nooo… someone on Goodreads asked me to read their book and review it.  Did not enjoy it.  I really hate reading stuff that’s just someone’s fantasy of them and their friends having an adventure.  Like, don’t get me wrong, I’ve written plenty of stuff like that. In high school.  But I guess in this age of self-publishing, just anyone can write their own adventure stories.  Not fun, not clever, repetitive. 

The Graveyard Book – Neil Gaiman
OMG LOVE TRUE LOVE another re-read

Calling Dr. Laura – Nicole Georges
What is it that makes hipsters so deplorable?  Did not enjoy this.  I get tired of reading about flawed and annoying people who make bad choices and don’t grow and basically are like “omg I’m just trash so anyway here’s my book that I wrote about my trash life.”  Basically, what was the point of this book?  A lesbian coming of age story?  So boring to me.  I mean, this is just regular life. I don’t need a charming graphic novel to remind me how annoying I am

Persepolis 1 & 2 – Marjane Satrapi
Again, a great book, but I did not like the second one.  Another tragically hip wayward outcast making poor life choices and not really seeming to learn any lessons.  Satrapi sounds cool, actually, and I’d love to hang out with her, but her second book just annoyed me more than it inspired me (unlike the first one, which was great)

The Hellbound Heart – Clive Barker
Yeah, really loved this one!  The novella that inspired Hellraiser.  There’s a lot about Hellraiser lore I like, and it was fun reading this

Something Wicked This Way Comes – Ray Bradbury
OMG TRUE LOVE  wasn’t my fave book the first time I read it, but as I get older, I can appreciate more.  It’s a bit old to read yet another Bradbury book that glorifies being a little boy (is there a “glorification of being a little girl” equivalent?)  but as I get older myself I find myself relating more and more to the father, and to… MR. DARK.  Clearly I’m an October Person

Curse of Gold – Jen McConnel
Another fun love story

The Gifts of Imperfection – Brene Brown
I need to make it a point to read at least one of her books at least once a year.  Inspiring, beautiful.  Whole-hearted, vulnerable, patient, and compassionate.  Not my favorite book of hers, but after reading it this fall, I’m still feeling the love and I find that to be very valuable

The Chimes – Charles Dickens
What a strange book!  Really, super duper dark.  Wow.

The Doors of Perception – Aldous Huxley

Short read, well worth it, however I felt like I was reading some guy’s drug blog.  The conclusion was very good and he makes many points about drugs, entheogens, transcendence, connection, and treatment of mental illness that I happen to agree on

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