Saturday, February 16, 2013

Stealing Fire from Heaven: The Rise of Modern Western Magic

Written by: Nevill Drury

First line: Magical thought is commonly identified with superstition and regarded as a form of pre-science—an earlier and less sophisticated phase of human intellectual development.

Why you should read this book: Researched with loving dedication and expounded upon in depth, this book explains the modern magical revival in the west, beginning with its medieval origins and discussing Kabbalah, Freemasonry, and Rosicrucians before moving on to the Golden Dawn and Aleister Crowley. Many modern magicians and schools of thought are profiled, enabling the reader to take a broad view of paths to esoteric knowledge. Chaos Magick, Setians, techno-pagans, and magical artwork are only a few of the topics that are covered here.

Why you shouldn't read this book: The above paragraph strikes you as blasphemous.

Sugar Cane: A Caribbean Rapunzel

Written by: Patricia Storace

First line: Come, sit on the balcony and look out over the sea.

Why you should read this book: This lovely picture book offers a gorgeous version of the Rapunzel story set in the warm and lush environment of a tropical island. Some lovely inventions of this version include a sweet-loving monkey, precious gifts of jewelry with transformative powers, and a device that allows Sugar Cane to reunite with her parents after she reunites with her prince. Much development and details in both words and illustrations.

Why you shouldn't read this book: You don't think there's any excuse for stealing.

Y: The Last Man—Cycles

Written by: Brian K. Vaughan

First line: I have to get out of Boston.

Why you should read this book: Yorick, Dr. Mann, and their personal deadly covert agent 355, are desperate to get from Boston to California to recover Dr. Mann's backup notes, and settle on hoboing their way across the country in a freight train. Meanwhile, Yorick's sister, Hero, and the rest of the Amazons are hot on his trail, equally desperate to wipe out Yorick's horrifying Y chromosome (and everyone is ignoring a sad, Russian woman who is just as desperate as everyone else to establish contact with the Y chromosomes everyone else has forgotten: the astronauts living on the space station). The situation comes to a head in Marrisville, a former prison colony, where the women have created a little slice of paradise, Yorick kisses a girl who is not his putative fiancee, and violence ensues.

Why you shouldn't read this book: You don't trust your sister.