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    Book Review: The Diary of a Drug Fiend by Aleister Crowley

    The Diary of a Drug Fiend by  Aleister Crowley  © 2010 Weiser Books  ISBN:  978-1-57863-494-1 Paperback        384 pages $18.95  (U.S.) Crowley’s first published  novel (1922) explores a world which is familiar to many of today’s society (albeit from a slightly different perspective) – that of an abuser of cocaine and heroin.  Many modern users are not in a position of being able to indulge their every whim,  nor are the drugs as readily available as they were in post- Great War Britain.  They can, certainly, relate to the effects of the drugs – the exhilaration of the cocaine and the obsessive focus of the heroin (and no, I haven’t indulged,…

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    Book Review: Runecasters Handbook by Edred Thorsson

    Runecasters Handbook by  Edred Thorsson © 2011  Wesier Books ISBN:  978-1-57863-136-0 Paperback       143 pages $14.95  (U.S.) This book may, arguably, be considered a classic in the field of runic work.  Originally copyrighted in 1988 (and originally published by Weiser in 1990) it is still in demand today.  It is the final installment in a trio of books (with Futhark:  A Handbook of Rune Magic and Runelore:  A Handbook of Esoteric Runology ) which is intended to provide a basis for understanding the Germanic runes, their history and interpretation, and their relevance in our  modern world. Each entry contains a wealth of information.  The standards are there – Phonetic value, the…

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    Book Review: Weiser Field Guide to Vampires by J. M. Dixon

    The Weiser Field Guide to Vampires by  J. M. Dixon © 2009  Weiser Books ISBN:  978-1578634491 Paperback        192 pages $14.95 (U.S.) When people in the modern, Western world encounter the word “vampire” certain images spring immediately to mind, most of which center on Eastern and Central European perceptions – think Dracula in  all his many permutations.  But there is a lot more to the topic of vampires than that narrow perception admits.  They range from Papau New Guinea to Grenada; from undead relatives to modern day Strigoi Vii; and from those who subsist on blood to those who “merely” siphon off energy.  Although all of these are touched upon within…

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    Review: The Weiser Field Guide to Ghosts by Raymond Buckland

    The Weiser Field Guide to Ghosts  by Raymond Buckland © 2009 Weiser Books  ISBN:  978-1578634512 Paperback        192 pages $14.95 (U.S.) There are field guide and there are field guides.  Weiser is, apparently, planning to produce a series of field guides on a variety of topics.  This is the second one I have reviewed (see The Weiser Field Guide to Vampires previously).  My only comment on the series, so far, is that it is somewhat inconsistent.  Vampires didn’t really seem to fit the category (although it was technically well-written and interesting), whereas this volume is truer to the format.  Oh, it ranges a bit afield – monsters and vampires being technically…

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    Review: Vampyre Sanguinumicon: The Lexicon of the Living Vampire

    Vampyre Sanguinumicon:  The Lexicon of the Living Vampire by  Father Sebastiaan © 2010  Weiser Books ISBN:  978-1578634804 Paperback        320 pages $24.95 (U.S.)x There has been a resurgence in the interest in vampires of late (witness the Twilight books/movies and “True Blood”, etc.), although it never really went away.  This book is for the Living Vampire – the one who seeks to live in glamour and ritual on a daily basis – not the “kid in a cape” who plays at being an immortal being. The first thing which struck me as I began reading this book was the  consistent use of jargon as a means of establishing the “difference” between…

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    Book Review: Herbal Kitchen

    The herbal Kitchen by Kami McBride © 2010    Conari Press ISBN:  978-1-57324-421-3 Paperback      255 pages $18.95  (U.S.) www.redwheelweisr.com One of the nice things about this book is the fact that the herbs discussed are all easily accessible.  Add to that the fact that all the basic information about them is placed in one location and it becomes even better.  Then there are the recipes – over 250 of them. Of course, all the standard disclaimers apply – consult a health care profession before adding herbs to therapeutic medicines; begin with small amounts to check for adverse reactions; pregnant women need to be especially careful; etc. The first two chapters (“Kitchen …

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    Book Review: Encyclopedia of the Unseen World by Constance Victoria Briggs

    Encyclopedia of the Unseen World   by  Constance Victoria Briggs © 2010   Red Wheel/Weiser  ISBN:  978-1-57863-465-1   Paperback      285 pages    $19.95  (U.S.) This book, obviously, is not intended to be “read” as much as consulted.  It is encyclopedic in nature and arrangement.  It is not, by any means, all-inclusive, although it is close to all-encompassing.  It is not restricted to the main-stream religions, and includes individuals who have experienced contact with the world beyond this one. Over the years I’ve seen a lot of books like this, and I wasn’t sure what to expect when I opened the cover of this one.  In the end, I was both pleased and disappointed with…