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review 2018-01-18 14:52
Occulture
Occulture: The Unseen Forces That Drive Culture Forward - Carl Abrahamsson,Gary Valentine Lachman

by Carl Abrahamsson

 

Non-fiction

 

One of the first things I noticed with this book is that the chapter headings have notes below the titles that say each of them was first given at a lecture or printed as an article someplace, so it soon became clear that this is a collection of several years' writings collected by the author into book form for presentation to a new audience. The subject matter is sufficiently different in each to create a nicely balanced volume on occult influence in society and particularly in art.

 

This is not a book for learning to do magic(k), but is more about modern cultural influences and symbols that enter mainstream consciousness through various mediums of artistic expression. In the Forword written by Gary Lachman, he explains the term 'occulture', occult + culture, coined by Genesis-P-Orridge, a cult figure in certain circles of modern day magicians, then goes on to point out connections between art and the occult and the significance of interpreting one through the other.

 

The lectures and articles cover a fascinating variety of loosely related topics. They include commentaries on alternative lifestyles and the rise of occult culture through significant periods like the 1960s and 1980s and the British and German groups and personalities who shaped much of modern occult culture.

 

The reader gets the benefit of a perspective by someone who 'was there' and understands the significance of a variety of cultural influences that still affect the culture today. He speaks of Thee Temple ov Psychick Youth as well as about Aleister Crowley and Anton LaVey and what he feels were the relevant contributions by controversial groups and personalities.

 

The perspective is very much about the intellectual side of the occult. No new age or airy-fairy crystal hugging comes into it. As occult history goes, this is an excellent reflection of the later twentieth century developments that built on the legacy of earlier magical Orders and traditions and the effects of an expanding cultural awareness that would shake the foundations of pre-twentieth century European occult study.

 

The significance of art and creativity is emphasised as is the freedom of social mores from the staid, limiting celibacy of groups like the early Golden Dawn and the cautions required by Medieval magicians to avoid any sniff of scandal that might lead to charges of heresy.

 

The history of Nazi involvement in the occult is detailed in one of the lectures and makes for interesting reading from a historical perspective as well. That lecture somehow moves from this to beatniks in California, which gives the reader an idea of the broad scope of some of the topics discussed.

 

This book would be of interest to anyone interested in occult history or in cultural development and the influence of art. It fills in the recent gaps in documented history for those of us who are too young to have been there for the changes in the 1980s and before as these periods are often not addressed in earlier books on the subject.

 

It also goes into everything from philosophy to conspiracy theories in recent decades and even Pokemon Go! I found all of the articles interesting for different reasons. A real treasure for anyone with interest in magick or the occult.

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text 2018-01-18 14:03
Reading progress update: I've read 365 out of 858 pages.
Lonesome Dove - Larry McMurtry

I just finished my weekly page count and after a slow start this book is getting better and better. By now we have been introduced to two different sets of characters, who I´m sure are going to cross paths along the way. 

 

My favorite character so far is Gus, who I suspect of having a heart of gold, even though he can be annoying. And I have a soft spot for Roscoe. His storyline is so much fun and he is so clueless about women and life in general.

 

Every now and then there are racist and misogynistic remarks, but I expected this before starting this novel (it is set in late 19th century Texas and it has a very male-centric narrative). But that doesn´t mean that the few female characters are weak, quite the contrary. I really like Lorena, who doesn´t accept the BS from Jake, the pathetic whimp.

 

 

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review 2018-01-18 13:39
The Greedy Queen
The Greedy Queen: Eating with Victoria - Annie Gray

I enjoyed reading this non-fiction book about the reign of Queen Victoria and her eating habits. However, I´m not sure how much new information about Queen Victoria the author really has provided, because everytime I told my mother an anecdote or fact from this book, she already knew everything about it by having watched the tv-series (which leads me to the conclusion that Annie Gray might have read Victoria´s diaries). 

 

In the end The Greedy Queen is an interesting look at Queen Victoria and the food and dining culture during the Victorian reign, but it is possible that this book might only be interesting for those, who don´t have a huge amount of prior knowledge about the Victorian age and life at court.

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text 2018-01-18 13:04
Reading progress update: I've read 96 out of 384 pages.
Schilf: Roman - Juli Zeh

 

Sebastian = Faust

 

Oskar = Mephisto, der Faust zugleich verführt und bei der Suche nach der absoluten Wahrheit überflügeln will -- er braucht jemand, den er besiegen kann.

 

Dass das Krankenhaus hinter der Entführung von Liam stecken soll, glaube ich keine Sekunde.  Das geht auf das Konto des Obermanipulators Oskar.  Geh zur Polizei, Sebastian.

 

Die Physik ist window dressing.  In Wirklichkeit geht es um ein schnödes Machtspiel.

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review 2018-01-18 12:28
Abroad in the Stars (Galaxia Pirates #1) by A.M. Halford
Abroad in the Stars - A.M. Halford
Abroad in the Stars is the first book in the Galaxia Pirates series, and we get a very thorough look at just what being a Galaxia pirate involves. Tony is their navigator, and has done a magnificent job of it so far, earning his place among the crew. Only a select few know of his 'real' identity of Antonio Santiago. Personally, I would say that Tony is more real than Antonio, but there you go. When the Captain's brother returns to the ship, sparks fly between him and Tony. Actually it was more than sparks that flew when they first met in a dark alley, but you'll read that bit for yourself. When Tony's parents decide they want him back, the crew of the Galaxia will do all they can to get their crewman back. And Craig will stop at nothing until he gets his lover back.
 
This is a brilliant story, HOWEVER if you are looking for rainbows and unicorns, then you're probably going to be disappointed! Personally, I loved the rough and tumble of it. Tony wanted exactly what Craig wanted to give. Both of them understood each other with no miscommunication. The steamy scenes are intense and brilliantly written. The world-building is mostly about the ship and Tony's family, but really, that is all you need for this story. You get an exceedingly good idea of the troubles the pirates face, and how much being a crew member means to them, and just what they will do if one of them is in danger.
 
Well written, with no editing or grammatical errors to disrupt my reading flow, this story grabbed me from the beginning. Fantastic start to the series, fantastic story, can't wait for more. Absolutely recommended by me.
 
* A copy of this book was provided to me with no requirements for a review. I voluntarily read this book, and my comments here are my honest opinion. *
 
Merissa
Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books!

 

Source: sites.google.com/site/archaeolibrarian/merissa-reviews/abroadinthestarsgalaxiapirates1byamhalford
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