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review 2016-09-23 09:28
Science of the Magical
Science of the Magical: From the Holy Grail to Love Potions to Superpowers - Matt Kaplan

This engaging scientific inquiry provides a definitive look into the elements of mystical places and magical objects—from the philosopher’s stone, to love potions to the oracles—from ancient history, mythology, and contemporary culture.

 

I'm not sure what I was expecting, but this wasn't quite it, I guess.  I don't think it's the book's fault though; the writing was engaging and it's just what it says on the label: a look at all the ways our superstitions, myths, heroes and superheroes are so often rooted in science.  

 

Kaplan did his research (all of which is excellently documented in a Notes section at back) and when he speculates, he says he's speculating.  Some of the information is downright fascinating too (I had no idea ravens and wolves are so linked in nature).  If I was disappointed by anything in the book it's the casual assumption that you have to separate faith from science, but this is such a common misconception anymore I've come to expect it.

 

So, the book is good; I just didn't get sucked in the way I thought I would when I saw a book about two of my favourite subjects.  Was worth reading though.

 

I'm going a little off the beaten path and using this book for my Supernatural square in Halloween Book Bingo.

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review 2014-03-25 10:30
Unravel - Calia Read

Brilliant. This book... I'm still not sure what it's done to me. I was mesmerized by Unravel. I was consumed by the need to know what was going on and it was unputdownable!

“Most people believe the truth is a delicate little bird. They think it's harmless. But I know something they don't.”

“God offers to every mind its choice between truth and repose. Take which you please– you can never have both.”

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 ♦︎ The Story ♦︎ 

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Six months ago, I was happy. I was simply Naomi Carradine. One month ago, I was admitted into a psych ward. Yesterday, Lachlan visited me. Kissed me. And told me that I’m starting to lose my mind. Hours later, Max haunted my thoughts, reminding me I’m not crazy and that he needs my help. A few minutes ago, I drifted further from reality, trying to unravel the past. And now...everyone thinks I’m insane. But, I know he's real, and I know he needs me. Do you believe me?

 

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I had to use the Goodreads blurb. If I made my own recap I probably would have said too much.

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This was one hell of a ride. From start to finish, I couldn't tear my eyes away. I had to suffer the whole day feeling like sh*t warmed over because I used the 'just one more chapter' line. One chapter was most definitely not enough. I was constantly thinking up new theories, trying to get a grasp of what was going on... the unpredictability of Unravel kept me on my toes. I wish I could say that I savored every page, every word and took my absolute time reading but I just couldn't. I'm nosy curious by nature so being emerged in this wtf story... there was no way I could survive long without knowing everything.

“I’ve decided that love is a sickness. But not a first.”

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♦︎ Characters ♦︎ 

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“I think we’re all trying to be a winner in a losing game.”

 

I'll have to be really vague about the characters, as to not give anything away... Each character was shrouded in mystery. Especially Naomi. I had so many thoughts running through my head– could I trust her and/or anything she's telling me, is what she's saying even true, is she crazy, or the even bigger question, is she sane...? ____________________________________________

 

 ♦︎ Overall ♦︎ 

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What really solidified the five stars for me was that, while Unravel dealt with some weighty subjects, it didn't suffocate me. I didn't feel like I was drowning in everything. I never felt like it was too much. And despite all the uncertainty and pain, this was also a story about love and healing. If you're looking for a atypical story with mystery and a good dose of some steamy scenes then look no further!

“Tell me what you’re fighting and I’ll fight with you,” he whispers into my hair.

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review 2013-11-04 18:04
The Holy Grail: The History and Legend of the Famous Relic - Charles River Editors

Good overview.  Not Jesse Weston mind, but pretty current.

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review 2013-01-15 00:00
Holy Blood, Holy Grail
Holy Blood, Holy Grail - Michael Baigent,Richard Leigh,Henry Lincoln 2.5 stars. it was a long 300 pages of foundation building to get to what i thought was the most interesting stuff. i liked the authors' explanation in the introduction the admittedly gives them a bit of leeway in their position, about how of course any time you're talking about something that happened 2000 years ago you're going to have to make some assumptions. (see below as it's worth quoting.) like starbird's book the woman and the alabaster jar, i find most of the main claims to be completely plausible - that jesus was actually "just" a man, that he was born the way we're all born, that he was sexually active, that he married mary magdalen, that they had at least 1 child, that there is therefore a bloodline that exists today that could be traced back to jesus. to me, a nonchristian, none of this seems hard to believe, or even that it should matter to the church - except for the fact that there would be a coverup or a number of lies to explain. the other ideas (or main idea) postulated seems to have less to back it up, and more religious reason to dismiss it, and therefore is a little harder to believe, even for someone who is not steeped in christian theology or a christian upbringing. still, the possibility that jesus did not die on the cross (which, with their step by step explanation, even using the gospels -!-, of how this could happen isn't nearly as far fetched as it first sounds) and was squirreled away to safety with or without mary magdalen and lazarus and martha (?) and maybe a couple of others who went to france or was replaced by someone else (probably simon of cyrene or simon something) on the cross and therefore wasn't crucified at all is intriguing and not outside the realm of possibilities, although is something even i dismissed out of hand when hearing this statement without any of the historical basis for it. the former of these possibilities was better supported in the book, but it seems that the authors likely believe in the latter (especially based on later published works). along the way they also cite any number of other historians and their postulations and (usually) agreement with the assessment the authors make. still, knowing these aren't the only 3 people in the world to see the historical record this way lends them credibility, in my mind.anyway, the beginning of this was interesting, then it got a bit tedious as it went through the detailed info of secret society information and generational info (a little, i thought, like the begat info in the bible) but once it got to the gospels and religious historical information i thought it was quite interesting. both in the information and in how you have to go about doing research and making assumptions and some leaps when the historical record is so incomplete.what the authors say about it:"We had propounded a hypothesis, and hypotheses must necessarily rest on speculation. The sheer scarcity of reliable information on biblical matters obliges any researcher of the subject to speculate, if he is not to remain mute. Granted, one must not speculate wildly; one must confine one's speculation to the framework of known historical information. Within this framework, though, one has no choice but to speculate - to interpret the meager and often opaque evidence that exists. All biblical scholarship entails speculation, as does theology. The Gospels are sketchy, ambiguous, and often contradictory documents. People have argued, have even waged wars throughout the course of the last two thousand years about what particular passages might mean. In the coalescence of Christian tradition there is one principle that has continually obtained: In the past, when certain historic individuals were confronted with any of the varied biblical ambiguities, they speculated about it's meaning. Their conclusions, when accepted, were enshrined as dogma and came to be regarded over the centuries - quite erroneously - as established fact. Such conclusions, however, are not fact at all. On the contrary they are speculation and interpretation congealed into a tradition, and it is this tradition that is constantly mistaken for fact."
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review 2012-09-16 00:00
Glastonbury, A Novel of the Holy Grail -... Glastonbury, A Novel of the Holy Grail - Donna Fletcher Crow Review:

I have always loved reading about the Holy Grail. It has such amazing interest. People wonder where it is located and if it is real. When an interesting novel comes along that is rich in history, I am always going to read it no matter what. Well, this is one of those novels. Get ready for several weeks in reading this one; you will need it, skip nothing while reading. This is necessary read for historical fiction lovers.

This novel starts out in a druid village or township. A druid chief is trying to figure out the bright light in the sky after the earth has shook. One student in his charge believes they should offer a sacrifice to the god to appease them. While another student believes, the entrails from a night creature ought to be read to determine what is happening. The chief is determined that no blood be shed. He explains to them that one day there will be one sacrifice that will be satisfying to the gods for all times. The students ask how this is possible. He simply states it must be a great king. The students say this is unthinkable.

Yes, that is an edited version of the prologue. Has it piped your interest? I hope it has. I fell in love with this book after seeing the cover, then after reading the blurb, I knew I had to read no matter what. I knew I would love this book. I feel like I could read it all again and probably see everything different. No, I am not a scholar of anything, just someone who loves to read and knows an amazing book. This book is rich in history. Along with that, history is some folklore. If you know anything about history then you know that folklore was common practice at one time.

Does King Author and his round table make you wonder about magic, swords, dragons, knights, Lancelot, and Guinevere? This novel will take readers on a journey from the heavenly stars in the sky announcing the birth of a great King to 5th Century Britannia to over two millennia later. If you are interested in traveling through time, then honestly read this book. When reading this book be prepared to be swept away to a time that has been forgotten.

Glastonbury is more than just a name, a place, or a book. Glastonbury was once a great monastery burned to the ground and left to crumble. However, this once holy place still stands creating hope for future generations.

Thank you for a truly amazing read Donna.

The bunnies and I give this book 4 carrots.
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I was gifted a copy for a VBT. I received no compenstation for readin/reviewing this book. The above opinion is my own and not a paid review. To form your own opinion please purchase a copy and support the author.
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