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The Marji de Sade The Marji de Sade
Book Cover Death, the universe, and everything. As the season prepares to turn again and bring to a close another life cycle, you might find yourself wondering about the end of your own little reign here on planet Earth. The current bestseller The Other Side and Back is only the most recent rumination on a topic that has been a big concern for a lot of people for a looooonnng time. Here are just a few of the theories to choose from when deciding what's in store for you in that big sandbox in the sky:
  • The Pagan Book of Living and Dying by Starhawk
  • The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying by Sogyal Rinpoche
  • The Book of the Dead: The Hieroglyphic Transcript and Translation into English of the Papyrus of Ani by E.A. Wallis Budge
  • The Death of Death: Resurrection and Immortality in Jewish Thought by Neil Gillman
  • After Death: How People Around the World Map the Journey After We Die by Sukie Miller

    And, because we know you were wondering:

  • Death and the Afterlife in Modern France by Thomas A. Kselman

  • The Sultan of Swank The Marji de Sade
    Disco Bloodbath Mystical Bookshopping: the various modes of Mystical Bookshopping, a.k.a. Holistic Browsing, correspond to the whims of the assorted reading deities. On days when said gods/goddesses don't actually knock a tome off the shelf to land at one's feet (Poltergeist Mode) or compel another person in the bookstore to walk over to you and say read this (Demonic Possession Mode), one can switch to Intriguing Title Mode, which isn't as dramatic but is still easier than schlogging through the whole New York Review of Books to find something to read. This is the method by which I discovered the incomparable Titus Groan (the first of The Gormenghast Novels), among others.

    Here are a few more books worthy of investigation by virtue of their titles alone.
  • Disco Bloodbath by James St. James
  • The Lazarus Rumba by Ernesto Mestre
  • Tex and Molly in the Afterlife by Richard Grant
  • That's Mr. Faggot to You by Michael Thomas Ford
  • Ribofunk by Paul Di Filippo
  • Night Comes to the Cretaceous by James Lawrence Powell
  • Making the Gods Work for You by Caroline W. Casey

  • The Marji de Sade The Marji de Sade
    Book Cover Self-improvement without effort. One of the joys of well-written, well-researched fiction is in getting so caught up in the story that you don't realize you're learning something. Here are a few books offering invaluable skills to pick up by osmosis:
  • Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel (how to manipulate behavior using the culinary arts)
  • The Nine Tailors by Dorothy L. Sayers (how to make music with church bells using mathematical permutations)
  • Perfume: The Story of a Murderer by Peter Suskind (how to create fragrances from all-natural materials, such as the corpses of virgins)
  • The Day of the Jackal by Frederick Forsyth (how to commission a high-powered rifle that disassembles to fit into a crutch)
  • The Greenlanders by Jane Smiley (how to start a new settlement in one of the most inhospitable parts of the world and then watch everyone die, go mad, or get kidnapped by Inuits)
  • Lord Jim by Joseph Conrad (how to let one little mistake ruin your whole life; see also Tess of the D'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy)

  • The Marji de Sade The Marji de Sade
    First there was the shopping gene, then a goat clone, then soybeans with built-in pesticides, and now they tell us they've made a smarter mouse. For a little background on the wonders of molecular biology and the scientists who started all this tinkering, check out the following books. If you're gonna be the victim of genetic experiments, you might as well be an informed victim.

    Book Cover
  • Crick, Watson, and DNA
  • The Double Helix
  • The Thread of Life
  • Signs of Life: The Language and Meanings of DNA
  • DNA Pioneers and Their Legacies
  • In our e-library we've also got eleven chromosomes' worth of the Project Gutenberg Etext of the Human Genome Project. (Please note that will not be held responsible for any biological horrors created by readers using this information for home chemistry projects.)

    ('CARE-rud-win') Cerridwen Fallingstar
    Before you spend another All Hallow's Eve perpetuating a tired stereotype with your big pointy black hat and press-on warts, we herewith present you with the genuine article: a true Witch. Cerridwen (that's "Kair-dwin") Fallingstar is actually on her second time around in this calling: her "posthumous autobiography," The Heart of the Fire, is set four hundred years ago and has become a classic reference book on Celtic Pagan life. And in the true spirit of Hallowe'en, it will scare the willies out of you 16th-Century Scotland was not a good time to be a Witch.
    Book Cover People often want to know how I came to write a historical novel based on my own past life. I could say that, like Merlin, I came unstuck in time, but the fact is, I was always unstuck. As a tiny kid, I was always remembering adventures from other lives, trying to remind my parents of various other places we had lived, only to be told I had a "big imagination." I recall telling my parents, when I was three, that I was glad we were rich now much to their incredulity, since they considered themselves to be rather poor. I bolstered my argument, saying, "Rug on the floor instead of dirt! Meat every day! Hot water whenever we want it we're rich!"

    I also spoke constantly, as soon as I could talk, about Witches, herbs and spells, a development which made my agnostic parents slightly uneasy. Needless to say, I never wanted to be anything but a Witch for Hallowe'en. Stuck in a rut? Well, obviously. But, being a double Scorpio, I can think of worse things than being stuck in a rut. After 25 years of being a Priestess and teacher of Wicca, I'm still not bored. How many Presbyterians can say that?

    Here's a short list of some of my other favorite books on Witchcraft:

  • The Spiral Dance by Starhawk. A classic how-to book, now coming out in its 20th Anniversary Edition.
  • Doreen Valiente's books, An ABC of Witchcraft Past and Present, Natural Magic , and Witchcraft for Tomorrow (the latter two are special order items). She always has lots of good historical information.
  • The Crone's Book of Words and other books in the Crone series by Valerie Worth -- wonderful poetic spells for every occasion.
  • Positive Magic, described as 'Occult Self-Help' by Marion Weinstein.
  • And finally, People of the Earth: The New Pagans Speak Out, edited by Ellen Evert Hopman and Lawrence Bond, which contains interviews with a wide variety of leading Pagan practitioners today (and featuring yours truly on the cover).
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