Monday, February 20, 2012

Books books books

So, a while ago I mentioned that I had started reading "Witch Crafting" by Phyllis Curott, and that I probably wouldn't be reviewing it right away. A review will happen eventually, I think, but not for a while. I wanted the ability to just read and enjoy without critiquing as I went along, and I did. Sort of.

I think I said when I began that I was actually quite enjoying it despite some obvious flaws. As it turns out, it's a pretty awful book. My enjoyment faded and my frustration grew the more I read it. It's part of the whole "Pat yourself on the back, witches is special" breed of Ravenwolf-esque shite that makes me twitch. The main issues, of course: complete unawareness of non-"Wiccan" Paganisms; sexism; basic lack of knowledge on subject matter. (Seriously, some of her errors would be obvious to someone who had only been studying a few months.) Not to say I didn't get anything from it, because I did... but the fact that I got something out of it is more due to the mindframe I was in at the time than anything the book was trying to teach. It's certainly not a book I'd recommend.

But anyway. Now I am done, I can move on to something I plan to very much enjoy: Elves, Wights and Trolls by Gundarsson. 

From a first look, it seems a fair bit more practical and hands-on than I anticipated it would be; when I bought it, I thought it was going to be a straight scholarly work. I'm not sure at the moment whether or not I'm pleased that it turned out to be a bit different. I guess pleased... A teeny bit disappointed, in that I was looking forward to a good dive into the scholarly, but also rather chuffed to find a book with a slant towards the scholarly that is written for the believer. Gundarsson uses sources and citations to give basic advice on dealings with these various spirits and entities. A Pagan book full of citations and footnotes? It's true!


  1. I downloaded a sample of Witch Crafting and came to approximately the same conclusion (although I only read the introduction). My favorite line was: "And unlike ANY other guidebook, Witch Crafting explores the NEWLY DISCOVERED laws of the HIDDEN Universe where REAL magic rules!!!" (emphasis/punctuation mine). She pretty much lost any possible credibility in my eyes at that point.

    1. The intro is definitely eyeroll-worthy, and I actually avoided it because I expected as much, and I was feeling overly-critical at the time. Intros tend to be ridiculous, "welcome to the world of MAGIC" type things. I wanted to give books more of a chance and be a bit less dismissive, so I avoided it ;). As such, the book started out OK, despite some issues (she never did bother defining "divinity", and she keeps italicising sentences as if they were profound). But it just gets worse as you go on. Or maybe that was just me losing my patience xD