misinformed review

Herb Books

These are the books we have cataloged on herb and plant magic. Feel free to suggest others or add your thoughts on any of these!

A Compendium of Herbal Magic by Paul Beyerl

The Complete Book of Incense, Oils, and Brews by Scott Cunningham

Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs by Scott Cunningham

Encyclopedia of Natural Magic by John Michael Greer

Esoteric Medicine and Practical Magic by Samuel Aun Weor

Healing Wise by Susan S. Weed

Herb Magic for Beginners by Ellen Dugan

The Herbal Alchemist’s Handbook by Karen Harrison

Llewellyn’s Complete Formulary for Magical Oils by Celeste Rayne Heldstab

  • Primarily simple recipes rather than lessons on the properties of the ingredients

Magical Herbalism by Scott Cunningham

  • Book may contain some misinformation on herbs, but contains some good beginner info nonetheless.

Tree Wisdom by Jacqueline M. Paterson

The Way of the Green Witch by Arin Murphy-Hiscock

  • May contain a lot of misinformation. See reviews on Amazon for examples.

The Wild and Weedy Apothecary by Doreen Shababy

  • Also a good resource for kitchen witchery as it includes practical recipes

Wild Witchcraft by Marian Green

The Bonfire of the Vanities (+ new MacBook debut)

Currently writing this post on my new MacBook (yay!). My old one had a graphics problem after nearly 4 years of owning it, so in advance of Third Year, I abused Apple’s student discount while I still could haha. I’m currently preparing to go back to Cambridge on 3rd October, so I’m wading my way through reading lists, packing, and also gathering any bits and pieces to decorate my new room with, including some postcards of my favourite works of art (pictured above). 

So lately I’ve had lots of people ask me to do book reviews. Part of the problem I have had with doing this is the fact that I’ve been reading a lot of theory lately, so a ‘review’ would probably turn into a lengthy (I’m talking 5000-word) essay. One day I may feel like revealing my thoughts on Freud’s Writings on Art and Literature, but for now they are staying in my notebook. I also have a fear that my opinion runs the risk of being ‘misinformed’ in a book review, so I have avoided speaking in much detail about the books I read. 

However, I thought I’d reveal a bit more about the books I’m studying for my dissertation this year. I’ll introduce them to you by telling you a bit about them, what drew me to them, and how they have affected me. I think this is the kind of ‘review’ I’d prefer to do - I won’t ‘recommend’ anything, as I feel everyone enjoys different things, but instead I will allow you to decide for yourself whether you are interested in reading them. Sound good? Here is the first instalment:

The Bonfire of the Vanities - Tom Wolfe (1987)

Tom Wolfe wanted to write a “novel of the city, in the same sense that Balzac and Zola had written novels of Paris, and Dickens and Thackeray had written novels of London, with the city in the foreground, exerting its relentless pressure on the souls of its inhabitants.” In Bonfire of the Vanities, personally, I feel he has. 

I first came across this novel Summer ‘14. I can’t remember where I had the book recommendation from, but I have a feeling it was on a ‘modern classics’ list somewhere on the internet - in any case, the book sounded different to anything I had read before. ‘Sherman McCoy, a WASP and bond trader, ‘Master of the Universe’, with both a wife and a mistress, is involved in a hit-and-run accident in the Bronx, and is subsequently surrounded by prosecutors, newspaper hacks, politicians and clergy determined to bring him down.’ I didn’t know anything about Wall Street, I’d been to New York only once, and I wasn’t even born in the 80′s let alone had any clue what was going on at the time, but hey, it was worth a shot. 

I was instantly drawn into the novel. The central story highlights racial, class and political arguments (pretty much indistinguishable from one another) as intrinsic features of the described NY society, and it ultimately made me question whether we have really come any further (for further evidence of this, look to this article). What interested me was Wolfe’s ability to create these ‘identities’ which seemed at one moment individual, the next moment part of a wider ‘group’ - whether that be the ‘WASPS’, ‘attorneys’ or the ‘criminals’ within the novel. There’s an observational quality to the writing, originating from Wolfe’s profession as a journalist. In his Introduction to the novel, Wolfe reveals he made detailed observations of New York while he was writing, and a few details in the novel are inspired by real-life events - it makes the novel all the more significant. 

However, my primary interest lay in the way these characters, and this social dynamic, fit into Wolfe’s 80′s New York. His creation of infrastructure and spaces, his settings and the way in which the characters navigated their way geographically through the city was intriguing to me. Their movements about the city, and their view on buildings they live in/around inevitably displays their stance in the race/class/political arguments that are at the heart of the book - yet the characters themselves cannot really see this, it is just life to them (is this not the kind of experience we all have every day?). But it is Wolfe’s narrative structure that allows us to see the part the city itself has to play in the novel. The separations it creates, the events it causes. I was interested in the way the infrastructure of New York affected the psychology of the inhabitants within the book - so lo and behold, there we have my dissertation topic.   

This is a really interesting book. Thought-provoking, but also really quite humorous, particularly with Sherman McCoy’s ironic criticisms of the ‘socialites’. The book definitely didn’t feel 720-pages long, I ultimately enjoyed last year’s two-day-long hibernation, and I am currently enjoying the re-read even more. 

The second book I’m studying for my dissertation is American Psycho. Post to come. 

- Sarah 

P. S. outtake of writing this post ft. my cat: 

anonymous asked:

Could you please maybe write a quick/non-spoilerish review after you go and see BvS? I only trust your judgement for the movie. You've been with us along for the ride since day 1, if you give the green or say it sucked, I'll only listen to you lmao

sorry if this is too messy, i just got back. quick shout-out to the people inboxing me spoilers thinking they’ll ruin the movie for me. suck it, gladys, i was faster this time

  • this isn’t a hollywood movie. i can’t stress this enough. you’ve probably heard it already, “the pacing isn’t what you’d expect”, both in good and bad reviews, and it’s accurate. this isn’t a hollywood movie. this is a comic book movie. i’m being as literal as i can get, this is a DC comics movie, and the only thing missing was the speech bubbles and 28 less frames per minute (because… you know. it’s a movie at the end of the day and not a panelled page). that feeling you’ll have the first 20 minutes about something being out of place will click once you realize “wait, am i watching a superhero film based on comic books? on the actual source material and not hollywood rules?”
  • the characters… the accuracy of the characters. not just the main characters but every character you can recognize from the comics. the way they’re all nailed down to a terrifying degree of correct portrayal. i’ve never seen such an intense performance as jesse’s. he managed to make a role that could easily turn into the fakest, most forced character in the franchise into one of the most corporeal aspects of BvS. you won’t try to go along with lex, you won’t try to convince yourself “this is a serious movie”, you’ll be swept away with the flow and drown
  • fuck bruce wayne
  • no literally fuck bruce wayne i think i’m increasingly attracted to ben affleck now, snyder what have you done
  • if you’re a big batman fan, you’ve probably thought, “this is the best bruce wayne/batman we’ve gotten so far yet there’s something not quite there… what if i’m asking for too much? i’ll just shut up and take what i can get, it’s not like i can grab comics’ bruce and throw him in the movie”…. well now you can. i can’t express how much of a good fit affleck is for both bruce wayne and batman. i can’t showcase the way he makes bruce wayne and batman work as one entity instead of having this dude suddenly put on a mask and yup, i guess that’s batman. no. when you hear “batman has been active for 20 years” you see it, it’s not just a line in a script to speed things along
  • on the topic of people being afraid snyder is screwing up clark and that he’s turning too dark/lost: this is our superman. this is our clark kent. everything he does is 100% in character w/ the comics. if you love THAT clark, you’ll love THIS clark
  • fucking diana prince
  • fucking justice league
  • everything makes sense. you’ll look back to the trailers and laugh. i have nothing else to say on this but it’s a hilarious joke once you’ve seen the finished product
  • last and most important: the third act will kick your ass. the third act will kick your ass. THE THIRD ACT WILL KICK. YOUR. ASS. :)

there’s also this spoiler about batman going around that isn’t accurate and just goes to show that people didn’t pay attention. it’s the #1 thing you’ll be able to use to see if someone actually watched the movie and didn’t just bullshit it/base their opinions on misinformed reviews. if you’re a DC fan, if you read and love DC comics, you’ll absolutely love the film (which is why i get why non-comic book fans found it confusing)

i repeat: this is not a hollywood movie. Batman v Superman is made by one of us for us, in the most literal way possible. go enjoy getting your ass kicked