Alchemical Thoughts

Posts Tagged ‘books and reading


Photo from Flickr user Raider of Gin (fairerdingo). Image used under terms of Creative Commons 2.0 Generic Attribution License.

Here is the roundup for book reviews I wrote over at The Itinerant Librarian. If you missed any, you are curious, or are looking for reading ideas, feel free to check them out.

I also watched some movies and media in December 2019. Here is my December roundup.

Prompt for Day 8: What Tarot books did you read in 2019?

I read the following Tarot books in 2019. If the title is linked, the link goes to my review of the book over at The Itinerant Librarian. Books listed in no particular order:

Companion books for Tarot decks. These are actual full length books that came with Tarot decks. I reviewed both the book and deck:

Finally, I am adding some books on paganism, magic, and other esoterica I read in 2019. You can consider this a bonus to the prompt:


* * *

You can find the original prompts by Ethony Dawn here.


Welcome to the start of my third year doing Ethony Dawn’s “31 Days of Tarot” prompt series. The challenge is mainly a You Tube event, but since as I have said before I do not currently have a You Tube channel, I do it here on the blog. This year I will also crosspost these prompts over on my new NewTumbl blog (i.e. the Tumblr refugee blog I now have where I post a good amount of my Tarot and cartomancy stuff). Last year, I ran a bit behind, so the fact I am able to post the first prompt on time is a good thing. We’ll see if I am able to keep up. I may post a post a day, or I may combine prompts and do one post a week or when I can get to it.

For me, I enjoy doing this because it gives me a chance to reflect a bit on my Tarot and cartomancy practice. So, without further ado, let’s begin.

Day One prompt: “What Tarot goodies did the holidays bring?

31 Days of Tarot Day One Xmas Goodies_123019 resize A

I got the following Tarot, oracle, cards goodies this Christmas/holiday:

  • Tarot de los Magos deck kit. This is the Spanish edition of the Wizards Tarot deck kit by Corrine Kenner. The original went out of print (and the secondary market has gone obscenely insane in pricing this as it often does when some relatively popular deck goes out of print). A Spanish edition was available at reasonable cost, and since I can read Spanish fluently, went for it.
  • Mausolea: Oracle of Souls deck.
  • The Everyday Tarot mini deck kit. This deck is by Brigit Esselmont of Biddy Tarot.
  • The Millennium Thoth Tarot deck. This is by Renata Lechner, creator of the Thelema Tarot and the Arcanum Tarot. With this deck, I have her three decks now. The Thoth deck may take me a while to get to study as Thoth is a different system than the Rider Waite Smith (RWS) I usually use, but I do have the intention to study it. I can tell folks now that having looked it over, the Millennium Thoth is a beautiful deck.
  • A Tarot place mat. It’s the place mat I used in this photo to put the decks and book on.
  • The Complete New Tarot book.
  • The Bruce Lee Special Edition Playing Cards set. OK, this is not quite Tarot, but I felt a need to add it. One, the set features great photos of the man on one deck. The second deck in this nice tin set contains a set of affirmations and quotes from Bruce Lee, which can make for nice daily reflection displays, do a card a day kind of thing. As some of my readers may know, I also collect playing card decks, plus someday I would like to learn to do divination with playing cards, so there is the connection to the prompt.
  • A small red dragon figurine. It is not pictured as it came nicely wrapped in bubble wrap. I have not decided where to place it yet, so it is safe wrapped for now. As soon as I place it, I will take a photo and share.

I hope to review the book and the decks down the road over at The Itinerant Librarian. Meanwhile, thanks for stopping by, and hope you will return for the other prompts.

Paz y amor.


Almost missed posting this before the end of 2019. Here is the list of books I reviewed at The Itinerant Librarian for the month of November 2019. I am also including my media roundup for November 2019. Links go to the reviews.


Photo from Flickr user Raider of Gin (fairerdingo). Image used under terms of Creative Commons 2.0 Generic Attribution License.

Books reviewed:

  • Paganism by Joyce Higginbotham and River Higginbotham. As I wrote in my review, “book is a good and basic introductory textbook on the topic of paganism.”
  • Blood Ravens: The Dawn of War Omnibus. Part of the Warhammer 40,000 series. This is one I have read multiple times, but I finally got time to write a review for it this year.
  • The Life Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck. Book is a parody of Marie Kondo’s work. I read this as an audiobook.
  • The Hellbound Heart. The classic novella by Clive Barker. If all you know of this is the Hellraiser film, you really should read the book.
  • Jane Austen: Cover to Cover. This “art/coffee table book is a collection of book covers of Jane Austen novels plus some of the minor works which get collected here and there, often attached to a novel or omnibus edition.”


I also watched the following media:




Photo from Flickr user Raider of Gin (fairerdingo). Image used under terms of Creative Commons 2.0 Generic Attribution License.

I neglected to do this last month, so we are getting a double feature this month. As always, links go to the full reviews at The Itinerant Librarian in case you missed them or are curious what I have been reading and reviewing.

Books reviewed in September 2019:

Book reviewed in October 2019. Looking back, this month’s feature was books about books and reading:

I also watched the following media:

(crossposted from The Itinerant Librarian)

Another one of those little blogging prompts. I found this one at Angel’s Guilty Pleasures. The questions are as provided:

Rather read only series or standalone books?

As much as possible, stand alone books.

Rather read a book whose main character is male or female?

Don’t care one way or the other as long as the story is good.

Rather shop only at Barnes & Noble (or other actual bookstore) or Amazon?

Neither Barnes and Noble nor Amazon. I prefer Half Price Books as much as possible. However, for some things, like Tarot decks and books, I often have to use Amazon since I live in the middle of nowhere.

Rather all books become movies or tv shows?

Neither. It is rare a movie or television show lives up to the book. To be honest, more often than not a book being turned into movie or television show signals Hollywood’s laziness in creating anything original, so pick something from the bestseller shelf and see if  it sticks. I prefer reading the book.

Rather read 5 pages per day or read 5 books per week?

5 books a week for me.

Rather be a professional book reviewer or an author?

As much as I have an idea or two for a book and would like to be  an author, I have no delusions I will ever get one written and published. I do enjoy being a reviewer for the variety it gives me in reading and the opportunity to do a little reader’s advisory online.

Rather only read the same 20 books over and over or get to read a new book every 6 months?

New book every six months. For some books, it may well take me six months to get through it, so that would actually work for me.

Rather be a librarian or own a book store?

I may be biased, but librarian.

Rather only read your favorite genre or your favorite author?

Favorite genre

Rather only read physical books or eBooks?

As much as possible, I prefer physical books. I do much of my ebook reading on an older iPad, which feels like it weighs a ton when reading in bed. I recently got a much smaller tablet, but the habit has not caught on with it yet. Also as much as possible, I prefer to read print since I often read at bedtime, and not using electronics helps to sleep better.


I saw this at Cornerfolds, and I figured I could try it out and give my two readers here a bit about me as a reader. Questions are as provided.

Do you have a certain place at home for reading?

Not particularly. I do read in bed, and I do read in my work station/desk at home, which is where I also do my blogging, my Tarot and oracle card practice, and some other things.


Bookmark or random piece of paper?

I prefer a bookmark, and in fact I collect bookmarks. I have plenty of bookmarks, enough to last me a few lifetimes. However, in a pinch, I will grab a random piece of paper to mark a reading spot.


Can you stop reading anytime you want or do you have to stop reading at a certain page, chapter, part, etc.?

Depends. If I am reading nonfiction, I can usually stop just about anywhere. If I am reading fiction, where I am following a story or narrative thread, I need to find a logical stopping point be it the end of the chapter or part or just a pause in the narrative. This is why I tend to prefer reading nonfiction, especially outside of the house because I can stop and interrupt as needed and pick it up fairly quick.


Do you eat or drink while reading?

Yes. Not every time, but it has been known to happen.


Can you read while listening to music/watching TV?

If it is soft music, I usually can read just fine. For television, unless I am paying attention to the program I can read right through it just fine. I am pretty good about tuning out the exterior world overall once I am reading. I am the kind of reader who can read almost anywhere including moving vehicles and aircraft.


One book or several at once?

Several. The minimum rule for me is to have a nonfiction, a fiction books, and a graphic novel or comic going at any given time. It is pretty normal for me to have more than the minimum three mentioned going at any given time.


Reading at home or everywhere?

I can read everywhere just fine. I do try to have a book with me handy as much as possible be it in print or loaded as an e-book in my electronic devices.


Reading out loud or silently in your head?



Breaking the spine or keeping it new?

This is where I break (full pun intended) with most book lovers and librarians. I have no problem if a spine breaks. Way I see it books are for use not to be art objects (at least not the books I use and/or own). While I appreciate pristine books, as I said, they are made for use, so I have no problem breaking a spine or two.


January 2020
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