Archive for the The Library Category

What I’m Reading in 2020

Posted in The Library on March 9, 2020 by Occult Detective

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I managed a slim 57 books read last year. As I’ve bemoaned many times in the past few years, there was a time when I devoured books in the triple digits. Tired eyes and other projects have cut into that number, but I’m still on pace to read 52 books this year, which is my goal every cycle…

This year I will be doing considerable amounts of research for some important projects I have in the works, and I expect my reading list will reflect that.

This is my eleventh year tracking the books I read online. It’s been a fantastic exercise and, to be honest, a lot of fun for me to go back a look at the works that have been a part of my journey.

As always, if you’re an author or publisher that would be interested in me reviewing your works, you can email me via bob (at) occultdetective (dot) com

1. John Constantine, Hellblazer: All His Engines by Mike Carey & Leonardo Manco
2. Twilight of the Gods by Scott Oden
3. Crusade of Fire: Mystical Tales of the Knights Templar edited by Katherine Kurtz
4. On Crusade: More Tales of the Knights Templar edited by Katherine Kurtz
5. Barbarian Life Vol 2 by Roy Thomas
6. The Frances Slocum Trail by Otho Winger
7. The Lost Sister Among the Miamis by Otho Winger
8. The Last of the Miamis by Otho Winger
9. The Miami Indians of Indiana by Stewart Rafert
10. Secret Cipher of the UFOnauts by Allen Greenfield
11. Secret Rituals of the Men in Black by Allen Greenfield
12. Torah and Nondualism by James Cumming
13. Miami Indian Stories by Chief Godfroy
14. Explorer’s Guide to Wildemount by Matthew Mercer

What I’m Reading in 2019

Posted in The Library on February 25, 2019 by Occult Detective

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Another 56 books read last year. I used to read near double that, but time is not the luxurious bounty it once was, and, to be perfectly honest, my eyes tire out a lot quicker than they did even a few short years ago. My goal has always been to at least read 52 books. Will this be the year I fall short? It’s coming, I know, but the goal remains. Let’s see what 2019, my 53rd year on this planet, brings…

01. Conan Volume 20: A Witch Shall be Born (Dark Horse)
02. Conan Volume 17: Shadows Over Kush (Dark Horse)
03. Three Moments of an Explosion: Stories by China Miéville
04. The Morning of the Magicians by Louis Pauwels & Jacques Bergier
05. The Occult World by A. P. Sinnett
06. The Occult: A History by Colin Wilson
07. The Kybalion: Hermetic Philosophy by the Three Initiates
08. Empire of Imagination by Michael Witwer
09. Barbarian Life by Roy Thomas
10. Enemies of the Secret Hide-Out by John Peterson
11. Memnon by Scott Oden
12. Men of Bronze by Scott Oden
13. Lion & Dragon by RPGPundit
14. 12 Rules for Life by Jordan Peterson
15. Northern Bushcraft by Mors Kochanski
16. In the Cards by Marjorie G. Jones
17. Bushcraft 101 by Dave Canterbury
18. Advanced Bushcraft by Dave Canterbury
19. Bushcraft First Aid by Dave Canterbury & Jason A. Hunt, PhD
20. One Truth and One Spirit by Keith Readdy
21. Beyond the North Wind by Christopher McIntosh
22. Red Sonja: The Ballad of the Red Goddess by Roy Thomas, Estaban Maroto, & Santi Casas
23. Tarot and the Archetypal Journey: The Jungian Path from Darkness to Light by Sallie Nichols
24. Living Runes: Theory and Practice of Norse Divination by Galina Krasskova
25. Dune by Frank Herbert
26. The Grimoire of Aleister Crowley by Rodney Orpheus
27. Water Witchcraft by Annwyn Avalon
28. Ghosts of Saltmarsh by Wizards of the Coast
29. The World of the Celts by Simon James
30. Wights and Ancestors: Heathenry in a Living Landscape by Jenny Blain
31. Songs of Giants: The Poetry of Pulp by Mark Wheatley
32. Strongholds & Followers by Matt Colville
33. A Gathering of Ravens by Scott Oden
34. Red Tide by Marc Turner
35. Descent into Avernus by Wizards of the Coast
36. Diary of a Drug Fiend and Other Works by Aleister Crowley
37. Led Zeppelin: When Giants Walked the Earth by Mick Wall
38. What We Knew in the Night by Raven Grimassi
39. Death of an Adept by Katherine Kurtz & Deborah Turner Harris
40. Lost Teachings of the Runes by Ingrid Kincaid
41. Astrology for Real Life by Theresa Reed
42. Dark Shadows (DS 01) by Marilyn Ross
43. Strangers at Collins House (DS 03) by Marilyn Ross
44. The Peril of Barnabas Collins (DS 12) by Marilyn Ross
45. Dark Shadows: Dreams of the Dark by Stephen Mark Rainey & Elizabeth Massie
46. Dark Shadows: The Labyrinth of Souls by Stephen Mark Rainey
47. Sword Woman by Robert E. Howard
48. Starry Wisdom by Peter Levenda
49. The Midnight Eye Files v1 by William Meikle
50. The Midnight Eye Files v2 by William Meikle
51. The Morrigan by Courtney Weber
52. Divination Conjure Style by Starr Casas
53. Unholy Alliance by Peter Levenda
54. A Modern Guide to Heathenry by Galina Krasskova
55. Be Here Now by Baba Ram Dass
56. The Wanderer’s Havamal by Jackson Crawford
57. RPGPundit Presents: The Old School Companion: Medieval-Authentic Tome 1

My Favorite Authors

Posted in The Library on April 17, 2018 by Occult Detective

In his most recent newsletter, Brian Keene offered up a list of his 20 favorite authors. That’s a challenge I just could not pass up. So here are my favorites, the caveat being that this is a list of writers of fiction and as close to their proper order as I can muster. Also, because of the third author on my list, I have decided there should be 23 names instead of 20. Fnord.

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1. Robert E. Howard
2. J.R.R. Tolkien
3. Robert Anton Wilson
4. Neil Gaiman
5.
Katherine Kurtz
6. Alan Moore
7. Umberto Eco
8.
Fritz Leiber
9. Mary Stewart
10. Roy Thomas
11. Manly Wade Wellman
12. Stephen King
13. George R.R. Martin

14. Edgar Rice Burroughs
15. Algernon Blackwood
16. H.P. Lovecraft
17.
Raymond Chandler
18. Anne Rice
19. Rex Stout
20. Shirley Jackson
21. Arthur Machen
22. Aleister Crowley
23.
Margaret Weis

What I’m Reading in 2018

Posted in The Library on January 11, 2018 by Occult Detective

I read a mere 56 books in 2017, surpassing my goal of 52 books a year, but I was certainly off kilter. I have shifted to reading predominately on a first generation kindle, for one thing. Hardcovers are too expensive (though I do prowl them second-hand) and I find mass market paperbacks tiresome, the print too small and light for my aging eyes.

Despite their impermanence, I miss paperbacks, to be honest. I loved everything about mass markets as a kid, especially Howard’s Conan, Leiber’s Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser, Burrough’s John Carter and Tarzan, Norman’s Gor, Lovecraft’s Mythos tales, Adams’ Horseclans, and Tolkien’s Fellowship of the Ring (the only one I owned at the time).

I loved the covers and the passport to unimaginable worlds of adventure inside them.

As a 12 year old boy, I would shove one of those books in my back pocket and hike along Turkey Creek with my BB Gun and hunting knife in tow. I typically read in one of four places — under the Turkey Creek bridge, in the old Little Pipe Creek Cemetery, in our creek-side ‘pirate fort’ in the horse pasture, or deep in the haunted woods sitting cross legged atop Treebeard’s Stump.

That was when reading mattered to me in a way that is almost undefinable. Books were everything to me then and while I cherish them and covet them still almost 40 years later, to twelve year old Bobby, with his Daisy rifle, Buck knife, and dog-eared paperbacks, books were portable magic.

Here’s to hoping some of that magic can be rekindled in 2018.

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The Water Street Book Club

01.  End of Watch by Stephen King (Kim)
02. Sleeping Beauties by Stephen and Owen King (Bob)

.:.

01.  Tarot: Plain & Simple by Leanna Greenaway
02.  Medicine Wheel: Plain & Simple by Deborah Durbin
03.  Fairies: Plain & Simple by Ralph Harvey
04.  Reiki: Plain & Simple by Philip Jones
05.  Reflexology: Plain & Simple by Sonia Jones
06. The Lunar Nomad Oracle by Shaheen Miro
07. Madame Pamita’s Magical Tarot
08. Swords by Ben Boos
09. Floor Games & Little Wars by HG Wells
10. Conan: The Blood-Stained God and Other Stories
11. Time of Legends: Joan of Arc Rulebook by Mythic Games
12. Irish Curses, Blessings, and Toasts by Nicholas Nigro
13. The Bardic Book of Becoming: an Introduction to Modern Druidry by Ivan McBeth and Fearn Lickfield
14. Talk to the Hand: A Field Guide to Practical Palmistry by Vernon Mahabal
15. The Lunar Gospel: The Complete Guide to Your Astrological Moon by Cal Garrison
16. Italian Folk Magic by Mary-Grace Fahrun
17. 1602 by Neil Gaiman & Andy Kubert
18. Depths of Night by Stephen Zimmer
19. Feng Shui: Plain & Simple by Sarah Bartlett
20. Dunwich by Peter Levenda
21. The Gods Never Left Us by Erich von Daniken
22. The Little Book of Saturn by Aliza Einhorn
23. From Kuan Yin to Chairman Mao by Xuetung Christine Ni
24. John Dee and the Empire of Angels by Jason Louv
25. Varla Ventura’s Paranormal Parlor: Ghosts, Seances, & Tales of True Hauntings
26. The Chronicles of The Deryni: Deryni Rising, Deryni Checkmate and High Deryni by Katherine Kurtz
27. Solomon Kane Rulebook by Mythic Games
28. The Lovecraft Code by Peter Levenda
29. The Visions of the Pylons by J. Daniel Gunther
30. Working Conjure by Hoodoo Sen Moise
31. Botanical Magic by Amy Blackthorn
32. Slave, Soldier, King by Robert E. Howard
33. A Song of Ice & Fire Miniatures Game Rulebook by CMON
34. Modenkainen’s Tome of Foes by Wizards of the Coast
35. Waterdeep: Dragon Heist by Wizards of the Coast
36. More Ghost Chronicles by Wood & Kolek
37. Monsters & Creatures by Gabiann Marin
38. 2019 Lunar & Seasonal Diary by Stacey Demarco
39. Storytelling Alchemy by Renee Damoiselle
40. The Witches Almanac Issue 38 Animals: Friends & Familiars
41. Son of Chicken Qabalah by Lon Milo DuQuette
42. Strange Frequencies by Peter Bebergal
43. A Book of Pagan Prayer by Ceisiwr Serith
44. The Big Book of Runes & Rune Magic by Edred Thorsson
45. Besom, Stang, & Sword by Christopher Orapello & Tara-Love Maguire
46. In the Cards by Marjorie G. Jones
47. Will the Circle Be Unbroken by Studs Terkel
48. Dungeon of the Mad Mage by Wizards of the Coast
49. Hellblazer 30th Anniversary
50. Fire & Blood by George RR Martin
51. One Truth & One Spirit: Aleister Crowley’s Spiritual Legacy by Keith Readdy
52. The Book of Pendulum Healing by Joan Rose Staffen
53. Men at Arms 145: The Wars of the Roses
54. The Military Campaigns of the Wars of the Roses by Phillip A. Haigh
55. Light and Shade: Conversations with Jimmy Page by Brad Tolinski
56. The Outsider by Stephen King

Sanctum Sanctorum

Posted in Magick, The Library, Writing on January 8, 2018 by Occult Detective

Fancy a look at what an occult detective’s sanctum sanctorum looks like? Here’s a peek at mine, a place I call “The Aerie“, tucked away in the upstairs of our rural Indiana home. In it, I wrote the novels Keepers of the Dead, Descendant, dozens of short stories, and the lion’s share of First Born.

Yes, it’s a cluttered mess. I like clutter. It’s my clutter and I revel in the overwhelming sensory overload that occurs every time I ascend to my sacred space overlooking Little Pipe Creek.

What I’m Reading in 2017

Posted in The Library on January 1, 2017 by Occult Detective

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Welcome back to The Library, where I catalogue the books I read over the course of the year. This is Year Eight of this online journal.

The Water Street Book Club

01: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, screenplay by JK Rowling (Connor)
01: Gone, Baby, Gone by Dennis Lehane (Kim)
02: Somewhere in Time aka Bid Time Return by Richard Matheson (Bob)
03: The Lake House by Kate Morton (Kim)
04:The Hellfire Club by Peter Straub (Bob)
04: Dragons of Autumn Twilight by Weis & Hickman (Connor)
05: Finders Keepers by Stephen King (Kim)
06: Dragons of Winter Night by Weis & Hickman (Connor)
07: The Cabinet of Curiosities by Preston & Child (Bob)
08: Dragons of Spring Dawning by Weis & Hickman (Connor)
09: Cemetery Dance by Preston & Child (Kim)
10: The Nix by Nathan Hill (Kim)

.:.

01: The Practical Psychic Self-Defense Handbook by Robert Bruce
02. Squaring the Circle (Revised) by Tim Moss
03: Magick in Theory and Practice by Aleister Crowley
04: Three Essays on Freedom by John Whiteside Parsons
05: The Secret Doctrine by H.P. Blavatsky
06: The Way of Tarot: The Spiritual Teacher in the Cards by Alejandro Jodorowsky and Marianne Costa
07: Futhark: A Handbook of Rune Magic by Edred Thorsson
08: The Lovecraft Code by Peter Levenda
09: “The Pool of the Black One” by Robert E. Howard
10: Hope for the Flowers by Trina Paulus
11: Norse Mythology  by Neil Gaiman
12: Conan the Rebel by Poul Anderson
13: Conan of Venarium by Harry Turtledove
14: Dungeons & Dragons: Vor Rukoth by Greg Bilsland
15: Conan: Jeweled Thrones of the Earth by Modiphius
16: Adventures in Middle-Earth: Loremaster’s Guide by Cubicle 7
17: Edgar Rice Burroughs’ John Carter of Mars RPG Playtest by Modiphius
18: Conan the Thief by Modiphius
19: Conan Player’s Guide by Modiphius
20: The Invisibles by Grant Morrison
21: Forbidden Brides of the Faceless Slaves in the Secret House of the Night of Dread Desire by Neil Gaiman and Shane Oakley
22: Conan: The Throne of Aquilonia by Roy Thomas and Mike Hawthorne
23: The Weiser Book of Occult Detectives edited by Judika Illes
24. Wicca: Plain & Simple by Leanna Greenaway
25: Fairies, Pookas, and Changelings by Varla Ventura
26: The Secret Diary of Laura Palmer
27: Getting Higher by Julian Vayne
28: Deal or No Deal? by William Meikle
29: HeX-Rated by Jason Ridler
30: Critical Role TalDorei Campaign Setting by Matthew Mercer
31: Heart of a Lion by Stephen Zimmer
32: Thunder Horizon by Stephen Zimmer
33: Old Style Conjure by Starr Casas
34: Psychic Ability by Ann Caufield
35: Keys to Perception by Ivo Domingiez Jr
36: Witches & Wizards by Lucy Cavendish
37: A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin
38: The Basic Handbook of the Secret History of Willowbrook by Jo Beth Mitchell
39: Carnacki: The Edinburgh Townhouse and Other Stories by William Meikle
40: Santa Muerte by Tracey Rollin
41: Aleister Crowley and Western Esotericism, edited and introduced by Henrik Bogdan & Martin P. Starr
42: The Witches’ Almanac 2018, Issue 37
43: The Magical Art of Crafting Charm Bags by Elohim Leafar
44: Weiser Books Celebrates 60
45: Prince Valiant, vol 1 by Hal Foster
46: Old Sword Play: Techniques of the Great Masters by Alfred Hutton
47: Pocket Havamal

What I’m Reading in 2016

Posted in The Library on January 1, 2016 by Occult Detective

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Welcome back to The Library, where I catalogue the books I’ve read over the course of the year. This is year seven, and as in past years, I’m tracking things differently. For 2016, I am separating things by Fiction, Non-Fiction, Comics Comic Trades & Graphic Novels, Gaming, and, finally, by Book Club.

That’s right, I said (or, rather, typed) Book Club. It was my lovely wife’s idea for us to read the same book for the purpose of discussion. If anyone would like climb on board, we each choose a book, round robin style. First up, chosen by yours truly, is Lev Grossman’s The Magicians.

As to the general Library, if a title is highlighted in yellow it is a new (or recent) release (comics excluded). All books are added when they are cracked open, not finished. If I end up abandoning a book, it will be stricken as such: Book Title

The Water Street Book Club

01. The Magicians by Lev Grossman (Bob)
02. Ashley Bell by Dean Koontz (Kim)
03. The Witching Hour by Anne Rice (Bob)
04. Star Wars: The Force Awakens by Alan Dean Foster (Connor)
05. Winter’s Tale by Mark Helprin (Kim)
05. The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton (Kim)
06. The Dead Zone by Stephen King (Bob)
07. You’ve Been Warned by James Patterson & Howard Roughan (Kim)
07. Carolina Moon by Nora Roberts (Kim)
08. Stardust by Neil Gaiman (Bob)
08. The Ice Dragon by George RR Martin (Connor)
09. Ghost Story by Peter Straub (Bob)
10. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by JK Rowling & Friends (Connor)
11. The Distant Hours by Kate Morton (Kim)
12. The Lord of the Flies by William Golding (Connor)
13. Bag of Bones by Stephen King (Bob)
14. Mystic River by Dennis Lehane (Kim)
15. The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton (Connor)

FICTION

01. Hawksmoor by Peter Ackroyd
02. Black Creek by Gregory Lamberson
03. The Coming of Conan by Robert E. Howard
04. Savage Season by Joe Lansdale
05. A Long December by Richard Chizmar
06. Stardust by Neil Gaiman
07. The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
08. “The Half-Haunted” by Manly Wade Wellman
09. “People of the Black Circle” by Robert E. Howard
10. The Weiser Book of the Fantastic and Forgotten, edited by Judika Illes
11. The Girl on the Glider by Brian Keene
12. Angel Heart, screenplay by Alan Parker
13. Jerusalem by Alan Moore
14. The Secret History of Twin Peaks by Mark Frost

NON-FICTION

01. Psychic Self-Defense by Dion Fortune
02. Missing Connections: Challenging the Consensus, edited by J. Douglas Kenyon
03. Bloody Mary’s Guide to Hauntings, Horrors, and Dancing with the Dead
04. Communing with the Ancestors by Raven Grimassi
05. The Witches’ Almanac Coloring Book
06. Lost Powers edited by J. Douglas Kenyon
07. I Am Providence: The Life & Times of H.P. Lovecraft by S.T. Joshi
08. Chinese Alchemy by Jean Cooper
09.The Big Book of Practical Spells by Judika Illes
10. Dark Valley Destiny by L. Sprague de Camp
11. The Emerald Tablet: A Commentary on the Path of the True Adept by Martin Faulks
12. Unseen Forces, edited by J. Douglas Kenyon
13. Crystal Skulls by Judy Hall
14. The English Magic Tarot by Rex Van Ryn, Steve Dooley, & Andy Letcher
15. The Key of Solomon the King, translated by S.L. MacGregor Mathers, foreword by Joseph H. Peterson
16. Alan Moore’s Promethea: Countercultural Gnosis and the End of the World by WJ Hanegraaff
17. Studies in Occultism by H.P. Blavatsky
18. King Arthur and the Holy Grail by Richard Cavendish
19. Secret Knowledge: Exploring the Boundaries of the Possible, edited by J. Douglas Kenyon

GAMING

01. Dungeons & Dragons: Menzoberranzan: City of Intrigue by Brian R. James & Eric Menge
02. Dungeons & Dragons: Systems Reference Document & Open-Gaming License
03. A Song of Ice & Fire Roleplaying Game by Robert J. Schwalb
04. Robert E. Howard’s Conan Quick Start Rules by Modiphius
05. Dungeons & Dragons: Curse of Strahd by Wizards of the Coast
06. AD&D Module S1: Tomb of Horrors by Gary Gygax
07. A Guide to the World of Greyhawk Fantasy Setting, vol III
08. Glossography for the Guide to the World of Greyhawk
09. Adventures in Middle Earth: Player’s Guide by Cubicle 7
10. Robert E. Howard’s Conan Core Rule Book
11. Dungeons & Dragons: Halls of Undermountain by Shawn Merwin & Matt Sernett
12.. Dungeons & Dragons: Storm King’s Thunder by Wizards of the Coast

GRAPHIC NOVELS

01. Valkyrie, vol 1 “Cold As Death” by Sylvain Cordurié, Drazen Kovacevic, & Simon Champelovier
02. Valkyrie, vol 2 “The Tenth World” by Sylvain Cordurié, Drazen Kovacevic, & Simon Champelovier
03. Heathen, vol 1 by Natasha Alterici
04. Darkness, vol 1 “Ioen” by Christophe Bec & Ico
05. Conan, vol 8 “Black Colossus” by Tim Truman and Tomas Giorello
06. Marvel Masterworks: Dr. Strange, vol 1 by Stan Lee & Steve Ditko
07. Conan, vol 9 “Free Companions” by Tim Truman and Tomas Giorello
08. Conan: The Daughters of Midora by various
09. Conan: The Jewels of Gwahlur by P. Craig Russell
10. Harrow County Volume 1: Countless Haints by Cullen Bunn and Tyler Crooks
11. Harrow County Volume 2: Twice Told by Cullen Bunn and Tyler Crooks
12. Harrow County Volume 3: Snake Doctor by Cullen Bunn, Tyler Crooks, & more

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