Book Review | Encyclopedia of 5,000 Spells | The Ultimate Reference Book For The Magical Arts | By Judika Illes

I love this book. It is one of my favorites in the occult section of my library. It is valuable as a practical and historical tool. The book is an excellent guide for the beginning as well as experienced witch. I have never seen another book that has so many spells.    Get this; […]

Book Review | Encyclopedia of 5,000 Spells | The Ultimate Reference Book For The Magical Arts | By Judika Illes

Sometimes, I see something on WordPress that makes me think strange thoughts. A book of 5,000 spells? If I cast one spell a day, that would take me over 13 years to cast them all. Maybe I should just chose the top 365 spells and do it for a year? What would a year of spellcasting be like? In my mind, I become the sorcerer’s apprentice, except sure in the knowledge that no one is going to save me.

Ah, another life lived, in my imagination.

Enemy of All Mankind

“On Sept. 7, 1695, the pirate ship Fancy, commanded by Every, ambushed and captured the Ganj-i-Sawai, a royal vessel owned by Indian emperor Aurangzeb, then one of the world’s most powerful men. Aboard were not only the worshipers returning from their pilgrimage, but tens of millions of dollars’ worth of gold and silver.

What followed was one of the most lucrative and heinous robberies of all time…[and led to the first global man hunt…]

…Until now, historians only knew that Every eventually sailed to Ireland in 1696, where the trail went cold. But Bailey says the coins he and others have found are evidence the notorious pirate first made his way to the American colonies, where he and his crew used the plunder for day-to-day expenses while on the run.”

-William J .Kole, “Ancient coins may solve mystery of murderous 1600s pirate.” Phys.org. April 1, 2021.

Laying low as a slave trader. Tempted to check out the book. Also, the title reminded me of this scene.

Glenn Danzig & Henry Rollins Forever

Somehow, the idea of Arnold Schwarzenegger & Danny DeVito as an old married couple that dresses alike came into my mind today, and it, in turn, reminded me of Henry & Glenn Forever, the publisher described it in this way:

Starring super-notorious musclebound punk/metaldudes Glenn Danzig and Henry Rollins (with a little help from super-notorious soft-rock dudes Hall and Oates) Henry & Glenn Forever is a love story to end all love stories! The premise of this comic is explained in the beginning, “Henry and Glenn are very good ‘friends.’ They are also ‘room mates.’ Daryl and John live next door. They are satanists.” What follows is ultra-metal violence and cryfest diary entries, cringing self-doubt and mega-hilarious emo-meltdowns. Who knew Danzig was such a vulnerable, self-conscious sweety-pie? Who knew Rollins was such a caring spouse? Who knew Hall and Oates were so infernally evil—yet so considerate? Well, illustrating/writing team Igloo Tornado (featuring super-awesome comixdude Tom Neely) did and they kicked down 66 fully-illustrated pages with it. Genius on all fronts. Terrifyingly cute. Cutely terrifying. As the real-life Rollins says, quoted on the back cover, “Has Glenn seen this? Trust me, he would not be impressed.”

-Tom Neely, “Henry & Glenn Forever.” Portland, Oregon: Microcosm Publishing, 2010

Proust Lu

“From Bali to Paris, the readers in Véronique Aubouy’s huge project, ‘Proust Lu’ (‘Proust Read’), have been captured in bedrooms, offices, supermarkets, factories and beauty spots. Farmers, schoolchildren, businessmen, even the French director’s doctor have participated. ‘It’s a slice of life,’ Ms Aubouy says; ‘a reading about time, in time.’ The cast is as diverse as the novel’s, brought together by their own web of connections and coincidences.”

—”A tag-team reading of ‘In Search of Lost Time’.The Economist. February 6, 2021.

I love this idea. I’ve picked up the first volume of Proust’s book, and I didn’t like it. I stopped maybe 50 pages in. But, I can imagine tackling the novel in this way. It’s ~4,000 pages long. If you wanted to read it in a year, you’d need to read 11 pages a day. It’s doable, but it seems like a tough slog.

But, 2 pages a day over the course of 6 years, assuming you missed a couple of hundred days and added a page or two here and there? That seems to be exactly the kind of reading this book calls for.

Also, some of the readings from Proust Lu are on YouTube, in French, bien sûr.

Books I’d Like to Read in 2021

A short fiction where I pretend to you, dear reader, that I am still capable of reading more than a book a week.

  1. Mastering the Core Teachings of the Buddha by Daniel M. Ingram
  2. Fool on the Hill by Mark Sargent
  3. The Omnibus Homo Sacer by Giorgio Agamben
  4. Cargill Falls by William Lychack [x]
  5. Black Imagination by Natasha Marin (Editor)
  6. Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson
  7. Counting for Nothing: What Men Value and What Women are Worth by Marilyn Waring
  8. Deep Adaptation by Jem Bendell [x]
  9. The Carrying: Poems by Ada Limon [x]
  10. Ace: What Asexuality Reveals About Desire, Society, and the Meaning of Sex by Angela Chen
  11. Madness, Rack, and Honey: Collected Lectures by Mary Ruefle [x]
  12. How We Show Up: Reclaiming Family, Friendship, and Community by Mia Birdsong
  13. Hexaflexagons and Other Mathematical Diversions by Martin Gardner
  14. Steps to an Ecology of Mind: Collected Essays in Anthropology, Psychiatry, Evolution, and Epistemology by Gregory Bateson
  15. Are Women Human?: And Other International Dialogues by Catharine A. MacKinnon
  16. War and Peace and War: The Rise and Fall of Empires by Peter Turchin
  17. Breaking Bread with the Dead: A Reader’s Guide to a More Tranquil Mind by Alan Jacobs
  18. Lost in the Cosmos: The Last Self-Help Book by Walker Percy
  19. Take the Long Way Home: Memoirs of a Survivor by Susan Gordon Lydon
  20. All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten by Robert Fulghum
  21. Ball Four by Jim Bouton
  22. The End of Patriarchy: Radical Feminism for Men by Robert Jensen [x]
  23. The Memory Police by Yōko Ogawa
  24. Weird: The Power of Being an Outsider in an Insider World by Olga Khazan
  25. The True and Only Heaven: Progress and Its Critics by Christopher Lasch
  26. Modernist Cuisine at Home by Nathan Myhrvold
  27. On Food and Cooking by Harold McGee
  28. Another Birth by Forough Farrokhzad
  29. Darkness Spoken by Ingeborg Bachmann
  30. So Long a Letter by Mariama Bâ
  31. Oblivion Seekers by Isabelle Eberhardt
  32. The Neopolitan Novels by Elena Ferrante
  33. Machines in the Head by Anna Kavan
  34. The Selected Poems of Rosario Castellanos by Rosario Castellanos
  35. Mad in Pursuit by Violette Leduc
  36. The Wedding by Dorothy West
  37. The Hebrew Bible by Robert Alter
  38. The Red Book: Liber Novus by C.G. Jung
  39. New and Selected Poems by Mary Oliver
  40. Heart of the Original by Steve Aylett
  41. On the Brink of Paradox by Augustin Rayo
  42. The Commonwealth series by Peter F. Hamilton
  43. Notes on the Synthesis of Form by Christopher W. Alexander
  44. Sandworm by Andy Greenberg
  45. Women, Race & Class by Angela Y. Davis
  46. A Passion For Friends by Janice G. Raymond
  47. The Precipice by Toby Orb
  48. Wild Pork and Watercress by Barry Crump
  49. Daring Greatly by Brené Brown
  50. Primeval & Other Times by Olga Tokarczuk
  51. Consuming the Romantic Utopia by Eva Illouz
  52. Tools for Conviviality by Ivan Illich

Cain’s Jawbone

“Cain’s Jawbone, a 100-page-long murder mystery puzzle, was last cracked in 1935 when two puzzlers claimed £15 in winnings, just a year after it was originally published.

Now a British comedian has solved the literary puzzle for the first time in 85 years, after submitting the correct solution shortly before the closing of a new year-long competition.

—Jessica Carpani, “British comedian solves world’s ‘most difficult literary puzzle’ becoming third winner in 100 years.” The Telegraph. November 4, 2020.

Play the Plot: Tabletop Games for Your Favorite Fantasy Book

“In honor of this glorious, beautiful, multitude of games that are just begging to be played, I’ve set up a few tabletop roleplaying games with some new pieces of genre fiction. I tried to pick out games that have been written recently, and none that originated in the 70s! Take a look, and maybe support a game or two. We’ll start with Fantasy, diving right in with games and books that go from epic to short, historical to urban, so take a deep breath, and let’s dive in.”

Linda H. Codega, “Play the Plot: Tabletop Games for Your Favorite Fantasy Book.” Tor.com. October 5, 2020.

Social Chronophage

“The social industry doesn’t just eat our time with endless stimulus and algorithmic scrolling; it eats our time by creating and promoting people who exist only to be explained to, people to whom the world has been created anew every morning, people for whom every settled sociological, scientific, and political argument of modernity must be rehashed, rewritten, and re-accounted, this time with their participation.

These people, with their just-asking questions and vapid open letters, are dullards and bores, pettifoggers and casuists, cowards and dissemblers, time-wasters of the worst sort…Time is not infinite. None of us can afford to spend what is left of it dallying with the stupid and bland.”

—Max Read, “Going Postal.” Book Forum. Sept/Oct/Nov 2020.

Review of Richard Seymour’s The Twittering Machine, which is worth reading in its own right.

h/t Velcro City Tourist Board.

The Street Art Manual

“Bill Posters wants to teach people how to hack the streets. The graphic artist, activist and researcher (real name Barney Francis) has written an “illicit, tactical guide to creating art in public”. The Street Art Manual is an 11-step guide to street art covering the basics of graffiti and stencil work as well as providing an in-depth look at social media-grabbing work like urban murals.”

—Henry Wong, “‘It stops the one-way flow of corporate bullshit’: graphic artist Bill Posters on subvertising.” Design Week. August 27, 2020.

The fact that this article is from a trade rag for advertising creatives says volumes.

Available via Rough Trade. h/t The Quietus.