Apr 21, 2014

In the meantime... Faerie Books!

Ooooh, busy times at the moment. I've picked up a couple of illustration jobs recently that are keeping me rather busy at the drawing board. It also means that I can't show any completed work until each project gets published. So apart from the odd landscape sketch that I manage to still squeeze in, I fear there will be little new artwork to show for the next month or so.

But I can't stand to see this blog going long without a new post popping up, so I thought I might share with you all a few Faerie related books I've purchased recently.

First up is a book I just adored as soon as I held it -

Title: Trolls- An Unnatural History
Author: John Lindow
Publisher: Reaktion Books
Publication Date: 24/2/2014
ISBN: 9781780232898

This is just my kind of book. The gorgeous John Bauer cover aside, it is a lovely little hardcover with about 160 pages of serious scholarly research into the mythological being, the Troll.
I've read a lot of books on Faerie and its denizens, and most of the time I come away disappointed. They tend to be light on research and cater to a person not quite so invested in Faerie Lore as myself. So when a book like this comes along, one that is written for the serious Lorist, it should be celebrated!

I've always had a love of Trolls, and cannot stand the modern usage of the term to refer to somebody who makes trouble on internet chat rooms. This makes me grumbly.
The really fantastic thing about this book is that, though it is in many ways a scholarly work, it is accessible and an enjoyable read too. I think it is terrific, informative and definitely worthy of fitting nicely next to the Faerie Lore of Evans-Wentz and D.A. MacManus.

Next up is a very recent purchase-

Title: Strange & Secret Peoples- Fairies and Victorian Consciousness
Author: Carole G. Silver
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publication Date: 12/10/2000
ISBN: 9780195144116

This book is actually now POD only. POD (Print On Demand) means that a single copy of the book in question is printed off to meet the demand of that particular order. So basically, you order it - they print a copy of it for you.
I haven't had a chance to read this book yet, but I am very much looking forward to it. Again, it is considerably more meaty than your typical Faerie book, which is what drew me to it in the first place, I just can't believe it took me nearly 14 years after its publication to discover it!


Next up, here's the book I am currently trying to read-

Title: Faery Tale- One Woman's Search for Enchantment in a Modern World
Author: Signe Pike
Publisher: Hay House
Publication Date: 16/5/2011
ISBN: 9781848503724

As I mentioned, I'm crazy busy at the moment, so I really don't have much time to read. Which is a shame, because I would normally devour a book like this pretty quickly. But maybe it's a blessing too, as I can really only afford to read a handful of pages a day, it almost feels as though I'm following Signe's journey in real time.

This is the story of a woman who leaves behind her life in America to essentially go looking for Faeries. But it's also about self-discovery, the healing of wounds caused by great loss, overcoming fear, and allowing magic into one's life.

It is probably the most 'girly' looking book I have ever bought; and the premise, on the surface, could lead one to think it is a mushy tale full of lovey-dovey feelings and wall to wall flower fairies. But it really isn't. Signe Pike writes with a wit and a wink that makes her come across as supremely relatable and down to earth. She is open about her feelings and doesn't appear to embellish her experience or her character in any way.
I've had this book on my 'get to eventually' list ever since it came out. I'm really glad I got to it. I think it helps that I can relate in many ways to Signe's experiences and motivations. But saying that, it's also just an interesting memoir, well told. I'd recommend it to any Faerie fan. It's probably actually required reading for a Faerie fan, come to think of it...


Finally, here's the book that I've just recently ordered-

Title: Elves, Wights, and Trolls: Studies Towards the Practice of Germanic Heathenry: Vol. I
Author: Kveldulf Gundarsson
Publisher: iUniverse
Publication Date: 27/2/2007
ISBN: 9780595421657

I think this is another POD title, so it might be a little while before it gets to me. It looks to be another very involved work. I'll be approaching it from the perspective of a Faerie Lorist, as the whole Heathenism thing, while interesting, isn't for me at this time. I have been a pagan in the past, and still hold many pagan beliefs, but it was always a very personal, insular and entirely solitary pursuit for me.
But I'll do a review of this book once it has been consumed.

And that's it for now. I'm hoping to follow this post up with some more book reviews in the coming weeks. I have managed to lay claim to some very nice instructional art books that I think are worthy of writing about.
So I'll be back soon with that, see you then!

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