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| Miscellaneous Recommended Books |
Click on any of the images or text links for further details of chosen book, and how to order your copy.

On this page you will find a miscellaneous selection of books - personal favourites and recommendations from the Hybrid Studios community. They are displayed in no particular order, just a selection of top-notch reading matter!

The Green Witch: A Modern Woman's Herbal  coverBarbara Griggs : An excellent book crammed with herbal remedies and uses around the home and garden -remedies for common ailments such as headaches (and these really do work! I now swear by them), fending off a cold, relieving a hangover, general wellbeing, advice and remedies for women problems and pregnanay, a complete herbal first aid kit, with a section devoted to remedies for children, remedies for fighting off the mosquitos, and much much more.... including the best flea remedies I've come across : if you've got cats or dogs you need this book!! The Green Witch: A Modern Woman's Herbal is an essential book to have around the house, and Griggs' writing is brilliant - filled with personal stoies and remedies, this book "offers practical advice, recipes for aromatic mixtures and natural remedies and shows how to use the power of plants. It includes sections on wild food; spices; the sweet-smelling home; fragrant herbal baths; natural secrets of beautiful hair and skin and herbal remedies for adults and children." Well worth buying!!

Bbboing: & Associated Weirdness Lloyd Robson : a brand new collection of poetry, prose & visual texts from renowned Cardiff writer (and Hybrid Studios member) lloyd robson.
"a high velocity selection of robson's writings from the last ten years. handled with impeccable tone & precision, bbboing! blows away structure & form; bounces into & out of emotion, commotion, travel & abandon with a linguistic dynamism, humour & depth. passages of snarling psychotropic vision interweave with poetry of sensitivity, intelligence, sadness & wit. an unremitting celebration of voice & language. an outrageous, exhilarating funky feast...."
Other books by Lloyd Robson include Cardiff Cut ["innovative, hilarious, exhilarating, remarkably astute... delivered with a sandpaper sense of humour this frantic, sometimes savage eruption of chaos & poetry will leave you exhausted... truly unique... great stuff!"— melanie daley, big issue cymru magazine • "the nearest we have to a novel celebrating the city of cardiff in all its vulgarity... if we hear an echo of joyce's ulysses, that's all to the good"— meic stephens, western mail ] Edge Territory ["exuberant... i loved the energy of language & the sense of place, displacement & history captured in these texts... definitely a writer to watch" — gordon wardman, poetry quarterly review ] Letters from Sissi - a prose-poem based on a week's holiday in the village of sissi on the island of crete

The Alchemist  Paulo Coelho : I can read this book over and over and over, and it still doesn't lose its magic - everyone should read this book!
coverA review by Amazon.co.uk : Like the one-time bestseller Jonathan Livingston Seagull, The Alchemist presents a simple fable, based on simple truths and places it in a highly unique situation. And though we may sense a bestselling formula, it is certainly not a new one: even the ancient tribal storytellers knew that this is the most successful method of entertaining an audience while slipping in a lesson or two. Brazilian storyteller Paulo Coehlo introduces Santiago, an Andalucian shepherd boy who one night dreams of a distant treasure in the Egyptian pyramids. And so he's off: leaving Spain to literally follow his dream.
Along the way he meets many spiritual messengers, who come in unassuming forms such as a camel driver and a well-read Englishman. In one of the Englishman's books, Santiago first learns about the alchemists--men who believed that if a metal were heated for many years, it would free itself of all its individual properties, and what was left would be the "Soul of the World." Of course he does eventually meet an alchemist, and the ensuing student-teacher relationship clarifies much of the boy's misguided agenda, while also emboldening him to stay true to his dreams. "My heart is afraid that it will have to suffer," the boy confides to the alchemist one night as they look up at a moonless night.
"Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself," the alchemist replies. "And that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams, because every second of the search is a second's encounter with God and with eternity." A review by Amazon.co.uk

Once More with Feeling (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)  Joss Whedon : If you've not seen the musical Buffy episode yet just what have you been doing?!? One of the best modern musicals around - made all the more accesible to those who wouldn't dream of watching a musical by the excellent characters all Buffy fans already know - and all the more impressive and watchable considering that these aren't all trained singers. One of the best musical soundtracks to hit my stereo - so damn catchy! (the poster is funky too!!) Well that's enough enthusing from me - here's a review from Amazon, just in case you need that extra convincing - which I'm sure you don't...if you have any taste at all :0)
cover"Fans of Buffy the Vampire Slayer are used to seeing its creative team pull off unique feats in every season, but Once More With Feeling is perhaps the most creatively challenging episode so far. A superbly enjoyable pastiche of old Hollywood musicals and Broadway shows, it finds an all-singing, all-dancing demon descending on Sunnydale intent on making the town's inhabitants free their innermost secrets through song. As a pivotal episode it proves a turning point for many of the characters, and as a unique piece of TV it's quite clearly unrivalled. There isn't a bad song among them and it's hard not to turn demon-green with envy that show creator Joss Wheedon, who wrote and directed this episode, can be so sickeningly talented. It doesn't matter that some of the cast are less then blessed vocally, but stand-out performances from James Marsters (Spike) and Amber Benson (Tara) help carry along the weaker voices. This book is fan's dream with a detailed behind-the-scenes look at how the episode came about, the complete script, photographs and even the music sheets should you wish to try the songs from the comfort of your Steinway. This is a worthy and essential companion to perhaps Buffy's finest hour (and eight minutes) yet." Amazon.co.uk--Jonathan Weir

These Our Actors (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)  Dori Kogler, Ashley McConnell : One for all Willow and Spike fans - yay!!
Book Synopsis - "Stage fright takes on a whole new meaning as Willow joins a theatre group and finds herself taking part in a truly hellish drama... The past couple of years have seen Willow's Wiccan powers develop to an impressive -- and potentially dangerous -- level, as viewers of Buffy Season Six will know. But even the most confident of witches has her deepest secret fears, and Willow's have always involved performing on stage in front of an audience. In her near-fatal dream sequence in the crucial Season Five episode 'Restless', it was this fear that enabled the Primal Slayer to enter her consciousness in order to destroy her as she slept. So when Willow decides to join the UC Sunnydale Drama Group in order to master her fear, it's a major step for her to take. But forgetting her lines or corpsing on stage soon turn out to be the least of her worries, as the drama that's being enacted on the hellmouth is most emphatically no play. With Spike as her unexpected ally, can Willow take a leading role or will she die -- for real?"

At the Threshold of Liquid Geology:And Other Automatic Tales Eric W Bragg : "A seductive collection of stunning, psychological prose-poems executed in an improvisational style. A contemporary example of surrealist expression" This modern collection of surrealist prose-poems was inspired by the improvisational method of automatic writing, popularized by the International Surrealist Movement. From one brain to another without any literary rules or standards, the words in these automatic writings are not just words, but rays of subconscious illumination that peel away the various layers of the "civilized," western psyche, one by one....

Witch Child Celia Rees - Witch Child is a fascinating story told in the pages from of a journal, following Mary's journey to America after she flees from 17th Century England, and the perils that surround her in a world of mistrust and suspicion. I couldn't put this book down, a fascinating and thrilling read - and it's not just for young readers!
Amazon Review : "She was locked in the keep for more than a week. First they walked her up and down, up and down between them, for a day and a night until she could no longer hobble, her feet all bloody and swollen. She would not confess. So they set about to prove she was a witch...
Mary's grandmother is executed for witchcraft, and Mary is forced to leave her home to avoid the same fate. At first she flees to the English countryside, but when the atmosphere of superstition and suspicion becomes all consuming she leaves on a boat for America in the hope that she can start over and forget her past. But during the journey, she realises that the past is not so easy to escape.
Witch Child is a complex, absorbing novel, told in the form of pages from a journal found loosely sewn into an old quilt many years later. From the moment the story begins, the tension is tangible, and the reader is drawn into a world of mistrust and uncertainty that shakes to the core. All this is cleverly conveyed through the eyes of Mary, whose first sense of wide-eyed wonder gradually develops a mature understanding of her situation, drawing the reader in to a dark and dangerous world where the tiniest slip could mean death.
Celia Rees, always a fine writer, tackles her subject with serious and sensitive aplomb, bringing together a sense of history with an extraordinarily powerful and thrilling story that is unforgettable." Amazon.co.uk Review--Susan Harrison

Sorceress Celia Rees : In this stunning sequel to Witch Child, the story of Mary is continued through the spiritual journey of Agnes, a Native American Indian - a fascinating story, beautifully written!
Amazon.co.uk Review : "Celia Rees's Sorceress is the bewitching sequel to Witch Child, which was shortlisted for the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize 2001. In the first novel, a young English girl called Mary flees 17th-century England when her grandmother is hung, accused of being a witch. She sails across the seas to America where she begins a new life with a community of Puritans. But as the history books show, this was no safe place for a young witch, good or bad, and when Mary's past is exposed she is cast out into the wilderness. Her diary is abandoned and the reader is left not knowing how Mary's story ends but wanting more.
Not one to disappoint fans, Rees returns with a sequel. In Part II, the story is taken over by a young modern-day historian called Alison Ellman and a Native American Indian called Agnes, who realises that there is a spiritual link between herself and the long-dead English girl. The pair track down the truth of what happened to Mary, each in their own way. But it is through Agnes that Mary's story truly unfolds as the girl goes on a spiritual journey of self-discovery. In a trance-like state, she becomes Mary. We learn of her marriage to the Indian warrior Jaybird, their children and the suffering of her people when war comes. Rees combines superb storytelling with factual history to enchanting effect, leaving you captivated until the very last page" Amazon.co.uk.--Nicola Perry

Vampire Chronicles Boxed Set  Anne Rice: this boxed set includes the first 4 books in the Vampire Chronicles - Interview with the Vampire; The Vampire Lestat; The Queen of the Damned; & The Tale of the Body Thief.... I'll be posting a review in the next week or so - just far too tired at the moment to do these books justice!

I will also be adding reviews for the following two books from Gene Brewer : K-Pax  and the sequel K-PAX II: on a Beam of Light  (and I'm off to purchase a copy of K-Pax III: The Worlds of Prot) The first two K-Pax books were stunningly brilliant - can't wait to read the third!!!

The Art of Happiness: A Handbook for Living  Dalai Lama, Howard Cutler
"Have you ever wondered what it would be like to sit down with the Dalai Lama and really press him about life's persistent questions? Why are so many people unhappy? How can I abjure loneliness? How can we reduce conflict? Is romantic love true love? Why do we suffer? How should we deal with unfairness and anger? How do you handle the death of a loved one? These are the conundrums that psychiatrist Howard Cutler poses to the Dalai Lama during an extended period of interviews in The Art of Happiness: A Handbook for Living. At first, the Dalai Lama's answers seem simplistic, like a surface reading of Robert Fulghum: ask yourself if you really need something; our enemies can be our teachers; compassion brings peace of mind. Cutler pushes: but some people do seem happy with lots of possessions; but "suffering is life" is so pessimistic; but going to extremes provides the zest in life; but what if I don't believe in karma? As the Dalai Lama's responses become more involved, a coherent philosophy takes shape. Cutler then develops the Dalai Lama's answers in the context of scientific studies and cases from his own practice, substantiating and elaborating on what he finds to be a revolutionary psychology. Like any art, the art of happiness requires study and practice--and the talent for it, the Dalai Lama assures us, is in our nature" Amazon.co.uk Review--Brian Bruya

A Witch Alone: Thirteen Moons to Master Natural Magic  Marian Green : one of the best books available for those interested in the path of a lone witch, taking you through 13 moons of practice, with projects, tasks and a 'further reading' section in each chapter. Well written and very informative!
coverAmazon.co.uk Review : "Written for serious practitioners, Marian Green's Witch Alone: Thirteen Moons to Master Natural Magic guides those who wish to learn the "old religion" without the aid of a coven. Densely written in serious tone, Witch Alone is nonetheless an inspiring and poetic read. Exercises at the end of each chapter are designed to take a full 28 nights to accomplish, and are designed to progressively lead one on the path to success. Worshippers of the goddess and those interested in exploring the deeper aspects of their own soul will find this tome deeply informative, but for the neo-pagan committed to learning solitary witchcraft, Witch Alone is a must-read." Amazon.co.uk --P Randall Cohan --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Other books you may find interesting by Marian Greene :
The Gentle Arts of Natural Magic: Magical Techniques to Help You Master the Crafts of the Wise
Wild Witchcraft: A Guide to Natural, Herbal and Earth Magic
Natural Witchcraft: The Timeless Arts and Crafts of the Country Witch

An absolutely stunning book on the moon is one by Elen Hawke - Praise to the Moon : Magic and Myth of the Lunar Cycle - a wonderfully written book, featuring many lunar goddesses, rituals, spells and invocations for each moon phase, and useful information on circle casting, moon gardening, moon deities, astrological signs, the impact of eclipses, moon lore and so much more...

Witches' Datebook 2003  Various Contributors : lots of information for every witch - including moon phases, astrological positions, and the wheel of the year etc...
A Witch's Book of Dreams: Understanding the Power of Dreams and Symbols by Karri Allrich : leaning to the Jung side of dream psychology...

Ink Dark Moon  Jane Hishfield :" Translations of selected Japanese poems by women of the ancient court of Japan are accompanied by explanatory note"

Many many more recommendations are on their way - so please visit again soon! Drop me a line if you have any recommendations you'd like to add.

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