Thursday, August 8, 2013

What I Am Reading: Creativity Recharge

I have been working on some pretty big projects recently. I got two of them done and took a break from a third to do a couple of smaller ones and I am finding my creativity is running a bit dry.  So I am hitting some books to help recharge.  Here is what is on reading list right now.

Occultism, Witchcraft, and Cultural Fashions
I have this belief that the 70s Occult revival was very much part of the zeitgeist of a bunch of other things going on in the 70s.  This also lead, I believe, to the 80s Satanic Panic.  That is the alchemy that produced my best gaming memories and something I would love to recapture in my Old School books like The Witch and the game I'll never write but really want too, Star Child.
Since I am not writing a dissertation I can make insane leaps in logic if I like. So I am reading this.  I also have a Chill game I am trying to run set in 1976.  The first adventure is called "Bell Bottom Blues" but it is not written yet.  This book will provide me some imagination fuel for Chill, my next Old-school book and maybe Star Child.
I picked up my copy at Orphic Vellum Books with a signed book-plate from Wednesday Mourning (who was not even alive yet in 1976).

Victorian Academy of Magick
I love Victorian era games. This book was written by Paul Voodini and I participated in the Kickstarter for it. Lots of great ideas here for Ghosts of Albion, Gaslight, Victoriana or any other Victorian game where magic is real.  It's a fun book really. Sort of an alt history of London before magic disappeared from the world.
What really gives this book an edge is all the photographs and the research that Voodini has done.  Not to mention the dry wit.

Not everything I read is about magic and game related though.

Arguably: Essays by Christopher Hitchens
Most people either love or hate Hitch. I find him vastly entertaining even when (sometimes especially) I don't agree with him.   One thing though that can't be denied is that Hitch loved the printed word and this book shows that.  Even when he is trashing a well known author or book, or praising a little known one his love for books, and to a degree authors, is obvious.  Hitchens makes me want to read better books.

What are you all reading?


R.J. Thompson said...

Eliade! Great book!

Anthony Simeone said...

I read Eliade's The Sacred snd the Profane for a college religion class. Definitely an influence on my intellectual development. Enjoy his stuff! I would love to hear your ideas about 1970s occult...

faoladh said...

Well, at the moment, I am reading (or re-reading, rather) Carlo Ginzburg's Ecstasies: Deciphering the Witches' Sabbath and Patrick Dunn's Postmodern Magic, while reading for the first time Stephen King's The Waste Lands (third in his "Dark Tower" series of sixgun fantasy). I am about to start re-reading Issai Chozanshi's The Demon's Sermon on the Martial Arts (aka Tengu Geijutsuron), which I try to get to at least once a year.

Hm. That's a lot of re-reading. Well, when I finish with Ginzburg (probably tomorrow), I'll be starting Jim McDowell's Hamatsa: The Enigma of Cannibalism on the Pacific Northwest Coast.