Top Twelve Books I Read in 2016 (Top Ten Tuesday)

Let’s Get Our Read On with Top Ten Tuesday!

TTT

A year of reading comes to a close and it’s time for me to share with you my favorite books that I read in 2016! These books don’t necessarily have a published date of 2016; I’ve just read them and absolutely loved them. This is a meme started by The Broke and the Bookish: Top Ten Tuesday. Ten is a suggested # of books to list, I picked twelve books for my Top Ten Tuesday post because I had so much more than ten. My favorite 2016 books will be listed in no particular order. Unfortunately, I haven’t reviewed Without further ado, I present to you those twelve favorite books of 2016:

hex-hall

My Top Ten Tuesday begins with this book I purchased at a signing with the author. I devoured the series within a week.

undertow

This was a chilling book that was far too realistic. That’s why I loved it so much.

between-the-devil-and-the-deep-blue-sea

All I remember about this book is that I loved it from the first chapter through the end of the series.

the-scorpio-races

This was a sad but beautiful story of the connection between a mythical beast and a human. I wish it was a series.

saga-volume-one

I read this graphic novel series in two days. Breast feeding on the cover? LOVE.

once-upon-a-time-reds-untold-tale

A re-telling of one of my favorite Brother’s Grimm’s stories. This was twisted in the same way.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

the-modern-guide-to-witchcraft

I read a lot of non-fiction and this not only had the most beautiful cover of all the non-fiction I read, but also went into more detail than others I’ve read of the same topic.

clockwork-angel-the-infernal-devices

I loved how The Infernal Devices trilogy took place in between The Mortal Instruments series. I was fortunate enough to find out that it was written this way before I got to the third book so I could read it as the author intended.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

the-program

I read this series in a week. For some reason it took longer than the two books should but I read them and that’s all that matters.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

my-best-friends-exorcism

A terrifying read that entertained me throughout the book.

and-the-trees-crept-in

I won this book through The Novl and couldn’t sleep without my Himalayan Salt lamp on the brightest setting.

the-diabolic

A young woman was created to protect another. Their devotion to each other is beautiful.

The Crystal Healer – Crystal Magic-

The Crystal Healer: Crystal Prescriptions that Will Change Your Life Forever Book Cover The Crystal Healer: Crystal Prescriptions that Will Change Your Life Forever
Philip Permutt
New Age
Cico Books
2007, 2016
Physical paperback
144
Publisher (Cico Books)

Crystal therapy has long been used as a gentle system of holistic healing. By drawing on the unique qualities of crystals such as quartz and amethyst, you can balance the energy fields around your body, home and office to bring well-being, and gain health benefits. Crystals can help soothe emotional problems such as anxiety, mood swings, or shyness, as well as physical symptoms such as migraines and allergies. In addition, crystals can act as natural energy boosters and aid in detoxifying our systems. With crystal remedies for more than 250 common ailments and a directory of 250 crystals, as well as detailed explanations of the most effective healing methods, this book is the ultimate guide to healing with crystals. Illustrated with color photographs, and supplemented with practical exercises and case studies, The Crystal Healer is the ultimate practical reference from a highly respected healer and teacher.

Let’s start healing!

I have many, many books on crystals. Some of them are simply books on the different types of crystals and their healing properties, that only brush on different ways to use them. Others, however, like The Crystal Healer by Philip Permutt go into extensive detail on how to use those crystals to heal different ailments. Many people say that crystals emit vibrations that can affect the human body in positive ways. However, something that I admired greatly is that The Crystal Healer admits that science has not proven the assertions many people make. That being said, it’s my belief that crystals can have healing properties and so, too, does the author.

How the book is set up

The first section prepares you for crystal work. The next section guides you through using them. Then, partway through the book the different types of crystals are presented with their healing properties. The different crystals are organized by color, starting with Quartz because of how easy it is to obtain and how many different uses it has. I was thrilled at how “The Crystal Finder” was organized because it helped me identify the many crystals that I have. Other crystals books simply organize the different rocks by their most commonly known names, which makes it incredibly difficult to find the crystal I’m looking for.

There isn’t just one way to work with crystals

The Crystal Healer provides a blueprint for different ways of working with the crystals. One I was very excited to come across was working with the crystals and your Chakras. It’s something I have yet to do, because I’ve been waiting to use them with another person. The book, however, said that instead of placing the crystals on your body, it’s possible to put the crystals around your body and experience the same healing vibrations as if they were laying on your body.

All the crystal books I’ve read so far touch on the idea of making crystal elixir. While I haven’t had a strong inclination to do so, I’m considering making them for myself. I was glad to see that Philip Permutt gives you less invasive ways to make the crystal-charged water. For instance, he says that instead of placing the crystal directly into the water you intend to charge with your crystal, you can put it in a container holding the crystal inside of the water which you will be drinking.

It kept going!

I was pleased to find that The Crystal Healer didn’t end with the Crystal finder. Rather, it ended with a chapter providing more crystal remedies for the reader to try. Philip Permutt suggests crystals for various ailments of both the body and the mind, and offers different ways to work with the crystals. For instance, if you’re trying to combat the mental and emotional symptoms associated with aging, you could place rose quartz crystals into a normal bath.

Who would this book suit?

The Crystal Healer is a book that goes more in depth than simply naming the crystals and their various uses. Philip Permutt’s book on crystals gives you instructions on how to use the crystals and helps you build a connection with them. This is an excellent book for a beginner and a step-by-step guide on different ways to work with your crystals. Although this is not the first book I’ve read on crystals, and I feel rather confident that I know how to use them, I will be referring back to The Crystal Healer throughout my life.

Here’s How I’m Going to Protest Trump

When I saw the election results I was crushed…

For me and my friends and all the POC and LGBTQIA, the Muslims and the women. I don’t like feeling like I’m not in control. I think that’s true for most of us. I thought that there was nothing I can do about this situation, that the worst has come and there’s no bouncing back from this. Then I thought about it.

There is something I can doMany things I can do. I found an article on this topic so I picked a few things out that I can commit to that mean a lot to me.

  • I will volunteer with Planned Parenthood. Above pretty much all else, a woman’s right to her body, and I believe that abortion and birth control has helped give women back their lives. Before both, women were baby-makers and housewives. Birth  control gave us power. Abortion isn’t new. It’s been around for a long-ass time and our older women fought tooth-and-nail to give us that control. No man should ever have the right to take that away from me.I don’t know what I’ll be doing there. Ideally I’d be escorting women through protesters but we shall see! Trump and Pence want to do away not only with abortion but with Planned Parenthood. No. No freaking way.

 

  • I’m going to donate to food banks and when I can’t do that I’m going to work at the soup kitchen. Right now all my food goes to me or my pets but I’d love to give as much as I can. Right now, that means that I will give my time and service. Trump doesn’t care about people living in poverty. I’m going to care for them since our new president won’t.

 

  • When I’m able, I’ll support journalism by buying print magazines/newspapers. For now I will read news on the internet, particularly news on Muslim-Americans and Islam. I don’t want to read the Q’uaran, it looks super boring (terrible reason, I know) but I do want to be more knowledgable on the matter so I can defend and educate people who hate on/attack Muslims.

    As you’ve heard, Trump wants to sue journalists and create a total and complete ban of Muslims in the US. That includes refugees.

 

  • Trump doesn’t believe in climate change, so I’m going to do my part. I’m going to change how I use energy and renew, recycle, reuse and do fuller loads of laundry and dishes, and take shorter showers.I

I’ve got this shit, guys. I’m not going down without a fight. This is me protesting Trump. I will never call Donald my president and I won’t let him take America down with him.

NaNoWriMo and TBR

I’m a bit of a rebel. I haven’t been feeling very creative lately but I very much wanted to be a part of NaNoWriMo, as usual. So, I found something that works for me: blogging. I have several blogs so I’m trying to write about 1,450 words a day; some days I focus on this one and my Tarot blog, other days on just one.

Part of my reason for blogging as my NaNo project is that I have waaaayyy too many things out for review now, and I take pleasure in every review that I write. I want to keep that going, keep feeling good, in November that works for me. So, I’ll be reviewing things daily, if not all on the same blog at once. The goal is to get 15 reviews out in the month of November, on any of my blogs combined. So far I’ve posted 4 reviews with another on the way. And I’ve blogged 8 or 9 days so far, my goal was every day. One of the ways to accomplish this goal is by giving you updates.

So, I have a LOT to review, both physical books and Tarot decks, and e-books from netgalley so I’m hoping to crank one out a day. Let’s see how it goes!

The Halloween Tarot Book and Deck

The Halloween Tarot
Tarot
Karin Lee
New Age
U.S. Games Systems
1996, 2006
Paperback
137
U.S. Games Systems for review

Black cats, ghosts, and jack o'lanterns offer enchantment and light-hearted perspectives in this lively Halloween Tarot Book.

The Halloween Tarot deck comes in a tin with a companion book sold separately.

The Halloween Tarot deck comes in a tin with a companion book sold separately.

U.S. Cards Games System sent me the Halloween Tarot deck and companion book …

for review. I love absolutely love Halloween! My goal was to post The Halloween Tarot before the spooky holiday. However, the Halloween Tarot doesn’t have to be restricted to Halloween.  A few days later I started reading The Easiest Way to the Learn Tarot-Ever!! and I was stunned. In The Easiest Way to Learn Tarot Ever!!, the author suggests that, as a starter deck, you use a Rider-Waite deck and/or the Halloween Tarot created by Kipling West. I was surprised because the deck appears to be a novelty deck but Dusty White, the author of The Easiest Way to Learn the Tarot, held it as high esteem as the Rider-Waite decks. (I also received the deck and book set of Exploring Tarot Using Radiant Rider-Waite.)

 As soon as I saw the Halloween deck mentioned in that book, as a semi-equal deck to the Rider-Waite, I realized the treasure I now owned. I have two of the few decks that The Easiest Way to Learn Tarot-Ever!! suggests that a Tarot user buy and I’m honored that U.S. Games System, Inc. was kind enough to add these two to my collection. 

The Halloween Tarot was created by…

Kipling West, whose favorite holiday is Halloween (I wasn’t too surprised by that revelation). There is a book that is a companion to this Tarot deck that is sold separately, but I do have it for review in this post as well. The deck comes with the traditional little white book, but it doesn’t go as far in depth as the Halloween Tarot book does. I’ve gone over my first reactions to the Halloween Tarot deck in theory but as soon as I opened the tin the cards came in, I was caught in lust.

This deck compared to Lenormand…

The cards are only slightly larger than the Maybe Lenormand and Under the Roses Lenormand that I own. While I love the large, weighty Tarot cards that are so common in most of the decks that are produced, this meant that The Halloween Tarot deck fits comfortably and significantly less weightier in my purse. Because I’m able to tote these cards around comfortably in whatever book bag I’m using that day, I had more opportunities to use these cards. In fact, this is most likely going to be my go-to Tarot deck when I’m away from my desk.

In The Halloween Tarot companion book it goes into further depth about the possible meanings of the cards but it let’s you come up with how they relate to the specific situation.

Let’s look at the cards…

They are printed on sturdy paper that won’t be easily damaged (especially considering that the cards came in a brightly colored tin). The graphics are well printed, you can’t see the many dots that litter the page to create the drawings that are so creative and dark. And, for that matter, when I say “dark” I literally mean that these cards are dark. Each card depicts a creature–usually a humanoid–with a black background that has several stars and, always, a black cat.

The black cat:

The black cat is explained in The Halloween Tarot as a touchstone, a companion that will lead you along through the Tarot. The book also goes on to say that “Sometimes he reflects the meaning of  the card, but sometimes he’s just a casual observer.”

The cat in the Halloween Tarot deck is displayed in every single one of the cards. I noticed something about the cat. It was always looking at the main player in the deck, which drew my eyes to the most important figure that I should be paying attention to. In that respect, it was like a shortcut in my reading. If I was stuck, as it occasionally happens, I was able to follow the cats gaze to see what I should be looking at. There is one card that drew my attention: the Two of Imps, the equivalent of the Two of Wands in the traditional decks. The cat in the Two of Imps was looking at the massive figure holding the two Imps. My eyes were drawn to the two figures fighting but the cat was looking at the main dish. When I looked at the figure I felt the commanding presence and saw that it was in a position of power where it could resolve conflict.

As I mentioned in the beginning of the review, I was also sent the companion book.

This book provides a background of Halloween and the authors special connection to it. Then, the author informs the reader how the tradition of Halloween developed through time and how the Tarot came to be connected to Halloween. I found out, through the Halloween book, that the tradition of Halloween began with the Celts and warped through decades to create the modern Halloween. While the Halloween book is longer than the LWB (little white book) gives you plenty of information, that information is expressed through three or so sentences about what the card could mean.

The Halloween Tarot book goes into incredible depth and explores the art of the card, the possible meanings, and the “divinatory meanings.” I was quite pleased with the latter, in that it helped the reader come out of a bind if their intuition isn’t all that up to par in the moment.

A typical reading leads you through chapter 3 of The Halloween Tarot, presenting an example routine to follow when reading. It’s as specific as telling you to unwrap your tarot from “its silk or cotton cloth (keeping it unscathed by outside influences) and gives you the deck to shuffle so that your essence will somehow rub off on the cards” (pg 21). This is something that is not often addressed and I was pleased to find that The Halloween Tarot companion book goes into such detail. While it does suggest specific things to do while reading/how to read, it doesn’t limit you to that.

As is true with every Tarot book I’ve read (and, trust me, I’ve read a lot) the book offers a few different card spreads to get you started. The rest of the book is sorted into the Major Arcana and their meanings and then it goes through the four suites, aptly named “Imps”, “Pumpkins”, “Ghosts” and “Bats” to match the theme of the deck. The book dedicates a whole page to introducing each of the suits as you read and practice.

Then, at the end of the book, are several pages for “notes” though it was much too few for me. (I opted to take notes in my Tarot journal.) I found that the section “More books about Halloween and Tarot” was very clever, addressing both children and adults.

Who would like this deck and/or companion book?

  • Those looking for a unique deck
  • a smaller deck
  • a deck that’s easy to tote around
  • a book that delves into the history of this great craft
  • someone who is looking for a brief history of Tarot and Halloween
  • those looking to understand the Tarot in regards to this spooky holiday
You can see my review cross-posted on my spirituality blog where I review mostly divination books and decks.

Book Date Monday: ADHD, My Lovely

24488

My current ADHD read.

It’s Monday which means, of course, another week full of reading–this time all bout. Right now I’m reading a non-fiction book, something that I feel will help me immensely: You Mean I‘m Not Lazy, Stupid, or Crazy?!: The Classic Self-Help Book for Adults with ADD. While my diagnosis is officially ADD /w the “H”, that doesn’t make this book any less relevant. The extra letter adds an additional facet to ADD but that’s all. It’s just one word.

Why I’m reading ADHD books

I’ve been struggling with this diagnosis for almost ten years. However, it reached a point last week where I’m not able to focus long enough to hold a job. I’ve been meaning to write a post about reading and blogging with ADHD and I swear it’ll happen. This is actually the perfect time to make that post, while I’m in the midst of dealing with my ADHD.

I may or may not have gone a tad bit crazy and ordered four more books on adult ADHD. Just maybe. If I did do that, hypothetically, I will be reviewing ADHD self-help books in a series I’m calling “Where’s Her Brain?” or something less offensive. As I learn more about myself, and how my brain functions, I will share that with you. One of the notable things in this book is that it addresses “ADD” in the title but also ADHD in the content.

It’s a goal of mine to be able to read without my mind wandering off every ten seconds (no joke) and I’m hoping stuffing my brain with these books whose sentences I have to read over and over again will help me get control over my life and help me find a job I love that I can succeed at. That being said, in the meantime, I’m going to have to learn to love and respect myself while I get my life and my brain under my control, not my ADHD brain ruling everything.

I can do this guys, and I hope that the reading I share with you will help you understand yourself better and find ways to cope with your ADHD. Or, if you’re not an ADDer, I hope this series will shed light on this wild world that never ceases to surprise me.

Page-to-Page Tarot Art: Lowbrow Tarot

Lowbrow Tarot: An Artistic Collaborative Effort in Honor of Tarot Book Cover Lowbrow Tarot: An Artistic Collaborative Effort in Honor of Tarot
Aunia Kahn, Russell J. Moon
New Age
Schiffer
October 1st, 2012
Hardcover
143
Schiffer Publishing

A mixture of Tarot books and Tarot decks to create beauty

Never reviewed a Tarot art book before. I’ve got this snitch (er, I’ve got this Lowbrow Tarot book).

I’m not going to lie, I thought I was getting a deck.  Tarot Gothica, Tarot of the Night, and Lowbrow Tarot package surprised me when I opened it. The Lowbrow Tarot book is, well, a book, and I didn’t expect that. The whole purpose of my new blog was to review Tarot decks and Tarot books. It only took me a few moments, once I opened the book, to realize that the Lowbrow Tarot is a beautiful mixture of the two.

There are many ways to read the Lowbrow Tarot…

I read it mainly for the pictures, not so much the backstory from each author but I did find many of them memorable. On the right margin the author offers an interpretation of the card they drew and a bit about themselves. At first I was interested in the pictures more than the interpretations. I quickly found that I was able to understand the cards more if I payed attention to both the artist and their creation. Reading the author’s note on their card took away some of my freedom of interpretation.  I found, though, that there are many ways to read–and use–this book.

The creativity of the authors’ cards were astounding, even if I didn’t love them all. Most of them made me wish that these authors would create their own deck out of the card they displayed.

Female nudity is a common element in many of many Tarot decks.  Did that bother me? Not at all. A beautiful naked woman is something to be celebrated. The Lowbrow Tarot book explored female nudity when it was present.

How I interacted with the Lowbrow Tarot art book…

I found a way to interact with the cards from the book. I like to draw a card and sleep with it under my pillow. So I flipped to a random page and studied the card and kept it in mind for the following day.  Tarot for Life (my go-to Tarot book) gave me some insight and I cross-referenced that with what the artist of the card had to say on the matter. I made my own conclusion once I read the artist’s work and the Tarot book.

This was a happy surprise, though I would prefer to stick to decks and instructional Tarot books. The Lowbrow Tarot book made me realize how darn beautiful each Tarot card can be. Each card had so much thought and meaning put into it.  It’s my job to read a card both by looking at it, knowing some of what it stands for, and using my intuition. I love it when a card speaks to me without me struggling to understand it. While not all of these cards did that, many, many did and that’s what makes me confident to say that this book was beautiful.

Thank you Schiffer for giving me this amazing book and two other interesting decks. I hope to continue to review for you in the future. I’m so happy you let me review for you.