I read and I like with June Symmons
Take it away June...
I admit to being somewhat flattered when Raven suggested I write a few lines about my reading choices. I am retired, in my late sixties and certainly no author, but on reflection I realised that my love affair with the written word has covered my whole life. As an only child born in the latter part of World War II, books were my family and my toys. I remember a pull-out cardboard book, it would be stood around me as I sat on the floor and I would be transported into the story. Eeyore – from Winnie the Pooh - was a constant friend and Enid Blyton whooshed me to many worlds on the Flying Chair. Later, my children eagerly learnt to enjoy and respect the ever widening shelves of Mothers books! Few paperbacks and no Kindles in those days!
I still like to be taken away from the here and now! I don’t read a lot of fiction but Oscar Wilde’s Picture of Dorian Gray and The Canterville Ghost, The Happy Prince and House of Pomegranates Tales are easy to indulge in. Henry James The Turn of the Screw is on the sinister side with implications – what really did happen! Leaning towards horror, James Herbert is a favourite, try The Secret of Crickley Hall or The Magic Cottage or any of the David Ash series. The short tale The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irvine stands up to repeated reads, reality with a twist! I recently came across The Thirteenth Unicorn by W D Newman. Two children visiting Grandma in 20th century USA find she has access to another world, with Merlin, dragons and goblins. The sequel The Black Dragon is downloaded and ready to read! Tolkein is a must to add to my list.
Away from Fantasy - if you would like to become part of a criminal family for a while, dip into Martina Cole. Her books are believable and sympathetically and knowledgably written and you get drawn into the family saga. If you like Dan Brown (De Vinci Code) try James Redfield’s series of The Celestine Prophecy and follow the clues.
I do read a lot of non fiction. As a Reiki and Shamanic practitioner (which reflects my love of being transported) much of my reading covers these subjects including Wiccan material. For anyone interested in herbs and flowers and their usage and meanings look up Scott Cunningham’s Encyclopaedia of Magical Herbs, or for more detail try The Complete New Herbal by Peter Mabey, purely for reference I hasten to add. If you want an introduction to Shamanism then I recommend Michael Harner ‘s The Way of the Shaman and Kenneth Meadows, Earth Medicine. Living in a magical part of Scotland that has strong Celtic origins. - no not the football club! - I am intrigued by the history. John and Caitlin Matthews have a whole series of books covering Scotland and Ireland, their Celtic origins, stories and traditions. I have just read The Dreamers Book of the Dead by Robert Moss, a Shamans look at our world of dreams and the after world. An eye-opening read with plenty of food for thought. Some poetry strikes a cord too Roger McGough and Leonard Cohen and of course Oscar Wilde and the Ballad of Reading Gaol.
What do I prefer not to read - well I’m happy to dip my nose into any book and give it a try but I find sci-fi usually a bit too technical. Maybe it’s my age but I tend to get totally confused by the plots in spy books, they always seem to be so complicated. I’m not too keen on autobiographies, I find I don’t quite believe many of them and want to know what’s been left out, although I am currently enjoying reading David Niven’s autobiography to an elderly lady, maybe our ages have something to do with that!
As they say in many books ….. and finally ….. I thank you for allowing me to briefly share my life with words. I hope I have given you at least some new pages to turn over.
Many thanks June