Parchment Poll October 2016

Here is my last Parchment Poll for 2016…
The Golden Bough by Sir James George Frazer
This is hard going but fascinating! (Yes, I’m still reading it!) I’m learning the differences between sympathetic and homeopathic magic and how they’ve influenced modern day superstitions. I think this is a “must read” for any fantasy / speculative writer because it shows you the variety and similarities of many magical practices. The reason I’ve struggled to read it is that it is definitely “research” rather than a story. My concentration is low still, but if there is a good plot and fascinating characters, I read the book very quickly!
I needed a break from such intense research and decided to read Catweazle by Richard Carpenter (a children’s book based on the TV series that my soulmate grew up with). It’s really funny! But, ironically, it’s all about sympathetic magic – lots of things I’d been reading about in TGB, are in Catweazle! It made me laugh!
I’ve also read Patchwork An Anthology of Poetry from The Christie Autumn 1994. Unfortunately it’s no longer available in print. A friend gave me a copy as it is written by and about people who have experienced cancer. I found this slim volume very encouraging and uplifting, even though many of the poems talk about death or the person’s imminent demise. The one that really struck a chord was Tamar Hodes’ “For My Father-in-Law” which was so positive, amidst the sorrow.
I read Selected Cautionary Verses by Hilaire Belloc in about 30 minutes, whilst waiting in the doctor’s surgery for a blood test. I have to say it was an hilarious read – had to stop myself laughing out loud because English people don’t do that in public places in front of strangers! These verses are timeless, cruel sometimes, but excellent entertainment.
Have you read any of these books? What did you think of them?
© Freya Pickard 2016
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4 Comments on “Parchment Poll October 2016”


  1. that looks like a great list!

  2. BroadBlogs Says:

    I started reading the book myself a while ago because I’m interested in mythology but I felt like I was missing some sort of context, like what’s the point of the book? I picked it up because a person who teaches mythology kept bringing it up so much. When you finish I’d be curious to hear your thoughts.


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