Web of Life – Yvonne Ryves
This is a fascinating little book that offers a way of exploring a Pagan path that is both grounded in tradition, and innovative. The Web Yvonne Ryves describes is a flexible tool that any reader could adapt to suit their own needs and practice. You could use it as a focus for meditation, as a form of divination, as a focus for other work, the basis for an art piece… it can become whatever you need it to be.
The book is ideal for someone fairly new to their path who has already figured out that they need to be Pagan on their own terms, but could still do with something to help guide them on their journey.
More about the book here – http://www.moon-books.net/books/shaman-pathways-web-life
Worlds Apart, by Jenni Shell.
I can honestly say I’ve never read anything else quite like this. It’s a mix of autobiography (Jenni Shell) and something more like biography (her mother). Jenni’s mother had serious mental health problems that dominated the author’s childhood and shaped many of her life choices. The need to understand, and the longing to help are central to the book. What comes of the quest is a complex spiritual journey that took Jenni towards teaching spiritual things. I found it a fascinating read – knowing nothing about the author. The books throws you in at the deep end repeatedly with life changes and sudden introductions of people, it’s not the smoothest book ever, but that didn’t put me off, just bemused me now and then.
There are two threads I really want to comment on – one is what Jenni has to share about mental health, and the nature of reality, and what happens to those of us who may deviate from consensus reality. Without any spoilers, what happened to her mother really challenges the idea of how and why we label people, and I think that’s very important. When we deny someone their truth and their reality, we may make them more ill than they would otherwise have been.
The other thread is one of ancestry, and how issues, events, stories and skeletons can have an impact for generations to come. Our relationship with our ancestors fascinates me, and what Jenni has written is a clear case study of how we can end up living out the consequences of other people’s lives and stories.
I don’t think this is a book for everyone, but if autobiography, family drama and spiritual questing speak to you subjects, then I recommend checking this out.
More about the book here – http://www.orderofthewhitelion.com/worlds-apart.php
Cafe Suada, Jade Sarson
I picked up the first issue of graphic novel Cafe Suada at Asylum in Lincoln as author/artist Jade Sarson was there with a table and it looked like the kind of thing the entire household would go for. It is, so we followed through by reading everything on the webcomic site. This is a charming, funny, silly, warmhearted, human, tea laden bit of loveliness. It is the book equivalent of sitting down with your favourite brew and putting your feet up. Although of course you can get the book and put your feet up with tea, and that would be about perfect.
On the technical side, (excuse me while I geek out about technical comic things) this comic has some inspired layouts, and the visual use of text is brilliant. I’m also a huge fan of the incredibly nuanced facial expressions, which come alongside gloriously overblown and deliberately ridiculous facial expressions. There’s also a lot of whimsy – much of it involving a duck, a koala bear and the little chicken things you can see on the cover. There’s romance, and tea war, preposterous families, improbable business strategies… I could gush pretty much indefinitely. But you don’t have to take my word for it – read the webcomic!
Graphic novels here – http://teahermitcomics.bigcartel.com/product/cafe-suada-teaset-cups-1-5
Webcomic here – https://tapastic.com/series/Cafe-Suada