Category: Book Reviews

Homemade Magick – Book Review

I have not had the privilege of reading any of Mr. DuQuette’s other works, however I picked up Homemade Magick: The Musings and Mischief of a Do-It-Yourself Magus while doing some research for a novel I’m working on, and I was not disappointed. (This post contains an affiliate link)

Through witty anecdotes and references to much larger bodies of work by renowned experts in the field of mysticism and magick, Lon Milo DuQuette relates his own journey with magick, mysticism and spirituality, much of which is relate-able to a vast array of readers. From the beginning of the book, Mr. Duquette relates such things as initiation rites, how to work with the Tarot (there are far more uses for these cards than just delving into the psyche, apparently!), and how to approach learning to practice your own magick craft.

The author also relates how magick can and should be approached when there are little ones about (If you feel there is nothing to hide, then why hide it from your children? His own son was raised as part and parcel of as much of the goings-on as any member of the DuQuettes’ social circle) and how magick has intertwined with his 47 year marriage to another magician.

Included as well, are a variety of elemental prayers and a full script for one of the rites that the DuQuette’s regularly host every year. (Shakespeare with a kick)

My one complaint in this (and it is a very minor complaint), is that Mr. DuQuette refers to those who practice paganism and Magick as “magicians”, which carries an entirely different meaning for me; this seems to confuse spiritual practice with the art of illusion practiced for the entertainment of others. While Mr. DuQuette and his wife do put on rites that are both spiritual and entertaining at the same time, I harbor the belief that calling himself (and other practitioners of the old ways) a magician diminishes the spiritual side of what he is actually offering discourse on. On one hand, this seems to be a petty complaint, however, in the interest of full disclosure as a book reviewer, I feel it’s only honest to point this out. 

This is not a book on performing illusory magic. It is a rather compact yet thorough manual on finding the spiritual magick in the everyday world. 

You can purchase the book on Amazon in Kindle or paperback format here.

Inside the Miracle – Book Review

I mentioned this book a week or so ago in another of my blog threads, but having finished the book, I’d like to give it some more thorough attention. (This post contains an affiliate link)

Mark Nepo wrote Inside the Miracle: Enduring Suffering, Approaching Wholeness as a reflective work, looking back over his journey through two rounds of cancer, divorce, the deaths of close family and friends and finding his way back to a different surface of life to fully embrace vulnerability, living, loving and the suffering that is part and parcel of a life fully lived and experienced. 

It is a collection of essays, poems and short, reflective stories about his life and the emotions and revelations he encountered during this journey and includes reflective writing exercises for the reader to dive deeper if they so choose.

In order to fully experience Life, we must be open to all it offers. It’s easy to harden oneself to the harder emotions; broken hearts, loving another through separation or illness, and loss are all far more difficult to handle than joy, pleasure and new love. Yet Nepo posits that Life will break one open through suffering, and those that embrace the less pleasant alongside the joys are the ones that truly live. 

This book was deeply touching, and some parts were more relevant than others. Some passages brought to mind difficult days that are long in the past for me, and others seemed to touch me right where I am in this moment. I would recommend it to anyone on a spiritual path of discovering themselves more deeply, whether you use the journal prompts or not (though, for a deeper experience, I recommend using the prompts).

Inside the Miracle is available in a variety of formats, including hardback and Kindle. You can check it out here:

The Art of the Pendulum – Book Review

*Contains Affiliate Links*

When it comes to things mystical and magical, Cassandra Eason’s body of work is a great place for beginners to start.

In this particular volume, Ms. Eason explains what a pendulum is, how to choose or make one, and how they can be used (from decision making to finding oil and your way home). Her writing is simple, straightforward and uncomplicated.

I’ve done a little pendulum work in some of Elle North‘s intuition courses, but wanted some more in-depth information to fiddle with on my own. I found this book to be an amazing resource.

You can check out your local library’s stacks for this book, or find it here on Amazon.

Goddesses for Every Day – Book Review

I’ve been diving deep into my heart space recently, and digging back into the Sacred Feminine as I embark on another writing journey. {Note: this post contains an affiliate link.}

While scratching around in my personal collection of books, I came across a book I purchased several years ago, titled Goddesses for Every Day – Exploring the Wisdom and Power of the Divine Feminine Around the World by Julie Loar.

Like a perpetual calendar, Goddesses is a book that you can pick up any time of the year, and reread it each year. One page per day, the entries take only moments to read and are arranged by theme around the traditional Western Zodiac. These are truly international goddesses and representations of the sacred feminine, with deities from every culture and hemisphere imaginable covered.

Dive deep and explore the inter-connectedness of all that is sacred and divine in the feminine with this book from Julie Loar. Available in paperback or Kindle format from Amazon here.

Needful Things – Book Review

About the book:

Leland Gaunt is a stranger in Castle Rock–and he calls his new shop Needful Things, where there is something for everyone. Mr. Gaunt takes pleasure in seeing how much people will pay for their most secret dreams and desires, and he knows that almost everything is for sale: love, hope, even the human soul. (From Amazon.com product listing.)

Brian’s Review:

Needful Things is another masterful work from Stephen King. It will have you scratching your head and on the edge of your seat as you read.  It may not keep you up at night with nightmares, but it sure will hook you as a Stephen King reader.

Buy the book:

Thrice Read Books has a used hardback edition available here.

You can also purchase this in Kindle, hardcover, paperback and audible editions from Amazon here. [affiliate link]

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone – Book Review

About the Book: 

What did Harry Potter know about magic? He was stuck living with the decidedly un-magical Dursleys, who hated him. He slept in a closet and ate their leftovers. But an owl messenger changes all that, with an invitation to attend the Hogwarts School for Wizards and Witches, where it turns out Harry is already famous… (From Amazon.com product listing.)

Brian’s Review: 

The Sorcerer’s Stone, is a brilliant start to a brilliant story. Rowling’s first book is geared towards the age of maybe 10 or 11, which happens be to the very age of Harry Potter himself at the start of this.  Her later books in this series though grow up with the characters.  Masterfully written, and have lead to the love of reading for countless children world wide. If you have a child, around the age, this is a great book.  I do give a fair warning though.  If you attempt to read this book before your child, you too will be hooked. So if you aren’t looking to start a series you won’t put down until the end of book 7 do not attempt to enjoy this book with your child.  You will fall in love with the characters. If you have seen the movies, I suggest you read the books, you won’t be disappointed.

Sam’s Review:

Hey, and I am back just as I promised, and today  we are doing the first Harry Potter book, J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. For those of you who haven’t seen the other two Harry Potter reviews, it’s best that you start here, since I’ve been doing them backwards, I guess. If you have seen one or both of the other Harry Potter reviews, and are a little confused, that’s okay. Now, let’s get on with the review. Harry is the boy who survived Lord Voldemort’s killing spree, removing so much of the dark lord’s magic that Voldemort was forced into hiding. Harry, his parents dead, was given to his aunt and uncle, who were determined to take away Harry’s magic, if only they could. Now eleven years old, he gets the invitation for Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, and learns that he is the boy who lived. While at his new school, he makes two new friends, Ron Weasley, and Hermione Granger. Together, they learn that Voldemort is somewhere in the castle, and that if he isn’t stopped in time, Hogwarts might be no more. No pressure on them or anything, right? Wrong. Since they are the only ones that know about it, they take it upon themselves to stop the dark lord. Can they do it? Read the book to find out. I hope that you have a great weekend, and please don’t forget to check out the store link, subscribe, like, and enable notifications. See you next Friday. Bye!

Buy the book:

Thrice Read Books has a paperback edition of this book for sale here.

You can also purchase this book from Amazon in illustrated form in Kindle, paperback, hardcover, audiobook or mass market paperback here. [affiliate link]

Black Beauty – Book Review

About the book:

Black Beauty teaches everyone he meets the true meaning of courage and loyalty. From escaping a burning barn to saving the life of his owner, every day is full of adventure. But he longs for a family to love him for the gentle horse he is. Will he ever find the perfect home?

Hear Black Beauty read by Jonathan Keeble, who appeared in Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow.

With the included audio you can HEAR the entire book, word for word, READ ALONG with the audio, or READ the story on your own. 

Each HEAR IT READ IT classic presents the world’s greatest stories in an easy-to-read abridged format. The included audio contains a dramatic reading-with music and sound effects-that match the text, word for word, so children of all ages and reading levels can read along. 

Perfect for high-level young readers experiencing the classics for the first time and also ideally accessible for “reluctant readers,” HEAR IT READ IT classics give young readers the best possible introduction to the world’s timeless tales. It’s a terrific way for adults to re-experience the thrills of a classic tale, too!

Jenn’s Review:

Anna Sewell’s classic tale of the life of a Victorian era horse highlights social issues that were prevalent at the time, as well as issues of animal welfare that still go on today. Suitable as guided reading for children as young as 6, there are some scenes alluding to class differences and animal abuse.

Buy the Book:

Thrice Read Books has a copy of this book for sale here.

You can also purchase this book from Amazon in hardcover edition here. [affiliate link]

Return to Gone Away – Book Review

About the Book:

Return to Gone-Away is a children’s book written by Elizabeth Enright, which is the sequel to the book Gone-Away Lake and discusses how the Blake family buys a house in Gone-Away. The book was first published in 1961.Plot introductionWhen Portia learns of her parents buying Villa Caprice, a tumbledown Victorian house close to Gone-Away Lake, she is excited. She, her brother Foster and her cousin Julian enjoy learning about the “new” old house, with the help of elderly neighbors Mr. Payton and Mrs. Cheever.

Sam’s Review:

Portia and Julian are back in Return to Gone-Away Lake when the Villa Caprice is bought for a full time home to live in. Join Uncle Pin and Aunt Minnehaha as they find old treasures and the old watering hole when they need to swim during the hottest of summers. This book is by Elizabeth Enright and published by Odyssey Classics Harcourt, Inc.

Portia is overjoyed to hear that her parents have bought the Villa Caprice, but it’s just so much work to fix! I mean, think about it. It needs new plumbing, new shutters, even heating elements. Family and friends fix up the old house to make it the best house ever, if it means getting scared by Baron Bloodshed, the “watchdog” Mrs. Brace-Gideon sets out to guard her home.

Follow along as they find rare items, spend the night in an old house, and make new friends. Foster and Davey find a dumb-waiter and get stuck in it! And better yet, they uncover the secret that Villa Caprice has held for years…

When Julian and a friend go to spend the night in an old house during a storm, they are stuck in the highest room in the house, and when a goat comes and knocks the stairs down, then they are really stuck. But before that, summer was never hotter. 100॰ in the morning, and getting hotter throughout the day! Pindar remembers that there was a watering hole where the children of Gone-Away Lake used to swim. But he doubts it’s even still there. So, he takes them up there, in the old fashioned bathing suits, of course, and finds it still around, crystal clear and ready for enjoyment. And with that, the characters have a blast in the water, cooling off.

Mrs. Brace-Gideon was said to have owned a safe where she kept her best and greatest treasures. Everyone has big hopes of finding it and opening the safe to find its greatest treasure. And when Portia finds it, everyone cannot wait to find what secrets it has held since Mrs. Brace-Gideon left. And when it is opened, the contents were…

Want to find out how our story ends? Read the book! This book is for ages 8 and up. Illustrated by Beth and Joe Krush. I’d give it four stars for excitement and enjoyment. 5 stars for the best descriptions. Illustrated.

Buy the book:

You can buy this book at Amazon in either Kindle, paperback, hardcover, audio CD or audible formats here. [affiliate link]

Beast – Book Review

About the book:

I thought I was no good.

I thought I was a monster.

But in the end, her love was what I needed to redeem me, to save my blackened soul.

I let her slip through my fingers but, I still need her. 

Will my ugly, twisted love be enough to win her back?

Hurt and dejected, Jasmine wants answers when she crosses paths with Liam nearly two years after their unforgettable one-night stand. But Liam’s walls are up and his heart is closed. That is, until another man enters the picture and threatens to steal Jasmine away forever. 

Now, Liam must decide – will he stand by and watch Jasmine fall for someone else or will he fight for the love he doesn’t even think he deserves?

Jenn’s Review:

Beast is a creative, modern retelling of the classic fairy tale, right down to the heroine of the story running away (or trying to). Jasmine is extremely attracted to her former one-night-stand turned managing partner of the law firm she works for, but Liam pushes her away, convinced that he doesn’t deserve her, is unworthy of her, is too ugly to have someone so beautiful in his life. To further complicate the situation, enter “Chess,” wealthy, handsome presidential candidate who wants Jasmine to be his, wants her to be his First Lady; yet something seems off about Chess, both to Jasmine and to Liam.

Well developed characters and a driving plot kept me turning pages to get through this book; had me cheering for both Jasmine and Liam, as well as giving me a few moments of wanting to shake them both to make them stop being dorks. Definitely worthwhile reading for lovers of romance.

Buy the Book:

You can buy this title from Amazon in Kindle format here. [affiliate link]

Catching Fire – Book Review

Brian & Sam review Suzanne Collins' Catching Fire (Hunger Games Book 2) on the Thrice Read Books blog

About the book:

Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has won the annual Hunger Games with fellow district tribute Peeta Mellark. But it was a victory won by defiance of the Capitol and their harsh rules. Katniss and Peeta should be happy. After all, they have just won for themselves and their families a life of safety and plenty. But there are rumors of rebellion among the subjects, and Katniss and Peeta, to their horror, are the faces of that rebellion. The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge. (From Amazon.com product listing)

Brian’s Review:

Book 2 to the Hunger Games trilogy, and this book is no disappointment.  Collins continues to build on her great characters and entraps your mind with them.  Again I can say if you love the movies you’ll love the books.  This is a series you will not want to put down.  I don’t recommend trying to read these books one at a time, as while you wait for the next you’ll be chewing your nails.  Just better to get them all and enjoy them as one.

Thrice Read Books reviews of Suzanne Collins' Catching Fire (Hunger Games book 2), reviewed by Brian and Sam

Sam’s Review:

The second installment in the Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins doesn’t disappoint this reader, being equally good as the first. The title is Catching Fire.

Katniss and Peeta have been chosen for the Games yet again, and they have possibly started an uprising. President Snow is after Katniss, which makes this a whole lot more fun. Not! I feel really bad for Katniss.

This book was extremely fun, just like the last one, but i was slightly confused in the beginning because it just launched right into the story. Don’t worry though, everything was explained over time, which is good.

Buy the book:

Thrice Read Books has one paperback edition of this book for sale here.

You can also buy this book from Amazon in Kindle, hardback, paperback, audio CD and Audible here. [affiliate link]