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ClodiaMetelli

Clodia's Book Blog

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Beautiful Losers (Modern Erotic Classics)
Remittance Girl
Gravity's Revenge - A.E. Marling I really enjoyed this further thrilling adventure of the wonderful Enchantress Hiresha!

Porphyry's Letter to His Wife Marcella: Concerning the Life of Philosophy and the Ascent to the Gods

Porphyry's Letter to His Wife Marcella: Concerning the Life of Philosophy and the Ascent to the Gods - Porphyry, Alice Zimmern I'm glad I'm not married to Porphyry.

Seeking the Mystery: An Introduction to Pagan Theologies

Seeking the Mystery: An Introduction to Pagan Theologies - Christine Hoff Kraemer A a clear and stimulating introduction, offering lots of avenues for further exploration with some useful links to further reading including blogposts as well as books and articles.

I did find the main body of the book frustratingly brief, which was perhaps inevitable when such large topics were being introduced. I was surprised however to find that the final 30% or so was made up of notes, glossary etc, some of which seem to mostly reiterate the other. Perhaps other readers will find the glossary of more use and thus more of an integral part of the book.

Firewall

Firewall - Henning Mankell,  Wolfgang Butt Hmm, I think I'll stick to enjoying the TV version with its lovely, atmospheric camerawork and subtle characterisation.
The writing was full of staccato sentences, often telling rather than showing without any kind of subtlety. By the end, I was left baffled by the preposterous storyline. We are left without an adequate explanation, I felt, for some of the most important features of the earlier plot.

Yet another interesting example of how an indifferent book can be transformed into great television drama.
Inherent Gifts - Alicia Cameron My review can be found here http://clodiametelli.wordpress.com/2013/05/30/review-inherent-gifts/.
The Slap - Christos Tsiolkas An engrossing, uncomfortable book in which none of the vividly portrayed characters comes out smelling of roses.
Hekate Liminal Rites: A Study of the rituals, magic and symbols of the torch-bearing Triple Goddess of the Crossroads - Sorita D'este, David Rankine This book is full of fascinating details, quotations from grimoires and the Greek Magical Papyri and a wealth of scholarly allusions. The authors have clearly done a great deal of research for this book.

Unfortunately, these facts are often simply grouped in an oddly thematic and trans-chronological fashion, with seemingly little attempt to analyse or explore the development of Hekate as a Goddess or the hugely differing ways in which she is regarded and worshipped between the time of Hesiod to the last pagan philosophers and magicians.

We jump from vague and general hints of Hekate's role in Orphic and Neo-Platonic philosophy with suggestions that her worship was connected with vegetarianism to discussions of Circe and Medea and her associations with darker magic, (including the use of the eyes of live bats!) without any consideration of why her image mutated so wildly according to context. Why is the goddess so notably praised and revered by Hesiod, evoked in such disparaging and disgust filled terms by later Roman writers such as Horace?

There is virtually no attempt to set any of these writers or artworks within their historical context or to consider possible bias or poetic license. All sources are simply reported upon.

I suspect that the wide use of impressive sounding sources led me into expecting a more academic-oriented book than this turned out to be.

The Tuxedo Cat of Montevideo (Valeran Park, #2)

The Tuxedo Cat of Montevideo (Valeran Park, #2) - Miri Thompson Rob Suarez is asexual and submissive and longs for a dom who will own and cherish him on his own terms; specifically he is not willing to share a dom's affections with another submissive. As asexual doms appear to be thin on the ground, Rob has spent a long time single, making life more interesting for everyone at D/s club Valeran Park with his ingenious and harmless pranks, earning himself attention in the form of punishment in the process.

Attending a family funeral of another club member (Mike of 'Without Restrictions') would seem an unpromising occasion on which to find what he seeks, yet could apparently vanilla couple Angie and David somehow turn outto be just what Rob has been looking for?

A delightful and unusual romance.

The Zen Experience

The Zen Experience - Thomas Hoover I never realised that achieving enlightenment was so similar to the curing of hiccups.

This centuries long history of a religious and philosophical movement read like a series of men shouting and hitting each other with sticks and showing off with obscure responses to obscure questions. I suspect that either I've missed something or the author has.
The Stranger's Child - Alan Hollinghurst n 1912 youthful poet Cecil Valance spends a weekend at the family home of his close friend George Sawle. It is a weekend that is destined to become a minor footnote of literary history when a poem is dedicated to Daphne the teenage daughter of the house, a poem that takes on a life of its own following the 1st world war and its author’s death in France.

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Tantra: The Path of Ecstasy - Georg Feuerstein An approachable and stimulating introduction to a fascinating, complex and mysterious subject.

Although informative, this is very much not a how-to book, peppered as it is with warnings of the 'do not try this at home' variety.

The book makes it clear that it is only skimming the surface of what can be understood about traditional Tantra, an ancient mystical technology which, due to its sexual elements, has been largely interpreted in the West as being merely focused on achieving sexual ecstasy while being outside the pale of respectability in normative Hinduism so that modern practitioners in India tend to be underground and little known.
Galway Bound - Heidi Belleau,  Violetta Vane A bonus erotic catch-up with Sean and Cormac whose relationship developed in the frenetic urban fantasy [b:The Druid Stone|13751785|The Druid Stone|Heidi Belleau|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1337208175s/13751785.jpg|19385292]. The premise is delightfully simple and to the point - the now established couple take a weekend away in Galway to explore the emerging BDSM dynamic in their sexual life a little further. The action is intense, loving and kinky - my only complaint was that it ended all too soon!

Grits

Grits - Niall Griffiths Lyrical, intense and beautifully written, this book draws you chapter by chapter into the inner world of each one of the characters, a group of drifters, junkies and seemingly lost souls who have ended up at the end of the line in Aberystwyth.

One of the things I most admired about the book is how skilfully a variety of British and Irish dialects (from Dublin, to Liverpool, to Merthyr, to Lancashire by way of Essex) are all brought to life on the page, so that, especially if you have ever heard those accents in real life, you will seem to hear that character's voice speaking to you as you follow their thoughts and perceptions.

Yes, there are similarities to Trainspotting in theme and form but this novel is actually deeper, more poetic and more ambitious in its scope.
Out of the Tombs, Exceedingly Fierce - Heidi Belleau, Violetta Vane An enjoyable short story, rather lighter and less polished than others I've read by these authors maybe. Obviously a snippet from a larger universe that raised interesting questions about the supernatural and then distracted us with sex from pondering the answers!
Without Restrictions (Valeran Park, #1) - Miri Thompson Valeran Park is a club for dominants and submissives who engage in power exchanges ranging from extended play sessions to ceding almost all autonomy to a master for an indeterminate period.

Michael, a sensible, forty year old accountant, has signed one of the heaviest contracts available and is deeply committed to the D/s lifestyle and his own role as slave. When he learns, then, that his master has sold him to Drew, a rich and seemingly spoilt and indolent young man with a reputation for wild partying, he does not back out, despite his dismay, but accepts the decision. After all, surely Drew will grow bored of him soon enough and sell him on to someone more suitable?

Drew, however, seems determined to turn over a new leaf and prove to the sceptical Michael that he is worthy to be his master. He gets his chance sooner than he anticipates, when unexpected events plunge Drew into the midst of Michael's extended family at a time of crisis.

It is in this busy family setting, rather than the rarefied atmosphere of Valeran Park itself, that Michael and Drew, two strong and stubborn characters, must find an equilibrium in a relationship where Drew, theoretically, holds almost all the power. This is one of the great appeals of the book. Drew and Michael are much more than their D/s roles but multi-faceted individuals who have other needs, roles and obligations in the wider world.

Neither of the characters is perfect, though both are likeable and there were times when I found it hard to readily empathise with their determination to remain within the perimeters of their set roles even when Drew was insecure or Michael was angry and frustrated, and hadn't even chosen Drew in the first place.

In the end, however, the book did a great job of showing how, with patience and communication on both sides as well as mutual attraction and liking, a D/s relationship can be made to work for some people.

There were some loose and indeed mysterious ends at the finish of "Without Restrictions", which leaves me looking forward hopefully to a sequel!

Evening Rounds (Outsider, #2; Love is Always Write) - Steelwhisper This was a brutal, vivid glimpse into another world, that of the fabled British boarding school. Although the setting is contemporary, the scene and the values and attitudes that led to it could equally have emanated from Tom Brown's Schooldays. I can well believe however that little has changed, based on conversations I've had from those who had such a - privileged schooling.

The writing is polished and confident and as to the length, it seems to me that a short story may reasonably be short.