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calezane@xs4all.nl (Netherlands)

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Famille Nombreuses
Famille Nombreuses
Price: £15.96

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Crazy Mediterranean French folkrock, 15 Jan. 2001
This review is from: Famille Nombreuses (Audio CD)
Musically speaking, a high harmonica content with a dash of flamenco. Lyrics-wise, it takes more French than I learned at school to follow everything they say, but they waver between totally nuts ("help, where did my brain go") and sharply political (the title song is about poor parents who flood the schools with neglected children). The last song on the album is so full of slang that I literally can't understand a word of what they're saying. In keeping with the spirit of flamenco (which is as much about belting out complaints against the harshness of life as it is about dancing) the singing is more declamatory than tuneful. My favourite: "Bodega", so full of life that it seems to bring out the sun, although typically it's about the social class which has to fight the cockroaches for living space.


Crann Ull
Crann Ull
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: £13.24

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The old Clannad you didn't know about :), 4 Dec. 2000
This review is from: Crann Ull (Audio CD)
The later Clannad albums, notably Banba, are very "Enya" - much synthesizer and ghostly-sounding female vocals. This album is so old I bought it on tape, and is more folksy, acoustic and even cheeky than any Clannad song that's hit the charts. (There's a similar album, the name of which eludes me, where one of the boys sings a kind of Irish rock'n'roll song. Unthinkable!)
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 6, 2013 3:01 PM BST


Hocus Pocus: Titania's Book of Spells
Hocus Pocus: Titania's Book of Spells
by Titania Hardie
Edition: Paperback

6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Would make a good "witchcraft special" for some women's maga, 13 April 2000
Form: thin, but wide book, a good format for the many page-size photographs; plushy hardcover (don't drop drinks on this!); small widely spaced print, a new paragraph marked by a black cat head rather than a new indented line, which may irritate readers.
Target audience: readers of "Cosmopolitan" and "Good Home"; novice witches who want harmless spells for practice?
Content: Simple spells requiring everyday ingredients, aimed at practical results. No history of witchcraft or other background info, but also no explanation of the mechanics of spellcasting (as given in "Spinning spells, weaving wonders" by Patricia Telesco), possibly because the author doesn't consciously apply them; the reader is told to assemble the ingredients and get in the right mood, and goes it blind from there.
Personal impression: The author describes magic as "your own secret weapon, like a wonderbra or a fabulous designer fragrance"; that sums up the book. Most of the spells provided imply that all witches are women and all women want to look attractive, catch and keep a man, have babies (sex magically predetermined), tend the Home (smoothing out other people's quibbles) and, optionally, have an office career. Many are disgustingly manipulative, reinforcing the stereotype of women/witches as pretty creatures full of wiles; this while the book so harps on purity of motive that I was relieved to read that the wish for a more beautiful garden is "unselfish". If this book was written for women, where are the contraceptive and anti-harassment spells? I'll rate it 3 stars for its qualities as a manual, but I was put off completely by the implicit sexism. Considering its strong resemblance to Nicola de Pulford's "Book of spells", my (possibly erroneous) conclusion was: read one of these modern-witch spellbooks, you've read 'em all.


HTML: Definitive Guide
HTML: Definitive Guide
by Chuck Musciano
Edition: Paperback

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just what the title says, 10 April 2000
This review is from: HTML: Definitive Guide (Paperback)
Form: large paperback; chapters divided into many headings and subheadings, with references to other (sub)headings in a deliberate attempt to imitate the HTML format; screen captures in B/W. Target audience: anyone wanting to know anything about HTML. Invaluable for beginners, a useful reference guide for the advanced HTML programmer. Content: all known HTML tags, including obsolete ones. Frames, imbedding multimedia files, CSS, the difference between the two major browsers Netscape and Internet Explorer, the basics of Javascript and cgi scripts, a brief chapter on dynamic HTML. The author, following the HTML 4.0 standard, is obliged to constantly inform the reader that the older "hard" tags used by the earliest browsers are to be replaced by CSS, meaning anything under a fast 486 will become useless for netsurfing; but that's just the messager bringing the bad news, and the book lists all tags whether allowed under the new standard or not, as the main purpose is to inform. Personal reaction: I was sent this book by mistake, but was so pleased with it that I bought it. It reads pleasantly, as the author breaks up the information in digestible pieces (and also frequently repeat blocks of information, again to imitate the HTML format) and has a sense of humour. It doesn't go very deeply into cgi scripts and other specialized stuff, but is more than enough for anyone wanting to set up a simple webpage, and a very good and thorough starting point for anyone who wants more.


Spinning Spells, Weaving Wonders: Modern Magic for Everyday Life
Spinning Spells, Weaving Wonders: Modern Magic for Everyday Life
by Patricia Telesco
Edition: Paperback

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lifting the lid off spellcasting, 29 Mar. 2000
This book is sufficiently covered by the reviews already submitted, so I feel I'm adding redundant information. But: this was the book I was looking for. It's a plain no-pictures paperback and a short but fairly comprehensive DIY folk magic book with an almost endless list of suggested spells by way of examples. Its great virtue is that it exposes the bare bones of spellcasting, so that beginning witches no longer have to force themselves through embarassing rituals that don't work for them and people who just want to know how folk magic works get their info without having a lot of unnecessary doctrine stuffed down their throats as well. The "affirmation" part of spellcasting sounds like the methods of of Shakti Gawain and other positive-affirmation gurus who use absolutely none of the traditional witchcraft props, possibly making this the ideal book to dispel superstitions about witchcraft.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 2, 2015 7:14 AM BST


The Book of Spells, the Book of Spells
The Book of Spells, the Book of Spells
by Nicola de Pulford
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A children's cookbook with adult recipes, 29 Mar. 2000
Form: leathery hardcover with silver ribbons to tie it shut for a "personal diary" look; photographs, and many, sometimes pointless illustrations; some "emergency" spells (which are easily found on the Internet) on "sealed" pages that have to be slit apart to read them. Content: spells sorted in categories like health, love, pagan celebration rituals. Target group: people who see "being a witch" as a fun lifestyle or an alternative to Judeo-Christian religion; teen witches? The spells offered are as distressingly stereotypically feminine as those in "Hocus Pocus" by Titania Hardie. Even the ingredients of each spell are illustrated, as if the reader were illiterate, and sealing pages in a printed work of knowledge strikes me as extremely patronizing. Personal reaction: of four books I ordered to get an impression of what folk magic means, this was the most useless. The "health" spells (make that "good looks" spells) use herbs that are curative enough without magic. The real working of spells is not explained and the information is simplified beyond use. Since this is an obviously "fun" book, I can see some use in the pagan alternatives offered for traditional Christmas and Easter celebrations. For a book with the same aesthetic appeal and more serious content, I'd recommend "Spells" by Matthew Green.


Spells: Spellcraft to Bring Magic to Your Life and Reality to Your Desires
Spells: Spellcraft to Bring Magic to Your Life and Reality to Your Desires
by Green Matthew
Edition: Hardcover

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Decorative, probably useful to most, agreeable reading., 29 Mar. 2000
Form: nine sections about different areas of content; lavishly illustrated and very pretty, no photographs; short chapters, but I didn't have the idea much information was being omitted. Content: folk magic spells, many of Caribbean derivation, and some general comments. Probable target group: beginning/average practitioners of folk magic, advanced magic users would probably not find it useful; and people interested in non-European witchcraft. Subjective appraisal: the author does impress ethics on the reader but doesn't grind it in the way some Wiccan authors do. The method of making magical powders and waters strikes me as much less messy than the use of fresh herbs. The spells I found less manipulative than those of the "ethical" Titania Hardie and Nicola de Pulford: unlike them, he offers spells to help and protect children, not control them. Each chapter ends on a short list of traditional spells and charms, some real, some, the author says, just superstition: it's a pity he doesn't specify which is what, but we'd probably disagree. A refreshing read, to be taken with a slight pinch of salt.


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