July and August 2018 Book Reviews

Book Review: Chaos Protocols by Gordon White

It's rare for me to say this about a contemporary book of occultism, but this is a must read book on magic, regardless of what your magical practice is, because it will slap you across the face and make you open your eyes. What this author does well is bring in a non-magical topic (so to speak) i.e. macroeconomics and show why we need to care about its impact in our lives and how magic can be applied to it. Along the way the author explores the question of success and illustrates the importance of cultivating mundane and magical skills in order to achieve success. I read this book when I really needed it and it got me out of a funk and for that alone I'm grateful. The magical techniques are sound and exercises well explained. If you do the work, results will follow.

Book Review: The Neurobiology of the Gods by Erik Goodwyn

In this book the author sets out to explore the neurobiological connection we have with the gods. It's an interesting book, but its fair to say that the author' focus is more psychological than neurobiological. He does touch on the brain and the physiological functions of the brain and shows how they can mapped to Jungian psychology, which is where most of the focus of this book ends up being. He makes some good connections with metaphors and archetypes, but it feels like he's trying too hard to fit neurobiology into his arguments, while relying on surprisingly outdated resources at the time of his writing for the majority of his research. There's some good ideas here and its worth a read, but it also falls short in some ways.

Book Review: Rebel Talent by Francesco Gino

Rebel Talent is a fascinating which explores how rebellion can be a positive force in business and society. The author explores why it can be good to break rules and provides case studies of how people have broken rules, whether its in the kitchen of a restaurant or in the structure of a business or a variety of other examples. It's a thought provoking book, but one thing I would have liked to have seen was a bit more structure in terms of describing the 8 traits of the rebel. The author does this at the end of the book, but leaves it less structured in the rest of the book. Nonetheless there are some insightful ideas that can be applied to work and life for productive effects.

Book Review: Working with Inner Light: the Magical Journal of William G. Gray

This is a fascinating snapshot of the magical life and work of William G. Gray from 1965-1966. In this journal you seeds of his work in Inner Traditions of Magic and Magical Ritual Methods, as well as how his ideas influenced the development of western magic in general. But within this book are also unique gems that will cause you to think and view your own magical practice from a different light.

Book Review: Qigong: the Secret of Youth by Jwing-Ming Yang

This is another fascinating book which explores qigong practices. What you'll get with this book for the most part is a lot of theory and a few exercises. The author does a good job laying out the theory of marrow breathing and other practices that can be used to achieve a deeper connection with the body, while also rejuvenating your youth. If you're not a practitioner of qigong most of this will go over your head and even if you are you may need to devote some time to taking the theory and turning it into practical practice, but this is invaluable resource to have.

Book Review: The Adding Machine by William S. Burroughs

The Adding Machine is a collection of Essays by Burroughs that explores his philosophy of writing, magic and life. I've read this book at least a few times and it never ceases to amuse and provoke thought. This is a good book to start with if you want to get a taste of what burroughs writing is like.