What’s on Your Bookshelf?


Long before I ever read The Politics of Women’s Spirituality, or The Spiral Dance, or When God Was a Woman, or Drawing Down the Moon, I was the bookish oldest daughter in a dysfunctional Catholic family of too-many-children, who was slipping away from chores whenever I could to lose myself in a book, a lemon, and a cup of tea.  And there were a large handful of books that prepared me for that ultimate ah-ha! moment when I read some words on a page (hello Ms. Spretnak!) and said, “Oh my; I’ve been a Witch all my life.”  Here’s my short list; what’s on yours?*

The Secret Garden and Everything by Francis Hodgson Burnett

A Wind in the Door

A Wrinkle in Time

A Swiftly Tilting Planet

The Wind in the Willows

The Once and Future King

The Word for World is Forest

The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas


The Warhound and the World’s Pain


Everything by Tolkein

The Tripods Trilogy

Everything by George McDonald


The Space Trilogy by C.S. Lewis

Dune and all the sequels.

Stranger in a Strange Land (which taught me, without meaning to, as much about why I am a feminist Witch as maybe any other book)

The Golden Compass

The Ascent of [Goddess forgive him] Man by Jacob Bronowski

Every biography ever written (no, really, I read all of them, several times) of Clara Barton

The Lives of the Saints (Women!  Living religious lives!  In spite of their sexist cultures!  The nuns read these to us every day, as if they almost didn’t care how feminist a lesson we took from the stories.)

The Illiad and the Odyssey

Les Miserables

Le Morte d’Arthur

The Seventh Seal (OK, this was a movie and not a book)

*Many of these books have some flaws.  Welcome to the real world.

Picture found here.



5 responses to “What’s on Your Bookshelf?

  1. Jane Gagle-Bennett

    I was fascinated by islands – the first book I ever bought with my own money was Peter Pan – I was six and had just seen the Disney film, copy I bought had English spellings so spelled colour on a spelling test, uh-oh. Later, in third grade, I got a copy of Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe from the library – my mother had given me her “adult” card to use, plus I read The Swiss Family Robinson over and over. There was a young adult book that my third grade teacher had on her extra shelf that she gave to me at year’s end – The Invisible Island about children moving to a new home in the country and realizing that the streams around them were an actual island – they made a MAP!

    I’m not sure why I didn’t wind up living on an island.

  2. As you listed above:

    -Wind in the Willows
    -Bedknobs and Broomsticks
    -The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings
    -Dr Strange (can NOT wait until the movie comes out!)
    -All of the Diana Tregarde stories by Mercedes Lackey
    (the Tregarde stories are simply the Best for a strong female lead — and really should be made in a TV series!)
    -The Adept series and Lammas Knight by Katherine Kurtz
    -so many stories in various Fantasy anthologies over many many years …..

    …. and just pointing out that the stories by Ruth Chew might be good ones for kids …..

    …..and must note TV shows like Dark Shadows and Bewitched ….

  3. LeGuin! All of it, but especially The Dispossessed and The Left Hand of Darkness.

    Also, Island of the Blue Dolphins.

    And Mary Renault’s books.

  4. Wonder Woman comics. They got me interested in Greek mythology.
    Tolkein, of course
    Asimov – oddly enough, I think his atheistic humanism started me questioning what I was taught and opened my mind.

    • Amazing, finally someone else who read Island of The Blue Dolphins, I adored it! Also valued its sequel, Zia.

      I never stopped reading and my short list truly would be extremely long. I do overlap with some listed here but I am really surprised that I don’t come across Catherine Kerr’s books (Darkspell and Daggerspell were the first two in the series) more often, or one of my most defining books, The Crystal Cave. But Kerr like Laky

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s