What are you reading now?

What are you reading now?

Joined: December 19th, 2007, 10:46 am

February 4th, 2008, 4:54 pm #1

Going through the posts about people's top five herb books, it made me wonder what people are reading at the moment, or what new herb books have come into their possession recently. I find it really exciting to learn about books which have grabbed other people's attention and which may help me.

It's really interesting so many people have mentioned Kathryn Hadfield's books as I'm waiting for two of hers to arrive shortly. There are also two Anglo Saxon food books waiting to be read - Ann Hagen's "Anglo Saxon Food and Drink" and Stephen Pollington's "The Mead Hall". I did read through Mary Savelli's "Tastes of Anglo-Saxon England", which is a nice little book and I look forward to trying out some of her recipes when I get some free time.

I've just finished Juliette de Bairacli Levy's "Common Herbs for Natural Health" and have started "The Herbalist's Way", which was recommended by people on the Herbwifery Forum. Although it's an American book it is one of those which instantly grabs you and makes you want to read more. I just wish we had a book written by a UK Herbalist with similar passion and inclusivity. My next book to read on the train will be Joyce Wardwell's "The Herbal Home Remedy Book". Joyce practices in Michigan and used to post on Henriette's herblist before she got too busy. Her posts were always very sensible and thoughtful and she is highly regarded by other American herbalists.

I'm also waiting for Matthew Wood's book, Vitalism: The History of Herbalism, Homeopathy, and Flower Essences. Paul Bergner's School runs on the principles of Vitalism, so I thought I'd better find out what it is! The other book I'm waiting for is Michael Tierra and Candis Candin's "The Spirit of Herbs: A Guide to the Herbal Tarot", I've had the herbal Tarot pack for several years now and it has enabled me to become familiar with Tarot itself whilst steering clear of the more esoteric packs which I've not been comfortable with. Each card gives information about the herb and the pictures are lovely.

Michael Tierra and his wife, Lesley are herbalists in California who follow Chinese herbalism. Lesley has written a well thought of book about using herbs for children. Talking about herbs for children, one of my next purchases with be Juliette de Bairacli Levy's "Nature's Children". I've read some extracts on the Ashtree publishing site and it was some of the most sensible advice I've seen for a long time. My children are all now adults, but I'll keep it as a reference for any potential grandchildren and for anyone else who is interested. (My piano pupils often get dosed with herbal salves or sent away with something to rub on at home!)

Sarah
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linda harrold
linda harrold

February 4th, 2008, 6:11 pm #2

Hi Sarah,I have had the Michael Tierra tarot cards for some years now and absolutly love them.
I was told about them by one of my students who taught the tarot at night school. Despite looking out for them for a long time,I never saw them anywhere.Then one year on holiday in Devon,we were travelling around Dartmoor,when our then teenage daughter insisted that we went to Princetown,as she had seen an advert for a new age type shop there.Reluctantly we treaked there,walked in to the shop and right on the shelf,facing the doorway,in lonely splendour,were the cards. I`ve never seen them anywhere else since.
I had wanted to mention these cards before,but held back as it can be a subject upon which there are strong opinions.Hope I havn`t therefore upset anyone.

Linda
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Jim Bargates
Jim Bargates

February 5th, 2008, 12:29 am #3

Am currently working through Patrick Bowe's "Gardens Of The Roman World". In a couple of weeks I'm going to immerse myself in the British Library for a day to discover if anyone in the last couple of decades has written a Graeco-Roman herbal - and if not, then I'm going to go for it. I've been amassing enough material & should really do something with it all.. If nothing else I'd like to find evidence to disprove the commonly believed (but frankly incredible) notion that before Roman colonisation the only vegetables & herbs the Britons had were turnips and ..er.. turnip tops. Really: check your herbals and see how often "introduced by the Romans" appears; I've been increasingly suspicious of this for some time now!
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Sarah Head
Sarah Head

February 5th, 2008, 10:10 am #4

Hi Jim

There are a couple of prehistoric cookery books which detail what pre-Romans were eating and there's the series Ray Mears did about ancient eating habits based on his exposure to nomadic tribes in other parts of the world.

When you say you're going to write a Greeco-Roman Herbal, has that not been done from the new discoveries about ancient medicine which have been highlighted recently in the press (i.e. the last couple of years)? Or do you mean you're going to look at Pre-Roman European use of herbs and vegetables?

Anthony Lyall-Dixon is supposed to be the country's leading expert on Roman herbs. He runs a herb nursery down in Bristol near Jekka and is a "forthright" character as you will gather from the tone of his website.

It sounds a really exciting project and something which is definitely needed. Do you have a publisher in mind or are you going to go with the UK equivalent of Lulu?

Very best wishes for your endeavours!

Sarah
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Guest
Guest

February 5th, 2008, 1:57 pm #5

In case anyone is interested, The Works are selling the paperback version of Jekka's Complete Book of Herbs for £4.99 today.

Sarah
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linda harrold
linda harrold

February 5th, 2008, 9:48 pm #6

I`ve just come across a reference on the net to a book called--Leechcraft--Early English Charms,Plantlore and Healing. It sounds very interesting.I`ve just looked it up on Amazon,but it is £60,too rich for my blood without having first seen it.Wondered if anyone has read it?

linda
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Joined: December 19th, 2007, 10:46 am

February 5th, 2008, 10:16 pm #7

Hi Linda

This is Stephen Pollington's book published by Anglo-Saxon books. They are bringing out a new paperback version which should be available by the end of this month at £25 - far more accessible. I bought the hardback version about 2 years ago for much less than £60, but it is now out of print. I've not read it yet, but Stephen Pollington is a well respected authority in Anglo Saxon matters.

Sarah
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Joined: December 18th, 2007, 1:07 pm

February 11th, 2008, 2:42 pm #8


Having taken a look at Sarah's copy of Leechcraft, I'm looking forward to the new paperback version, although it will be on my book wishlist for a little while.

Sarah, I'm curious, who is Kathryn Hadfield? Is she a US author mentioned on your herbwives forum etc? I can't find any reference to her, I know Gabrielle Hatfield and can highly recommend the two books by her that I currently have ('Hatfield's Herbal: The Secret History of British Plants' and 'Memory, Wisdom and Healing: The History of Domestic Plant Medicine'). I googled Kathryn Hadfield and did a search on Amazon and can't find any books by her, help!

As to what I'm reading now, I'm a dipper! I tend to have several books on the go at once, there is one in just about every room of the house and if I fancy a quick read then I pick up the book in the room I'm in.

Currently the herb related books I'm reading are 'The Old English Herbals' by Eleanour Sinclair Rohde first published in 1922, 'The Magic Of Herbs' by C. F. Leyel first published in 1926 and 'Herbs And How To Know Them' by Mary Thorne-Quelch first published in 1946. Various other books are used almost daily for reference, but these are the 3 currently being read, digested and having the odd, 'WOW I didn't know that' type comments followed by notes being scribbled down. I have to add that I'm not counting the herb recipe books that I'm looking at every day and the new herb tea making/recipe books I'm reading and trying things out of, just the ones I'm sitting down and reading and learning from.

Debs
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Sarah Head
Sarah Head

February 13th, 2008, 2:16 pm #9

Sorry Debs

I can only plead a senior moment when I typed Kathryn Hadfield instead of Gabrielle. Happily I am now half way through her book, 'Memory, Wisdom and Healing: The History of Domestic Plant Medicine'. It's very good, but I do wish she wouldn't keep repeating herself all the time. It strikes me she wrote each chapter separately with some time in between each and she forgot that she'd written almost exactly the same or closely related sentence previously. I'm surprised an editor didn't pick it up and query her. I'm looking forward to the second one.

I do like the fact she has included folk songs. Now I have some words, I can try and track down the tunes!

Sarah
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kevin brown
kevin brown

February 21st, 2008, 6:31 am #10

I recently picked up in a secondhand bookshop Herbal Therapy for Women by Elisabeth Brooke MNIMH{Thorsons 1992].

This not a writer I have encountered before.The book is a nice easy read and contains sensible,straightforward advice on exercise and diet.In the materia medica section there is the concept of showing both physicsl and emotional uses for each herb.

She puts forward the theory that some plants work well for some people and not for others and that this could be due to the personality of the plant and the emotional state of the patient.Although she says she doesnot wish to categorize the plants rigidly or extensively as in homoeopathy the discussion of mental and emotional states does bear similarities to the homoeopathic "drug pictures" and indications for the Bach remedies.Different concepts.

Apparently she has written several other books published by The Women's Press.

Kevin
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