Ardinger's latest contribution to pagan literature is a short-essay book of days jammed with facts about goddesses and saints, alongside an assortment of random pop culture references and personal musings. The author of several books including Finding New Goddesses, Ardinger is a regular encyclopedia of knowledge not only about paganism but more broadly about significant women figures and goddesses in history (think Julian of Norwich, Mother Teresa, and Isis, all of whom make appearances among the 365 days). Loosely organized into monthly themes with, for example, January taking up "home and community" and July and August taking up "water" and "fire" respectively, Ardinger attempts to give some rhyme and reason to the plethora of information. Chocolate lovers will surely delight to learn the story behind Lady Godiva (July 10) and those uninitiated into the history of Sophia (December 16) will be happy to learn of her illustrious past. But the real question for general readers is whether a calendar of random, though often interesting, reflective paragraphs, with a lot of comments directly to the reader and casual prose thrown in here and there, is worth the investment. For readers looking for pagan trivia, though, Ardinger's book of days is the ultimate find. (Aug.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Ardinger (Practicing the Presence of the Goddess: Everyday Rituals To Transform Your World) has filled her pagan book of days with deft prose and wry observations inspired by seasons, traditions, and cultural imperatives. Blessedly, there is no attempt to find a perfect match for each day of the year to an ancient pagan holiday or event. Instead, the daily essays roam through classical and popular literature, well-researched history, personal experiences with pagan ritual, and the mighty influence of Miss Piggy. Even the most careening of the short essays is pulled together with a keen insight or thoughtful challenge to the reader. While typically waxing poetic, Ardinger is not above giving some practical advice (Be nice! Be open-minded! Go to church with your parents on Christmas Eve!), somehow making it warm, wise, and inspiring. Warning: you'll want to read ahead. Recommended for public libraries with a desire to have thoughtful, inspirational prose on the shelves regardless of the philosophical or religious bent.-Janet Tapper, Western States Chiropractic Coll., Portland, OR Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.