Neptune Tripping

Taking a day off to read Road To The Soul by my beautiful and amazing friend Kim. I love reading her fiction as it takes me back into a zone i remember as a teen doing the Ursula Le Guin/Tanith Lee/Anne McCaffrey/Madeleine L’Engle trip. Or contemporary: Philip Pullman, Neal Stephenson.

You know when you get a pile of sandwiches or a bag of crisps and just escape – joyously – into a rad book with a “fuq-yeah!” hero/heroine?

Here is the official blurb but i am, obviously, recommending that you go out and get this book for either yourself or someone who needs to go Neptune Tripping and yet stay totally relevant…In-the-Now…

“…With the second book in her latest trilogy, bestselling author Kim Falconer delivers another searing and imaginative journey of intimacy and adventure, magic and technology. Road to the Soul returns to the hidden world of Gaela, an agrarian based magical world where all things — animal, tree, stone, river and storm — are considered equal. Grounded in heavy research in magic and astrology, Road to the Soul is a story about real people in extraordinary situations—nano-tecnology, witchcraft, quantum computers, fast horses, hot sex, stunning tattoos and environments on the brink of destruction…”

And whilst we are on this subject, what is or has been your most Beautiful Escapist Book Read Ever?

I am thinking that, for most of us, it’s a childhood reading jag…That is when you read sans self-consciousness and it’s before secondary school so reading is JUST for leisure. No need to obey dictates of an education department, gather info nor even write an essay to show you “understood” it…

You know?

139 thoughts on “Neptune Tripping

  1. sounds ace

    favourite escapist book is Jitterbug Perfume by Tom Robbins. most definitely a man who can write a great female character

        • I loved Jitterbug Perfume too – it goes in my top ten… but my first ‘total immersion’ book was Little Women at age 9, followed by Gone With the Wind, which I’ve read many, many times over the years…

  2. This is terribly Toro, I fear, but last weekend I just read my first actual book in what seems like years, Stephen Fry’s 1st volume of autobiography, Moab is my Washpot and I found it amazingly escapist, I was with the HMBOTS at the time too, so awesome synchronicities! Heavenly, he has some real insights into men and emotions.

  3. I loved Stranger in a Strange Land, Heinlein. I read it at the beach and was in my own world for the duration….should do it again, but so many great books to read, so little time! Kim’s book sounds fantastic, is it part of a series? Do you recommend reading the others first? I am going to get them and dive in.

    • I am loving all these comments. So many memories of wonderful books. It’s an antidote to the shattering events around the Pacific ‘ring of fire’. I lived ON the San Andreas fault line for years and have been through some big ones. No wonder this theme features in the novels . . .

      Joh, these Earth/Gaela books are written as two trilogies. You can see their order on my website but my recommendation is to start with the second series, which is a prequel. That would be Path of the Stray, then Road to the Soul and Journey by Night (out later this year). Of course, if you get into it, the first three, starting with The Spell of Rosette, can be read before JBN.

      There are no rules!

      xxx

      • Oh, thanks Kim, was wondering about which order to read also.
        fave books : Dune + sequels to it

        • YES! The Dune Books & the Bene Gesserit, many many moons
          ago.
          Grimm Bros, Hans Christian Anderson & Aesop’s Fables when
          a sprog.
          I read so much one day my eyes might fall out onto the page
          & become Real eyes ations.

  4. Beauty by Robin McKinley took me away from a particularly dark time in my childhood.

    • I read this for the first time a few months ago! Robin McKinley is brilliant and the story so lovely. What other books of hers do you recommend?

      • I also liked Spindle’s End. Deerskin is definitely not for everyone. It is rather more Pluto/Proserpina than Neptune.

        (If you like deep and dark re-imaginings of fairy tales, Jane Yolen’s Briar Rose is one of the most profound.)

  5. My favorite, rain dripping down in Melbourne on a freezing Sunday, snuggled in with endless cups of tea, was Here On Earth by Alice Hoffman. I didn’t know it at the time but it’s a modern rewrite if Wuthering Heights.

    And I LOVE Kims book titles! Can’t wait to read it, even though I rarely read scifi, something involving quantum physics has to be good…x

  6. The “Animal Inn” series when I was growing up. Can’t remember the author. I’m sure it was an American woman. Got them whenever they came out – about a girl who helped out at her Dad’s Vet practice.

    • OMG! I thought that would be too obscure to mention, but I loved that series! The girl’s name was Val and I think her best friend was Toby and each of the books was a different color I remember. :D

  7. I’m trying to remember all the ones I loved from my childhood, but there are just too many! One of my favorites and now out of print children’s books is Alexander and the Magical Mouse. All about an old woman who lives in a huge Victorian house with a friendly crocodile, a yak from Tibet, a brindle London squatting cat and a magical mouse whose tail can predict the future.

    I love The Last Unicorn, The Neverending Story, Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy, The Mist of Avalon trilogy, Memoirs of Cleopatra, Watership Down, Hurry Home Candy…um…too many others, hehe.

    A few months ago I read The Name of the Wind by Patrick Ruthfoss (kind of Harry Potter meets Lord of the Rings) and the sequel A Wise Man’s Fear just came out this month, so I’m picking it up tomorrow! :)

  8. I think the last real book I read was “Norwegian Wood” by Murakami Haruki. I had a really nice two-volume Japanese edition, impossible to find in the US. I loaned it to a friend of mine, she procrastinated for months, then finally I got a text message that she finished it and I could have it back. I texted her the next day to pick it up and I didn’t get an answer. She wasn’t returning my calls. I only found out why a week later: she died.
    The only thing sadder than my poor friend’s sudden death, is that I really wanted to talk to her and find out what she thought of the book, and I’m sure she wanted to talk to me about it.

  9. Tales of the city – armistead maupin – read them all back to back in my 20s just after my lovely friend died of aids and left me the first one saying it was a way of seeing how his life in San Francisco was at the height of gay pride. Read one a week on the couch with a bottle of cab sav until they were all done – felt sad to say goodbye to all those characters who were so large as life and similar to people I knew when it was over. Later I met Armistead Maupin – struck up a convo with a man in a cafe. We had a laugh – got each others esoteric jokes. Thought he looked familiar, like an old friend.

    • I loved tales of the city too! Armistead was on ABC Classic last week. What a wise, beautiful, fun soul he is:-)

      • dapper and jovial yes I wish I’d seen that – we talked about chinese astrological animals and chiron – I’d just had a chiron/aura soma consult when I bumped into him.

    • What serendipity! So to speak.How wonderful to have met the man himself. That’s just fantastic!

      • hey x I like that you just pop up out of the blue. Yes it was nice because I didn’t realise it was him til later on and we had such a lovely impromptu – after he’d given me so much pleasure and helped me through a weird phase with the books and then again, years later, there he was immediately after I’d had an amazing healing experience. I love it when life gives you those little gifts.

    • Have you read the couple of books that follow-up on the characters in the years since?

      • I’ve read up to sure of you but I’ve never wanted to taint the beauty of the time and space they were read in with the later books – they were written after so much time had passed. For me the joy was as much about where I was at in my life as it was about the books.

  10. Oh, Dandelion Wine, by Ray Bradbury. I still haven’t finished it because I simply didn’t want it to end.

    Nothing happens; it’s just saturated with life.

  11. anne rice, interview with a vampire. much younger self was the magic far away tree and alice in wonderland was my all time favourite. Tonight I am resting with tea and tucking into finishing pattern recognition by william gibson (which leo ex has been trying to force me to read for ages after a move to camden)

    totally want to get into Kim’s books. tis on the list :D

    • Magic Faraway Tree and Alice in Wonderland were two of my absolute favourites as a child, too. I later studied the whole Alice in Wonderland & Through the Looking Glass at uni which didn’t taint it at all for me. I still love it. I still have my Magic Faraway Tree book. Mystic wrote in her AstroScape last year that when the moon is in Cancer? to re-read a fav book from childhood. I wish I could make the time to re-visit them.

      • you studied them at uni as well. awesome.
        I actually thought the magic faraway tree was a real place and we just had really boring trees.

    • I COMPLETELY love Anne Rice’s vampire stories – she has to be my favourite (fiction) author.. I’ve been a bit disappointed by her later books though. The only one I haven’t read is the one about the life of Christ (I just can’t go there).

      I only have non-fiction books by my bed at the moment as I can’t afford to get Neptune’d while I’m Saturning out with work stuff.

  12. Found myself desiring a new reading experience today so it’s totally synchronicitous that I was thinking about Kim and her book The Spell of Rosette. I still haven’t read any of her fiction and now this is my cue to get right on that. :)

  13. Was reading How it feels by Brendan Cowell today at the beach, I was so into the book as it took me straight back to my teenage years that when I took a much needed cool off dip, I lost both my bikini top and frigging expensive sunnies in one go. But After seeing what the mighty Pacific took yesterday from Japan I got off lightly.

  14. Escapist book as a child: The Secret Garden… I read it continuously when I was growing up.

    Escapist book as an adult: The Great Gatsby…I have read it continuously as an adult.

    Love Kimmy & I am looking forward to reading her book. 8O

    I LOVE fast horses! 8O

    • The Secret Garden – wow, my friend and i even tried to devise the spell they did to go back in time. I so believed it would work. I remember standing with her, waiting, opening one eye a peep, thinking maybe if i waited a bit longer (welcome to life as a pisces!)

    • I love that you escape from these times into The Great Gatsby. I’ve recently been there too.

    • Aaaah, Secret Garden. How much I wanted one of my very own and a wonderful boy like Dickon with which to share it.

    • Secret Garden was incredible! Did you ever see Tom’s Midnight Garden on ABC (from BBC) it was sort of similar and I loved that. It was about a boy who had to stay with his aunt because his sister(?) had tuberculosis and at midnight when the grandfather clock struck 12 he got out of bed and goes out into the backyard and it transforms into huge gardens.

      • Tom’s Midnight Garden!! that book was brilliant!! I never saw the series on tv, but wish i had. Also LOVED the Secret Garden,
        The Neverending Story, Narnia Chronicles, all Enid Blyton books like the Magic Wishing Chair and Magic Faraway Tree/Secret Seven/Adventurous Four/Famous Five, she was a pretty prolific children’s writer! My school library had an amazing collection of weird and wonderful books; that’s where i read Tom’s Midnight Garden, Bottersnikes and Gumbles, Tintin and Asterix and a strange book with a bunyip that used the fire that it breathed to power a steamboat…
        Ultimate escapist kids book was My Side of the Mountain. Loved it.

        Moved on to horror and Virginia Andrews books at about 12, shortly followed by any fantasy and sci fi i could get my hands on for most of my teenage years… favourites include Anne McCaffrey and David Eddings.

        Sci fi/fantasy is still pure escapist for me and my fav novelist as an adult is Ian Banks fiction.

        • Aslan was my first love, I confused him with Jesus and i love kim falconers fiction. Part of them are set in Earth in the future with environment gone crazy ( a bit like now) and witch hunting revived – it sounds bleak but it is more like a thriller, just so cool and then there are other more lord of the rings type worlds in the story

    • I loved Aslan, too (Leo rising). Aslan is so strong, courageous, wise and humble. Whenever I see turkish delight I think of the children going through the wardrobe. My favourite part was when they actually believed Lucy that they could get through the wardrobe and then when all of the people and animals who had been captured by the witch melted and were freed. As cruel as the witch was- harming the fawn and other creatures- it taught me a lot about life at a very early age.

  15. Mercury in Cancer. So no one ever ‘made’ me read a book! We had no tv and lived in the suburbs – that will get you reading.

    As an adult I am annoyed to say the Castaneda series woke me up to an alternate reality. Am annoyed as I think Carlos C sucks amoral ass now.
    I didn’t leave my bedroom except to go to the library for two weeks non-stop read ‘em all. Truly inspired me at the time.

    But for Beauty I can remember crying at certain parts of ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ at 12 just enraptured by the prose, though I s’pose it’s really a play.

    • why is CC amoral? People always tell me I’d be into his books but I’ve never felt inclined.

      • http://vodpod.com/watch/1996339-carlos-castanedas-deception-tales-from-the-jungle-series-bbc-ch4

        He was an amazing writer but in true Neptunian fashion he had no moral compass it seems in actual fact. I learned a lot from the books and I wouldn’t discourage anyone from reading them. The Art of Dreaming is an amazing book, I totally grokked stilling my mind and the warrior path theme too. But the doco relates some sad and manipulative actions of his in real life that caused others great pain.

        • I have the Tensegrity video’s x 3 that go with Magical Passes.
          Energetic bodywork & moves, but as you said a lot of cred has
          been lost. Besides you need DMT or LSD to see that energy or
          a 10 day fast :-)

    • I just finished The Holographic Universe and Carlos C is next on my list!

      But I have a deadline on a writing project that is very fast and dialogue/wacky character based and sometimes I find that if I am reading more metaphysical or heavy material I can’t switch my brain over to funny mode. :/ Maybe it’ll be my reward once I finish the draft.

      Damn Merc in Pisces.

      • Michael Talbot!

        When I was in high school, I absolutely adored his novel, The Delicate Dependency and still have TWO copies (one for lending). This book would be my adolescent Neptune Trip.

        I loved it so much, in fact, that I wrote to Mr. Talbot and we corresponded a few times. He was a kind soul with an amazing range of interests (in addition to novels and works about past lives and quantum stuff, he also wrote a biography of Vivaldi.

        • That’s awesome!
          Props to you for reaching out, I am trying to do more of that…that is so sweet that he took the time to write back.

          I have only read this one book and had no idea he wrote fiction as well. Heading over to amazon to pick up a copy now, thanks for the recommendation.

          The book inspired me to book a session with a hypnotist for a past life regression next week. I have never done anything like it and am excited. :D

        • He sounds brilliant! I have read his book and he seems so down to earth and humble. That’s so cool. I should find his other books. My God, we need a virtual library between us on the blog here, we’d save so much money… ;)

  16. Maybe its a gemini thing but much to my disappointment I cannot recall one most beautiful escapist book ever. I think reading affects me in a transformational Pluto way almost every time, though of course some better than others. So one does not stand out over many, and I read a fair bit in childhood but can’t remember titles – Anne frank deeply affected me, but again that’s not escapist. As an adult I’ve prob been most deeply moved and escaped in salmon rushdie and the first one I read was the moors last sigh, which I recall as plutonium more than neptunian. If tom robbins makes it into fantasy then yes I lost myself in all his novels one after the other until I upsettingingly realised there was no more. I had an obsession with beetroots when I read jitterbug perfume and i swooned through that one. I’m reading ursula leguin (sp?) For the first time now – lavinia. Of this genre I lost and found myself and connected w spirit and ancestors when I read mists of avalon, I loved it so much. BTW how’s everyone’s uranus shift into aries going?

    • Dark jokes aside, my career has fallen into place for the first time in my life in the last 2 weeks – it’s happening on my MC conjunct north node & chiron. Have definitely shifted into a new realm. The timing of the sudden rise is madly off kilter with the lives of others I know tho. Bittersweet.

    • Am having weird dreams about underwater cities, tidal waves.
      Where is your MC/nn/chiron whatevs? My astro teacher has also commented that my Arian 10th house/Pisces MC is on fire currently. Like you say, the timing is interesting.

      • MC Pisces 29deg Chiron 1deg aries + NN 5-6 in from there – I have pan and pandora up there too which I like. Naughty. I dreamed a lot about underwater cities as a child – they were always filled with golden light.

        • That’s a powerful placement of the MC, ahem, a bit like mine at 28.42 deg of Pisces, haha. My chiron is at 24 deg of Aries. What is in your 11th house? That is Uranus’s home when he’s at home. Mine has Pallas the Business Woman and Lilith plus my Vertex, opposing my Sun. Sumfin’s up!
          It wasn’t unhappy underwater, it was like a change was here at last, bubbles floating up? But sadness was looking down from above.

    • I’m not sleeping, too energized/crazy to eat so I’m sucking down smoothies like crazy, somehow balancing a consistent Bikram practice with whiskey fueled all night dance ragers, and seem to have picked up 20x the speed at which I usually finish projects.

      Feeling happier, more confident, more content with where I am, what I have, where I’m going. It feels like all my nervous energy just evaporated.

      I have Mars in Aries. I had Mercury and Jupiter in Pisces. I don’t really know what that means in relation to Uranus in Aries, but I like it!

      Does the change in Uranus affect Aqua peeps more? I am an Aqua and my guy is a Pisces with five planets in Aqua (Moon, Merc, Mars, Venus, Rising. yep, it’s nuts).

        • Thank you so much for the link!
          I think I am gonna purchase the Uranus in Aries confidential. I definitely feel a strong change this week and want to know what else is in store on this crazy ride…

        • YES! I used the previsions thing and it’s on!

          217 Sextile Mars – Sun

          Positive aspect: Period when you will be in top physical shape. From the mental point of view, thanks to your physical form, you will be full of go, confidence, ready to do a thousand things. You will be full of bravado, courageous, determined and bubbly. You will have total confidence in your ability to do things, and will never doubt yourself. You should harness this energy and take advantage of this time to tackle projects or problems. Difficulties can disappear, everything will seem obvious to you, black and white.

          During this period, you are likely to succeed in everything, you will finish all your jobs, and go to the very end. Success is guaranteed. Very good time to enter a competition, if you are sporty.

          You may have a love affair that is in no way platonic.

          Lots of good luck comin.

          Sextile Neptune – Venus
          113 Conjunction Pluto – Neptune
          82 Trine Mars – Saturn
          68 Trine Jupiter – Saturn

          • i have no idea what the previsions thing is but your vibe is worth bottling. You have natal mars/sun sextile? That means you have all that stuff going on all the time to some extent. But with Uranus about to fizz all over your mars by moving into aries you are officially a human berocca. What degree is mars in aries at in your natal chart? You’ll feel this bubbly thing most when uranus is on your mars exactly.

            i like that your avatar is a super positive mars in aries looking beastie.

              • loving the link rache thanks I had no idea that existed – is like astro.com only less “you will find yourself drawn to violent people or places today” it’s like they read from a medieval manuscript sometimes with their dark foretelling of the moment – makes me want to go to an alley just to see what happens.

              • re your mars it’ll take a while for uranus to get to it cos it moves so slow so I’m thinking you’re in for some wild times for quite some time – strap yourself in : o) Is aries partly in your 11th house as well?

      • Yesterday, after week of lethargy, felt like I’d drunk rocket fuel. Having difficult time sleeping because it’s as though I “don’t need sleep.” Staying up till all hours of the night the last 2 nights. had to force myself to lie down and close eyes.

        It’s as though an “on” switch was thrown. Do feel the lack of sleep today, but still feel mysteriously energized. Cannot believe the raw footage from Japan. The images are beyond any that I have seen for a natural disaster.

    • Have you read the other two books in the Mists trilogy, The Forest House and Lady of the Lake? I’m also a big Marion Zimmer Bradley fan. Read Mists in high school when I was enbracing my British pagan roots. A few years later I traveled to England and climbed the Tor at Glastonbury. It was so moving to stand at the top and look out on the valley below, imagining that it might have once been a mist shrouded lake concealing a magical isle.

      • Have you read the final book in the series, Priestess of Avalon? It was unfinished when MZB died, so it was completed by Diana Paxson. I really loved MZB’s Firebrand as well, about Cassandra and the Trojan War.

        • I have it, but haven’t read it yet. I’ve read books by Diana Paxson (who is MZB’s sister) and liked them, but not as much as MZB’s books. There just isn’t as much depth to the characters. So I have mixed feelings about the books that she’s co-authored after MZB died. I haven’t read Firebrand, or the Dark Tower series, though I’ve been meaning to. I’ve read Helen of Troy by Margaret George, which is really good (the ending really pulls at your heart strings). In Mystic’s previous past life contest thread I thought I might have been Cassandra in a past life (South Node in Pisces on the cusp of Aries in the 3rd house…perfect for a temper prone priestess who is trying to communicate a prophecy that no one will listen to.) ;)

          • You definitely need to read Firebrand. It is really good and she is a fascinating and 3-d character. I enjoyed it more than any of her other books, save Mists.

            I definitely understand your feeling about the “last” book. It is not my favorite in the series either, but , still, rather interesting. I still love Mists the best.

      • ah wow… i look forward to going to the region for sure… yes I have read others in the trilogy, but is it Lady of Avalon? I have the firebrand and havent read it yet, I got so hooked on the characters and dynamics in mists that the others didnt do it for me as much. But have not heard of The forest house, will keep an eye out for it. Im so happy that after not seeing my goddaughter for nearly 12 years, on her 16th birthday I gave her Mists of Avalon and she really loved it.

        • You’re right, it is Lady of Avalon. The story of Vivienne as she grew up and became priestess. The Forest House is interesting because it tells the story of the earliest druids in Roman times, so a slightly different perspective with a girl who falls for a Roman soldier despite being sworn to serve the goddess. That’s awesome about your goddaughter. I first heard about Mists from one of my mom’s cousins. I like the idea of passing it down through the women in the family. My goddaughter is 4, but I hope that she grows to have an interest in books like that so I can introduce her to Mists later on. :)

  17. This is a lovely memory diversion mystic thank you – I just remembered John Irving – world according to garp and hotel new hampshire and catch 22 joseph heller. Most hippy trippy diversion was the barbara marciniak plieades series – my friends were all on tangents and those books got around.

    • Hotel New Hampshire is tied in with Scott Spencer’s Endless Love as side roads in my teenage reading. It was my intro to Irving.

  18. This book sounds loads of fun! I am curious what it would be like to read a dear friend’s book MM!

  19. I love reading Haruki Murakami for escapism. I get completely absorbed in his world…how the seemingly banal life of the protagonist gets sucked into this magical whirlwind.

    Favorites are “Hard Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World”, “South of the Border, West of the Sun” and all the short stories. “Norwiegen Wood” is lovely too, and that is a really sad story above about your friend passing after reading it. :(

    Oh yeah, and when I get really down sometimes I’ll regress to age nine and read Francesca Lia Block. But she’s a brilliant writer! I think that some of the best AND worst books fall into the young adult category, but it’s refreshing sometimes to read things that automatically are exempt from all pretension.

    • Haruki is amazing. I still need to get around to reading Hard Boiled, but I really loved The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle.

      • Yeh I agree I loved the Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, so trippy and interdimensional and tender at the same time.

  20. What a great question! so my young daughter the Gemini can’t get enough fantasy and other world fiction – McCaffrey, L’Engle – there are five or six of these open and strewn about her room at all times; my Capricorn reading at her age was Little Women and Lark Rise to Candleford etc – lol – the closest I’ve come to fantasy is the Wind in the Willows BUT this IS probably my favorite book ever. (I love what it tells me about friendship, loyalty, the natural world, finding the fun, simplicity and silence, dreams, the common good, and so much more.)

    • Am loving this post – is soothing my poor wee south node which is getting a hammering right now. I loved little women, read little men and eight cousins as well. I loved the way she wrote about food and nature. LMA had an amazing background – her father was a transcendentalist which was the American version of the theosophical/spiritualist movement. She was a suffragette and feminist and admitted to having “feelings” for women before it was de rigeur. Whenever I find an american from history whose work or craft I love they usually end up having a link to transcendentalism. Her chart’s interesting – there’s a bit on astro sites about her/it.

      • Geraldine Brooks wrote a fictional biography of LMA’s father in ‘March’, from the father’s point of view when he joined the American Civil War. Fascinating.

        • OH thats all very interesting… I havent read Little Women, but think I will now, which reminded me that I did completely lose myself as a child in the whole little house on the prairie series, it was pure escapism. And how interesting virgolicious that you mention Geraldine Brooks, as it has been on my mind to follow up what she has authored, as I just read The People of the Book, about the Sarajevo Haggadah, and it was wonderful. I want to read more of her work.

    • I also loved those Louisa May Alcott books.

      Have you had the chance to see the BBC series of Lark Rise to Candleford. I loved the books and the series is simply lovely.

  21. I’m not sleeping, too energized/crazy to eat so I’m sucking down smoothies like crazy, somehow balancing a consistent Bikram practice with whiskey fueled all night dance ragers, and seem to have picked up 20x the speed at which I usually finish projects.

    Feeling happier, more confident, more content with where I am, what I have, where I’m going. It feels like all my nervous energy just evaporated.

    I have Mars in Aries. I had Mercury and Jupiter in Pisces. I don’t really know what that means in relation to Uranus in Aries, but I like it!

    Does the change in Uranus affect Aqua peeps more? I am an Aqua and my guy is a Pisces with five planets in Aqua (Moon, Merc, Mars, Venus, Rising. yep, it’s nuts).

      • well Im kind of jealous… and how wonderful for you, it sounds like fun and fast moving energy, getting stuff happening. I havent noticed any shifts with uranus moving into aries aside from a few motivational talks Ive had with myself, but thats kinda usual. In fact I feel rather flat and withdrawn. Might have to take heed of my motivational talks.

    • Oh, yes, I forgot this book. This transported me for months when I first read it, aged about 15.

    • Yep, I’m with you. It’s a stand out and stands up to multiple readings. Love how she reinterpreted the Arthurian myth from a feminist perspective. You might also like Sara Maitland. She writes fab short stories reinterpreting myths and fairytales – check out “Book of Spells” (which may be out of print, in which case, go for “Angel Maker”, her book of collected short stories – I think you will love them.

  22. Stone Junction by Jim Dodge, my all time favourite book for so many reasons. Not sure why it isn’t a well known American classic, it’s the best.

  23. I know I needed this walk down memory lane. Thanks, MM: )

    I feel it is only right to confess that I have a 3rd house Mercury in Gemini AND a father who was a librarian. I am a bookworm through and through.

    A trio of my writers of marvelously Neptunian works who have not been mentioned so far are Juliet Marillier, Charles de Lint, and Patrica McKillip.

  24. “You know when you get a pile of sandwiches or a bag of crisps and just escape – joyously – into a rad book with a “fuq-yeah!” hero/heroine?”

    When I decided to study literature, I thought this is what it would be like. Alas, nope. Currently reading boring medieval British crap that revolves around the Church erasing paganism. (Dream of the Rood?)

    Best escapist book(s) I’ve ever read? Ellen Kushner’s Swordspoint & Privilege of the Sword, anything by Charles de Lint, Francesca Lia Block. Life of Pi is still one of my favorites to pick and get lost in on a bad day.

  25. Neverending Story was the book for me when I was younger. I reread it constantly and still do every now and then. I also really enjoyed Peter Pan (which I only JUST read about a year ago. Long overdue). And in my later teen years I was really into Storm Constanine’s Wraeththu series.

    • oh yeah! neverending story was awesome! an escapist book about escaping into books. love it!

  26. As a child, I loved My Father’s Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannett. I was utterly immersed in it.

    Recently, Tanith Lee’s The Silver Metal Lover. She is such a beautiful writer. I’ve also gotten lost in Charlaine Harris’s Southern Vampire Mysteries over the last year. (Read a LOT of Anne Rice as a teen but Harris is brain candy at the end of a long day!)

    Note on Uranus: ANY aspect from Uranus to a personal planet (Sun to Mars) is like a shot of adrenaline x 100. Insomnia! Massive drive and appetite for something to sink the teeth into.Electricity flows through the veins. Sparks and zaps. Treat with exercise, large bowls of muesli and an ‘impossible’ long-term goal. xxxK

    • Have you read any of the Garnet Lacey series by Tate Halloway? They’re fun vampire chick-lit books, a bit similar to Harrison’s. The main character, Garnet Lacey is a witch and the owner of a new age shop. Her boyfriend is a vampire, but also an herbalist who has a flare for alchemy. Garnet also harbors the goddess Lilith within her soul, after calling upon her for strength and courage when the majority of her coven was killed by Vatican witch hunters. Lots of interesting twists and turns that add spice to your typical vampire love story.

      • I haven’t read the Garnet Lacey series. I see ‘Tall Dark and Dead is on Kindle. Putting it on my wish list now. Thank you :)

  27. I used to love E.Nesbit – The Amulet, The Phoenix and the Carpet etc. Also Diana Wynne Jones, who I’m sure ‘inspired’ JK Rowling more than a bit.

    • Howl’s Moving Castle! I read the book after seeing the anime and it made me love the film even more. I loved finding out about Howl’s history, so much of which was left out of the movie. :mrgreen:

          • Me too! I love the themes of living in harmony with nature rather than trying to conquer it with industry. Really very adult subjects, but woven beautifully into a fairy tale setting. I have yet to see Ponyo, but I love all of Miyazaki’s work.

    • OMG I loooved E. Nesbit – I bet she saved loads of turn of the century kids from psychic suicide. Looked her up just now, she was a Leo! Tough cookie that one.

      • yay Andro! Did you ever read Diana Wynne Jones? If not, run don’t walk! I think I will buy Kimmy Falconer’s book, it sounds ace.

        • Omg, NO I haven’t. And I looked her and she is a Leo TOO!! One day after E Nesbit. LOL. I will get on to this toot sweet. What with petrol sure to go through the roof and so much instability it may get harder to get books, I am going to have to start ordering books madly…

  28. This is sort of embarrassing but sort of not. I was absolutely hooked on Clan of the Cave Bear and the next one, The Valley of Horses, from the age of 10 til about 14. I must have re-read those two books about 10 times. Firstly, I think, it was the sex-scenes (tame enough) that my older sister was giggling over which made me try to read them. But then, it was the descriptions of the natural world before people overran it which enchanted me and created an incredible universe inside my head. These books were responsible largely for my first interest in herbalism and natural medicine, an interest which has simply grown exponentially from this time to the point now where it starts to become part of my living. I grew up largely unattended in both the country and the city, and in times of stress I used to strongly identify myself with Ayla, the heroine. I would go off by myself for hours into the forest or on long walks, I would atttempt to kill rabbits with a sling (totally unsuccessful), I would make weird but edible concotions from the wild foods I’d learnt to identify.

    I re-read these books last year, when in the Middle East where books can be scarce. I was struck this time round by how writing doesn’t have to be necessarily literary to open up an entire world in your head. I realised how much these books had stimulated and inspired the young me, and how much of the message of feminine independence I’d taken on. And with Google now at hand, I was gratified to learn that my apprenticeship wasn’t misplaced, the woman who wrote these books had meticulously researched as much of her subjects’ world as she was able, including the herbal medicines.

    But tried to read some of the later books and truly, the writing is awful! I’ll just stop with these two.

    • I loved Valley of the Horses as well, for the same reasons as yourself. I still really like her concept of the Neanderthal people being telepaths, I never looked at history the same after that – indeed I went on to major in Classical History took some Archaeology as well.

  29. As a moon and venus in 12th house gal, I am an avid fantay and scifi reader, writer too. Neptune escapes, there have been so many…..
    I love Guy Gavriel Kay’s novels, especially A Song For Arbonne, Tiganna, The Lions of Al-Rassan, and The Sarantine Mosiac. I adore his books and have rarely been so awe struck by an author’s skill and ability to weave plots and characters.
    Also love Patricia McKillip’s Riddle Master of Hed trilogy. Swept me away. I have enjoyed all the books I have read by her.

    • Patricia McKillip is wonderful! Have you read her Changeling Sea. I had ve read nearly all of her books, but it remains my favorite.

      • Er, I have read…. This is what happens when I am looking at the monitor through opaque KittenKat; )

        • No, but will keep my eyes out for a copy. Besides riddlemaster I have read Alaphabet of Thorns, Od Magic, Moon Flash, and The Forgotten Beasts of Eld. I love her bookcovers too.

    • Forgot to mention I loved the Epic Fantasy series Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan.

  30. A really good old read is There’s a Pizza Back in Cleveland. Written entirely in the form of penned correspondence between two young enviromentally active teenaged girlfriends, one in the city, one in the country. Still makes me laugh out loud when I re-read it.

  31. The dark elf trilogy got me and my brother through high school… Tale of a dark elf warrior with a good heart living among an evil matriarchal society – in the under dark, beneath the ground where people see by ultraviolet light and stalactites and stalagmites decorate the environment (as i recall it all at least!) I’ve not come across anything like it again… But haven’t looked too hard either, that was my time for that trilogy….

  32. The Gormenghast Trilogy by Mervyn Peake. I almost had a meltdown when I came to the part that described a recurring dream I used to have. I never had the dream again, which was sad, because it was beautiful.

    • I had a housemate who read these books and was OBSESSED. Seriously – would take medicinal compounds so he could stay up for days on end to read them.

  33. Gabriel Garcia Marquez transports me instantly. ’100 Years of Solitude’ and ‘News of a Kidnapping’ are favourites. How can someone be so gifted with language? Sigh… When I was younger I escaped with Jeanette Winterson’s ‘Sexing The Cherry’ and recall enjoying ‘The Secret Garden’ & ‘The Lion The Witch & The Wardrobe’ from childhood but had no idea what it was about.

  34. The Carlos Castoneda trilogy.

    That is, The Teachings of Don Juan, The Secret Ring of Power & Journey to Ixtlan.

    For those who haven’t read it’s about sorcery, and supposedly these tales are true – think The Lion The Witch & The Wardrobe meets Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas!

  35. The Silver Brumby series by Elyne Mitchelle and the Faraway Tree series by Enid Blyton were my alltime favourite childhood escapes. Later John Irving’s The World According to Garp was an eye opener. Also remember loving Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier, Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte, and Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte.

    And I cringe to admit it but i found the Twilight series totally addictive too.

    I love the sound of Kim Falconer’s series and know my daughter would love them too. Will have to order them soon.

    And yep Uranus in Aries has disrupted my sleep patterns – feeling very energized!

  36. I have Mercury Opposite Neptune (actually being hit by T-pluto too) so every book is an escapist read for me.

    My favorite though, is the ‘Traitor to the Crown’ series (if you pick this up, you’ll totally be able to tell I have mercury in *cancer* opposite neptune…LAWLZ). Second is probably ‘Mistress of the Spices’….loved that book.

  37. nearly forgot – lace by shirley conran. not a fantasy novel at all but i guess it’s about fantasies, and was definitely an escape from a teenage existence in a country town

    • Hehe, I remember Lace. When I was a young kid a babysitter of mine was reading it and left it at the house once. I started to read it and got all intrigued and wrapped up in the steamy love scenes. ;)