The Book of Numbers by William Harston
John Blake Publishing (Metro Books)
Recommended Read this week is 'The Book of Numbers' by William Harston, a mathematician and industrial psychologist, published by John Blake Publishing. Personally, as an avid collector of information and data, I enjoyed his fun reference book about the meaning of specific numbers, in literature, art and music, statistical information, coincidences, oddities, and numerical historical facts. Was Douglas Adams was right about 42 being the answer to life, the Universe and Everything?
The author, William R Harston, is a journalist who writes the Beachcomber column in the British newspaper the Daily Express and is an accomplished chess player. He played chess competitively from 1962 to 1987, with a highest Elo rating of 2485. Randomly, during his time as a PhD student at Cambridge, Hartston became the first person to stack the pieces from an entire chess set on top of a single white rook.
Celestial Geometry - Understanding the Meanings of Astronomical Sites by Ken Taylor
Watkins Publishing Ltd
Ken Taylor has an well founded reputation for thoroughly researched books on ancient traditions. With experience as an archaeologist he has written extensively on Palaeolithic alignments, celestial events, earth energies, astronomy and mythology. Ken Taylor has also worked as a freelance journalist, website editor and runs a small publishing business.
He has written 6 books and has co-authored a further 6 in partnership with his wife Joules. Titles include:
Early Heaven Oracle (Rider,2002 )
Tarot for Today (London House, 2000)
Werewolves (2009) and Ghosts ( 2010) for Spruce.
The Eye - The Seer and the Seen by Francis Huxley
Thames and Hudson
Recommended Read this week is 'The Eye - The Seer and the Seen' by Francis Huxley, Thames and Hudson. Not a huge book but a good general overview of the importance of the Eye as a symbol in different cultures. Also because Huxley was an effective advocate and activist for indigenous peoples and the Eye is my favourite symbol.
Francs Huxley (1923 - 2016) was an anthropologist and botanist with diverse interests and a lifelong interest in shamanism and the altered states of consciousness often experienced by sacred 'healers'. In the 1950's his pioneering fieldwork among the Urubu people of the Amazon basin and his book 'Affable Savages' (1956) resulted in new personal reflective approach to the study of culture, rather than objective. He was also an activist for indigenous peoples, founding Survival International with fellow anthropologists. Survival International provides a platform for exposing genocide, violence, slavery and exploitation.
Francis was the son of Julian Huxley, biologist and first director general of Unesco. He was part of a dynasty that included Julian’s brother, the author Aldous Huxley, and half-brother, the physiologist and Nobel laureate Andrew Huxley. Francis was also the great-grandson of Charles Darwin’s friend Thomas Henry Huxley.
A Beginner's Guide to Constructing the Universe by Michael S Schneider
Recommended Read this week is 'A Beginner's Guide to Constructing the Universe' by Michael S Schnieder published by Harper Perennial.
Another book that is a readable and informative introduction to sacred geometry. Schnieder focuses on the drawing/construction of the geometric principles created by 0, 1 to 10, sequentially. He includes relevant quotes, examples in nature, the human body, myths, art and architecture. Plenty of interesting material about each of the numbers but he does not draw any conclusions.
Calling himself 'an educator and writer who encourages a love of learning' on his website Schnieder provides numerous workbooks and CDs about 'the intersections of mathematics, nature, art, science and culture'.