So as I write I want to review the books I have read and share some of my thoughts and feelings about them.
First up, I just have to mention "The Book of English Magic" by Philip Carr-Gomm and Richard Heygate. I have dipped in and out of various magical traditions all of my life and have been fascinated by various practices and groups on and off. It has always been pretty directionless though and I have always craved an overview - this is it.
This book delves into English magical tradition in summary, giving history and some basic practice, but it is approachable and very entertaining. It is also very well researched and written.
The book takes us on a journey through England's magical landscape and history - people and places. It is packed with interviews with contempory magicians too. There are links to information, recommended reads and things to try, even make and do (e.g. dowsing).
I would also recommend this book to people not embarking on a magical path, its interesting and entertaining in its own right.
The principal author is Philip Carr-Gomm - leader of the Order of Bards Ovates and Druids.