As long as I’m in the mood to make lists, I might as well set down my reading list for the biographical research. As with the interviews, I anticipate this list will expand; for example, before I finish reading these books, I believe Deborah Lipp’s and Oberon Zell-Ravenheart’s memoirs will be published.
First, “how-to” books on research and oral history recommended to me by experts:
Article: What is Oral History? by Linda Shopes
The Modern Researcher; Jacques Barzun and Henry F. Graff. (This and the next two books are considered to be important basic textbooks in their fields.)
The Craft of Research; Wayne C. Booth, Gregory G. Colomb, Joseph M. Williams.
Recording Oral History: A Guide for the Humanities and Social Sciences; Valerie Raleigh Yow.
The Battle of Valle Guilia: Oral History and the Art of Dialogue; Alessandro Portelli. (This author is considered a leading oral-history scholar. It’s a good idea for me to read some biography. The only one I’ve read up to this point is The Autobiography of Malcolm X; it’s a great book, but it’s like “Yankee Doodle” to the experienced researchers: they’ve all read it and moved beyond it. Edit: I now remember that I’ve read Genius by James Gleick, a biography of Richard Feynmann.
Black Mountain: An Exploration in Community; Martin Duberman. (I was told to read this after I said that I didn’t want to include my part in Isaac’s life in a biography I wrote.)
Witchfather: A Life of Gerald Gardner, Volume 1 – Into the Witch Cult and Witchfather: A Life of Gerald Gardner, Volume 2 – From the Witch Cult to Wicca; Philip Heselton. (This just came out. I have to see what someone else did with a similar subject.)
Next come books that mention Isaac, or give more context to the evolution of paganism of which he was a part:
Drawing Down the Moon: Witches, Druids, Goddess-Worshippers, and Other Pagans in America; Margot Adler
The Triumph of the Moon; Ronald Hutton
People of the Earth; Ellen Evert Hopman and Lawrence Bond
The Encyclopedia of Witches and Witchcraft; Rosemary Ellen Guiley
Green Egg Omelette; Oberon Zell-Ravenheart
And of course, books written by Isaac himself:
Real Magic; Isaac Bonewits
Authentic Thaumaturgy; Isaac Bonewits
Pagan Rites; Isaac Bonewits
The Pagan Man; Isaac Bonewits
Real Energy; Phaedra and Isaac Bonewits
Bonewits’ Essential Guide to Witchcraft and Wicca; Isaac Bonewits
Bonewits’ Essential Guide to Druidry; Isaac Bonewits
In addition to this, I have 10GB of scanned documents from Isaac’s files, and the computer files that were on his laptop. Those all have to read and coded by me.
In a previous post, I told the story of how a friend gave me a copy of seven novels by Jules Verne. I appreciated the gift, but at this point I must ask everyone: No more books, please! My reading queue is quite full!
Added 22-Mar-2012: Although I haven’t made much progress on the above stack, I’ve read two other books to get some insight into the different ways to present a biography:
A Coin for the Ferryman: The Death and Life of Alex Sanders; Jimahl di Fiosa. I wrote to Jimahl, and he was quite helpful in describing his research techniques.
Marty Feldman: The Biography of a Comedy Legend; Robert Ross. Apart from being a biography in someone in whom I have an interest, this is an example of a book researched primarily via the same types of sources I’m using (interviews, media, old memos).