36 books like Keeping Together in Time

By William H. McNeill,

Here are 36 books that Keeping Together in Time fans have personally recommended if you like Keeping Together in Time. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Ecstasies: Deciphering the Witches' Sabbath

Elizabeth Wayland Barber Author Of The Dancing Goddesses: Folklore, Archaeology, and the Origins of European Dance

From my list on European dance in female fertility and health.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m an information junkie who loves to dance. I fell in love with folk dancing at age 6, European archaeology at 11, linguistics and cognition at 21—and could never drop any of them. My scientist-father always said, “Follow the problem, not the discipline,” and I began to see how these fields could help answer each other’s questions. Words can survive for millennia—with information about what archaeologists don’t find, like oh-so-perishable cloth. Determining how to reconstruct prehistoric textiles (Women’s Work: The First 20,000 Years) then led me to trace the origins of various European folk costumes, and finally even to reconstruct something about the origins of the dances themselves.

Elizabeth's book list on European dance in female fertility and health

Elizabeth Wayland Barber Why did Elizabeth love this book?

I first picked up this book hoping to find whether Western Europe ever had agrarian fertility rituals/beliefs equivalent to those I was studying in Eastern Europe. But then I simply couldn’t stop reading, because it was so compellingly written as well as chock full of fascinating information relating to my interests. Ginzburg presents both the historical records and his deeply perceptive insights into the processes by which age-old farmers’ customs (including dancing), aimed simply at having enough food for the year, were reinterpreted as evil witchery and Satanism by Roman Catholic officials attempting to eradicate everything outside the Christian church as they knew it. (Eastern Orthodox officials, with far more territory to convert, confined themselves largely to condemning murder, adultery, and incest, and reallocating people’s entrenched customs to Christian saints.)

By Carlo Ginzburg, Carlo Ginzburg, Raymond Rosenthal (translator)

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Ecstasies as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: Italian


Book cover of The Bathhouse at Midnight: An Historical Survey of Magic and Divination in Russia

Elizabeth Wayland Barber Author Of The Dancing Goddesses: Folklore, Archaeology, and the Origins of European Dance

From my list on European dance in female fertility and health.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m an information junkie who loves to dance. I fell in love with folk dancing at age 6, European archaeology at 11, linguistics and cognition at 21—and could never drop any of them. My scientist-father always said, “Follow the problem, not the discipline,” and I began to see how these fields could help answer each other’s questions. Words can survive for millennia—with information about what archaeologists don’t find, like oh-so-perishable cloth. Determining how to reconstruct prehistoric textiles (Women’s Work: The First 20,000 Years) then led me to trace the origins of various European folk costumes, and finally even to reconstruct something about the origins of the dances themselves.

Elizabeth's book list on European dance in female fertility and health

Elizabeth Wayland Barber Why did Elizabeth love this book?

I chose this book because it is such a wide-ranging compendium of Russian folk beliefs in general (in English!) as well as of Russian customs involved in trying to ensure the fertility and health of crops, farm animals, and women, all desperately needed for the survival of the community. It is these fascinating and picturesque customs that so often get incorporated into dances. Furthermore, the Dancing Goddesses were often pressed into service for divination of the future, especially by young girls worrying about whom they would marry and how many children they would have, or if they would die first. (I accidentally witnessed one of these ceremonies in Danzig in 1993—they have not died!)

By W.F. Ryan,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Bathhouse at Midnight as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The title of this book refers to the classic time and place for magic, witchcraft, and divination in Russia. The Bathhouse at Midnight, by one of the world's foremost experts on the subject, surveys all forms of magic, both learned and popular, in Russia from the fifth to the eighteenth century. While no book on the subject could be exhaustive, The Bathhouse at Midnight does describe and assess all the literary sources of magic, witchcraft, astrology, alchemy, and divination from Kiev Rus and Imperial Russia, and to some extent Ukraine and Belorussia. Where possible, Ryan identifies the sources of the…


Book cover of Folk Dress in Europe and Anatolia: Beliefs about Protection and Fertility

Elizabeth Wayland Barber Author Of The Dancing Goddesses: Folklore, Archaeology, and the Origins of European Dance

From my list on European dance in female fertility and health.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m an information junkie who loves to dance. I fell in love with folk dancing at age 6, European archaeology at 11, linguistics and cognition at 21—and could never drop any of them. My scientist-father always said, “Follow the problem, not the discipline,” and I began to see how these fields could help answer each other’s questions. Words can survive for millennia—with information about what archaeologists don’t find, like oh-so-perishable cloth. Determining how to reconstruct prehistoric textiles (Women’s Work: The First 20,000 Years) then led me to trace the origins of various European folk costumes, and finally even to reconstruct something about the origins of the dances themselves.

Elizabeth's book list on European dance in female fertility and health

Elizabeth Wayland Barber Why did Elizabeth love this book?

This book is a rich source of information about how certain attire, especially the “string skirt” and its variants, has traditionally been drafted in Europe to promote women’s health and fertility, a tradition that we can trace back, through evidence, for some 20,000 years. Wonderfully illustrated, the data here range from Greece and Turkey in the south, through Central Europe to Latvia and Norway in the far north, as well as occasionally deep into Eurasia. And of course, such apparel was particularly donned for dancing on occasions where the wearer would be seen by all. (Being a show-off runs deep in humanity!)

By Linda M. Welters (editor),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Folk Dress in Europe and Anatolia as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Shortlisted for the Katharine Briggs Folklore Award 2000.Relationships between dress and the body have existed in European and Anatolian folk cultures well into the twentieth century. Traditional cultures have long held the belief that certain articles of dress could protect the body from harm by warding off the 'evil eye,' bring fertility to new brides, or assure human control of supernatural powers. Ritual fringes, archaic motifs, and colors such as black and red were believed to have powerful, magical effects. This absorbing and interdisciplinary book examines dress in a broad range of folk cultures - from Turkey, Greece, and Slovakia…


Book cover of Calus: Symbolic Transformation in Romanian Ritual

Elizabeth Wayland Barber Author Of The Dancing Goddesses: Folklore, Archaeology, and the Origins of European Dance

From my list on European dance in female fertility and health.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m an information junkie who loves to dance. I fell in love with folk dancing at age 6, European archaeology at 11, linguistics and cognition at 21—and could never drop any of them. My scientist-father always said, “Follow the problem, not the discipline,” and I began to see how these fields could help answer each other’s questions. Words can survive for millennia—with information about what archaeologists don’t find, like oh-so-perishable cloth. Determining how to reconstruct prehistoric textiles (Women’s Work: The First 20,000 Years) then led me to trace the origins of various European folk costumes, and finally even to reconstruct something about the origins of the dances themselves.

Elizabeth's book list on European dance in female fertility and health

Elizabeth Wayland Barber Why did Elizabeth love this book?

Humans also draft dance to help heal body and mind. I loved Kligman’s personal ventures deep into the complex concerns about life and death, fertility and health, found in related pre-Christian rituals in three areas of the Balkans: the Căluşari in SW Romania, the Rusaltsi in NW Bulgaria, and the Kraljevi—often with other names—just west in former Yugoslavia. (The word Rusaltsi comes from Rusalka, a Slavic name for the “dancing goddess”, as does Rusalii, the thrice-yearly festival in their honor.)  Her intriguing study comes from direct observation of the healing rituals, and on personal discussions with the dancers—including one who was particularly vulnerable to trance!  This is also true of L. Danforth’s remarkable account of the firewalkers of SE Bulgaria and northern Greece (Firewalking and Religious Healing). 

By Gail Kligman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Calus as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Classic ethnography of a rural Romanian village and ritual by the outstanding American scholar of Romania and Romanian culture.


Book cover of Entwined

Joanna Ruth Meyer Author Of Echo North

From my list on adult fairytale retellings.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been a passionate devourer of fairytale retellings ever since I happened upon Robin McKinley’s Beauty at the library when I was eleven years old. Fairytales have such a timelessness to them that allow them to be retold over and over, reinterpreted, and reimagined in seemingly countless ways, and I’m honored to have now written a few of my own. Fairytales have shaped my own writing from the beginning.

Joanna's book list on adult fairytale retellings

Joanna Ruth Meyer Why did Joanna love this book?

This is my favorite The Twelve Dancing Princesses retelling! Heather Dixon includes all twelve princesses, named after various plants, and gives them distinct enough personalities that not only can you keep them straight, you care about each one. This story follows Azalea, the eldest of the twelve sisters, and the mysterious Keeper, who invites the princesses to dance every night in his silver forest. But the Keeper likes to keep things, and can Azalea bear to pay the cost? Eerie and gorgeous, romantic and masterful!

By Heather Dixon,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Entwined as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 12, 13, 14, and 15.

What is this book about?

Come and mend your broken hearts here. In this retelling of the classic tale "The Twelve Dancing Princesses," the eldest princess must fight to save her family—and her heart—from an ancient dark magic within the palace walls. "Full of mystery, lush settings, and fully orbed characters, Dixon's debut is both suspenseful and rewarding."—ALA Booklist

Just when Azalea should feel that everything is before her—beautiful gowns, dashing suitors, balls filled with dancing—it's taken away. All of it. And Azalea is trapped. The Keeper understands. He's trapped, too, held for centuries within the walls of the palace. So he extends an invitation.…


Book cover of The Ecstasy of Being: Mythology and Dance

Neil Baldwin Author Of Martha Graham: When Dance Became Modern

From my list on dance and dancing.

Why am I passionate about this?

The most important words of advice my incisive editor at Knopf, Victoria Wilson, gave me while I was laboring upon my biography of Martha Graham – coming out in October, you can pre-order it now – was to say that “she was not a goddess, and you don’t want to worship her.” Yes, I had the nerve to take on this formidable and forbidding figure as a result of bearing witness to her anti-War masterwork, Chronicle, on a winter evening fourteen years ago. Yes, I believed that modern dance was the missing link in my long exploration of American modernism. And yes, I believe that I have proven my point, painting Martha Graham’s portrait as a person – rather than an icon.

Neil's book list on dance and dancing

Neil Baldwin Why did Neil love this book?

I am sure many of you already know this visionary philosopher from his ground-breaking The Hero With a Thousand Faces. You may not be aware that Campbell was married to Jean Erdman, one of Martha Graham’s principal dancers in the ‘30s and ‘40s. Campbell’s initiations to modern dance came at Sarah Lawrence College when witnessing Erdman as Graham’s student; and then at Bennington, where Erdman performed with Graham’s company. His own learned background in the archetypal ethos of C.G. Jung made Campbell a prime candidate for Graham’s deeply-digging, Nietzschean/ecstatic archaic/abstract movement vocabulary. The choreographer and the professor spoke the same kinaesthetic language, Erdman remembered. There were many late nights when “Martha would call Joe on the phone” with some arcane question about her mythographic pieces in progress – Night Journey and Errand into the Maze. Many of Campbell’s essays in this book were first published in Dance Observer…

By Joseph Campbell,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Ecstasy of Being as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Joseph Campbell’s collected writings on dance and art, edited and introduced by Nancy Allison, CMA, the founder of Jean Erdman Dance, and including Campbell’s unpublished manuscript “Mythology and Form in the Performing and Visual Arts,” the book he was working on when he died.

Dance was one of mythologist Joseph Campbell’s wide-ranging passions. His wife, Jean Erdman, was a leading figure in modern dance who worked with Martha Graham and had Merce Cunningham in her first company. When Campbell retired from teaching in 1972, he and Erdman formed the Theater of the Open Eye, where for nearly fifteen years they…


Book cover of Erotic Triangles: Sundanese Dance and Masculinity in West Java

Carol J. Pierce Colfer Author Of Masculinities in Forests: Representations of Diversity

From my list on diverse masculinities.

Why am I passionate about this?

I began studying women’s lives in college (1960s), but recently realized that I (like others) passed myself off as a gender specialist, but had been ignoring men’s roles, beliefs, and behaviour in gender dynamics. I was put off by the studies that too consistently showed men as always violent and controlling. Many studies emphasized men at war, men abusing women, and gay men with HIV/AIDS; there seemed no recognition of positive masculine traits. Recognizing also that men had different ideals about their own masculinity in different places, I examined men’s lives among international elites and in communities in the US, Sumatra, and Indonesia, where I’d done ethnographic research. 

Carol's book list on diverse masculinities

Carol J. Pierce Colfer Why did Carol love this book?

Erotic Triangles returns to a part of the world I know well, though the topic is alien to my own natural resource emphasis. Yet I found it fascinating for its symbolic analyses of West Java’s musical and art worlds – intertwined intimately with the relations between men and women and among men. Its emphasis on triangles was the inspiration for me to structure my own analyses as a harp (another ‘triangle’), within which the strings signify traits that men value in a given culture. Spiller’s analysis inspired my own analogy between the creation of harp music and the clusters of values that influence men’s identities, their personal and cultural ‘songs.’

By Henry Spiller,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Erotic Triangles as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In West Java, Indonesia, all it takes is a woman's voice and a drumbeat to make a man get up and dance. Every day, men there - be they students, pedicab drivers, civil servants, or businessmen - breach ordinary standards of decorum and succumb to the rhythm at village ceremonies, weddings, political rallies, and nightclubs. The music the men dance to varies from traditional gong ensembles to the contemporary pop known as dangdut, but they consistently dance with great enthusiasm. In "Erotic Triangles", Henry Spiller draws on decades of ethnographic research to explore the reasons behind this phenomenon, arguing that…


Book cover of Radha & Jai's Recipe for Romance

Ananya Devarajan Author Of Kismat Connection

From my list on young adult featuring Indian American characters.

Why am I passionate about this?

I specialize in writing Young Adult Fiction with an emphasis on the Romance genre, and my debut novel, Kismat Connection, releases from Inkyard Press and HarperCollins in Summer 2023. Growing up as an Indian American, I remember searching for bits and pieces of my identity in the media. Most of the time, I wouldn’t find any representation at all—so it wasn’t long before I decided that if I couldn’t find the representation that I so desperately wanted to see, I’d have to make it myself. Kismat Connection was born from this moment in my life, and it will forever serve as the foundation for my career in publishing.

Ananya's book list on young adult featuring Indian American characters

Ananya Devarajan Why did Ananya love this book?

This is a young adult romance novel featuring Radha Chopra, a world-renowned Kathak dancer, who gives up her love of dance when a family betrayal comes to light. Radha is instantly a protagonist to root for, a strong, independent, and fierce Indian woman that we so rarely see in contemporary Western media. Nisha Sharma champions such genuine desi representation in this story, and it is absolutely a must-read for all—but especially for passionate and creative Indian American teenagers. 

By Nisha Sharma,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Radha & Jai's Recipe for Romance as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 13, 14, 15, and 16.

What is this book about?

Radha was on the verge of winning the world's biggest kathak dancing competition when a family betrayal shattered her dreams, and her confidence. Now, she's made a deal with her mum: study dance for a year at the Princeton Academy of Arts and Sciences and then leave that world forever. But if she's not a dancer, what is she? Could learning to cook - a way to connect with her absent father - become her new passion?
Jai, captain of the academy's Bollywood Beats dance team, is putting his hopes of going to medical school on hold because money is…


Book cover of Max

Jacinta Bunnell Author Of A More Graceful Shaboom

From my list on LGBTQ in which no one gets bullied.

Why am I passionate about this?

I think Mother Goose got it all wrong. I have been creating books and coloring books for LGBTQ families for over two decades. I believe we deserve stories about LGBTQ children that are jubilant and adventurous; that are about love, mystery, time travel, and all the things everyone else treasures in their favorite books without being lesson books about bullying or being “different.” I have closed many children's books as soon as I get to the part where they are beaten up and made fun of for being gender non-conforming. I am also a visual artist and I love well-written books that are beautiful to look at.

Jacinta's book list on LGBTQ in which no one gets bullied

Jacinta Bunnell Why did Jacinta love this book?

This is a perfectly charming story about a boy who is way into ballet and baseball, written in the 1970s, but which still holds up today. And no one ever makes fun of him. Max is not necessarily Queer, but I consider it in the canon of kid’s books that address gender identity.

By Rachel Isadora,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Max as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


Book cover of National Rhythms, African Roots: The Deep History of Latin American Popular Dance

Jeroen Dewulf Author Of From the Kingdom of Kongo to Congo Square: Kongo Dances and the Origins of the Mardi Gras Indians

From my list on Atlantic cultural history.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a philologist with a passion for Atlantic cultural history. What started with a research project on the African-American Pinkster tradition and the African community in seventeenth-century Dutch Manhattan led me to New Orleans’ Congo Square and has meanwhile expanded to the African Atlantic islands, the Caribbean, and Latin America. With fluency in several foreign languages, I have tried to demonstrate in my publications that we can achieve a better understanding of Black cultural and religious identity formation in the Americas by adopting a multilingual and Atlantic perspective. 

Jeroen's book list on Atlantic cultural history

Jeroen Dewulf Why did Jeroen love this book?

In this fascinating study, Chasteen examines the historical experiences that molded Latin American popular dance from an Atlantic perspective. It delves into the “deep” history of Latin American culture and analyzes the development of dancing culture in its socio-historical context. This is not only a well-researched, but also a well written and oftentimes funny book that is broadly accessible. It is a must-read for any new scholar interested in the field of Black performance culture. Although the focus is on Latin America, Chasteen’s study reveals connections that are also of great importance to understanding the historical development of Black dance culture in North America.

By John Charles Chasteen,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked National Rhythms, African Roots as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

When John Charles Chasteen learned that Simon Bolivar, the Liberator, danced on a banquet table to celebrate Latin American independence in 1824, he tried to visualise the scene. How, he wondered, did the Liberator dance? Did he bounce stiffly in his dress uniform? Or did he move his hips? In other words, how high had African dance influences reached in Latin American societies? A vast social gap separated Bolivar from people of African descent; however, Chasteen's research shows that popular culture could bridge the gap. Fast-paced and often funny, this book explores the history of Latin American popular dance before…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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