Over the years I have read and critiqued the books of a variety of authors. The following is a list of authors that I personally do not recommend as good sources on Wicca or Paganism in general.
Kisma Stepanich - her books were found to be plagarized from another author and the publisher was forced to pull them from bookstores. But you'll still find copies out there. http://www.geocities.com/ferigold/truthfaery/index.html
Silver Ravenwolf: Encourages kids to lie to their parents about what they are doing, teaches curses and hexes, has a pretty strong anti-Christian bias. But for a good summary of the problems with her, take a look at this essay. http://wicca.timerift.net/ravenwolf.html
Fiona Horne - Got into this for the publicity. She admits that she isn't even a Pagan. Again, here's an essay on this author. http://wicca.timerift.net/horne.html And a review of her books is at http://community.livejournal.com/w_t_r/604.html
Raven Grimassi – In my opinion Raven’s work has serious flaws in terms of historical accuracy. He tends to take certain facts that support his personal opinions regarding Wicca and use those facts to make huge leaps of logic which are not supported by the historical evidence. Any facts which would tend to disprove his theories are conveniently ignored.
Ann Moura - Tried to rewrite history to prove that Wicca is an ancient religion again! And she has a clearly anti-Christian bias in her books that bothers me.
D.J. Conway - Basically all her books are the same with the names changed to protect the guilty. Her books are full of inaccuracies, such as her book on Celtic Magic which discusses Karma and the Celts. Karma is an eastern concept and was not one that the Celts ever used. Her book on "Cat Magic" is nothing more than a rehash of every "how to care for your cat" book on the market with only one slim chapter on anything related to magic.
Edain McCoy - Also a purveyor of the Great Potato Fallacy. She is the inventor of 'Witta' which she tried to claim was the ancient Irish form of Wicca. It isn't. The name she called this tradition by is one that would not have been found in any Celtic language. It is simply Wicca given a made up name. The one book of hers that I thought was worth much at all is "Inside a Wiccan Coven" where she is writing about her own experiences and not about anything that took a bit of scholarship. http://www.cyberwitch.com/wychwood/Library/whenIsACeltNotACelt.htm
Douglas Monroe - Very poor scholarship. His works on Druidry bear little resemblance to the known practices of the historical Druids, and even less to what is known about the Celts in general. http://www.cyberwitch.com/wychwood/Library/whenIsACeltNotACelt.htm
Konstantinos - His books are a flagrant attempt to market to the Goth crowd. There is nothing in them that isn't covered better by other authors.
Gerina Dunwich - Lots and lots of fluff without a whole lot of substance. Many better authors out there to chose from, at least in my opinion.
Gavin and Yvonne Frost - Bad history and bad information. In addition, they recommend what amounts to nothing more than the sexual abuse of children in their books. They have stated that they are simply misunderstood, and they have also said that they won't discuss it because society isn't ready to understand it yet. But anyway you put it, the ritual defloration of young girls in ritual by their fathers is sexual abuse in my book.
I suppose one can learn something from almost any book, but the works of these particular authors require so much unlearning later because of the errors they contain that it is probably better just to spend your money on better books and save the time later to learn it right.
Hope this helps,
For the Kisma stuff: Geocities closed down a while ago and all the sites that were built there are gone Do you know if any of the info is available elsewhere? I had a site on Geocities before this happened and all the site builders were given ample opportunity and forewarning to move their stuff or save it. I hope that information is still around in other places but haven't had any luck.
To be honest I haven't read a lot of Raven's works, but I have read some of his material on polyamoury and BDSM as spiritual practices and those I found to be well thought out and full of in depth discussion on what can be very controversial subjects. While I do not practice either polyamourism nor BDSM, as Pagan clergy I sometimes work with those who do and it is important in the counseling setting to be able to understand where they are coming from in order to help them with their problems.
His books on Asatru and Heathenism seem to get mixed reviews but those are not my particular fields of study, so perhaps one of our Northern kindred might be better able to advise you on the veracity of his works in these areas.
To me the biggest difference between Konstantinos and Kaldera is the depth of the information they are providing. Konstantinos takes garbled Wicca 101 material and puts a goth spin on it that is purposeless. Kaldera is a goth who also happens to be a Pagan, but I don't see as much evidence of a spill-over from his gothic lifestyle into his spirituality. And some of his works are clearly based on his own thoughts and practices rather than a rehashing of standard material.
Erdred Thorsson is one of the more recommended Runic and norse scholars out there. Admittedly, I have read very little of his work, but I have heard nothing but good about it. When it comes to texts, admittedly, my reading could be added to immensely. I've red four, maybe five books on Magic, the rest all being Q&A sessions with other experienced practitioners, or side research from pratcitioners who have felt fit to write articles on the subject in question.
I have a very good website saved to my computer that is no longer in existence, called Runeschool. Amazing resource for the Runes.
Thanks, I've jotted down the name... I also have been keeping up with your posts on Runes in the "Trad" forum. Please keep posting :)
Okay I admit, I don't have time to read it right now... I'm still reading the Tarot book that came with my deck "Easy Tarot" and still have to get some runes to study them..