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I have been doing a lot of reading of Masonic related books. Here are some brief outlines of some of the books I have read.
If you would like to submit a book review please email it to Mike at Mt. Mansfield.

Templars and the Crusades Books

The Lost Treasure of the Knights Templar: Solving the Oak Island Mystery

By: Steven Sora
This was an interesting book outlining the history of the Oak Island Mystery and some of the people that excavated there including FDR.  It also outlines several theories as to what the “Money Pit” may contain.  But since no one has gotten to the bottom of the pit if you are looking for answers they are not here.  Still a good book.

The History of the Knights Templars

By Charles G Addison

This book has a ton of information from the Knights Templar history, to the Spear of Destiny.  However I believe it was written as PHD thesis and thus reads that way.  The Bold Times New Roman type and History Text Book writing, just made the book no fun for me.  You can get all of the information from other books that are written a lot better.

Grail Knights of North America: On the Trail of the Grail Legacy in Canada and the United States

By Michael Bradley

Based on Holy Blood Holy Grail as most Knights Templar books are, this book also brings in the story of Henry Sinclair sailing to the new world.  It is an ok book with a lot of information about many different topics in Knights Templar lore.

Rosslyn: Guardian of the Secrets of the Holy Grail

By Tim Wallace-Murphy & Marilyn Hopkins

I suffered through this book.  Although it has some great pictures and drawings, I just had a tough time with the content.  Here is why.  The authors visited seven pre-Christian sites that all currently contain cathedrals.  They don’t reach Rosslyn until about the last 20 pages of the book.  The book was mis-titled it should have been Medieval churches and how they can affect your Chakra. I would not recommend this book.

The Knights Templar

By Stephen Howarth

This is by far my favorite Knights Templar reference book.  It is not concerned with connections to Freemasonry it is just a complete Knights Templar history both the good and the bad. 

The Templar Revelation: Secret Guardians of the True Identity of Christ

By Lynn Picknett & Clive Prince

If you have read Holy Blood Holy Grail you have read this book.  Although this book does have a lot of information that is not in HBHG you can find that same information in several other books not to mention the Da Vinci Code.

The Templars

By Piers Paul Read

This again is a straight history book on the Knights Templar similar to the one I written by Stephen Howarth above.  Both books are very similar and could be used interchangeably.  Although this book does have pictures and maps to explain the text further.

The Crusades: Five Centuries of Holy War

By Malcolm Billings

This is a good 200 page book of mostly pictures and art work to explain to you the 500 years of the Crusades.  As you would guess cramming 500 years of events into 200 pages, there are things left out.  But the art work and photos make up for a lot.

Warriors of God: Richard the Lionheart and Saladin in the Third Crusade

By James Reston, Jr.

When you think of Richard the Lionheart most of us think of Sean Connery a noble and just ruler. Did you know the King Richard could not even speak English and spent more time outside of England than in it. However King Richard was a warlord like non other in his day. This book is a detailed account of the Third Crusade (1187 - 1192), pitting King Richard against Saladin for ownership of the Kingdom of Jerusalem.


Books on Egypt and the Pyramids

An Egyptian Hieroglyphic Dictionary Vol. I & Vol. II

An Egyptian Hieroglypic Reading book for Beginners

Egyptian Language: Easy lessons in Egyptian Hieroglypics

All four By E.A. Wallis Budge

These obviously are not easy reading however they are interesting and I do find them useful as reference to text and translations in other books. 

The Sign and the Seal : The Quest for the Lost Ark of the Covenant
by Graham Hancock

Graham Hancock is one of my favorite authors. His books are pure adventure and he does a very good job presenting his information. The Lost Ark of the Covenant is one of the great historical mysteries of all time. To believers, the Ark is the legendary vessel holding the stone tablets of the Ten Commandments. The Ark itself, however, mysteriously disappears from recorded history sometime after the building of the Temple of Solomon. Graham Hancock like Indiana Jones helps us find it? Maybe, but we may never know. Read the book to learn more.

Fingerprints of the Gods

By Graham Hancock

This book covers a lot of territory and history.  A look into the history of the Egyptian pyramids, Incan ruins and pyramids, as well as the “Nazcan Lines” of Peru.  He researches theories into how and why these monuments were created.

The Orion Mystery
By: Robert Bauval

I read this book a while back. What purpose did the pyramids - one of the largest construction projects ever undertaken - serve? Why were they scattered across the desert in a seemingly random pattern? The pyramid mystery deepened in 1993 when Rudolf Gantenbrink discovered a secret door in the Great Pyramid - a door unopened for 4,500 years. Along with The Message of the Sphinx: A Quest for the Hidden Legacy of Mankind reviewed below make a great pair of books.

The Message of the Sphinx: A Quest for the Hidden Legacy of Mankind.
By: Graham Hancock & Robert Bauval

I really like Graham Hancock as an author. His books are very well written. This book goes on a journey examining the meanings of the Pyramids and their relationship to the stars. There are also a few things that you would notice that would remind you of Freemasonic ritual. I recommend this book to anyone interested in ancient Egypt.

The Great Pyramid Decoded

By: Peter Lemesurier

This book explores all of the passages of the Great Pyramid and other pyramids of Egypt.  It then compares the relationships of the angles of the passages and sizes of the pyramids to the circumference of the Earth and to the stars and constellations.  This is an interesting read but be forewarned that there are a lot of calculations and mathematics that you can get easily lost in.

Heaven’s Mirror: Quest for the Lost Civilization

By Graham Hancock & Santha Faiia

This book by covers the question of how ancient sites in Mexico, Egypt, Cambodia, The Pacific Islands, Peru and Bolivia all have similarities in their structures, myths and relationships to the stars and constellations.  They must all have been influenced in the ancient past by a Lost Civilization that went extinct over 10,000 years ago.

Pharoahs and Kings: A Biblical Quest
By David Rohl

I read this book after reading the Hiram Key.  This is a great Egyptian history reference book with a lot of pictures as well as a complete reference as to which Pharaoh of King ruled during what times. 


Bloodline Books


Holy Blood Holy Grail

By: Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh, and Henry Lincoln

This is the book that started it all back in 1982.  A parish priest in Rennes-Le-Chateau finds some ancient scrolls that outline a Holy Blood line of Christ.  This book covers the Cathars, Knights Templar, Priory of Sion, The Merovigian Dynasty and the story of the Holy Grail that the Da Vinci Code made famous over 20 years later.  Whether you agree or not in a potential ancient bloodline this is a must read as almost all other current books are based on this one.

Bloodline of the Holy Grail : The Hidden Lineage of Jesus Revealed

By: Laurence Gardner

An updated version of Holy Blood Holy Grail however focusing mainly on the genealogical evidence, as well as ancient religious scrolls.  This was an interesting book, with a lot of great old paintings

Rex Deus

By: Marilyn Hopkins, Graham Simmans & Tim Wallace-Murphy

Again based on the Bloodline of Christ story this book looked more into Rabbinical law and Biblical history to see if such a theory is plausible.

The Tomb of God: The body of Jesus and the solution to a 2,000 year old mystery

By: Richard Andrews & Paul Schellenberger

This was a very fun however complex book to read.  The book looks at the artwork of renaissance masters and hidden messages they included in their artwork.  Based on the mystery of Rennes-Le-Chateau, however this book wants to find the final burial chamber of Jesus in the Languedoc region of France.

Key to the Sacred Pattern:The untold story of Rennes-le-Chateau

By: Henry Lincoln

Henry Lincoln co-authored the Holy Blood, Holy Grail book.  So this book is based on proving that theory, but uses some of the techniques from The Tomb of God to prove it.  Using artwork analysis and mathematics to create a map of ancient landmarks.

The Blood and the Shroud: New evidence that the world’s most sacred relic is real

By: Ian Wilson

Is the Shroud of Turn a genuine relic or a cunning forgery.

The Complete Dead Sea Scrolls in English

By: Geza Vermes

Although at times a little difficult to get through.  This is a must have for anyone how reads books that discuss some of the dead sea scrolls.  I like to have a back up reference to double check the authors.

The Bible Code

By: Michael Drosnin

We have all heard a lot about this book and how the Bible holds the keys to future events.  This book gives example after example of prophesies, but never tells you how the code is decoded.  Which leads me to wonder, as others have said, if you look at a big enough book long enough you can always find some hidden codes.


Masonic Books

Born in Blood: The lost secrets of Freemasonry

By: John J. Robinson

A must have or at least read for all freemasons.  This book basically created the Knights Templar to Freemason theory or at least made it mainstream.

Dungeon Fire and Sword: The Knights Templar in the Crusades

By: John J. Robinson

This is John J. Robinson’s version of the Knights Templar history and in the Crusades. 

A Pilgrim's Path : Freemasonry and the Religious Right
By John J. Robinson

Very Informative, gives you an incite to why people are afraid of Freemasonry and how you can open up and answer those fears.

The Origins of Freemasonry: Scotland’s Century 1590-1710

By: David Stevenson

This book covers some of the texts found in England and Scotland and the History of Freemasonry.

Below is a list of other Freemasonic books that I use for reference for general history and degree work.

Stewart’s Freemason’s Manual: A compainion for the initiated through all the degrees of Freemasonry

By: Rev. K.J.Stewart, K.T 1852

Masonic Handbook: Webster Lodge No 61

Compiled by: Alfred Hall, PWGM, Marsh Perkins, PWGM, Daniel Nicholson1893

Duncan’s Ritual of Freemasonry

By: Malcolm C. Duncan

The History of Freemasonry

By: Albert Mackey

The Meaning of Masonry

By: W.L. Wilmshurst

Freemasonry and its ancient mystic rites

By: C.W. Leadbeater

The lost keys of Freemasonry

By: Manly P. Hall 33°
Happy to meet, sorry to part: A collection of Masonic poems and Inspirational fraternal thoughts

Edited by Stephen Dafoe

Freemasonry:A journey through Ritual and Symbol

By: W. Kirk MacNulty

Manual of the Lodge (1898)

By: Albert G. Mackey

Art and Symbols of the Occult:Images of Power and Wisdom

By: James Wasserman

Sacred Geometry:Philosophy and practice

By: Robert Lawlor

Symbolism of the Eastern Star

By: Shirley Plessner (1956)

The Freemasons: A History of the World’s Most Powerful Secret Society

By: Jasper Ridley

The Hiram Key: Pharaohs, Freemasonry and the Discovery of the Secret Scrolls of Jesus

 By: Christopher Knight, Robert Lomas

From the Publisher

The Hiram Key is a book that will shake the Christian world to its very roots. When Christopher Knight and Robert Lomas, both Masons, set out to find the origins of Freemasonry they had no idea that they would find themselves unraveling the true story of Jesus and the original Jerusalem Church. As a radically new picture of Jesus started to emerge, the authors came to the startling conclusion that the key rituals of modern Freemasonry were practiced by the early followers of Jesus as a means of initiation into their community.

Turning the Hiram Key

By Robert Lomas

Robert takes us on his journey through Freemasonry as he recounts his degrees.  This is interesting if nothing else than seeing the differences in the Ritual between Vermont and England.  I am about half way through this book but it has proven so far to be a good one.

The Temple and the Lodge

By Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh

This was my first Masonic book and has always been one that I go back to for fun reading.  This is the book that started it all for me and lead me down the path to researching the Knights Templar before I even knew who they were or that their was a York Rite in Masonry.


General Reading:


Angles and Demons

By: Dan Brown

One of the best books I have read. Angels & Demons is not a book about Freemasonry, however it is a fascinating journey through symbology and art. Join Harvard symbolgist Robert Langdon on a journey through the churches of Rome, the sealed archives of the Vatican and unknown catacombs. What he discovers is an unimaginable deadly vendetta against the Catholic Church by a centuries-old underground organization - the Illuminati, or is it?

Da Vinci Code

By: Dan Brown

Robert Langdon is back this time in France. When the Superintendent of the Louve is cornered inside his own museum by an assassin, on his death bed he knows he can not die without passing on the secret he holds. For he is the Grand Master of the Priory of Sion. He leaves a very cryptic message for his grand daughter and Robert Langdon. His grand daughter finding out for the first time that her grand father is the Grand Master, begins her search to find out and make sure the secret is not lost for ever. The secret is the Holy Grail and what and where it is.  If you have only seen the movie you must read the book it is 100 times better.

The Rule of Four

By: Ian Caldwell and Dustin Thomason

This is probably my favorite Historical Fiction book.  Much like the Da Vinci Code and Angles of Demons the new types of historical fiction books meld actual places, artwork and books with a fictional story.  This book has four Princeton University students writing their Senior thesis.  One of them is decoding a Renaissance text called the Hypnerotomachia Poliphili to find a hidden treasure of Renaissance art and literature that survived Girolamo Savonarola and the “Bonfires of the Vanities”. 



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