Weird Books for Strange Folks

It is said you can tell a lot about a person by the choice of books they read, and seeing as though you are here to peruse this freakish list, I can only imagine what sort of strange and wonderful person you are.

I am imagining some sort of bookish Gomez or Morticia Addams….

If you love a good spooky story, or are fascinated by the strange real-life events that have occurred throughout history, this is the list for you. From freak-shows or taxidermy, to hauntings or crematorium goings on, we have something for every weirdo here.

Beyond The Dark Veil

This fantastic book comprises of 194 extraordinary photographs recording the Victorian practise of ‘mourning photography’. The pictures, along with newspaper articles and notices, include various types of mourning photography such as albumen prints, hand coloured photographs, daguerreotypes, postcards, and more. It is a wonderful insight into the way many of our ancestors would grieve and mourn their deceased family members.

Find your copy here:

Beyond The Dark Veil US 

Beyond The Dark Veil UK

Atlas of Cursed Places

There are 40 locations within this book, all of which are teeming with the disastrous, the paranormal, and the weird. The places examined in the book include: a home of mythical sea monsters; a town where the ground constantly burns; a national park overrun with bats; and the world’s second most popular suicide location…

Find your copy here:

Atlas of Cursed Places US

Atlas of Cursed Places UK

Freak Babylon

A surprising and disturbing document of the history of teratology, one of humanity’s most enthralling sciences which focusses on genetic abnormality and deformation. The book follows a strange entertainment that sprung from teratology: the freak show, with some famous case histories such as the Elephant Man and features over 200 photos of human anomalies, recorded scientific research, and body modification.

Find your copy here:

Freak Babylon US

Freak Babylon UK

Funerals To Die For

Putting the FUN back into funerals, and dark and rich like a really decent, expensive chocolate, this book looks at the history of the funeral. It gives a great insight into various cultures and the funeral practices they perform, some strange, others bizarre…

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Funerals To Die For US

Funerals To Die For UK

Goatman: Flesh or Folklore?

Author and paranormal investigator J. Nathan Couch has collected sightings of Goatman and other goaty folktales including the Pope Lick Monster, the Beast of Billiwhack, and Sheepsquatch… Join him as he tries to separate history from lore and taking you across the USA… Beware the Goatman!

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Goatman: Flesh or Folklore US

Goatman: Flesh or Folklore UK

Mutter Museum

This book contains artistic images of the Mutter Museums’s transfixing exhibits shot by modern fine art photographers. Here we see the museum’s archive of historic photographs, many of which have never been seen by the general public. The images are often poignant and beautifully accomplished, ranging from pathological anomalies, Civil War injuries and recoveries, to the ravages of diseases still in existence in the 19th century.

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Mutter Museum US

Mutter Museum UK

Poe Land: The Hallowed Haunts of Edgar Allen Poe

In this book the author explores Poe’s legacy: touring Poe’s homes, examining locks of his hair, pieces of his coffin, his manuscripts, and the many memorials dedicated to the strange and great man. Poe-Land is a unique take on the afterlife of the poet who is arguably unrivalled in his affect on science fiction and horror.

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Poe Land US

Poe Land UK

Rest In Pieces: The Curious Fates of Famous Corpses

This book follows some of the more famous figures in history and the deaths they endured, and what happened to them after… They have been taken and sold, pickled or frozen, and even impersonated! Their famous genitals, toes, teeth, and hearts have wandered the globe mostly without their permission. This is a fascinating insight into what lengths people will go to to be with (a part of) their heroes…

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Rest in Pieces US

Rest in Pieces UK

Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: And Other Lessons From the Crematorium

This book is by twenty-three-year-old Caitlin Doughty who, with great curiosity, threw herself into her odd new profession. Within the book she explores our death rituals, and the rituals of other cultures, and longs for healthier attitudes around death than we have already… Fans of gallows humour will enjoy this vivid account of this usually depressing subject, dealt with with humour and ease.

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Smoke Gets in Your Eyes US

Smoke Gets in Your Eyes UK

Taxidermy Art

Author Robert Marbury created this funny and frank guide that takes us through the history of taxidermy, presenting us with beautiful and strange pieces of taxidermy art from twenty artists in the field. There is also a guide with six illustrated how to lessons, with sources for taxidermy materials for the budding taxidermists.

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Taxidermy Art US

Taxidermy Art UK

To Kill a Mockingbird Removed from Mississippi School Reading List

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To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee’s classic novel about racism in the American South has been removed from a school’s reading list because language in the book “makes people uncomfortable.”

The Biloxi school board this week decided that the novel should be removed from the curriculum, though it will still be available in the school’s library. The vice-president of the school board told the Sun Herald newspaper that they had received several complaints about the book because the language it uses makes people feel uncomfortable.

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A Guide To Spotting Fake Reviews Online

By | Guest Blogs, Literature | No Comments
After Hillary Clinton’s memoir “What Happened” was released, and received reviews almost immediately, Amazon had to delete hundreds of unverified reviews from the site.

It can be worrying for any online shopper to purchase something without recommendation, and many of us look to reviews to help determine whether the purchase worth our money.

Sometimes it is not obvious at first glance that a review is fake, and bought or planted by promoters of the product. Floship have provided a useful guide to spotting fakery in reviews, particularly Amazon reviews, besides the usual ‘Verified Reviewer’ clue.

Follow the link below to see the full article and save yourself a lot of bother with fake reviews online!

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Novel Rejected Over 30 Times For Being “Too Gay”

By | Literature, New Releases | No Comments
A novel has been rejected over 30 times by publishers who cited that it was “too niche” just because it centred on a gay character. It was also said the story of Charlie Matthews’ obsession with Madonna was “too working class, too 80s, too immersed in pop culture, and too gay”.

The Madonna of Bolton by Matt Cain is a family drama and sees the protagonist Charlie’s obsession with the pop star Madonna. His infatuation with her “sees him through some tough times in life: being persecuted at school; fitting in at a posh university; a glamorous career in London; finding boyfriends; getting rid of boyfriends; growing up and family heartbreak”.

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Almost Two-Thirds Of The World’s Illiterate Adults Are Women.

By | Literature, News | One Comment
Global illiteracy is still a major issue in the 21st century with 774 million illiterate adults (people over the age of 15) all over the world.

493 million (two-thirds) of those illiterate adults are women. This discrepancy is shocking to many of us but it is one that needs to be addressed.

Back in 2010 the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation director-general, Irina Bokova, said: “newly literate women have a positive ripple effect on all development indicators”. Teaching women to read has a great positive affect on the development of themselves, their family and their community.

Katy Newell-Jones of Feed the Minds supports Bokova’s comments by adding: “On its own, literacy neither saves lives nor fills hungry mouths. However, we encounter women’s literacy time and time again as a valuable component in women’s empowerment. A woman who is able to keep her own business records is more likely to be able to manage her income and expenditure; and the children of a literate mother are more likely to complete their education.”

National Institute of Adult Continuing Education report on women’s right to literacy insists on an holistic approach to literacy education. It is more effective to teach reading and writing while linking it to practical and useful skills: “Literacy learning is particularly effective when it is linked to, integrated with or embedded in other learning. Such approaches produce stronger outcomes in both literacy and vocational education and training. Women who want to be successful traders, efficient farmers, contribute to school governance and rear healthy children must be equipped with the necessary, associated literacy skills.”

Check out the BBC video below for further insight into the global literacy problem.

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Romantic Book Covers Recreated With Normal Folk

By | Inspired by Literature, Literature | No Comments
You must have seen them on a library bookshelf, or perhaps you have read a few stashed in your bedside table? Romance literature with ever-so-slightly cheesy covers have been around since the early to mid-20th century. Mills and Boon cornered the market for the erotic novels and still produce them today. They were marketed as escapist literature for women in the 1930s, although there are some men who claim them as their guilty pleasure.

The covers usually depict a romantic scene between two people: usually a muscled man embracing a woman in a fit of passion. There has been some controversy over the years with the solely Caucasian characters and storylines centred on male dominance. Despite this, they remain ever-popular and provide an erotic escape into a world often unknown to their readers. Some feminist academics have even gone as far as to say they are feminist texts by introducing women to the concept of orgasms, and sexual liberation.

Val Derbyshire of the University of Sheffield, UK is a big fan. She say that the books are written for women, by women, and have much more value than many give them credit for.

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