Tuesday, March 31, 2015

12 Months of Goth, Horror and Dark Biographies for a Gothic Book Club

Tired of literary fiction, the usual Dracula and Frankenstein and television host book club picks? Form a gothic book club in your town and choose a bit more intellectual readings to ponder over and discuss with your book club members. Take turns hosting at each other's dark and drearily decorated houses, seeing who can outdo each other with book-themed cocktails and desserts each month.

Following are some suggestions for intriguing reading for thoughtful goths:

JANUARY:

Chapter and Verse: New Order, Joy Division and Me (2014): Bernard Sumner's take on things. Book reviews include The Guardian and The Register; and here's an article where Peter Hook dissects the autobiography and one where he bashes it.

FEBRUARY:

Unknown Pleasures: Inside Joy Division (2013): Peter Hook's history of his band Joy Division. Here's the reviews from The Guardian, The Boston Globe and the LA Times.

MARCH:

Who Killed Mister Moonlight? (2014): David J's biography of his life and his time as the bassist for Bauhaus. Check out a review of the book at Goldmine and at Blinded by Sound.

APRIL:

Robert Smith: The Cure and Wishful Thinking (2005): While we wait for a more updated biography or (dare we hope) a Robert Smith autobiography, this will have to do.

MAY:

Morrissey (2014): Autobiography from the lead singer of The Smiths. Morrissey can be a bit polarizing, so not everyone in your book club might want to read this.

A Light That Never Goes Out (2012): Perhaps your group would prefer reading about the Smiths band as a whole, not focusing on Morrissey. There's an updated 2013 version as well.

JUNE:

Dark Entries: Bauhaus and Beyond (2001): This looks like a nice drama-filled read for your book club. Maybe set out some extra wine or whisky for your book club meeting this month.

JULY:

Siouxsie and the Banshees: Entranced Story (1989): Out of date, but still an interesting read on one of the seminal goth bands.

Siouxsie and the Banshees: The Authorised Biography (2003): Perhaps then move onto this more updated biography for the second half of the month of your book club.

AUGUST:

Edgar Allan Poe: Mournful and Never-Ending Remembrance (2008): Of all the many Poe biographies out there, I chose this one from its melodramatic title and Pulitzer Prize-winning author. Sure to spark some lively discussions.

SEPTEMBER:

The Lady and Her Monsters (2003): An intriguing biography of Mary Shelley. Great reading for steampunk and Victoriana fans too. Here's the reviews from New York Times and Persephone Magazine.

OCTOBER:

Ministry: The Lost Gospels (2013): Al Jourgensen's stories of his time in the industrial band. You can read reviews of the book at Intravenous Magazine and at Louder than War. There are some outtakes from the book at Vice, too.

Vampira: Dark Goddess of Horror (2014): W. Scott Poole's biography of actress Maila Nurmi and the "Vampira" character she portrayed. You can listen to an interview with the author here.

NOVEMBER:

Bram Stoker and The Man Who Was Dracula (2002): Read the publisher's excerpt and you'll see why I think this book would lend lots of drama and excitement to your book club discussions this month. Wow.

DECEMBER:

Remembering Jonathan Frid (2014): Friends and colleagues reminisce about the Dark Shadows actor. You can read an excerpt of the book here, and listen to a podcast with the author here.

Touching from a Distance (2014): Deborah Curtis, widow of singer Ian Curtis, writes about his life and time in Joy Division. Here are book reviews from The Telegraph and The Guardian.

Happy reading!

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