A Handful of Darkly Captivating Non-Fiction Reads for the End of a Gothic Summer

With summer winding down, but autumn still on the horizon, I'm not quite ready to dive into "fall reading" yet - my Kindle pre-orders are arriving in a week or two. Here are some books I'm tempted to read in the meantime. (Luckily, I read fairly quickly!) I like reading both fiction and non-fiction, but right now I'm in the mood for some history and non-fiction titles.

Absinthe: The Exquisite Elixir came out in May. It's by absinthe experts Betina J. Wittels and T.A. Breaux who have written a couple books about absinthe previously.

The intriguing-sounding chapters include "The Ascension and Demise of the Green Fairy," "The Dark Ages," "The Long Road Home - Absinthe Returns," "Acoutrements and Antiques," and "Absinthe and the Craft Cocktail Revival."

A page-turner? No. But definitely interesting if you enjoy imbibing absinthe on a hot late summer evening and want to know about its origins and history.

Vexed with Devils: Manhood and Witchcraft in Old and New England could be a dry read that's hard to focus on. Unless, of course, you're already fascinated by the history of of witchcraft-possession phenomena.

Are you an eldergoth, or at least old enough to remember the incredible hoopla surrounding The Blair Witch Project when it came out back in 1999? This book explores the making of the film, shares behind-the-scenes info on how its marketing and publicity was handled, and talks about the impact the film had on the industry going forward, and on fans at the time. I did like the original movie and I'm glad I saw it in the theater. I definitely want to browse through this book a bit and learn more about the making of this indie horror film that grossed an incredible amount of money.

Ghost Box: Voices from Spirits, ETs, Shadow People & Other Astral Beings sounds really bizarre. "Chris Moon was the first investigator to use the celebrated device known as the ghost box to facilitate real-time, two-way communication with the spirit world. In Ghost Box, Chris shares the extraordinary spiritual contacts he's made with the box during investigations of famous haunted locations such as the Sallie House and the Lizzie Borden House." Ok, I'll bite!

I've never heard of a ghost box before - is that something you've come across in your readings?

I'm sure several of you will be intrigued by The Education of a Coroner: Lessons in Investigating Death. It's by the former coroner of Marin County, California, who spent forty years of his life examining suicides, high-profile deaths, and helping police try to track down serial killers.

Chapters include "The Barbecue Murders," "The Overdose That Wasn't," "The Bridge," "The German Tourist," "Inside San Quentin," "Bones and a Frozen Infant," and "A Supervisor's Wrath."

Take a peek at some of the reviews of this book on Goodreads if it helps you decide if this is something you'd like to read.

I'm quite fascinated by the Sagrada Familia, and hope to see it in person someday before I die. For now, I can read The Sagrada Familia: The Astonishing Story of Gaudí’s Unfinished Masterpiece. Kirkus Reviews called it an "intoxicating book," and Shelf Awareness explains that the book is an illustrated biography of the building itself (not the architect).

Enjoy your reading as this long summer draws to a close (finally!)


  1. They use a ghost box in Ghostumentary (which is not bad). At one point, the lead skeptic gets suspicious, moves the frequency around, and we hear a sitcom. "It appears we're being haunted by a married couple," he says, "with a laugh track." Basically, folks are hearing radio junk, if they're not just using the human mind's amazing ability to find patterns in chaos. Sad, because it seems kinda cool.

  2. This one is also great https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/15801685-rest-in-pieces


Post a Comment