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1melannen
aug 18, 2006, 1:55pm

Hello! People have joined this group while I slept dreaming!

So let's start things off: What are some of your favorite books that fit the group's theme?

When I was in middle school, I found a paperback of Daniel Cohen's Encyclopedia of the Strange, which I've pretty much completely worn out in the years since then, even if the Spontaneous Human Combustion article still gives me nightmares. It seems to hit exactly the right balance between skepticism and open-mindedness for me.

Ever since then, I've been a sucker for books on the paranormal that are organized encyclopedia-style - they're my brain candy. I used to read An Encyclopedia of Fairies at least once a year, although since my collection's gotten bigger, I've varied my choices more.

2slothman
aug 22, 2006, 5:04pm

Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds is a classic. I've used the tag forteana to tag the Fortean chunk of my library, if anyone wants to peruse that chunk.

3Suralon
Redigeret: okt 3, 2006, 9:05am

I am somewhat suprized that no mentioned a little encyclopedia called The Occult issued in 1991 by Chambers. A less than trade sized paperrback, it is interesting. I picked mine up as a Barnes and Noble remainder. The author is Andre Nataf and was translated from a french version published in 1988. I understand it is still from various internet book sellers very cheaply

4melannen
okt 2, 2006, 4:14pm

Ooh, The Occult sounds like just the sort of thing I'd like, Suralon! I'll have to keep my eyes out.

Extraordinary Popular Delusions is available on Project Gutenberg and thereby many other places online; I don't have a paper copy but perusing it online has filled many hours ...

(I tag my whole weirdness collection as parascience, because I was having trouble coming up with something inclusive enough, since I use forteana for the ones that are specifically collections of miscellaneous oddities and phenomena. I love forteana.)

5bluetyson
okt 3, 2006, 10:13am

I had Mysteries of the Unknown and another few books like that as a kid, that I used a lot (which this group reminded me of) There seemed to be lots of that sort of thing around then, Leonard Nimoy's tv, stuff in kids magazines, Ripley's etc.

6Suralon
okt 13, 2006, 1:12am

Extraordinary Popular Delusions is available in the hardcover edition by and from Barnes and Noble as part of their reprint program rather cheaply. However it appears to me a well made book.

7localpeanut
jan 4, 2007, 8:44pm

I have The Complete Books of Charles Fort bound in one Dover edition. I also read Strange Magazine online. A very witty publication and full of fascinating articles: strangemag.com

8melannen
jan 5, 2007, 10:06pm

I've read The Book of the Damned in library copies and public domain e-texts several times, and I adore it! But I've seen mixed reviews of the later ones. I got a used hardcover copy of New Lands for Christmas which is on my currently-reading pile, it seems to so far be focussed more on debunking traditional science than on the positive proofs of weirdness that made Damned so great - still fun, but since half of the things he talks about are now utterly obsolete, it's kind of disappointing from a "rock your world" standpoint. Does it get better?

(For some reason, my new copy was published as part of the "Garland Library of Great Science Fiction", which seems to imply that they thought it was fiction. I haven't quite worked that out yet.)

9totnesmartin
jan 9, 2007, 5:39pm

Relevant regulars: Unexplained by Jerome Clark, Alien Animals by the Bords, The Mothman Prophecies by John A Keel, and various of those books that reprint the unexplained magazine articles.

10dodger
Redigeret: maj 8, 2007, 4:46am

Ahh, thank you bluetyson! You’ve helped me without knowing it.

For a few days now, I’ve been racking my brain trying to remember the name of the Time-Life books I had as a kid, which I now know was "Mysteries of the Unknown". I only had a couple from the series, but I remembered liking them. Does anyone hear know if they are actually any good--or do I have skewed childhood memories of them?

On their Web site ( http://www.timelife.com/catalog/product.jsp?productId=9565 ) they offer a one-book, 429 page version of it, which appears to contain the original content, but I wonder if some stuff was taken out or not. Anyone know?

11bluetyson
maj 8, 2007, 3:40am

As far as I recall they were good at the time, had fun info and tidbits and pictures. No idea how many there were though, I know I had one bigger hardback one and maybe some others.

Reprinted and combined? Sounds cool.

LT has been excellent for finding stuff nagging in the back of the brain like that!

12dodger
maj 8, 2007, 4:47am

“LT has been excellent for finding stuff nagging in the back of the brain like that!”

Very true!

At 429 pages, it likely contains all of the original material. If I recall the books in the original series were rather thin, so this may be the case. And at $12.98, I probably can’t go too wrong, except for being Time-Life I will probably forever be bugged by them to purchase tons of useless stuff for years to come.

13bluetyson
maj 8, 2007, 6:30am

Sounds pretty cheap for some nostalgia, sure. Imagine we likely ha different editions to what you had, but looking at that page, sounds about right.

14WholeHouseLibrary
Redigeret: maj 8, 2007, 10:55am

My father-in-law has a 5-inch thick tome titled Who's Who in Hell.
It's got people listed alphabetically and things they've said (or possibly done) that qualifies them for said afterlife existence. It's really quite funny, but the print is very small.

15gregtmills
jun 28, 2007, 7:05pm

Everything is under control by Robert Anton Wilson is fun tongue-in-cheek (or is it?) tour of the world of conspiracy. Great bathroom reading and a pretty good introduction to lots of weirdo stuff.

16GlennCooper
mar 6, 2008, 5:09am

EVERYONE should read Patrick Harpur's "Daemonic Reality" -- a bona-fide masterpiece of esoterica.

17soldulac
Redigeret: jul 26, 2009, 12:52pm

What about Deamon Lover by Dion Fortune
All of Dion Fortune's books are relevant, especially her novels.
a list:
Moon Magic
The Sea Priestess
The Secrets of Dr. Tavener
The Winged Bull
The Goatfoot God ;they're gems! I really enjoyed them.

also Cate Tiernan Balefire series
and Nora Roberts Face The Fire
Enjoy!
Sol.