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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.
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.)
(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.)
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?
Reprinted and combined? Sounds cool.
LT has been excellent for finding stuff nagging in the back of the brain like that!
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.
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.
All of Dion Fortune's books are relevant, especially her novels.
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