Monday, March 25, 2013

"Quoth the Raven..."

"... never Kindle!  Nor Nook, neither."  AWK!

Well, the raven didn't exactly say THAT, but it's the way I feel.  I don't want 'electronic' books, I want REAL books.  I love the way they look, the way they smell, and the way the pages feel in my hand.  And I don't want to not be able to read something because I forgot to charge a battery, or bring my extension cord, or there's no outlet, or I accidentally deleted it, or whatever.  YES, they ARE godsends for people with extremely limited shelf space, or who are always traveling, or who have trouble reading things only available as e-books on a regular-sized computer screen, or have one of the many other excellent reasons for preferring them to real books.  But that's not me, and I hope it never will be, because books are a big part of who I am.  Also, I admit that I am somewhat of a technological dinosaur, and electronic gadgets are sometimes difficult for me to navigate, so I probably have a somewhat negative view of them in that respect.  I have occasional control issues with my computer, too, although we get along fairly well most of the time.  (At least my mouse doesn't bite me any more...)

Anyway, I have always had a lovely collection of books, which now includes a small group that are either about the goth subculture itself or of a gothy nature.  I thought I'd share these with you today, and maybe coax you into sharing one or two of yours as well.

First are my books about the subculture.  My absolute favorite of these is Goth Chic: A Connoisseur's Guide to Dark Culture by Gavin Baddeley.  When I first saw the title I thought, 'Ho hum, another book on style and dress', and I didn't buy it for quite some time.  I'm glad I finally did, because I couldn't have been more wrong!  It's a detailed history of all the different parts of the subculture (including, but not limited to, movies, TV, books, music, bands, and personalities), and both the writing and the amount of details given are exquisite.  The only problem I have with it is the TINY print!

Almost as good is Nancy Kilpatrick's The Goth Bible.   This is a more general overview, so I'm glad I read it before reading Goth Chic.  I wasn't overwhelmed with too much information, because I'd read this first and had some idea about who and what Baddeley was talking about!  Very well written, and with lots of comments and quotes by various and sundry goths.

Gothic Charm School by Jillian Venters (aka "The Lady of the Manners") is fun to read.  Although it's geared more towards younger goths and their parents rather than goths who ARE parents, I still found answers to a few questions I didn't know I had!

If you are interested in 'green burial' or in the funeral industry in general, I highly recommend Grave Matters by Mark Harris.  It's a fascinating look at the various types of modern burial practices, and how we can take matters into our own hands to make death and burial a less frightening prospect for ourselves and our loved ones.

I'm only about halfway through Walking the Twilight Path: A Gothic Book of the Dead by Michelle Belanger, but I'm taking it slowly so that I can actually do the meditations and exercises she suggests.  This is an experiential book about a spiritual path that focuses on walking between the worlds of the living and the dead in order to find the gateway of transformation and rebirth.  I really can't explain it well here; it's one of those books you have to read for yourself to understand.

And here are my favorite fiction books (so far):

~ Death: A Life (by Death, as told to George Pendle)

~ The Woman in Black by Susan Hill

~ The Haunted Looking Glass: Ghost Stories Chosen by Edward Gorey

~ Mort and Reaper Man by Terry Pratchett  (Read them in that order, they'll make more sense.)

~ The "Undead" Series by MaryJanice Davidson.  (Vampires rather than goths, but who cares?  They're hysterical!)

Now that I've shared with you, I'd love to hear about your favorite goth-type books.  The more comments, the better!

Until next time...


  1. I think one of my favourites is Drood by Dan Simmons. It's a fictionalized ghost story about Charles Dickens and his friend Wilkie Collins. I remember reading Collins' The Woman in White, which was supposedly the most influential of the Victorian genre that combined Gothic horror with pyschological realism, but I read it so long ago I can't remember if I liked it or not!

    I've never read The Woman in Black but I heard it was very different from the movie, so it's on my list. The Haunted Looking Glass sounds good, too! :o)

    1. Oooh, I'd forgotten about 'The Woman in White'! I think I read that years ago also, but now I've got to read it again! I also read the original 'Mystery of Edwin Drood' by Dickens, but not the one by Simmons. That sounds interesting, I'll have to put it on my list, thanks!

      I didn't see the movie of 'The Woman in Black', but movies are usually VERY different from the books! I rarely watch the movie if I've read the book first, because I tend to gripe and bitch all the way through about the changes, and everyone hates me! ;-)

    2. Another vote for DROOD - Excellent book! It led me to read The Woman in White which I LOVED! I like Wilkie Collins better than Dickens - LOL.

    3. I recently finished reading The Woman in White -- VERY complex! A little confusing in spots, but eventually it all got sorted out. I thought I'd read it years ago, but I didn't remember any of it, so apparently not! I do wish the end had been JUST a little different, though, if you know what I mean (I don't want to spoil it for anyone by discussing the ending here!).

  2. I have "The Goth Bible" and am a huge fan of Anne Rice. I relish both her Vampire Chronicles novels and the Mayfair Legacy stories. Of course, it goes without saying that I'm a fan of E.A. Poe and H.P. Lovecraft. Kaitlin R. Kiernan is another of my favorites. Some of her stories are reflective of her admiration for Lovecraft and take place in the same neighborhoods and even buildings as his.

    1. Oh, YES, I read The Vampire Chronicles when they came out (in paperback). I LOVED the second book, 'The Vampire Lestat', much more than the other two, mainly because Lestat himself is so...WOW. A renegade among renegades, gotta love him! :-)

      Poe and Lovecraft, YES, they go without saying. I've been a Poe fan since I was a child, and Lovecraft scared me to death as a teenager! Hadn't heard of Kiernan, I must check her books out, thanks!

  3. My boyfriend gave my gothic charm school for my birthday :3 I have yet to read it though ^^ I also once borrowed goth chic from my old high school's library. They only let you borrow books for 3 weeks at a time though and it's not really a book I'd read in such a short period of time.

    1. School libraries can be such a pain! College ones are a bit better, they usually let you extend the borrow time on a book as long as no one else is requesting it. But no, it definitely took me longer than three weeks to read that! I bought mine used on Alibris for a very good price, you might check that and/or Amazon as an alternative if you can't find it in a more reasonable library.

  4. I'm going to recommend my very FAVORITE Vampire series here - Charlie Huston's Joe Pitt series - beginning with Already Dead. Gritty NYC vampires and Charlie Huston writes really well about subculture unlike most things you read or see that have no idea what really goes on.

    I'll also recommend some goth comics - Gloom Cookie - and one that you can read online Writhe and Shine - I've found both of those to have many elements true to life! : )

    1. Goody, another book recommendation!! I've now got 'Already Dead' on my Alibris list, thank you!

      And I LOVE Writhe & Shine, they are awesomely funny! :-) Gotta check out Gloom Cookie now.