Friday, May 15, 2020

Stay-at-home shelfie #50

It turns out that, here on the Mostly Ghostly shelf, there was a small zone of books that were not originally included in either shelfie #49 or shelfie #50. Yours truly became confused during the photography session, but there was a legimate reason for the confusion: There are two books titled Best Ghost Stories. So I mostly missed the volumes between Algernon Blackwood's Best Ghost Stories and Sheridan Le Fanu's Best Ghost Stories.

So here, to the right, is a new photo of the Almost Lost Volumes. We wouldn't want to miss any books along the way, right?

Without the new photo, we might have missed the marvelous M.R. James, one of the most important and influential writers in the history of ghost stories. There is also a book of Algernon Blackwood's John Silence tales. Silence strikes me as a progenitor of Marvel's Doctor Strange. In fact, within the first few pages of the 1908 Dr. John Silence tale "A Psychical Invasion," Blackwood writes that Silence's origin involves "a total disappearance from the world for five years," "a long and severe training, at once physical, mental, and spiritual," and a "strange quest" that transformed him into a "singularly developed doctor" with "special powers." I rest my case.

Also in this shelfie, we have volumes by Ambrose Bierce, Nathaniel Hawthorne and one from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle that hails from the Dr. W.B. Konkle Memorial Library in Montoursville. And there are three volumes by Tim Prasil, whose wonderful content can be found at There's also a book by Mark Rees, who has this great Twitter profile: "Journalist. Author. Cultural adventurer. Writes about the arts, history and folklore." Finally, looming large and purple in the middle is Stephen King's nonfiction Danse Macabre, which I've been returning to regularly since the early 1980s. (I mentioned it most recently in a rambling March 23 post.)

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