Saturday, May 16, 2020

Stay-at-home shelfie #51

Sliding over to the right side of the Mostly Ghostly shelf, we have unsettling story collections by the wonderful Robert Aickman (1914-1982), followed by modern tale-spinners Kelly Link, Sharma Shields and Silvia Moreno-Garcia (all recommended). Carmen Maria Machado's tremendous Her Body and Other Parties goes here, too, but it was loaned out to Joan when the photo was taken.

There's an incomplete collection of books by J.W. Ocker, who's been mentioned frequently on Papergreat over the years. You can find his great stuff at His newest book, due out this fall, will be Cursed Objects: Strange but True Stories of the World's Most Infamous Items. I will have to make room for that one, for sure!

Trade paperback is the exact right format for reading and collecting Ray Bradbury books. Next to Bradbury are two Bart House editions of H.P. Lovecraft books that I've featured: The Weird Shadow Over Innsmouth and The Dunwich Horror.

Then there's Superstition and the Press, a fun browsing book that I discovered more than 20 years ago. It was published in 1983 and is filled with all of the dubious reporting on In Search Of... level paranormal phenomena that appeared in American newspapers from the 1950s through early 1980s. From the back cover:
"(Author Curtis D. MacDougall) provides a devastating critique of the treatment by the press of claims of supernatural phenomena. ... The author's conclusion is that newspapers, with rare exceptions, treat claims of supernatural experiences and paranormal phenomena without questioning their validity. This is an age of science, contends Professor MacDougall, but not of scientific mindedness."
Chapter titles include Horoscopes, Prophecy, Doomsday, Fortune Telling, Ghosts, Poltergeists and Exorcism, Sea Serpents, Witchcraft, Cults, Gurus, Relics, ESP and UFOs. The good news is that we (the mainstream media) don't cover nearly as much of that stuff today. The bad news is we (the people) still don't put enough belief or trust in science today.

And, finally, there's been another blunder. (The shelfie photgrapher really should be sacked.) Not pictured, but to the right of Superstition and the Press, is 1926's The Psychic in the House by Walter Franklin Prince. (For the entertainment value, of course, not the science value.)

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