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Ghostland: An American History in Haunted Places
Ghostland: An American History in Haunted Places | Colin Dickey
An intellectual feast for fans of offbeat history, "Ghostland "takes readers on a road trip through some of the country's most infamously haunted places--and deep into the dark side of our history. Colin Dickey is on the trail of America's ghosts. Crammed into old houses and hotels, abandoned prisons and empty hospitals, the spirits that linger continue to capture our collective imagination, but why? His own fascination piqued by a house hunt in Los Angeles that revealed derelict foreclosures and "zombie homes," Dickey embarks on a journey across the continental United States to decode and unpack the American history repressed in our most famous haunted places. Some have established reputations as "the most haunted mansion in America," or "the most haunted prison"; others, like the haunted Indian burial grounds in West Virginia, evoke memories from the past our collective nation tries to forget. With boundless curiosity, Dickey conjures the dead by focusing on questions of the living--how do we, the living, deal with stories about ghosts, and how do we inhabit and move through spaces that have been deemed, for whatever reason, haunted? Paying attention not only to the true facts behind a ghost story, but also to the ways in which changes to those facts are made--and why those changes are made--Dickey paints a version of American history left out of the textbooks, one of things left undone, crimes left unsolved. Spellbinding, scary, and wickedly insightful, "Ghostland" discovers the past we're most afraid to speak of aloud in the bright light of day is the same past that tends to linger in the ghost stories we whisper in the dark."
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Allydanielle88
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#Ghost day 5 #scarathlondailyprompts This is a great nonfiction that explores the history of ghost stories and why the United States holds so closely to them. It's a fascinating read.
#Scarathlon2022 #TeamMonsterMash @StayCurious

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TamTracy
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Pickpick

I enjoyed this book but it wasn‘t what I expected. It was more history of some famously haunted places and truth telling stories. It definitely made me think and wasn‘t just a book that was made to be scary or even make you believe. ⭐️⭐️⭐️

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Sweettartlaura
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So my niece is heading off to college next week.
And her first Lit class isn‘t English Composition 101.
Or Early American Literature.
No.
It‘s “American Ghosts.”
What?!?!!
So, so jealous 😜
And… also so excited I can already recommend books to complement her reading and maybe use for a paper 💁🏻‍♀️♥️

LeahBergen I‘m jealous, too. That sounds great! 4mo
28 likes1 comment
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Tera66
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#Alphabetgame
#LetterE #LetterF #LetterG
@Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks

Post a favorite book with the letter "E", "F", "G" and tag some friends!

Thank you for the tag @TheSpineView ?
Wanna play? @DarkMina @JessClark78 @Librarybelle

JoeMo Great pick with Ghostland….I listened to the audiobook version of that a couple years ago and really liked it! 4mo
Librarybelle Thanks for the tag! 4mo
TheSpineView You're welcome!😘 4mo
Tera66 @JoeMo I listened to the audio book too, I really loved it. But it was hard to listen my favorite ghost stories get debunked.😄 4mo
30 likes4 comments
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BookishMadHatter
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Car rides and new books are a great match

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Cheries_Ghost

We conflate the dead with actual witches, we attribute actual supernatural powers to those killed, we revisit their deaths for comedy and entertainment. Above all, we fail to apply the lessons we've supposedly learned from 1692, for by no means was this the last time in American history when a powerless minority was scapegoated, persecuted, and killed by an ignorant mass. We recall the events of Salem, but we can't quite remember why they matter.

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ozma.of.oz
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Hosting my book club next month, and I‘m crowdsourcing my pick because I haven‘t chosen yet! 😂

1. Yup! They‘ve been going since ‘95. I joined in 2011.
2. My last pick. Sparked some very interesting discussions.
3. Debate. My book club is all older than me, white, fairly conservative, and religious. I like to share books that aren‘t what they usually read.

#SundayFunday Have a great day and don‘t forget to tag me! ❤️

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bibliobard
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Pickpick

Where haunted houses and ghosts meet history and cultural critique. I love reading about ghosts, but have never seen them explored as part of a larger context. The book explores everything from racism, sexism, classism and even the “future” of ghosts/hauntings! I definitely recommend this book.

🎃 116 points
#BookSpin #BookspinBingo #Scarathlon2021 #TeamHendrix

TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!! 14mo
Clwojick Oooooh! Definitely intriguing 14mo
23 likes2 comments
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ozma.of.oz
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👻👻

1. I don‘t not believe in ghosts. There‘s plenty of unexplained phenomena in the world that could be ghosts.
2. A road trip of haunted places in US with discussions of the historical context of the stories.
3. There is a Woman in White who haunts the main building of the college I attended. She‘s supposed to be a bride killed in a drunk driving accident on her way to her honeymoon.

#SundayFunday Have a spooky day & don‘t forget to tag me!

Yuki_Onna Woohoo! I love this! 💙 14mo
57 likes1 stack add1 comment
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bthegood
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Pickpick

Enjoyable read/listen about the history behind some ghost stories, why some stories exist - what these stories say about a society/community - learned some interesting things as well - (cemetery v graveyard v church yard meaning)-

#TBR #CurrentlyReading #ReadingUpdate

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bthegood
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Saw this post by @SW-T
Reposting as an FYI

Make a great day everyone.

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bthegood
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#ReadingUpdate

Adding books to my #TBR list regularly - plan is to finish books on #CurrentlyReading this month- back to school tomorrow - looking forward to the new year and seeing the students - not looking forward to less pleasure reading time - will make the most of reading today 😊

make a great day everyone -

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Tera66
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#ConflictedWorlds #Fear
@Eggs & @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks ?
A warning to anyone who loves ghost stories and haunted places, the author exposes the true stories from the myths about some of the most "Haunted" locations.

Eggs Brilliant 👏🏻📖🖤 1y
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks Awesome cover 🖤 1y
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Booksnchill
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Pickpick

I am following the Literati Atlas Obscura bookclub and July‘s pick was Ghostland. Much more a social commentary on what our ghost stories and haunted places actually signify- the retelling of a community‘s story, fiction to alter reality- a recognition of damage done and the need to explain it. I came to this book thinking I was going to read some ghostly tales- and I did, just not the paranormal ones I was expecting- spookier! 4⭐️

TuesdayReviews I read something a while back that denigrated ghost tours as kitschy tourist traps that should be avoided and I thought, “No, ghost stories are super important pieces of local culture!” 1y
Booksnchill @TuesdayReviews if you haven‘t read this book then you should- it expresses that very well! 1y
56 likes2 comments
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HeatherBlue
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Super happy to be home 💙🌊

BookishMarginalia Lovely pic and lovely tattoo! 1y
HeatherBlue @BookishMarginalia thank you!! 🥰 1y
Gissy Gorgeous tattoo!👌 1y
HeatherBlue @Gissy Thanks!! ❤️ 1y
52 likes4 comments
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sarahljensen
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Pickpick

This is my second time through this one. It's summer time and the right time to be thinking about ghosts, in my opinion. If you're looking for something more about the history of why ghosts are with us from a more psychological perspective rather than just looking for something spooky, then this might be up your alley.

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BookwormAHN
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See All 10 Comments
JackOBotts I‘m game for any...Ghostland, A Stir of Echoes, & And the Trees Crept In each sound right up my alley! 1y
MaleficentBookDragon I‘m up for The Trees Crept In, Ghostland, or A Stir of Echos. I ❤️❤️❤️ Matheson . One of my favorite books is 1y
Reggie The only one I‘ve read is Broken Monsters but even if that‘s the one you choose I‘d still read it because it was pretty awesome. 1y
BookwormAHN @JackOBotts @MaleficentBookDragon @Reggie Any preference between Ghostland, A Stir of Echoes and The Trees Crept In? 1y
MaleficentBookDragon Any of the three work for me, but if I had to pick one, it would be 1y
Reggie I‘m game for Stir of Echoes. 1y
57 likes10 comments
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bookseller_cate
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Pickpick

Quite an interesting look at how ghost sightings, landscape, and psychology intertwine. Dickey explores not only the ghosts of America‘s past, but tries to speculate on the possible ghosts of the future.

I am something of a non-believer, but I do also realize so much of the universe is beyond the human senses. Who knows what (or who) is hovering just outside our sensory bubble, desperately trying to get our attention?

Very interesting read.

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K.Wielechowski
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Pickpick

Dickey covers a wide range of hauntings, gives the history/possible reasons for the hauntings, and people‘s attempts to debunk them.
I‘m not sure I believe in ghosts but I‘ve seen things that can‘t be explained so I related with Dickey‘s quasi-believer attitude throughout the book.
Believers probably won‘t care for this book, but fence-sitters like me who like dark history will.

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LibraryCin
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Mehso-so

I found this quite interesting. There was a section on haunted towns/cities, as well, and I particularly liked the part on New Orleans, because I‘ve been there. I had heard of some of the other stories/places he talked about

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TheSpineView
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OriginalCyn620 🖤🖤🖤 2y
60 likes1 comment
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BarbaraTheBibliophage
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Mehso-so

Ghostland combines history, travel, architecture, urban legend, and philosophy. But I also have to say it wasn‘t nearly as gripping as I expected. Of course, I was significantly distracted by current events all month. Either way, the author wandered from place to place and from theme to theme. It could‘ve been so much more.

Full review http://www.TheBibliophage.com
#thebibliophage2020 #nonfictionnerds

Reviewsbylola The reviews for this seem to be lukewarm, which is why I always talk myself out of buying it. 😂 2y
BarbaraTheBibliophage @Reviewsbylola I‘m glad I got it on Kindle sale ages ago. I remember people loving it when it came out, so it could just be timing. I‘ve been extraordinarily distracted lately ... 2y
SamAnne Agree with your review. 2y
75 likes3 comments
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wanderinglynn
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Panpan

The title is misleading—I expected to read about the ghost stories & histories, a more balanced approach. But it's clear that Dickey isn't a believer & he doesn't really tell the stories so much as just try to debunk them. I was ultimately disappointed by this book. Too much personal opinions & filler. If you're looking to read ghost stories & histories (like I was), then Ghostland might not be for you.

Full review on GR.

KatieDid927 I was also unimpressed. 2y
wanderinglynn @KatieDid927 I‘m glad I‘m not the only one because I saw a lot of positive reviews on GR. 2y
The_Penniless_Author Bummer. There are so many great ghost stories/legends out there, who wants to hear from some scold pouring cold water on them? 2y
wanderinglynn @The_Penniless_Author exactly my thoughts. 👍🏻 2y
66 likes5 comments
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KatieDid927
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Mehso-so

Smeh. A lot of time is spent bursting bubbles in this book. Some of the sociological connections he makes are interesting, but overall I found the writing dry and repetitive. All the information is basic and introductory. The New Orleans chapter was a dud for me because none of it was new information and so much was left out. Even some new-to-me stories were boring. This just didn‘t meet my expectations.

#Screamathon @4thhouseontheleft

SamAnne I‘m with you. He totally stretched it trying to make sociological arguments for why more hauntings happen in certain places. And what a Halloween buzzkill. 2y
KatieDid927 @SamAnne Yep, exactly. 2y
28 likes2 comments
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SamAnne
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Mehso-so

This was a “meh” for me. The author highlights ghost stories from around the country and the details behind the haunting—murders, suicides etc. And then really overstretches to argue broad sociological underpinnings. Sow good stories, a few interesting points made. Racked the points last week for #teamslaughter #scarathlon and more readathons than I have room to list.

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JoeMo
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My tally for week #2 is 993 points.

#scarathlon2020
#teamharkness

StayCurious That‘s great! Love the skeletons btw 2y
14 likes1 comment
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BarbaraTheBibliophage
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I thought this was pretty profound. Especially in a book about ghosts and hauntings. He discusses a lot around this broader sociological idea.

vivastory I loved this book. I still think about it a lot, even though I read it when it was first pub. I need to read his new one 2y
61 likes1 comment
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SamAnne
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Needing some help with tracking points @Clwojick . I read for 14 hours for the #Cyoreadathon. So 140 points. I finished a mystery short story: 15 points. I‘m also participating in #BookspinBingo and #Scarathom. For those two I don‘t track hours I count books correct? And it‘s okay for me to participate in the Instagram readathons only on Litsy? Use my IG account more for work. Thanks! #TeamSlaughter #Scarathon2020

Clwojick Hey, so your points are correct for team read, and cyo. But if you‘re also reading for BookSpin and Screamathon than you would multiply the hours read for each of those reading events like you did the CYO. And then there‘s always 1 point added to each post for participation. So by my calculations, this book would be 140+140+140+15+1 = 436 ☺️ 2y
Clwojick Oh sorry, I just realized I didn‘t answer your last question. You can participate on either platform. I post more frequently on Litsy, and then only post my final stats on IG. That‘s just what works best for me. Do whatever works for you. 😊 2y
SamAnne @Clwojick and then #Screamathon would be another 140 points? 140 for $Scarathalon, 140 for #Bookspin, 140 for CYOReadathon? Plus 15 plus 1 Would that make it 576? I will now start tracking hours daily on Bookspin and Screamathon which I'd not been doing outside of the official hour readathons. 2y
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Clwojick Scarathlon is the only one that doesn‘t have hourly points, since you would be getting the points for completing the books. That‘s where the 15 points and the participation points come in. 2y
SamAnne @Clwojick sorry for the questions! So that is the case with Bookspin too—it is by the book not the hour. So no 140 for that one either. 2y
Clwojick Book spin is by the hour. 2y
33 likes6 comments
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SamAnne
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Managed more than 3 hours of reading/audioing today including tagged book on the history and sociology of famous U.S. hauntings. But A weird way to start #Scarathlon #Screamathon today with my stack of murder mysteries for #TeamSlaughter: came home early to a murder scene two blocks from my home with cops and crime tape everywhere. Sigh. @Clwojick @StayCurious

Clwojick Oh boy! That‘s scary! Stay safe! 2y
KVanRead Yikes! 2y
57 likes2 stack adds2 comments
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dariazeoli
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This month, #NonfictionNerds is reading Ghostland and getting our Halloween on! If you‘d like to join us, you can snag the book on Kindle for $4.99!

https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/1061034

Daisey I really enjoyed this when I listened in October a couple years ago. I doubt I‘ll make time to reread, but I‘ll be interested to follow the discussion. 2y
valeriegeary Tempting.... Very tempting... 2y
wanderinglynn Ooh, thanks for letting us know. 👍🏻 My library didn‘t have it. 🙁 2y
Eyelit Ghostland was so much better than I expected it to be - also completely different than I expected! I really enjoyed this one! 2y
dariazeoli @Eyelit I‘m feeling the same way about it! 2y
40 likes5 comments
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CocoReads
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Hey everyone! If you haven‘t read Ghostland yet, it‘s only $4.99 on kindle right now. It definitely fits #TeamHarkness more than #TeamSlaughter but I‘m planning on adding it to my stack anyway. I‘m not huge into monsters or zombies but I do definitely like ghosts and paranormal in addition to crime and thrillers. #Scarathlon @Clwojick

erank58 I have this on my stack too for #teamslaughter, and am planning to use it in a crossover readathon for extra points (if I get to it)! Hope you enjoy 😊 2y
SamAnne I started listening this morning and am enjoying it. 2y
Clwojick You guys are awesome! #PrimePointPlanning ♥️🎃👻 @erank58 @SamAnne @CocoReads 2y
CocoReads @erank58 I‘m not starting it right away. I started this morning with The Good Daughter but always love adding to my towering piles of books! Plus, I‘ve been wanting to read it anyway. 2y
22 likes1 stack add4 comments
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SamAnne
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Ready for #Scarathlon2020 and #Screamathon2020. Go #TeamSlaughter! I have a mix of print, ebook and audio. Focusing on books that have been on my shelves forever, doing a deep dive into Nordic Noir and have some Walter Mosley, James Ellroy and Tana French lines up. And an Australian murder mystery with an environmental angle. Tagged book is my first audio and is a #NonFictionNerds read. @Clwojick @StayCurious

Clwojick 👻👻👻👻 2y
dariazeoli I started listening today, too! 2y
55 likes2 comments
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WoodyWoodson
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Pickpick

This look at haunted places in America is more cultural history than spooky ghost story, but it's still going to haunt you. Really well researched and well written, America is filled with ghosts.

Mistermandolin Love stuff like this. There are several about England‘s haunted landscape too. Seems to be in vogue at the moment. Will check this one out! 2y
13 likes1 comment
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mdemanatee
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Doing a re-read for bookclub and it mentioned the cemetery I live near gets a shout-out (witching the context of urban planning and not spooks thankfully).

mdemanatee Sigh. I forgot a story gets thrown in at the end of the chapter. 3y
13 likes1 comment
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RamsFan1963
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📖 Tagged
📖 Simon R. Green
📽 The Greatest Showman
📺 Gilligan's Island
🎶 Green Day
🎶 Girlfriend - Avril Lavigne

#manicmonday #letterG @JoScho

TheSpineView I almost choose Green Day. 😃 3y
JoScho Thanks for playing ☺️🖤 3y
35 likes2 comments
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sammisho
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Pickpick

I am giving this a pick even though it was not what I expected. I wanted to be creeped out by real accounts of ghosts, and instead this was more about debunking myths, which is not nearly as much fun.
#pop19 #ghoststory

Eyelit Lol, the reason you were disappointed was the exact reason I loved this book so much. Different strokes, right? 😃 3y
29 likes1 comment
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everlocalwest
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Read most of this today and listened to most of China Rich Girlfriend (not a spooky season read but my library hold came in, c'est la vie). Took an extended break for food, Bake Off, and feeling sorry for the husband with bronchitis. Getting back into books but I think I'm done with ghosts for the day.

Sweettartlaura I LOVED that book - one of my favorites from last year. What did you think? 3y
everlocalwest @Sweettartlaura I'm really enjoying it! Looking forward to discussing with my book club tomorrow. 3y
Eyelit You mentioned having to defend liking this to your book club in an earlier post... did they really dislike it? I loved this book, but can see how people might have been expecting something else when picking it up 3y
everlocalwest @Eyelit I apologize for the seriously delayed reply! So, there are only six of us in the book club. One wasn't interested in the subject so skipped, two started and abandoned, one finished begrudgingly, and two of us loved it. Lol. Those that did not enjoy it thought the information was interesting but wanted a more narrative thread to run through the book. 3y
29 likes4 comments
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everlocalwest
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Arrived early for a school book fair, luckily I'm greatly enjoying the book our book club is reading for Spooktober. Less lucky, I'm the only one in bookclub enjoying the book and will likely have to defend my choice next week. 😱

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Eyelit
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I‘m feeling a little disconnected from litsy - the first half of this month has been kind of bananas and I just haven‘t had the time to keep up with any social media, let alone my favorite social media... but it seems like things are calming down and I have more presence of mind. Easing back into the swing of things with a #Caturday evening post. The kittehs are keeping me company while I read about ghost stories around the US 👻 😺 #catsoflitsy

LauraJ Good to see you and the tabbies again. 😸 3y
BookNAround Love the sleepy kitties. 3y
Blaire I‘ve felt the same. Love seeing this photo. 3y
See All 7 Comments
AlaMich My cat loved the top of the couch cushion too. She slept there so much it acquired a permanent indentation, so we always called it “Luna‘s dent.” 😸 3y
Chrissyreadit ❤️love seeing #catsoflitsy so much! 3y
dariazeoli Same. But I‘m loving this pic! 3y
Zelma I love that pillow. We have one of those couch dents too. 3y
88 likes7 comments
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WhatWouldJaneDo
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Pickpick

Fantastic! Dickey explores why we come up with the ghost stories that permeate American society (though many of our most famous yarns are full of fabrications or made up whole cloth) and what these stories tell us about our country and culture. Well researched, nuanced, and highly readable.

Eyelit I‘m in the middle of this one and absolutely loving it! 3y
32 likes1 comment
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WhatWouldJaneDo
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September was a slow reading month for me (only 9 books) and I started October off with company in the house so it has been wonderful today to settle down and get some serious reading done. Finished the majority of The Haunting of Hill House, a short story (An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge) and now some spooky #nonfiction with my almost black cat Polly. #catsoflitsy

Eyelit Cats and ghosts! 😺💜👻 3y
WhatWouldJaneDo @Eyelit it's the ideal October matchup! 3y
49 likes1 stack add2 comments
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Eyelit
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I can finally start my spooky reading for the month! These are the two I‘m starting with (and they may or may not be the books I‘ll discuss at #ATXReadersSociety later this month). I‘ve heard good things about both of these books, so my hopes are high. 😄 #spookyreads #octobermoodreading (#catsoflitsy cameo courtesy of Elliot)

WhatWouldJaneDo I just started Ghostland as well, I've been saving it for this month. I love House of Leaves, I found it very freaky and it's such a unique reading experience 3y
EricaReads Ooh I read and loved both! Enjoy 😊 3y
68 likes2 comments
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DGRachel
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I read this for last year's #screamathon and really enjoyed it. It's full of #urbanlegend(s).

#screamathonphotochallenge

@4thhouseontheleft

MallenNC I‘ve been meaning to read this. Maybe this month. 3y
alisiakae I love that cover. 3y
DGRachel @MallenNC It was different than what I expected, but I really enjoyed it. I follow the author on Twitter now and he's really nice. 3y
67 likes1 stack add3 comments
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SkeletonKey
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#screamathon #ghost

I only have a small selection of my books with me right now but this is on my shortlist as far as TBRs go.

@4thhouseontheleft

alisiakae 👻👻 3y
37 likes1 comment
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ozma.of.oz
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#chillingphotochallenge #haunted

A road trip around the most haunted places of the United States. 👻

#TeamSlaughter #Scarathlon @Clwojick 1 point

Clwojick ☠ ☠ 3y
48 likes1 comment
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MallenNC
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I‘m terrible at keeping to an actual TBR, but here are some ideas for what I‘d like to read in October. #OctoberTBR #FallisBooked

Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks 🙌🏻🧡📚 3y
marleed A TBR stack stresses me out! I‘m working on a 2:1 commitment 2 lib loans for every physically owned book. But I pick the physical the day I read! 3y
OriginalCyn620 👌🏻🧡📚 3y
22 likes3 comments
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Brie
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Pickpick

A fascinating history of the United States in haunted places, including cemeteries, parks, government buildings, whole cities, and of course the ubiquitous haunted house. It doesn‘t really delve into the paranormal question of whether ghosts really exist or not, but rather analyzes the reasons why we come up with these ghost stories. Now I‘d like to visit some haunts near my city! 👻

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TheDoctor

Does anyone know where can I read this book for free? Preferably for kindle. I searched everywhere and the prices are to high for my country (the price is 4 times higher than the normal price of a book in my country because it's not translated). Audiobooks are not really my thing. Anyone?

ImperfectCJ I read it on Kindle checked from my local library's e-collection. Not sure if that's an option in your area. 3y
TheDoctor @ImperfectCJ Thanks, I will check it out! 3y
4 likes2 comments
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emz711
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Pickpick

Finished! On to the next book pictured behind.

I really enjoyed this book, not something I've really ever read before. Are there other haunted places books that really go through the history of the area, show fact from fiction and ask the tough questions about history?

#ghosts #history #haunting

And hello @Dragonfairykats @Dhanya2277 @ImperfectCJ

vivastory I loved this one. The following is more about the legitimate science of the afterlife, but it's the only book I can think of that is similar 3y
ImperfectCJ Ghostland disappointed me somewhat (it felt a little repetitive after a while), but I loved the next book you're reading. Enjoy! 3y
57 likes1 stack add4 comments
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emz711
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Weird place to read a spooky book but I'll take it

RealBooks4ever I found this book to be interesting. 💜 3y
emz711 @RealBooks4ever yeah it makes me want to go to all these places! 3y
50 likes2 stack adds2 comments