—Laura Ewen and Sarah Bode
Scouring the tombs (and tomes) of our library, we’ve cobbled together a list of scary books that are sure to ensnare you this spooky season! Use coupon SPOOKY30-FM for 30% off your order and free domestic shipping when you purchase one or more of these creepy books…
By Ann Gordon, L. Edward Day, Christopher D. Bader, and Joseph O. Baker
By Douglas E. Cowan
“[An] incisive, accessible work . . . Cowan’s insightful exploration of the religious questions raised by King provides a fresh way for viewing the religious dimensions of popular culture.”—Publishers Weekly
Ghost Encounters, UFO Sightings, Bigfoot Hunts, and Other Curiosities in Religion and Culture
By Christopher D. Bader, Joseph O. Baker, and F. Carson Mencken
Given the popularity of television shows such as Finding Bigfoot, Ghost Hunters, Supernatural, and American Horror Story, there seems to be an insatiable public hunger for mystical happenings. But who believes in the paranormal? Based on extensive research and their own unique personal experiences, Christopher Bader, Joseph Baker and Carson Mencken reveal that a significant number of Americans hold these beliefs, and that for better or worse, we undoubtedly live in a paranormal America. The second edition includes new and updated research based on findings from the Baylor Religion survey regarding America’s relationship with the paranormal. Drawing on these diverse and compelling sources of data, the book examines topics such as the popularity of paranormal beliefs in the United States, the ways in which these beliefs relate to each other, whether paranormal beliefs will give rise to a new religion, and how believers in the paranormal differ from “average” Americans.
“[A] landmark in the evolution of modern culture, documenting the significant increase of public interest and richness of popular culture about possibilities that exist just outside the boundaries of science and religion…”—William Sims Bainbridge, author of eGods: Faith Versus Fantasy in Computer Gaming and Across the Secular Abyss
Imperial Encounters with Cannibals in the North Atlantic World
By Kelly L. Watson
“This fine book follows untraveled paths, combining fascinating discoveries in new primary sources with refreshing interpretations of a difficult subject.”—Journal of American History
A Sinner’s Guide to Eternal Torment
By Marq de Villiers
Published by University of Regina Press
“A comprehensive guide to all things Hades.”—Foreword Reviews
“De Villiers. ..is a well-informed and agreeable guide, whose hellish reportage will satisfy even the most curious.”—Booklist
Manhood and Witchcraft in Old and New England
By Erika Gasser
“Anyone seeking a fresh perspective on, and deeper understanding of, [demonic and witchcraft] possession accounts will not be disappointed.”—Publishers Weekly
The History and Politics of Alien Abduction
By Bridget Brown
For all you X-Files fans, They Know Us Better Than We Know Ourselves hosts a slew of interviews with alleged alien abductees from the New York area. Whether you believe in aliens or not, alleged alien abductees believe passionately in their own accounts, and they should be taken seriously for what they tell us about our changing understanding of ourselves and our place in the world. Bridget Brown suggests a new way to think about alien abduction—as a phenomenon rooted in the social, cultural, and political history of the United States in the late twentieth century. Accounts of alien abduction express a pervasive sense of anxiety about and disenfranchisement from the projects of national technical, scientific, and social progress in America since the 1960s, as people increasingly have felt unable to know what is real or true about themselves and the world. What we can’t figure out is what’s scarier—the alien abductions or the politics…
“Brown’s brilliant study is so much more than a book about alien abduction—it is a flesh-and-blood inquiry into the nature of belief in a technologically advanced society.”—Andrew Ross, author of Fast Boat to China
How the Media Censor and Display the Dead
By Jessica M. Fishman
“Stellar findings. This book is sure to be important for years to come.”—Howard S. Becker, Author of Outsiders: Studies in the Sociology of Deviance.
Winner of the 2018 Media Ecology Association’s Erving Goffman Award for Outstanding Scholarship in the Ecology of Social Interaction
Winner of the Eastern Communication Association’s Everett Lee Hunt Award
The Politics of Paranoia in Postwar America
By Peter Knight
So many podcasts tell us that aliens are real. And who are we to question the validity of a podcast?! Pssht. But, seriously, why are Americans today so fascinated by Area 51?
Or for that matter, how did rumors emerge about the origins of the AIDS virus as a weapon of biowarfare? Why does the Kennedy assassination provoke heated debate over fifty years after the fact, and why did Donald Trump’s birther theories only serve to increase his popularity with voters?
Placing conspiracy thinking at the center of American history, and challenging the knee-jerk dismissal of conspiratorial thought as deluded and sometimes dangerous, Conspiracy Nation provides a wide-ranging survey of conspiracy theories in contemporary America. Offering up a provocative array of examples, ranging from alien abduction to the novels of DeLillo and Pynchon to Tupac Shakur’s “paranoid style,” Conspiracy Nation documents and unearths the workings of conspiracy in the contemporary moment.
“A rich and diverse collection.”—Journal of American Studies
Or, A Period of Time
By Muhammad al-Muwaylihi
Translated by Roger Allen
Foreword by Maria Golia
Do you take contemplative walks through graveyards? If you answered yes…OK weirdo, you’re in good company with What ‘Isa ibn Hisham Told Us. Bridging classical genres and modern Arabic fiction, What ‘Isa ibn Hisham Told Us is divided into two parts. Sarcastic in tone and critical in outlook, the first part of the book relates the excursions of its narrator, ‘Isa ibn Hisham, and his ghostly companion, the Pasha, through a rapidly westernizing Cairo and provides vivid commentary on a society negotiating—however imperfectly—the clash between traditional norms and imported cultural values. The second half takes the narrator to Paris to visit the Exposition Universelle of 1900, where al-Muwaylihi casts a critical eye on European society, modernity, and the role of Western imperialism as it ripples across the globe. Paving the way for the modern Arabic novel, What ‘Isa ibn Hisham Told Us is invaluable both for its insight into colonial Egypt and its pioneering role in Arabic literary history.
“[Allen’s] craftsmanship is on full display in these magisterial translations… of supreme literary complexity.”—Journal of Arabic Literature
Selling Privacy and Reputation Online
By Nora A. Draper
Is anyone else’s greatest fear in the onlinescape being catfished, or is it just us? Online is a scary place to be: how do you know who you’re chatting with is real or robotic, how can you be sure that online clothing store with the wicked jacket isn’t going to steal and ruin your credit? The Identity Trade examines how the consumer privacy industry was built on the tension between the impulse to share and anxieties about losing control of our personal information. Nora A. Draper examines how these companies have defined threats of unwanted exposure online and introduced tools and strategies to empower people to manage their online presence by balancing obscurity with visibility, tensions that are not simply theoretical but also impact personal and physical safety in very real ways. And with that chilling reality, all we can do is find solace in looking at gifs of Dwight Schrute (“Identify theft is not a joke, Jim!”).
“Featuring interviews with such industry figures as Fred Davis, founder of the identity management company Lumeria, and Josh Galper, general counsel for the online data vault provider Personal, the book brings to light the cultural and economic ramifications of the publics desire for online privacy. . . . Throughout, Draper examines the rights, expectations, and economics of digital privacy with expert fascination.”—Publishers Weekly