Morbid Must-Reads: 2017 Fall Reading List

By on September 22, 2017

Curl up in the candlelight this fall with one of these macabre recommendations from the Cult of Weird book club.
Cult of Weird fall reading list morbid book recommendations

The leaves are falling and the veil is thinning. This year’s roundup of fall reading recommendations is here to satisfy your morbid curiosity with new releases from Cult of Weird favorites like J.W. Ocker, Lindsey Fitzharris, and Caitlin Doughty.

The Butchering Art

The Butchering Art by Lindsey Fitzharris
Before anesthesia and antiseptics, Victorian surgery was a brutal affair often more dangerous than the affliction it was meant to fix. Medical historian Lindsey Fitzharris of the web series Under the Knife tells the story of visionary surgeon Joseph Lister’s work to transform surgical practices during a time when doctors were still digging up cadavers for dissection.
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From Here to Eternity

From Here to Eternity by Caitlin Douhgty
The followup to her best-selling look at the death industry Smoke Gets in Your Eyes, mortician Caitlin Doughty travels the world to examine funeral practices from unique cultures around the globe.
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Death and Douglas

Death and Douglas by JW Ocker
When “incredibly out of the ordinary” murder victims start showing up at Douglas’s family’s funeral home, he and his friends set out to solve the mystery.
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The Apparitionists

The Apparitionists: A Tale of Phantoms, Fraud, Photography, and the Man Who Captured Lincoln's Ghost
The story of how spirit photographer William Mumler captured America’s imagination in the wake of the death and tragedy of the Civil War by photographing grieving family members with apparitions of the dearly departed.
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Tales from a Talking Board

Tales from a Talking Board
Fourteen new supernatural stories exploring divination and communication with the dead through Ouija boards, tarot, and “stranger things.”
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Confessions of a Funeral Director

Confessions of a Funeral Director by Caleb Wilde
Caleb Wilde reveals what he’s learned about life and death as a sixth-generation funeral director who’s been around the deceased and grieving his entire life.
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The Witch

The Witch by Ronald Hutton
The witch came to prominence—and often a painful death—in early modern Europe, yet her origins are much more geographically diverse and historically deep. In this landmark book, Ronald Hutton traces witchcraft from the ancient world to the early-modern stake.
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Atlas of Cursed Places

Atlas of Cursed Places
Oliver Le Carrer brings us a fascinating history and armchair journey to the world’s most dangerous and frightful places, complete with vintage maps and period illustrations in a handsome volume.
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199 Cemeteries to See Before You Die

199 Cemeteries to See Before You Die by Loren Rhoads
A hauntingly beautiful travel guide to the world’s most visited cemeteries, told through spectacular photography and their unique histories and residents.
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It Devours!

It Devours! a Welcome to Night Vale novel
A new page-turning mystery about science, faith, love and belonging, set in a friendly desert community where ghosts, angels, aliens, and government conspiracies are commonplace parts of everyday life. Welcome to Night Vale…
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The World of Lore: Monstrous Creatures

The World of Lore: Monstrous Creatures by
A fascinating, beautifully illustrated guide to the monsters that are part of our collective psyche, featuring both rare and best-loved stories from the hit podcast Lore, soon to be an online streaming series.
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The Magician and the Spirits

The Magician and the Spirits
The story of Houdini’s quest to uncover the truth behind spiritualism, mediums, and messages from the afterlife.
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Understanding Cemetery Symbols

Understanding Cemetery Symbols
A guide to the meanings behind the symbols found on gravestones.
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California Infernal

California Infernal: Anton LaVey & Jayne Mansfield
Fischer’s unique collection of photos takes us straight into the ritual chamber of the Church of Satan in LaVey’s infamous “black house” in San Francisco, as well as into Mansfield’s Hollywood “pink palace.” We also get to follow LaVey on excursions to his friend Forrest “Famous Monsters of Filmland” Ackerman, to Marilyn Monroe’s grave, to TV studios and back, to Satanic weddings and Zeena’s baptism at the Church of Satan HQ.
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Quackery

Quackery: A Brief History of the Worst Ways to Cure Everything
Looking back with fascination, horror, and not a little dash of dark, knowing humor, Quackery recounts the lively, at times unbelievable, history of medical misfires and malpractices. Ranging from the merely weird to the outright dangerous, here are dozens of outlandish, morbidly hilarious “treatments”—conceived by doctors and scientists, by spiritualists and snake oil salesmen (yes, they literally tried to sell snake oil)—that were predicated on a range of cluelessness, trial and error, and straight-up scams.
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Death: A Graveside Companion

Death: A Graveside Companion by Joanna Ebenstein
Edited by Joanna Ebenstein, Death explores the intersection of art and death through over 1,000 images, many never published before, created throughout the centuries as humanity has struggled to understand and rectify death through morbid beauty.
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Paperbacks from Hell

Paperbacks from Hell
A history of the paperback horror boom of the 70s and 80s, and the twisted stories and cover art it spawned.
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Want more? Here are the fall reading lists from previous years:

2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013

Or you can find them all and more here: Cult of Weird Recommended Reading

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2 Comments

  1. Madeleine Swann

    October 2, 2017 at 12:06 am

    Oh my God, so many really interesting looking ones on here. Already pre ordered Caitlin’s but need to get my hands on the others

  2. Gail

    September 22, 2017 at 12:49 pm

    I can’t wait to get started, I have an advance copy of Confessions of a Funeral Director. I have read his blog and followed his on Facebook for a long time I am excited to read more of his thoughts.
    I’m also looking forward to reading The Butchering Art and, oh, wjo am I kidding? I want to read them all!

Leave a Reply to Madeleine Swann Cancel reply