Weekly Photo Challenge: Mine

The prompt for this week was too easy.  You wanna see mine?  Here they are — most of them, anyway.  These are my cemetery books.

They’re jammed in the shelves really tightly, but that’s not all of them.  Some are on my to-read shelf in the bedroom.  Lisa Cook’s Consecrated Ground is too big to fit on any shelf, so it’s propped up nearby.  There are a couple of the shelf in my office, waiting for me to write their reviews.  And that doesn’t include my wish list at Amazon, which grows faster than it shrinks…

My favorite cemetery book changes, but I’ll always adore Highgate Cemetery: Victorian Valhalla, which started me on the cemetery path.  I consult Famous and Curious Cemeteries and Tom Weil’s The Cemetery Book every week.  I peruse American Resting Place and The Last Great Necessity whenever I write about burial grounds in this country. Some books are touchstones.

So all this makes me curious:  do you have an absolute favorite cemetery book?  Is there one you turn to again and again, either because it’s so fascinating that you always learn something new or because the photos are so lovely that you find looking at it so inspiring or restful?

What is your favorite cemetery book?

About Loren Rhoads

I am the author of the essay collection Wish You Were Here: Adventures in Cemetery Travel, co-author of the novel As Above, So Below, and editor of The Haunted Mansion Project: Year Two. In addition to blogging at CemeteryTravel.com, I blog about my morbid life at lorenrhoads.com.
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16 Responses to Weekly Photo Challenge: Mine

  1. I do not have a favorite cemetery book. But I want one now. Suggestions?

  2. Jo says:

    This is an impressive amount of books! I don’t have too many, but I really relied on Maine’s Coastal Cemeteries by Karen Batigani when I was in Maine both times —- I’ve got penciled-in notes in my copy (actually, two copies – on the second trip, we forgot our copy and had to purchase another one once we got to Maine).

    • Loren Rhoads says:

      That sounds like me an Permanent Californians. I keep buying copies every time I find one used and giving it away to whoever’s visiting at the time.

      • Jayson Jordan says:

        I cannot say I was aware of this ‘Saving Graces’ title, but it does sound worth the extra effort to get ahold of a copy. Thank you for the suggestion!

        You are very welcome, and quite deserving of the praise. I’m trying to curtail purchases at the moment, but shall certainly keep them in mind, thank you kindly!

  3. Jayson Jordan says:

    When it comes to cemetery books, I was going to mention ‘Beautiful Death: The Art of the Cemetery’, but I see you already mentioned it. However, the photos are quite divine in this book, so it was worth mentioning it again. Another book that I find extremely fascinating when it comes to historical depth is ‘The Victorian Celebration of Death’ by James Stevens Curl. Granted it is perhaps not a straight-forward ‘cemetery book’, but certainly in relation to the subject.

    By the by, I really enjoyed that wondrous magazine ‘Morbid Curiosity’, but unfortunately I only came upon it by its last issue.

  4. Albin says:

    Unfortunately, all of the cemetery books I love most are all in Turkish and difficult to find in the US. But as far as content, arrangement and wealth of photographic/illustrative materials goes; a slim volume by Nidayi Sevim titled “Medeniyetimizin Sessiz Tanıkları: Eyüp Sultan’da Osmanlı Mezar Taşları ve Mezar Kültürümüz” [roughly: "Our Civilization's Silent Witnesses: Ottoman Gravestones in the Eyüp Sultan Cemetery and our Burial Culture"] Istanbul: Abidiye Yayınları, 2007. A neat little book on the Ottoman burial practices one finds at the age-old burial ground near the end of the Golden Horn in Istanbul.

    • Loren Rhoads says:

      Thanks for all of that information! I don’t know as much as I should about grave monuments beyond American and Western European cultural traditions. Hopefully I can track something down in English about Turkey. I am planning to go to Istanbul for my birthday next year. I want to explore Istanbul’s grave traditions, but I’m not sure where to start. Can you advise me?

      • transennae says:

        Sure… I can provide you with some of the maps/materials I generated for the little talk I did on Istanbul Cemeteries at the AGS Conference late-night session this past June. Unfortunately, as far a books on the subject go, there isn’t a lot in print on cemeteries [mezalıklar] in general — either in English or Turkish. As one might expect, a major portion of what IS out there deals specifically with archaeological aspects of Ottoman-period burial sites (“antiquities” being such an important topic for municipal and national authorities). One really great book — as a general reference — which is in English is Edhem Eldem’s _Death in Istanbul: Death and Rituals in Ottoman-Islamic Culture_ (Istanbul: Ottoman Bank Archives and Research Center, 2005).

      • Loren Rhoads says:

        That sounds like a great place to start. I’ll track the book down. Thank you for your help.

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