Cemetery Books for Sale

ETA:  All but one of these have been spoken for, so I’ve put a new list of cemetery books up for sale here: http://cemeterytravel.com/2014/10/22/more-cemetery-books-for-sale/.

Thanks so much for all your support!

ETA:  These have been selling much quicker than I expected.  Thank you so much for that!  I have pulled another 20 books and I’ll get them listed as soon as I can.  Please check back.

I’m clearing out some of my extra books.  There will be more, but for now, here’s the list of what I have for sale.  Let me know (either in the comments below or through the Contact Me form above) if you are interested in any of these or if you need more information.

I take paypal.



Last Laugh001 The Last Laugh: A Completely New Collection of Funny Old Epitaphs

by Gail Peterson
Published by Hallmark Editions.
Small hardcover with dust jacket. Jacket has small rips.


WishYouWereHere-cover-FINAL-600x900Wish You Were Here: Adventures in Cemetery Travel
by Loren Rhoads
Wish You Were Here: Adventures in Cemetery Travel contains 35 graveyard travel essays, which visit more than 50 cemeteries, churchyards, and gravesites across the globe. More info here.
Brand new. Trade paperback.

Cover of the Cemetery Travels Notebook

Cemetery Travels Notebook
by Loren Rhoads
The Cemetery Travels Notebook is the place to keep field notes from your own cemetery adventures. It features 80 lined pages, interspersed with 20 lush full-page color photographs of cemeteries from Paris to Tokyo, with stops at Sleepy Hollow, San Francisco, and all points between, to inspire your wanderlust.
Brand new. Trade paperback.




DeathAfterlife001Death and the Afterlife
by Brian Innes
Beautifully illustrated hard cover.
First edition from 1999.


Grave Matters001Grave Matters: A Lively History of Death Around the World
by Nigel Barley
Hardcover with chapters on relationships across the grave, metaphors we die by, war, murder, and capital punishment.
First American edition.


Obituaries in American Culture
by Janice Hume
Trade paperback. One dog-eared page. Published by University Press of Mississippi in 2000.


Petrucelli001Morbid Curiosity: The Disturbing Demises of the Famous & Infamous
by Alan W. Petrucelli
Trade paperback. Price sticker residue.


They Went That-a-Way001They Went That-A-Way: How the famous, the infamous, and the great died
by Malcolm Forbes with Jeff Bloch
Hardcover collection of biographies from Aeschylus to Virginia Woolf. Dust jacket.

Comic Epitaphs001Comic Epitaphs from the Very Best Old Graveyards
Gathered and Published by the Peter Pauper Press
Small hardcover with comic illustrations. Inscription.


New England Rubbings001Early New England Gravestone Rubbings
by Edmund Vincent Gillon Jr.
Large fully illustrated Dover book of faces, urns, willows, and epitaphs. Some aging, but still tightly bound. Published in 1981.


Gravestones of Early001Gravestones of Early New England and the Men Who Made Them 1653-1800
by Harriette Merrifield Forbes
Some chips in the cover and spine wear, but still tightly bound. Lots of b/w photos of early tombstones.
The standard text. Published in 1973. Some faint pencil annotations.

Over Their Dead001Over their Dead Bodies: Yankee Epitaphs & History
by Thomas C. Mann and Janet Greene
Hard cover. Dust jacket is worn. Published by the Stephen Greene Press in 1962.


Puritan Gravestone001Puritan Gravestone Art
Published by Boston University
Paperback collection of essays. Discoloration on cover from a price sticker. Tightly bound. Unread.


Complete Funeral001The Complete Funeral Manual
by James L. Christensen
Hardcover. Some wrinkled pages.


The Reposed001The Reposed
Photographs by William K. Greiner. Foreword by Thomas Lynch. Autographed to me.
Oversized book of photos of the grave offerings in New Orleans cemeteries.
First edition from 1999.

Indianan001Indiana Stonecarver: The Story of Thomas R. Reding
by Ann Nolan and Keith A. Buckley
Paperback with paper cover. Nice clear b/w photographs.


Living Among001Living Among Headstones: Life in a Country Cemetery
by Shannon Applegate
Hard cover with dust jacket. Published by Thunder’s Mouth Press in 2005.


Death's Door001Death’s Door: Modern Dying and the Ways We Grieve
by Sandra M. Gilbert
Thick hardcover that looks at “our relationship to death through literature, history, poetry, and societal practices.” One bent page and some dog-ears.

Abney Park001Guide to Abney Park Cemetery

by Paul Joyce
Essay, listing of interesting graves, some b/w photographs.
Rare, out-of-print. In good shape.
Second edition from 1994.

Hollywood Book001Hollywood Book of Death: The Bizarre, Often Sordid Passings of More than 125 American Movie and TV Idols
by James Robert Parish
Large paperback. Sticker residue on cover, but in great shape.
First edition from 2002.

Mystery of Life001The story behind “The Mystery of Life” plus a Pictorial Map and Guide to the Famous Art Treasures of Forest Lawn and another Forest Lawn brochure
Saddlestitched. Discoloration on cover from a price sticker.

Tombstone Tourist001Tombstone Tourist: Musicians
by Scott Stanton
Autographed but cover is not in great shape. Tightly bound. One dog-eared page.
First edition from 1998.


DIY Coffins001Do-It-Yourself Coffins for Pets and People
by Dale Power
A fully illustrated book “for Woodworkers Who Want to be Buried in Their Work”
First edition from 1997.

Clip art of Deaths, Telephones, and Scissors
Updated reprint of the 2006 issue.


Etched in Stone001Etched in Stone: Thoroughbred Memorials
by Lucy Zeh
Oversized paperback about the monuments to racehorses.
First edition from 2000. Sticker residue on cover, but in great shape.

Weep Not for Me001Weep Not For Me: A Photographic Essay and History of Cataraqui Cemetery
By Jennifer McKendry
Lovely b/w photos of a cemetery in Kingston, Ontario. Saddlestitched.



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Today my brother would have been 49

Rhoads_Allen_3853The wind ruffles the leaves, making a gentle rustle that seems to echo my breath. It’s a sound so gentle it is no sound, or else it’s the sound of the sea, of the blood, of life in its inexhaustible rush from birth to grave. Ashes to ashes, leaf to earth to soil to feed the roots to swell the buds to form leaves again to capture the sun. Everything is a cycle, endlessly spinning: the earth in its orbit, the sun whirling through the galaxy, one continuous dance flowing farther and farther out from its heart and never ever finding rest.

My brother is buried here. The wind whispers through the variegated grass that has grown high in front of the stone, obscuring words I no longer need to see to feel them stabbing into my heart, a long thin prick like a knitting needle, jabbing again and again so deep that I don’t feel the path of the pain, only its terminus, the point from which it radiates out into my limbs like a heart attack, like a stoppage of breath when you choke on something that cannot be swallowed and cannot be coughed out, which much lodge inside until you die of it.

I do not want him to be dead. My daughter tells me, in a sweet plantive voice, that she wishes she knew him. She wishes he had not chosen to drink himself to death before she was implored from the oblivion that exists before birth to come and help me heal the pain in my heart.

I wish she had known him, too.

She sometimes refuses to come to this graveyard with me any more. Once she came here and gaily chased rabbits, streaks of silence through the dancing grass. Now she knows it makes me sad like nowhere else in the world. Here lies my brother, my grandmother, the only grandfather I ever knew, and the grandmother who helped raise me, alongside her husband, who was dead before my parents conceived me. And a cousin, killed in a car accident before her first birthday, though not before mine.

Many hopes lie buried here.

Posted in Cemetery essay | Tagged , , , | 8 Comments

Take Your Children to the Cemetery

Rhoads_RockCreek_3119I’ve been blogging every month at Scoutie Girl magazine online, taking an unsurprisingly morbid spin on traveling with kids and aging parents. My travel essays have ranged from visiting the Pharmacy Museum in New Orleans to sleeping with the stingrays at the Academy of Sciences to exploring the sites of St. Joan’s martyrdom to eating in an entirely dark restaurant for the experience of being blind.

This month’s Scoutie Girl column is more directly related to the subject of this blog.  I encourage people to visit cemeteries, whether local or on vacation — and to take their kids along.

You can check the column out here: http://www.scoutiegirl.com/take-your-children-to-the-graveyard.

My question to you is this:  when you explore cemeteries, do you prefer to go alone?  Who do you — or who would you — like to take along as company?


Posted in Cemetery essay | Tagged , | 2 Comments

How to be Safe in the Cemetery

Loren Rhoads:

Believe it or not, I’m still fiddling with my speech for the Death Salon. I’ve got way too much information to fit into my allotted time. While I stress over that, here is one of my favorite cemetery essays from 2011.

Originally posted on Cemetery Travel: Adventures in Graveyards Around the World:

California rattlesnake warning

Earlier this month I explored the historic cemeteries of Pescadero. The grass was ankle-high on the Protestant side, but over my knees on the Catholic side. Holes the size of juice glasses riddled the ground, but I never saw a mouse or gopher poke his head out.

Where there is prey, however, there will be predators. I kept an eye open for snakes. When I could, I walked on the graves’ curbs and watched my feet in the grass.

I’d nearly finished my exploration and was headed cross-country down the grassy slope when something caught my eye. In the grass lay the longest snakeskin I’ve ever seen shed in the wild. I should have thrown my notebook down for scale when I took the photo. Trust me, this skin was as long as my leg.

It's hard to see, but there's a snakeskin in there. It's the thing that looks like a stick, diagonal across the photo.

Which got me thinking: I’ve explored American graveyards from inner-city Detroit to ghost…

View original 809 more words

Posted in Good cemetery news | 3 Comments

Death Salon is coming to San Francisco

The Jewish cemeteries in  what is now Dolores Park, San Francisco

The Jewish cemeteries in what is now Dolores Park, San Francisco

I’m going to miss another Cemetery of the Week tonight because I’ve been working on my speech for next weekend’s Death Salon here in my hometown.  Want to come and hear it in person?  There are still some tickets left.  Here’s the link.

The line up of speakers varies from my historical view of cemeteries in San Francisco to Jill Tracy talking about writing music in the Mutter Museum after hours to Caitlin Doughty (Ask a Mortician) talking about her new book Smoke Gets in Your Eyes.  There will be talks about working as a death doula, postmortem facial reconstruction, Santa Muerte, and funeral food traditions — and much, much more.

I missed the Death Salon in London earlier this year, but I was lucky enough to attend the initial Death Salon in Los Angeles last October.  I blogged about it for days on Morbid Is as Morbid Does.  Check it out here, if you’re interested.

In the meantime, the thought of the day as I researched my lecture:  the first “official” city graveyard in San Francisco was really small.  Bounded by what we now call Filbert and Greenwich Streets and bisected by what is now Powell Street, the graveyard had as many as 900 people buried in it between 1846 and 1850.  They must have been packed in pretty tight.

Shop window above the old graveyard

Shop window above the old graveyard

To call the space a cemetery is to be generous.  It had no fence. Sheep grazed on the property.  Without laws regarding the depths of graves, many were shallow and, unsurprisingly, the smell was bad. In 1850, the Daily Alta California reported, “A visit to this place of sepulture is sufficient to shock the sensibilities of men inured even to the battlefield rude burial of the dead.”

After the Gold Rush began in earnest in 1849, the graveyard’s land was suddenly more valuable.  Its owner stepped forward and demanded the bodies be cleared away so that he could develop his property.  It has been commercial ever since.

Posted in Cemetery event | Tagged , , , , , | 5 Comments