Tell me your favorite graveyard in the comments below and win a paperback copy of Wish You Were Here: Adventures in Cemetery Travel. I’ll pick one winner at random on Halloween.
Almost every tourist destination has a graveyard. You go to Yosemite National Park: there’s a graveyard. You go to Maui: graveyards everywhere you look. The Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor and the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park: both graveyards. The number one tourist destination in Michigan has three cemeteries. America’s best-preserved Gold Rush ghost town has five. Gettysburg is a National Park because it has a graveyard. Some graveyards are even tourist destinations in themselves: the Old Jewish Cemetery of Prague, the colonial burying grounds of Boston, and Kennedy’s eternal flame in Arlington National Cemetery. Jim Morrison’s grave in Père Lachaise Cemetery ranks in the top five tourist sites of Paris.
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.
The book trailer:
Praise for Wish You Were Here:
“Lovingly researched and lushly described, Loren’s essays transport you to the graveyard, where she is quite a tour guide. Curiosity and compassion burn at the heart of these essays.”—Paula Guran, editor of Dark Echo magazine
“Rhoads is particularly adept at finding deeper meanings in what she sees, and the questions she puts to the reader about the places she visits can gently guide us in our own search for meaning in the places we encounter. If you’ve struggled to explain your love of burial grounds to others, this may be a great way to help them understand.”—LisaMary Wichowski, The Association of Graveyard Rabbits Online Journal
“Loren Rhoads started visiting cemeteries by accident. It was the start of a love affair with cemeteries that continues to this day. In Wish You Were Here, Rhoads blends history with storytelling and her photos accompany each essay.”—American Cemeterymagazine
“Wish You Were Here captures well why many of us find cemeteries fascinating: because of the history and stories of so many interesting people buried there!”—Richard Waterhouse, Waterhouse Symbolism Newsletter
“‘It’s good to be a card-carrying member of the Association for Gravestone Studies,’ Loren writes. I agree. After half a lifetime of guided and self-guided tours, Loren observes, ‘What I’ve learned from cemeteries is that limestone melts, marble breaks, slate slivers, and sandstone cracks.’ That is what draws some of us to graveyards.”—Christine Quigley, Quigley’s Cabinet
“With her dead-on honesty and her fascination for the dark side of life in all its complexity, Loren’s writing never fails to make me think.”—Thomas Roche, Loren’s editor at Gothic.Net
Wish You Were Here: Adventures in Cemetery Travel was published by Western Legends Press in May 2013. Autographed and inscribed copies can be ordered directly from me via PayPal from my bookshop. To request inscriptions, use the Contact Me form above.
I’m closing in on 150 Cemeteries of the Week. I still have a bunch of tourist destinations in mind, but I thought perhaps I’d open the subject up for discussion. What would you like to see?
I’m including a poll, just to get a sense of whether these graveyards are as fascinating to you as they are to me.
If there’s something I absolutely must write about — but I’ve left it off my list — please feel free to write it in or leave a comment below.
Keep in mind that I am limited to those cemeteries that I can research, either through books or over the internet. If I can’t find much information, I can’t write an informative post. Also, I need to be able to find illustrations, either through photos I can borrow (with full credit, of course) or with vintage postcards or other ephemera.
The whole list of Cemeteries of the Week to date is here.
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…
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?
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