Halloween reading: non-fiction from Kindle Unlimited

Halloween reading: non-fiction Kindle Unlimitd

Let’s talk about something first.

There are people who strongly oppose anyone reading about the “supernatural”.

This opposition could come from religious beliefs, or, contrastingly, from people who think that it encourages “unscientific” thinking.

Both start with the proposition that you can be uncontrollably affected by what you read. Good people can become evil, impressionable people can then be “molded” into people who are no longer open to being convinced by science.

This has always been a bit of a tricky (or trick-or-treaty, given the time of year?😉 ) area for me.

I’m a strong believer in the strength of reading everything.

I especially think it’s valuable to read advocatory works by authors who have ideas which are different from yours.

Intellectually, I’m inclined towards tolerance of disparate beliefs. My Significant Other has commented that “tolerance” is the hallmark of my family…even when, perhaps, we shouldn’t be. If we see a family member getting ready to participate in something we think is…ill-advised, we don’t try to prevent it. We may present other ideas, but not as better than the original plan. If you announce you are about to go cliff diving in Mexico, and you can’t swim, we don’t lock you in the house or say, “That’s too dangerous!” We tend to ask about how you have thought about the risks and benefits.🙂

If a group advocating intolerance wants to publish a book, have a TV show, or a march down our town’s main street, I’m fine with that.

I want people exposed to the ideas, so they can decide on their own what they think. I don’t want those ideas to stay hidden, unavailable for review and consideration.

If you don’t think people should read about, say, ghosts, or witchcraft, you probably aren’t going to read these books.🙂

If you want to (respectfully) explain that position in comments to this post, feel free.

I also want to be clear: I don’t think you need to be a “believer” to enjoy these books. I’m specifically picking book where I have read the author (I may actually own the title listed in p-book ((paperbook)) form). I like the reading…not just the subject matter.

There are a few other criteria for a book making this post.

The book needs to be available in the American

Kindle Unlimited (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

That’s Amazon’s subser (subscription service): people pay $9.99 a month (although there have been longer term discounts) for an “all you can read” program with more than a million books in it. These books are also available outside of that program, but if you are a member (I’ve been a happy member since it started), you can borrow these at no additional cost.

Second, I’ve gone with authors who have a history, and/or have impacted the field. That’s pretty subjective, of course…my call.😉

Third, I chose to do books which are basically a series of essays: you can read just a chapter or story or two. That way, you aren’t committing to reading a 200 page book in the next week.🙂 These are going to be short pieces: read a piece or more at lunch, or if you like me, listen to one or more on text-to-speech (TTS) in the car while running an errand.

Fourth, these books are presented as non-fiction…some of you will believe that the author doesn’t think these events actually happened. That’s fine, but it’s not the way the book is positioned.

One other thing: I did do a similar post last year, and there will be some overlap. This year, the big tweak is focusing on KU and on short pieces.

“You are about to experience the awe and mystery which reaches from the inner mind to…The Outer Limits.”

😉

Ghosts: True Encounters with the World Beyond (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping* by Hans Holzer | 4.1 stars out of 5 | 66 customer reviews | $1.99 to purchase

Holzer is a charming writer: the books are European and urbane, but still experiential. Without Holzer’s 1963 Ghost Hunter book, we wouldn’t have a lot of our current conception of “Ghostbusters”. This is a good collection of short pieces of Holzer’s investigations. Typically, someone will contact Hans Holzer (who is a popular culture figure by the time of the events in this book) to investigate something happening at their property. Holzer gathers information about the case, and then brings in a “sensitive” who hasn’t been told any of the details. The sensitive gives more information. There may be interactions with the “ghosts” through the “medium”. Holzer, who had studied history, will research (pre-internet, of course), the information received through local records…and may find confirmatory facts. You can dismiss the whole thing as Holzer being a fraud, if you want, but the stories are entertaining.🙂 It’s like good travel writing…with ghosts.

Strange Creatures From Time and Space (at AmazonSmile*) by John A. Keel | 4.4 stars | 10 reviews | $9.99 to buy | Audible narration available

There’s a lot of this practical Fortean’s (someone influenced by Charles Fort) writing available through KU…not the most famous book, The Mothman Prophecies, but a lot of other ones. I have this one as a 1970 paperback edition. It’s a great collection with a number of different topics. Reading Keel is like reading urban fantasy, in the sense that it seems very immediate…like it could happen to you.

Letters on Demonology and Witchcraft (at AmazonSmile*) by Sir Walter Scott (yes, that Walter Scott) | 4.0 stars | 34 reviews | Also free to own, whether a KU member or not

Originally published in 1830, and written in an epistolary style (it’s a series of letters), Scott is a skeptic…but there are some creepy stories here.

Monsters Among Us (at AmazonSmile*) by Brad Steiger | 4.0 stars | 3 reviews | $9.99

This is one of close to 200 (!) books by Steiger, and is from 1982. It covers vampires, werewolves, ghouls…even creatures from inside the hollow Earth.

here are a lot of choices…here’s one of the main categories:

Kindle eBooks : Religion & Spirituality : Occult (at AmazonSmle*)

Be aware that some of the books in there may be fiction…publishers get to choose their categories, and they don’t always make the categorizations that you or I might make. In some cases, it’s for marketing purposes, in others, it’s just not knowing which one to pick.

If you have questions about any specific titles, feel free to ask me. If you have any other comments for me or my readers, I look forward to those. Perhaps you think children should be protected from occult books, or you don’t want them to be led astray. Maybe you have other books you’d like to recommend (advocatory for the paranormal, or skeptical)…either way, happy Halloween! 🙂

Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) 

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy  Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.

5 Responses to “Halloween reading: non-fiction from Kindle Unlimited”

  1. Harold Delk Says:

    [There are people who strongly oppose anyone reading about the “supernatural”.

    This opposition could come from religious beliefs, or, contrastingly, from people who think that it encourages “unscientific” thinking.]
    ===========
    I do not understand how opposition to the supernatural could come from religious beliefs since it is itself a belief in the supernatural.

    BTW: there is an interesting article in today’s NYT dealing with the belief in ghosts in Norway. I do not have access to the link from whence I sit, but should be easy for you to find.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Harold!

      I had “supernatural” in quotations partially for that reason.🙂 It’s a term I’ve seen used in that context.

      I’ll take a look at the article…thanks! For others who might be interested (although it might end up behind a paywall):

      http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/25/world/europe/for-many-norwegians-ghosts-fill-a-void.html?_r=0

      • Bufo Calvin Says:

        I’ve read the article…thanks!

        It’s interesting to see another country’s “ghost culture” like that. It wasn’t all that different from the U.S., except perhaps for a court dismissing a desire to cancel the purchase of a house because of it being haunted.🙂 In a famous case in the USA, a court ruled that the fact that a house had previously been in the public as being haunted should have had that fact disclosed…and did allow the cancellation of the sale.

        To be clear, the court didn’t say that the house was haunted, but that the claim that it was essentially constituted a “defect” which should have been disclosed. That’s my recollection…here’s Wikipedia on the case:

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stambovsky_v._Ackley

    • Lady Galaxy Says:

      Thanks, Harold. I have a special interest in all things Norway because my paternal grandmother’s parents were born in Norway. His name was even Ole! My dad loved books by writers like Frank Edwards (Strange World) comes to mind and was fascinated by Edgar Cayce. Perhaps that’s what started my own interest in similar topics. Was it nature or nurture?

      Both sides of my family are firm believers in ghosts and supernatural. Family get togethers always bring up stories about grandma’s house, which we all believe was haunted. I’ve had enough otherworldly experiences to be a believer myself. There are those who believe that quantum physics may explain how consciousness moves from the physical body to some sort of after live.

      I picked up “Encyclopedia of Witchcraft: The Complete A-Z for the Entire Magical World” when it was a Kindle Daily Deal the other day, but I haven’t had a chance to start looking through it yet.

      • Bufo Calvin Says:

        Thanks for writing, Lady!

        Nature or nurture…or both?🙂 No reason it can’t be a combination, of course.

        I’m guessing you would have fun with my physical library! Certainly, both Frank Edwards and Edgar Cayce are present.

        A widely reported poll in 2013 showed 42% of adult respondents saying that they believed in ghosts (basically):

        http://big.assets.huffingtonpost.com/ghosttoplines.pdf

        Interestingly to me, a higher percentage believed in life after death. I suppose that makes sense: there are many people who believe in a religious afterlife who do not believe that those “spirits” can be encountered by the living on Earth.

        If you haven’t read that Hanz Holzer book, I think you’d really enjoy it. It certainly would tie into some of the historical fiction I believe you read.

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