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A Review of Reviews

When Deb Atwood contacted me offering me a review copy of her book 31 Ghost Novels to Read before You Die, I accepted it because it sounded like an interesting concept. (You can read her introduction to the book in an earlier post.)

I didn’t stop to think about how meta it would be to recommend a book full of recommendations for other books… But wow, is it meta. This is why I haven’t made the book one of my weekly recommendations. It turns out, it was just a little too meta for me.

But I still really enjoyed the book, and thought I should tell people about it. I decided to write a short blog post instead.

Atwood is a ghost story afficianado, and her love of the genre shows through in each and every review in this book. I also like how she tried to cover a range of different types of ghost stories. I have a soft spot in my heart for the “intro to a topic for newbies” sort of book. These books are like guide books for someone new to a genre. Sometimes when I travel, I want to explore on my own, unencumbered by anyone else’s recommendations. But sometimes, I want a guide to show me the shortest way to the best views.

The same sort of thing applies to genres of literature and other topics. Sometimes, I love the intellectual freedom of following threads of inquiry to wherever they may take me. But sometimes, a guide is appreciated. And sometimes, I just want to do the equivalent of armchair traveling, reading about the travels I could take, if I had more time. I found reading this book to be a very enjoyable introduction to the variety encompassed in the ghost novel genre.

So, if you want to start an exploration of ghost stories or are tempted to take a virtual trip through the genre, consider picking up a copy of 31 Ghost Novels to Read Before You Die.

Buy it on Amazon.

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Ha ha! I never thought of the meta aspect. The opening of your post made me laugh. Thanks so much for your thoughtful un-review!

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