Thursday, 15 October 2009
Staff Reading Pick
Here is another reading pick from the Logan Library Staff.
Book: Death Makes a Holiday: A Cultural History of Halloween by David J. Skal
Recommended by: Joseph, Nonfiction Acquisitions
In this short history of America's second-most popular holiday, author Skal examines several ways Halloween has influenced our culture. After first attempting to disprove some of our favorite legends about the holiday (there is apparently no evidence that Jack O'Lanterns originated in Celtic Europe, as many assume), Skal tells us of the strange way the Salem witch trials have been co-opted by enterprising New-Agers in modern Salem, Mass. He also leads us through several decades of American haunted house building and takes us into the middle of clashes over gay rights during San Francisco's Halloween street parades. Finally, he comprehensively takes us through 90 years of Halloween at the movies and, in what are perhaps his most compelling observations, Skal examines how the attacks of September 11 affected the holiday and what it all means for America. Like any good cultural history, there are also many intertwining references to other curious information which leave you wanting to know more. An informational and enjoyable read to get you in a spooky mood.
Want more reading suggestions? View previous staff picks.
Posted By Logan Library at 10:17 AM in Category:Staff Picks
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