Reading … a gentle madness.

“Remember what the dormouse said, Feed your head, Feed your head”
~ White Rabbit, Jefferson Airplane, from Surrealistic Pillow, 1967

As I hit rock bottom, books (my old friends) saved my life. As life became desperate and dark, I forgot them, neglected my brain … life slowly drained away. During those dark years, those offspring of Janus who supposedly loved me with one face, sought to destroy me with the other face, slashed my Achille’s heel and used books as weapons — to ridicule, bully and belittle me.

Then, early in 2014, lost, depressed, and grasping at the last shreds of my self-esteem, I reached for a copy of Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath, then Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, then Camus’ The Plague. Somewhere in the midst of following the trials of the Joads, Winston Smith, and Dr Bernard Rieux, all facing insurmountable odds, I felt a pulse. It was the faint whiff of hope breaking through my stone-cold heart. I began to fight back, and somewhere in my travels through fiction, non-fiction and research, I regained my self-esteem, and a sense of worth. Reading Lolita in Recovery was my renaissance and from there to My Quest for the Holy Grail, I started to believe I could be with my boys again.

Books were my weapons against a mundane existence. They are once again. They are my old friends, and my trusted companions in the fight against the dark.

Currently Reading:

Rosemary’s Baby, Ira Levin, 1967 (2011 edition). Auto da Fé, Elias Canetti, transl C.V. Wedgwood, 1946. Villa Air-Bel: World War II, Escape, and a House in Marseille, Rosemary Sullivan, 2006; Edward Albee: A Singular Journey, Mel Gussow, 1999.paperback-constable-and-robinson-2011


Hunting for …
It Can’t Happen Here, Sinclair Lewis, 1935. Dark Hearts of Chicago, Helen Rappaport & William Horwood, 2007.




Finished and still savouring:

The Haunting of Hill House, Shirley Jackson, 1959. The Donnellys Must Die, Orlo Miller, 1962. The Plot against America, Philip Roth, Vintage, 2005. Frightening in its currency! Water for Elephants, Sara Gruen, 2006.  The Road to Wigan Pier, George Orwell, 1937.  The Tenth Man, Graham Greene, 1944, now owned by MGM, 1985.   Little Bastards in Springtime, Katja Rudolph, 2014. Wow! What a ride. Drop the totally irrelevant The Stone Angel from the school curriculum — all it does is turn kids off of reading. Make this epic required reading for all teenagers.

The Peculiar Memories of Thomas Penman, Bruce Robinson, 1998. Only 10 pages in and already a welcome relief from the much heralded Franzen novel.  The Corrections, Jonathan Franzen, 2001. Interesting expose of modern society; love the non-stop paragraph style; but why do the characters have to be devoid of emotion. Is this how the zombie apocalypse begins? What is the author asking of the reader? And, in the 2005 edition, the first typo appears on p. 44 … “There were six minutes left of thesemester.”
In the Heat of the Night, John Ball, 1965.  As I Lay Dying, William Faulkner, 1930.

Always in my back pocket:
Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell, 1949. Winston’s struggles against insurmountable odds inspired me.
Withnail and I and How to Get Ahead in Advertising, Bruce Robinson, 1989. A constant companion, hilarious, wicked, inspires my writing. But, during the dark years, watching the Hamlet soliloquy would bring me to tears.



Recently Read:
The Plague
(La Peste), Albert Camus, 1947 (Transl. Robin Buss, 2001). Just as I lived what I read in Orwell’s Down and Out in Paris and London, I’m living with the separation and exile as I’m reading it.  The Grapes of Wrath, John Steinbeck, 1939. Favourite of 2014, my heart bled for the Joads of the Dirty 30s because it felt so much like the 7 years of hell me and my Boys went through after 2007. It enraged my ‘End of Men’ sentiments.  ‘Tis, Frank McCourt, 1999.   Angela’s Ashes, Frank McCourt, 1996. The Glass Castle, Jeannette Walls, 2005. Tremendous, heartbreaking, infuriating, and uplifting.  Why Be Happy When You Can Be Normal?, Jeanette Winterson, 2011. Fabulous, hilarious, painful and compelling.  Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit, Jeanette glass-castle-cover-imageWinterson, 2014.  Steppenwolf, Hermann Hesse, 1927.  Lolita, Vladimir Nabokov, 1955. Tough, ultra uncomfortable read, but hilarious in so many spots. I have to send kudos to my London Central Library friend for the reco! Whether you love him or hate him, Nabokov’s tale is at once riveting, maddening and well worth the journey.  Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell, 1949. Winston’s struggles against insurmountable odds inspired me.  Keep the Aspidistra Flying, George Orwell, 1936. A lolita-book-coverforgotten treasure. Loved this one. Required reading for anyone ready to quit their day job and become a writer.  Down and Out in Paris and London, George Orwell, 1933. Lived it while I read it.  It became a survival guide.  Animal Farm, George Orwell, 1945.  In Dubious Battle, John Steinbeck, 1936.  The Moon is Down, John Steinbeck, 1942. 
The Ocean at the End of the Lane, Neil Gaiman, 2013. Marvellous.  A Bird’s Eye, Cary Fagan, 2013. Wonderful little story.  I Am Legend, Richard Matheson, 1995. Powerful.  The Anatomist, Federico Andahazi, tr. Alberto Manguel, 1999.  Cemetery Girl, David Bell, 2011. And I thought it was hard to talk to my teenager!  Ablutions: Notes for A Novel, Patrick DeWitt, 2012. Very disturbing journey.  En attendant Godot / Waiting for Godot, Samuel Beckett (French, 1952, English, 1954). Delightful to read this again.  The Antiquarian, Gustavo Faverón Patriau, 2014. Curious, thought-provoking journey.  Orphan Train: A Novel, Christina Baker Kline, 2013. Disappointing, the mushy side of the adoptee.  Barn Burning in Collected Stories of William Faulkner, 1950. Riveting and painful.   Walpurgis Afternoon in Young Woman in a Garden, Delia Sherman, 2014. Loved it. It touched my pagan soul.  Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, Ransom Riggs, 2011The Road, Cormac McCarthy, 2006. Tough, tough, amazing read. It was the film I’d seen while living and working in Calgary in 2009. Away from my boys for the first time, the father-son dynamic ripped my heart out.  The Dracula Dossier, James Reese, 2008; Dark Hearts of Chicago, Helen Rappaport & William Horwood, 2007. Thrilling ride through the dark, immigrant underbelly of America’s Golden Age. Detachment: An Adoption Memoir, Maurice Mierau, 2014;  So, Anyway …, John Cleese, 2014;  The Historian, Elizabeth Kostova, 2005. Loved it … until the ending.; The Library of Shadows, Mikkel Birkegaard, 2010; The Cellist of Sarajevo, Steven Galloway, 2008. As an historian who spent the past 3 decades in the Serbian diaspora, this was painful.The Guards, Ken Bruen, 2003; The Killing of the Tinkers, Ken Bruen, 2004; The Magdalen Martyrs, Ken Bruen, 2005; Priest, Ken Bruen, 2007; The Devil, Ken Bruen, 2010. Love Bruen’s Jack Taylor series. Taylor is one severely damaged human being, but able to spew forth exquisitely beautiful life and literary insights. The Night Eternal, Guillermo Del Toro, Chuck Hogan, 2012;  The Fall, Guillermo Del Toro, Chuck Hogan, 2010The Strain, Book 1, Guillermo Del Toro, Chuck Hogan, 2009. Riveting.; Bedlam Burning, Geoff Nicholson, 2000. Helluva funny trip to Brighton. The lunatics are clearly running the asylum.;
The Tiger’s Wife, Téa Obreht, 2011. Compelling fantastic realism, especially since I’d spent the last 3 decades in the Serbian diaspora.The White Tiger, Aravind Adiga, 2008. Tough, brutal, real. Loved this one.Philomena, Martin Sixsmith, 2009. As an Irish-born adoptee, I found the book a very, very, very tough but amazing read. Michael’s journey had many parallels to mine. The film failed to deliver that same punch in the gut.;  The Book Thief, Markus Zusak, 2005 The Castle (Das Schloss/Das Schloß), Franz Kafka, 1926;  Cannery Row, John Steinbeck, 1945. Charming, intimate, simple look through a microscope at a community.; The Lost Weekend, Charles Jackson, 1944. Still tough to read after all these The Golem 2years. Hard-hitting film.The Golem, Gustav Meyrink, 1915 (English translation, 1928) Strange, strange hallucinogenic experience. Not a read so much as an experience! Highly recommended.The Swimmer, John Cheever, 1964;  A Death in the Woods, Sherwood Anderson, 1933;  Cathedral, Raymond Carver, 1983;  Dracula’s Guest, Bram Stoker, 1914;  A&P, John Updike, 1961;  Into the Wood, Robert Aickman, 1980; The Lottery, Shirley Jackson, 1948;  The Catcher in the Rye, J.D. Salinger, 1951;  On the Road, Jack Kerouac, 1957;  Dharma Bums, Jack Kerouac, 1958;  In Cold Blood, Truman Capote, 1965;  Oliver Untwisted, M.A. Payne, 1929;  Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury, 1953 Endlessly relevant snapshots of cultural genocide.; John Barleycorn, Jack London, 1913;  The People of the Abyss, Jack London, 1903;  The Road, Jack London, 1907;  Absinthe, Christophe Bataille, 1994 (Trans., Richard Howard, 1999). Enchanting and intimate view of how Absinthe touched the lives of those around its origins.
; Dracula, Bram Stoker, 1897;  The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Robert Louis Stevenson, 1886. This thing has been psychoanalyzed to death … everything from closet homosexuality to a portrait of alcoholism. A difficult read, still worth it.;  Carmilla, J. Sheridan LeFanu, 1842;  Frankenstein, or The Modern Prometheus, Mary Shelley, 1818;  The Yellow Wallpaper, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, 1892;  The Tell-Tale Heart, Edgar Allan Poe, 1843;  The Fall of the House of Usher, Edgar Allan Poe, 1839;  “The Stolen Body”, H.G. Wells, originally published in The Strand Magazine (November 1898)

not great cover 3NON-FICTION

Recently Read

The Witches: Salem, 1692, Stacy Schiff, 2015;  The Lost Daughters of China: Abandoned Girls, Their Journey to America and the Search for A Missing Past, Karin Evans, 2000;  Cruelty: Human Evil and the Human Brain, Kathleen Taylor, 2009;  The Friar of Carcassonne: Revolt Against the Inquisition in the Last Days of the Cathars, Stephen O’Shea, 2011;  The Last Witch of Langenburg: Murder in A German Village, Thomas Willard Robisheaux, 2009;
God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything, Christopher Hitchens, 2007;  America’s Secret Jihad: The Hidden History of Religious Terrorism in the United States, Stuart Wexler, 2015;  The War on Alcohol: Prohibition and the Rise of the American State, Lisa McGirr, 2016; Drink: A Cultural History of Alcohol, Iain Gately, 2008;  Modern Satanism: Anatomy of A Radical Subculture, Chris Matthews, 2009;  The Dark Side of the Enlightenment: Wizards, Alchemists, and Spiritual Seekers in the Age of Reason, John V. Fleming, 2013;  Perdurabo: The Life of Aleister Crowley, Richard Kaczynski, 2010;  Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers, Mary Roach, 2003; 
Chasing Lolita: How Popular Culture Corrupted Nabokov’s Little Girl All Over Again, Graham Vickers, 2008;  The Lady and Her Monsters: A Tale of Dissections, Real-Life Dr. Frankensteins, and the Creation of Mary Shelley’s Masterpiece, Roseanne Montillo, 2013;  The American Way of Poverty: How the Other Half Still Lives, Sasha Abramsky, 2013;

I’m working on a variety of stories that range from magazine articles to short stories, from novels to screenplays. I’ve tried to present my research and reading into definable topics.

An Anatomical Theatre In Leiden, 1616

The Shadowy History of Medicine & Anatomy
Theaters of Anatomy: Students, Teachers, and Traditions of Dissection in Renaissance Venice, Cynthia Klestinec, 2011; The Anatomist: A True Story of Gray’s Anatomy, Bill Hayes, 2009; Human Remains: Dissection and its Histories, Helen MacDonald, 2005; Death, Dissection and the Destitute, 2nd Edition, Ruth Richardson, 2000; The Red Market: On the Trail of the World’s Organ Brokers, Bone Thieves, Blood Farmers, and Child Traffickers, Scott Carney, 2011; The Traffic of Dead Bodies: Anatomy and Embodied Social Identity in Nineteenth-Century America, Michael Sappol, 2002; The Italian Boy: A Tale of Murder and Body Snatching in 1830s London, Sarah Wise, 2004; Bodysnatchers: A History of the Resurrectionists, 1742-1832, Martin Fido, 1988; Digging for the Disappeared: Forensic Science after Atrocity, Adam Rosenblatt, 2015; Black Markets: The Supply and Demand of Body Parts, Michele Goodwin, 2013; Dr. Mütter’s Marvels: A true tale of intrigue and innovation at the dawn of modern medicine, Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz, 2014; Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America, Erik Larsen, 2003; Anatomy, edX Online-Harvard University, 2014; The Anatomy Murders: Being a True and Spectacular History of Edinburgh’s Notorious Burke and Hare and the Man of Science who Abetted Them in the Commission of their Heinous Crimes, Lisa Rosner, 2010

Don Quixote in his library

Bibliomania and Reading
Thieves of Book Row: New York’s Most Notorious Rare Book Ring and the Man Who Stopped It
, Travis McDade, 2013; The Man who Loved Books Too Much: The true story of a thief, a detective, and a world of literary obsession, Allison Hoover Bartlett, 2009; Shadows of the Old Booksellers, Charles Knight, 1865; The Business of Books: Booksellers and the English Book Trade 1450-1850, James Raven, 2007; The London Bookshop, Parts 1 and 2: A Pictorial Record of the Antiquarian book trade: Portraits & Premises, Richard Brown and Stanley Brett, 1971; A Gentle Madness: Bibliophiles, Bibliomanes, and the Eternal Passion for Books, Nicholas A. Basbanes, 1995; Popular Reading and Publishing in Britain, 1914-1950, Joseph McAleer, 1992; Reading, Publishing and the Formation of Literary Taste in England, 1880-1914, Mary Hammond, 2006; When Russia Learned to Read: Literacy and Popular Literature, 1861-1917, Jeffrey Brooks, 2003; Consuming Texts: Readers and Reading Communities, 1695-1870, Stephen Colcough, 2007


Cultural Genocide
Obscene in the Extreme: The Burning and Banning of John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath
, Rick Wartzman, 2008; Libricide: The Regime-Sponsored Destruction of Books and Libraries in the Twentieth Century, Rebecca Knuth, 2003; Burning Books and Leveling Libraries: Extremist Violence and Cultural Destruction, Rebecca Knuth, 2006; Burning Books, Matthew Fishburn, 2008; Books on Fire: The Destruction of Libraries throughout History, Lucien X. Polastron, 2004 (Transl., Jon E. Graham), 2007; Lost Libraries: The Destruction of Great Book Collections since Antiquity, Ed. James Raven, 2004; A Universal History of the Destruction of Books: From Ancient Sumer to Modern Iraq, Fernando Baez, 2008; Dirt for Art’s Sake: Books on Trial from Madame Bovary to Lolita, Elisabeth Ladenson, 2007;  Forbidden Knowledge: From Prometheus to Pornography, Roger Shattuck, 1996; “Reading: A Health Warning“, Roy Porter, in Medicine, Mortality and the Book Trade, Ed., Robin Myers, 1998; The Famine Plot, England’s Role in Ireland’s Greatest Tragedy, Tim Pat Coogan, 2012; Cultural Genocide (Genocide, Political Violence, Human Rights), Prof. Lawrence Davidson, 2012

The Book Trade
Printers’ Diseases: The Human Cost of a Mechanical Process“, Michael Harris, in Medicine, Mortality and the Book Trade, Ed., Robin Myers, 1998; The London Book Trade: Topographies of Print in the Metropolis from the Sixteenth Century, Ed., Robin Meyers, Michael Harris, Giles Mandelbrote, 2003; Spreading the Word: The Distribution Networks of Print, 1550-1850, Ed., Robin Myers, 1990; Modes of Production of Victorian Novels, N.N. Feltes, 1986; The Book in the Renaissance, Andrew Pettegree, 2010

Boys in the Education System
oys Adrift: The Five Factors Driving the Growing Epidemic of Unmotivated Boys and Underachieving Young Men, Leonard Sax, 2007; The Epidemic: The Rot of American Culture, Absentee and Permissive Parenting, and the Resultant Plague of Joyless, Selfish Children, Robert Shaw, 2003

21st Century Rural Life, Agri-Business, Food Production, and Barn Demolition
The Jungle, Upton Sinclair, 1906; Food, Inc.: How Industrial Food Is Making Us Sicker, Fatter and Poorer — and What You Can Do About It, Karl Weber, 2009; The Meat We Eat, Coursera Online-University of Florida, 2015; Introduction to Sustainability, Coursera Online-University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2015; Subsistence Marketplaces, Coursera Online-University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2015; Global Post-Harvest Loss Prevention, Coursera Online-University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2015; An Introduction to the U.S. Food System: Perspectives from Public Health, Coursera Online-Johns Hopkins University, Bloomberg School of Public Health, 2015; and soon, Project Animal Farm: An Accidental Journey Into the Secret World of Farming and the Truth About Our Food, Sonia Faruqi, 2015

Alcoholism and Addiction
The Trip to Echo Spring: On Writers and Drinking, Olivia Laing, 2014; Alcohol and the Writer, Donald W. Goodwin, 1988; Alcohol in the Movies, 1898-1962, Judy Cornes, 2006; Absinthe, The Cocaine of the Nineteenth Century: A History of the Hallucinogenic Drug and its effect on Artists and Writers in Europe and the United States, Doris Lanier, 1995; Craze: Gin and Debauchery in the Age of Reason, Jessica Warner, 2002; Drink and the Politics of Social Reform: Anti-Alcoholism in France since 1870, Patricia Prestwich, 1988; Message in a Bottle: Stories of Men and Addiction, Jefferson A. Singer, 1997; Drink, Temperance and the Working Class in Nineteenth-Century Germany, James S. Roberts, 1984; Drink in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries, Ed., Susanne Schmid, Barbara Schmidt-Haberkamp, 2014; Public Drinking and Popular Culture in Eighteenth-Century Paris, Thomas Brennan, 1988; “Ireland Sober, Ireland Free”: Drink and Temperance in Nineteenth-Century Ireland, Elizabeth Malcolm, 1986; Alcohol, Drinking, Drunkenness: (dis)orderly spaces, Mark Jayne, Gill Valentine and Sarah L. Holloway, 2011; Equivocal Spirits: Alcoholism and Drinking in Twentieth-Century Literature, Thomas B. Gilmore, 1987; Spirits of America: Intoxication in Nineteenth-Century American Literature, Nicholas O. Warner, 1997; Drinking Cultures: Alcohol and Identity, Ed., Thomas M. Wilson, 2005; Alcohol, Drugs, and Baby Boomers, Coursera Online-Johns Hopkins School of Nursing, 2014

Return of the Black Death: The World’s Greatest Serial Killer, Susan Scott, Christopher Duncan, 2004; Plague: The Mysterious Past and Terrifying Future of the World’s Most Dangerous Disease, Wendy Orent, 2004;
Wallis, Patrick (2006), “Plagues, Morality and the Place of Medicine in Early Modern England”, Dr. Patrick Wallis, Department of Economic History, London School of Economics, Houghton Street, London, English Historical Review, 121 (490). 1-24; The Great Plague of London, Stephen Porter, 2012; Dirty Old London: The Victorian Fight against Filth, Lee Jackson, 2014; Plagues & Poxes: The Impact of Human History on Epidemic Disease, Alfred Jay Bollet, 2004; Dread: How Fear and Fantasy have Fueled Epidemics from the Black Death to Avian Flu, Philip Alcabes, 2009; Germs, Genes, & Civilization: How Epidemics Shaped Who we are Today, David P. Clark, 2010; The Third Horseman: Climate Change and the Great Famine of the 14th Century, William Rosen, 2014; Cholera in Post-Revolutionary Paris: A Cultural History, Catherine J. Kudlick, 1996; Cholera: The Biography, Christopher Hamlin, 2009; The Medical Detective: John Snow and the Mystery of Cholera, Sandra Hempel, 2006; Ghost Map: The story of London’s most terrifying epidemic and how it changed science, cities, and the modern world, Steven Johnson, 2006; Epidemics, Pandemics and Outbreaks, Coursera Online-University of Pittsburgh, 2015; Ebola Virus Disease – An Evolving Epidemic, Coursera Online-Emory University 2015; Walking Corpses: Leprosy in Byzantium and the Medieval West, Timothy S. Miller, John W. Nesbitt, 2014; Victorian Freaks: The Social Context of Freakery in Britain, Ed., Marlene Tromp, 2008; A Darkened House: Cholera in Nineteenth-Century Canada, Geoffrey Bilson, 1980; A History of the Great Influenza Pandemics: Death, Panic and Hysteria, 1830-1920, Mark Honigsbaum, 2014; The Making of a Social Disease: Tuberculosis in Nineteenth-Century France, David S. Barnes, 1995

Mental Health, Asylums, Neuroscience, The Brain
The Brain that Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph From the Frontiers of Brain Science, Norman Doidge, 2007;  Madmen: A Social History of Madhouses, Mad-Doctors & Lunatics, Roy Porter, 2004; The Invisible Plague: The Rise of Mental Illness from 1750 to the Present, E. Fuller Torrey, Judy Miller, 2001; From Melancholia to Prozac: A History of Depression, Clark Lawlor, 2012; History of Madness, Michel Poucault, 2009; Madness, Magic and Medicine: The Treatment and Mistreatment of the Mentally Ill, Elinor Lander Horwitz, 1977; Why Good People do Bad Things: Understanding Our Darker Selves, James Hollis, Ph.D., 2007; The Psychology of Adoption, David M. Brodzinsky, 1990; Against Happiness: In Praise of Melancholy, Eric G. Wilson, 2008; The Social Context of Mental Health and Illness, Coursera Online-University of Toronto, 2013; Major Depression in the Population: A Public Health Approach, Coursera Online-Johns Hopkins University, 2014; The Addicted Brain, Coursera Online-Emory University, 2014; Medical Neuroscience, Coursera Online-Duke University, 2015; The Bilingual Brain, Coursera Online-University of Houston, 2014; Introduction to Psychology as a Science, Coursera Online-Georgia Institute of Technology, 2014; Introduction to Human Behavioral Genetics, Coursera Online-University of Minnesota, 2014; Introduction to Psychology, Coursera Online-University of Toronto, 2014; Introduction to Forensic Science, Coursera Online-Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, 2014; Portrait of the Artist as a Young Patient: Psychodynamic Studies of the Creative Personality, Gerald Alper, 1992; Custody of the Mentally Ill, Incompetent, and Disabled in Medieval England, Wendy Turner, 2013; and The Letters of a Victorian Madwoman, Ed. John Hughes, 1993; Migration, Ethnicity, and Mental Health: International Perspectives, 1840-2010, Ed. Angela McCarthy, Catharine Colborne, 2012

Real & Imagined Threats to Society
How the Other Half Lives, Studies Among the Tenements of New York, Jacob A. Riis, 1890;  The Battle with the Slum, Jacob A. Riis, 1902; The Blackest Streets: The Life and Death of a Victorian Slum, Sarah Wise, 2008; The Lost Children: A Study of Charity Children in Ireland, 1700-1900, Joseph Robins, 1980;  Charity and Children in Renaissance Florence: The Ospedale degli Innocenti, 1410-1536, Philip Gavitt, 1990; Do Penance or Perish: Magdelen Asylums in Ireland, Frances Finnegan, 2004;  Fallen Women, Problem Girls: Unmarried Mothers and the Professionalization of Social Work 1890-1945, Regina G. Kunzel, 1993; The Girls Who Went Away: The Hidden History of Women Who Surrendered Children for Adoption in the Decades before Roe v. Wade, Ann Fessler, 2006; Idols of Perversity: Fantasies of Feminine Evil in Fin-de-Siecle Culture, Bram Dijkstra, 1986; Lost Girls: Sex and Death in Renaissance Florence, Nicholas Terpstra, 2010; Abandoned: Foundlings in Nineteenth-Century New York City, Julie Miller, 2008; Empty Cradles, Margaret Humphreys, 2011; The Child Catchers: Rescue, Trafficking, and the New Gospel of Adoption, Kathryn Joyce, 2013; The Baby Business: How Money, Science, and Politics drive the Commerce of Conception, Debora L. Spar, 2006; Baby Markets: Money and the New Politics of Creating Families, M.B. Goodwin, ed., 2010; Nefarious Crimes, Contested Justice: Illicit Sex and Infanticide in the Republic of Venice, 1557-1789, Joanne M. Ferraro, 2008; The Traffic in Babies: Cross-Border Adoption and Baby-Selling between the United States and Canada, 1930-1972, Karen A. Balcom, 2010; The Orphan Country: Children of Scotland’s Broken Homes from 1845 to the Present Day, Lynn Abrams, 1998; Imagined Orphans: Poor Families, Child Welfare, and Contested Citizenship in London, Lydia Murdoch, 2006;  Blood Ties and Fictive Ties: Adoption and Family Life in Early Modern France, Kristin Elizabeth Gager, 1996; “Mother Donit fore the Best”: Correspondence of a Nineteenth-Century Orphans Asylum, Judith A. Dulberger, 1996; Poverty in Eighteenth-Century Spain: The Women and Children of the Inclusa, Joan Sherwood, 1988; Abandoned Children: Foundlings and Child Welfare in Nineteenth-Century France, Rachel Ginnis Fuchs, 1984; Ireland’s Children: Quality of Life, Stress, and Child Development in the Famine Era, Thomas E. Jordan, 1998; Bastards and Foundlings: Illegitimacy in Eighteenth-Century England, Lisa Zunshine, 2005

Dangerous Outsiders
Boxcar Politics: The Hobo in U.S. Culture and Literature, 1869-1956
, John Lennon, 2014; Bohemians: The Glamorous Outcasts, Elizabeth Wilson, 2000; Witchcraft, Magic and Culture, 1736-1951, Owen Davies, 1999;  The Witch in the Western Imagination, Lyndal Roper, 2012; Vampires, Burial and Death: Folklore and Reality, Paul Barber, 1988; The Devil’s Party: A History of Charlatan Messiahs, Colin Wilson, 2000; Vampires of the Slavs, Jan L. Perkowski, 1976; Early Modern European Witchcraft: Centres and Peripheries, Ed. Bengt Ankarloo, Gustav Henningsen, 1990; Food for the Dead: On the Trail of New England’s Vampires, Michael E. Bell, 2001; Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, Susan Cain, 2012

Death and Burial
Death: Antiquity and its Legacy, Mario Erasmo, 2012; The Corpse: A History, Christine Quigley, 1996; Death in Towns: Urban Responses to the Dying and the Dead, 100-1600, Steven Bassett, 1992; The Place of the Dead: Death and Remembrance in Late Medieval and Early Modern Europe, Bruce Gordon, Peter Marshall, 2000; The Archaeology of Death and Burial, Mike Parker Pearson, 1999; How to Read a Graveyard: Journeys in the Company of the Dead, Peter Stanford, 2013; Burial in Medieval Ireland 900-1500, Susan Leigh Fry, 1999; Forensic Medicine and Death Investigation in Medieval England, Sara M. Butler, 2015

Anders Brevik and the Rise of Islamophobia, Sindre Bangstad, 2014; Eros, Magic, and the Murder of Professor Culianu, Ted Anton, 1997; History of Murder: Personal Violence in Europe from the Middle Ages to the Present, Pieter Spierenburg, 2008; Deadly Cults: The Crimes of True Believers, Robert Snow, 2003; The Most Dangerous Animal of All: Searching for my Birth Father and Finding … The Zodiac Killer, Gary L. Stewart, Susan Mustafa, 2014; A Serial Killer in Nazi Berlin: The Chilling True Story of the S-Bahn Murderer, Scott Andrew Selby, 2014

Human Trafficking
Human Trafficking, Coursera Online-Ohio State University, 2014; Walking Prey: How America’s Youth are Vulnerable to Sex Slavery, Holly Austin Smith, 2014; Human Trafficking in Europe: Character, causes and consequences, Gillian Wylie, Penelope McRedmond, 2010

London’s Burning: Pulp fiction, the politics of terrorism and the destruction of the capital in British popular culture, 1840-2005, Antony Taylor, 2012; Blood and Rage: A Cultural History of Terrorism, Michael Burleigh, 2009; Understanding Terrorism and the Terrorist Threat, Coursera Online-University of Maryland, College Park, 2015

Writers & Writing
Becoming Dickens: The Invention of a Novelist, Robert Douglas-Fairhurst, 2011; Into The Woods: A Five-Act Journey into Story, John Yorke, 2014; Story, Robert McKee, 1997; The Seven Basic Plots: Why We Tell Stories, Christopher Brooker, 2004; UQx
: Write101x English Grammar and Style, edX Online Course, The University of Queensland, Australia, 2015; The Art and Craft of Storytelling, Nancy Lamb, 2008; The Art of the Short Story, Dana Gioia, R.S. Gwynn, 2006; The Storytelling Animal: How stories make us human, Jonathan Gottschall, 2012; Writing for the Stage: A Practical Playwriting Guide, Leroy Clark, 2005; The Criminal Mind: A Writer’s Guide to Forensic Psychology, Katherine Ramsland, Ph.D, 2002; Sex trafficking, scandal, and the transformation of journalism, 1885-1917, Gretchen Soderlund, 2013; Plagues, Witches, and War: The Worlds of Historical Fiction, Coursera Online-University of Virginia, 2015; Demons of the Night: Tales of the Fantastic, Madness, and the Supernatural from Nineteenth-Century France, Joan C. Kessler, 1995; Images of Fear: How horror stories helped shape modern culture, 1818-1918, Martin Tropp, 1990; Victorian Demons: Medicine, masculinity and the Gothic at the fin-de-siècle, Andrew Smith, 2004; The Raven and the Lark: Lost Children in Literature of the English Renaissance, Barbara Estrin, 1985; Orphan Texts: Victorian orphans, culture and empire, Laura Peters, 2000; Literary Advertising and the Shaping of British Romanticism, Nicholas Mason, 2013; From Castle Rackrent to Castle Dracula: Anglo-Irish Agrarian Fiction in the Nineteenth-Century, Paul E.H. Davis, 2011;  Le Fanu’s Gothic: The Rhetoric of Darkness, Victor Sage, 2004; The Occult in Russian and Soviet Culture, Bernice Glatzer Rosenthal, 1997; Haunting and Spectrality in Neo-Victorian Fiction: Possessing the Past, Ed. Rosario Arias, Patricia Pulham, 2010

Dorothea Lange: A Life beyond Limits, Linda Gordon, 2010; The Camera Never Lies, Coursera Online-University of London, 2014

Stage & Screen
The Immigrant Scene: Ethnic amusements in New York, 1880-1920, Sabine Haenni, 2008; W.C. Fields: A Biography, James Curtis, 2003; The Man on the Flying Trapeze: Life and Times of W.C. Fields, Simon Louvish, 1997; Withnail and Us: Cult Films and Film Cults in British Cinema, Justin Smith, 2010; V for Vendetta as Cultural Pastiche: A Critical Study of the Graphic Novel and Film, James R. Keller, 2008;    Russian Culture and Theatrical Performance in America, 1891-1933, Valleri J. Hohman, 2011; Theatre and Globalization, Coursera Online-Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich, 2015

The Man without a Face: The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin, Masha Gessen, 2012; Medical Meddlers, Mediums and Magicians: The Victorian Age of Credulity, Keith Souter, 2012; Designing Cities, Coursera Online-University of Pennsylvania, 2014; Advertising and Society, Coursera Online-Duke University, 2014; Chinese for Beginners, Coursera Online-Peking University, 2014; Understanding Media by Understanding Google, Coursera Online-Northwestern University, 2013; Content Strategy for Professionals, Coursera Online-Northwestern University, 2014; Creativity, Innovation, and Change, Coursera Online-Pennsylvania State University, 2013; Creative Problem Solving, Coursera Online-University of Minnesota, 2013; Recovering the Humankind’s Past and Saving the Universal Heritage, Coursera Online-Sapienza University of Rome, 2014


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