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The Things To Do In Salem and Wicked Good Books recommended book list

things to do in salem, wicked good books recommended book list salem ma

I am excited to share that Things To Do In Salem and Wicked Good Books have partnered up to create a book list for you all. While wandering their lovely bookshelves I came up with the idea to compile some awesome spooky titles as well as some Salem based books for all of you bookworms and Wicked Good Books was kind enough to add their thoughts. Check out the info below and be sure to stop into Wicked Good Books if you’re in the area. They are at 215 Essex Street Salem, MA and can be found online at www.wickedgoodbookstore.com.

Salem titles

Things To Do In Salem suggestions

1. The Crucible by Arthur Miller
“One of the true masterpieces of twentieth-century American theater, The Crucible brilliantly explores the threshold between individual guilt and mass hysteria, personal spite and collective evil. It is a play that is not only relentlessly suspenseful and vastly moving, but that compels readers to fathom their hearts and consciences in ways that only the greatest theatre can.”
Please read this note here about historical accuracy of The Crucible.

2. Legendary Locals of Salem by Jerome M. Curley
“Since 1626, Salem has had a rich history. Time has seen this small city that was founded by Puritans adapt and push forward. It has been the capital of the colony; the site of the witchcraft trials of 1692; a thriving seaport; home to Revolutionary War privateers and soldiers; an East India Seaport that opened trade with China; an industrial center; and a tourist destination. Each age has produced people of influence. They walked the city’s lanes, wharves, and streets as they pursued their dreams―people such as Roger Conant, Salem’s Puritan founder; Anne Bradstreet, the first American poetess; Judge Sewell, the remorseful witchcraft judge; Elias Derby, the first American millionaire; Samuel McIntyre, the architect who changed the face of Salem; Nathaniel Hawthorne, a great American author; and Frank Benson, the noted impressionist painter. Ordinary people were and are legends, such as Caroline Emmerton, a philanthropist who sought to save Salem’s heritage; David Goss, a historian and activist for Salem’s past; Pep Cornacchio, an extraordinary civic volunteer; and Joan Boudreau, a preservationist restaurateur; as well as countless others. Legendary Locals of Salem celebrates the eclectic and noteworthy figures that have shaped and continue to shape the community.”

3. U. S. Coast Guard Air Station Salem, Massachusetts: 1935-1970: A Pictorial and Chronological History (Salem’s Forgotten Stories) by Bonnie Hurd Smith
“On February 15, 1935, Coast Guard Air Station Salem opened on Winter Island to respond to emergency calls off the Atlantic Coast from as far south as Connecticut and as far north as Halifax. Two years later, the Salem Evening News reported that the air station in 1937 had “established one of the most progressive records for flying and participating in mercy errands of any Coast Guard air station in the country.” A few years later, during World War II, the men patrolled the coast in search of German U-boats. Until the Air Station closed in 1970 during a Coast Guard consolidation, Air Station Salem played a vital role in Salem and far beyond for thirty-five years. The men bravely saved dozens of lives at sea, and risked their own. The City of Salem seized control of the vacant Coast Guard property in 1972. Sadly, vandals had taken over the area and some of the buildings had to be destroyed for safety reasons. Of the buildings that remain today, in 2015, City officials and citizens alike are keenly aware of their potential. Funding has recently been secured, and the multi-year task of restoring and improving Winter Island was underway in June 2015. Drawing upon the archive of Salem collector Nelson Dionne, this book presents a brief chronological history of Coast Guard Air Station Salem and photographs of its story. Although the station is no longer active, it will always be remembered. So must the men of Coast Guard Air Station Salem who lost their lives in the line of duty.”

4. Salem Possessed: The Social Origins of Witchcraft 1st Edition by Paul Boyer and Stephen Nissenbaum
“The stark immediacy of what happened in 1692 has obscured the complex web of human passion which had been growing for more than a generation before building toward the climactic witch trials. Salem Possessed explores the lives of the men and women who helped spin that web and who in the end found themselves entangled in it.”

5. The Devil in Massachusetts: A Modern Enquiry into the Salem Witch Trials by Marion L. Starkey
“This historical narrative of the Salem witch trials takes its dialogue from actual trial records but applies modern psychiatric knowledge to the witchcraft hysteria. Starkey’s sense of drama also vividly recreates the atmosphere of pity and terror that fostered the evil and suffering of this human tragedy.”

Wicked Good Books suggestions

1. Death of an Empire: The Rise and Murderous Fall of Salem, America’s Richest City by Robert Booth
“Most readers know Salem only for the city’s notorious witch trials. But years later it became a very different city, one that produced America’s first millionaire (still one of history’s 75 wealthiest men) and boasted a maritime trade that made it the country’s richest city. Westward expansion and the industrial revolution would eventually erode Salem’s political importance, but it was a shocking murder and the scandal that followed which led at last to its fall from national prominence.Death of an Empire is a finely-written tale of a little-known but remarkably rich era of American history, drawing in characters such as Nathaniel Hawthorne, John Quincy Adams, and Daniel Webster.”

2. The Peabody Sisters: Three Women Who Ignited American Romanticism by Megan Marshall
“Elizabeth, Mary, and Sophia Peabody were in many ways our American Brontes. The story of these remarkable sisters — and their central role in shaping the thinking of their day — has never before been fully told. Twenty years in the making, Megan Marshall’s monumental biography brings the era of creative ferment known as American Romanticism to new life. Elizabeth, the oldest sister, was a mind-on-fire thinker. A powerful influence on the great writers of the era — Emerson, Hawthorne, and Thoreau among them — she also published some of their earliest works. It was Elizabeth who prodded these newly minted Transcendentalists away from Emerson’s individualism and toward a greater connection to others. Mary was a determined and passionate reformer who finally found her soul mate in the great educator Horace Mann. The frail Sophia was a painter who won the admiration of the preeminent society artists of the day. She married Nathaniel Hawthorne — but not before Hawthorne threw the delicate dynamics among the sisters into disarray. Marshall focuses on the moment when the Peabody sisters made their indelible mark on history. Her unprecedented research into these lives uncovered thousands of letters never read before as well as other previously unmined original sources. The Peabody Sisters casts new light on a legendary American era. Its publication is destined to become an event in American biography.”

3. The House of the Seven Gables by Nathaniel Hawthorne
“In a sleepy little New England village stands a dark, weather-beaten, many-gabled house. This brooding mansion is haunted by a centuries-old curse that casts the shadow of ancestral sin upon the last four members of the distinctive Pyncheon family of Salem. The greed and haughty pride of the Pyncheon family through the generations is mirrored in the gloomy decay of their seven-gabled mansion, where the family’s enfeebled and impoverished relations now live. Mysterious deaths threaten the living. Musty documents nestle behind hidden panels carrying the secret of the family’s salvation–or its downfall. A brilliant intertwining of the popular, the symbolic, and the historical, Hawthorne’s Gothic Romance is a powerful exploration of personal and national guilt, a work that Henry James declared “the closest approach we are likely to have to the Great American Novel.”

4. Salem Cornerstones: Cornerstones of a Historic City by Joseph Flibbert, K. Goss, Bryant Tolles , Richard Trask, Jim McAllister
“Salem Cornerstones is an all-in-one history, photo album, and guidebook to one of America’s great centers of history and culture. This indispensable guide to historic Salem includes chapters on: maritime trade, the witchcraft trials, exceptional architecture, and Nathaniel Hawthorne. Five leading historians explain it all, including the story of Salem since Hawthorne’s death, with over seventy illustrations and six maps.”

5. A Storm of Witchcraft: The Salem Trials and the American Experience by Emerson W. Baker
“Beginning in January 1692, Salem Village in colonial Massachusetts witnessed the largest and most lethal outbreak of witchcraft in early America. Villagers–mainly young women–suffered from unseen torments that caused them to writhe, shriek, and contort their bodies, complaining of pins stuck into their flesh and of being haunted by specters. Believing that they suffered from assaults by an invisible spirit, the community began a hunt to track down those responsible for the demonic work. The resulting Salem Witch Trials, culminating in the execution of 19 villagers, persists as one of the most mysterious and fascinating events in American history.

Historians have speculated on a web of possible causes for the witchcraft that stated in Salem and spread across the region-religious crisis, ergot poisoning, an encephalitis outbreak, frontier war hysteria–but most agree that there was no single factor. Rather, as Emerson Baker illustrates in this seminal new work, Salem was “a perfect storm”: a unique convergence of conditions and events that produced something extraordinary throughout New England in 1692 and the following years, and which has haunted us ever since.

Baker shows how a range of factors in the Bay colony in the 1690s, including a new charter and government, a lethal frontier war, and religious and political conflicts, set the stage for the dramatic events in Salem. Engaging a range of perspectives, he looks at the key players in the outbreak–the accused witches and the people they allegedly bewitched, as well as the judges and government officials who prosecuted them–and wrestles with questions about why the Salem tragedy unfolded as it did, and why it has become an enduring legacy.

Salem in 1692 was a critical moment for the fading Puritan government of Massachusetts Bay, whose attempts to suppress the story of the trials and erase them from memory only fueled the popular imagination. Baker argues that the trials marked a turning point in colonial history from Puritan communalism to Yankee independence, from faith in collective conscience to skepticism toward moral governance. A brilliantly told tale, A Storm of Witchcraft also puts Salem’s storm into its broader context as a part of the ongoing narrative of American history and the history of the Atlantic World.”

Spooky titles

Things To Do In Salem suggestions

1. The Best of H. P. Lovecraft: Bloodcurdling Tales of Horror and the Macabre Paperback by H.P. Lovecraft and Robert Bloch
“This is the collection that true fans of horror fiction have been waiting for: sixteen of H.P. Lovecraft’s most horrifying visions, including Lovecraft’s masterpiece, THE SHADOW OUT OF TIME–the shocking revelation of the mysterious forces that hold all mankind in their fearsome grip.”I think it is beyond doubt that H.P. Lovecraft has yet to be surpassed as the Twentieth Century’s greatest practitioner of the classic horror tale.” – Stephen King”

2. Edgar Allan Poe: Complete Tales and Poems by Edgar Allan Poe
“The life of American writer Edgar Allan Poe was characterized by a dramatic series of successes and failures, breakdowns and recoveries, personal gains and hopes dashed through, despite which he created some of the finest literature the world has ever known. Over time his works have influenced such major creative forces as the French poets Charles Baudelaire and Andre Gide, filmmaker D.W. Griffith and modern literary legend Allen Ginsberg. Best known for his poems and short fiction, Poe perfected the psychological thriller, invented the detective story, and rarely missed transporting the reader to his own supernatural realm. He has also been hailed posthumously as one of the finest literary critics of the nineteenth century. In Edgar Allan Poe: Complete Tales and Poems fans may indulge in all of Poe’s most imaginative short-stories, including The Fall of the House of Usher, The Murders in Rue Morgue, The Tell-Tale Heart, Ligeia and Ms. In a Bottle. His complete early and miscellaneous poetic masterpieces are here also, including The Raven, Ulalume, Annabel Lee, Tamerlane, as well as select reviews and narratives.”

3. Coraline by Neil Gaiman
“When Coraline steps through a door to find another house strangely similar to her own (only better), things seem marvelous. But there’s another mother there, and another father, and they want her to stay and be their little girl. They want to change her and never let her go. Coraline will have to fight with all her wit and courage if she is to save herself and return to her ordinary life.”

4. The Demonologist: The Extraordinary Career of Ed and Lorraine Warren by Gerald Brittle
“If you think ghosts are only responsible for hauntings, think again. This New York Times Best Seller reveals the grave religious process behind supernatural events and how it can happen to you. Used as a text in seminaries and classrooms, this is one book you can’t put down. For over five decades Ed and Loraine Warren have been considered America’s foremost experts on demonology and exorcism. With thousands of investigations to their credit, they reveal what actually breaks the peace in haunted houses. Chapters include Annabelle and The Enfield Poltergeist. Don’t miss the the Warrens in the hit film ‘The Conjuring’ and the upcoming film ‘The Conjuring 2: The Enfield Poltergeist’ in theaters June, 2016.”

5. Weird Hauntings: True Tales of Ghostly Places by Joanne Austin, Mark Moran , Mark Sceurman, Ryan Doan
“From Mark Moran and Mark Sceurman, the authors of the bestselling Weird U.S. series, comes something a little different, designed to send shivers down the spine: a book on America’s scariest haunted places. Some of these spirit-filled spots are well known and open to the public, while others are private residences that will have to remain intriguing from a distance: No visits allowed! The stories include firsthand tales that have a powerful “creepiness factor” and believability. The various sites include haunted houses, ghostly graveyards, cursed roads, eerie eateries, spirited saloons, and more. But be warned: This collection of true tales set in actual locations is so chilling that you may not want to read this alone at night!”

Wicked Good Books suggestions

1. HEX by Thomas Olde Heuvelt
“Whoever is born here, is doomed to stay ’til death. Whoever settles, never leaves. Welcome to Black Spring, the seemingly picturesque Hudson Valley town haunted by the Black Rock Witch, a 17th century woman whose eyes and mouth are sewn shut. Muzzled, she walks the streets and enters your homes at will. She stands next to your bed for nights on end. Everybody knows that her eyes may never be opened or the consequences will be too terrible to bear. The elders of Black Spring have virtually quarantined the town by using high-tech surveillance to prevent their curse from spreading. Frustrated with being kept in lockdown, the town’s teenagers decide to break their strict regulations and go viral with the haunting, but in so doing send the town spiraling into the dark, medieval practices of the past.”

2. Salem’s Lot by Stephen King
“Ben Mears has returned to Jerusalem’s Lot in the hopes that living in an old mansion, long the subject of town lore, will help him cast out his own devils and provide inspiration for his new book. But when two young boys venture into the woods and only one comes out alive, Mears begins to realize that there may be something sinister at work and that his hometown is under siege by forces of darkness far beyond his control.”

3. The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova
“To you, perceptive reader, I bequeath my history…. Late one night, exploring her father’s library, a young woman finds an ancient book and a cache of yellowing letters. The letters are all addressed to “My dear and unfortunate successor,” and they plunge her into a world she never dreamed of-a labyrinth where the secrets of her father’s past and her mother’s mysterious fate connect to an inconceivable evil hidden in the depths of history. The letters provide links to one of the darkest powers that humanity has ever known-and to a centuries-long quest to find the source of that darkness and wipe it out. It is a quest for the truth about Vlad the Impaler, the medieval ruler whose barbarous reign formed the basis of the legend of Dracula. Generations of historians have risked their reputations, their sanity, and even their lives to learn the truth about Vlad the Impaler and Dracula. Now one young woman must decide whether to take up this quest herself-to follow her father in a hunt that nearly brought him to ruin years ago, when he was a vibrant young scholar and her mother was still alive. What does the legend of Vlad the Impaler have to do with the modern world? Is it possible that the Dracula of myth truly existed-and that he has lived on, century after century, pursuing his own unknowable ends? The answers to these questions cross time and borders, as first the father and then the daughter search for clues, from dusty Ivy League libraries to Istanbul, Budapest, and the depths of Eastern Europe. In city after city, in monasteries and archives, in letters and in secret conversations, the horrible truth emerges about Vlad the Impaler’s dark reign-and about a time-defying pact that may have kept his awful work alive down through the ages. Parsing obscure signs and hidden texts, reading codes worked into the fabric of medieval monastic traditions-and evading the unknown adversaries who will go to any lengths to conceal and protect Vlad’s ancient powers-one woman comes ever closer to the secret of her own past and a confrontation with the very definition of evil. Elizabeth Kostova’s debut novel is an adventure of monumental proportions, a relentless tale that blends fact and fantasy, history and the present, with an assurance that is almost unbearably suspenseful-and utterly unforgettable.”

4. House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski
“Years ago, when House of Leaves was first being passed around, it was nothing more than a badly bundled heap of paper, parts of which would occasionally surface on the Internet. No one could have anticipated the small but devoted following this terrifying story would soon command. Starting with an odd assortment of marginalized youth — musicians, tattoo artists, programmers, strippers, environmentalists, and adrenaline junkies — the book eventually made its way into the hands of older generations, who not only found themselves in those strangely arranged pages but also discovered a way back into the lives of their estranged children. Now, for the first time, this astonishing novel is made available in book form, complete with the original colored words, vertical footnotes, and newly added second and third appendices. The story remains unchanged, focusing on a young family that moves into a small home on Ash Tree Lane where they discover something is terribly wrong: their house is bigger on the inside than it is on the outside. Of course, neither Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist Will Navidson nor his companion Karen Green was prepared to face the consequences of that impossibility, until the day their two little children wandered off and their voices eerily began to return another story — of creature darkness, of an ever-growing abyss behind a closet door, and of that unholy growl which soon enough would tear through their walls and consume all their dreams.”

5. Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz
“Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark is a classic collection of chillingly scary tales, in which Alvin Schwartz offers up some of the most alarming tales of horror, dark revenge, and supernatural events of all time, complemented in this paperback edition by spine-tingling illustrations by renowned artist Brett Helquist. Walking corpses, dancing bones, knife-wielding madmen, and narrow escapes from death—they’re all here in this chilling collection of ghost stories. Make sure you read these books with the light ON!”

 

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