Sunday, May 1, 2011

Weird Tennessee by Roger Manley

I've read Weird U.S., which I got for Christmas several years ago, and really enjoyed it. When I saw Weird Tennessee in the book store, I checked the index to make sure my hometown was listed (it is) and bought a copy.

The book is a compendium of weird, from ghost stories to unusual gravestones, local fables of various bigfoots to strange carved stones dug up by farmers. Each entry is short but mostly informative. The book is meant to dip into here and there, but I read it straight through.

I liked the practical side to the book. Its purpose is entertainment, but it's not credulous. Ghost stories are presented with a "maybe-maybe-not, who are we to say?" attitude; where local stories have veered from known facts, the facts are presented along with the stories. That actually makes the book a lot more interesting. Sometimes I was frustrated at the short length of the entries when I wanted more research, but that's not what the book is about. There's a lot of history and many photos. Since directions to sites are given in most cases, you can use it as a travel book too.

B&N link

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