Recommended Reading

MobyDickBookIn this section, I’m going to review books that I’ve read related to cryptozoology (or sort of related to cryptozoology – I bend the rules once in a while!)

If you have any books to recommend, please suggest them in the comments section below this post.

It’s amazing what you can learn if you keep digging! Enjoy!

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White Things: West Virginia’s Weird White Monsters by Kurt McCoy

If you read my post about these creatures – http://visitcryptoville.com/2013/06/10/wicked-white-toothy-mysterious-beasts-of-west-virginia/ – you’ll know I am very fond of this book. It’s a lot of interesting reading, somewhat overwhelming in scale in the sense that there are sooooo many creatures reportedly roaming the backwoods of West Virginia. But it’s all intensely interesting.

Kurt is a native of West Virginia so he has a firm grasp on all the nuances associated with these creatures, and the vast number of them. I like how he tied the role of folklore into the perpetuation of these tales, too.

He has a easy-to-read style, amusing, suspenseful at times, and is very even handed with his judgments. The book is only 101 pages long, but a total pleasure to read from start to finish. I don’t know Kurt at all, never met him, so I’m giving you my honest opinion.

To get a feel for what he covers, you can read my blog post (mentioned above) and then delve deeper into these stories and additional creatures in his book. I’d love to hear what you think of it!

White Things: West Virginia’s Weird White Monsters by Kurt McCoy, Ogua Books, Morgantown, WV 2008.
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River Monsters: True Stories of the Ones That Didn’t Get Away
by Jeremy Wade

I was sorry to finish this book. I felt like I had just awakened from a dream and been plopped back in a mechanized, mundane reality. The sights and smells of distant lands and flowing rivers, and cautious natives were gone, like the flame of a snuffed out candle.

The book chronicles the journey of a biologist/explorer intent upon finding new and exciting creatures below the (usually) murky surface of the world’s greatest river systems. But it’s also about the explorer and what men of his ilk do and think in order to achieve such breathtaking results. One is left with knowledge of strange fish, for sure, but the stories also illustrate a whole new world in which people live so contrary to our Western, highly industrialized lives.

It’s fascinating, a bit repulsive at times, but it also calls to something so primal within us – that longing for the adventure ourselves, that testing of our own mettle, the joie de vie in putting yourself “out there” and experiencing, feeling the rawness of nature; something we “civilized” people never really get a chance to do.

The book by Jeremy Wade closely follows his exploits as shown on his TV series River Monsters (on Animal Planet channel), but with additional information and insight. What I enjoyed most was realizing that this man is genuine and not just putting-on adventures so he can get on TV. He is passionate about fish, and adventure, and the planet.

It’s interesting, informative, as well as a cautionary tale, because one day the river monsters may be all gone, as will their wild environments. Then what will we homo sapiens do without the wildness and challenges that made us what we are today?

I recommend this book to all cryptozoology lovers because he catches some very strange creatures indeed, things that I had never imagined much less seen. He also goes in search of legendary creatures of myth and folklore that he actually finds!

Easy to read, 266 pages, with a section of photos in the center. I’d love to hear what you think!

River Monsters, True Stories of the Ones that Didn’t Get Away by Jeremy Wade Da Capo Press, Cambridge, MA, 2011.

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100 Bigfoot Nights: A Chilling True Story by Christine D. Parker

I couldn’t put this book down. I love first-hand accounts, and though Ms. Parker isn’t a professional writer, she did a great job telling her story. In fact, I was enthralled.

Ms. Parker takes us on the whole journey from their first official “encounter” with the beasts lurking in the forest across from their house (yes, I said beasts), through finding a supposed “researcher” to advise them, and so on.

I say supposed researcher because I feel that guy referred to as “Mr. Hill” (they changed his name) let them down badly. He didn’t give them enough time, in my opinion, and I also feel gave them lackluster advice. See what you think about it, if you read this book.

This woman has convinced me she has a family of Bigfoots living in the woods across from her house. She alludes to other creatures she thinks live there or at least visit there, and those I’m not so sure of. Personally, I was left wondering if the search for Bigfoot hadn’t become an obsession so that every little thing seen in the photos and videos of the woods suddenly became “a creature.”

In many of the photos in the book I couldn’t really see anything. I began to wonder if her mind wasn’t matrixing images in the woods, in other words making shapes of creatures out of normal forest debris. That aside, the family’s experience is still compelling and convincing, at least for me.

Throughout the book, she mentions some things that got me wondering if there isn’t some kind of demonic activity occurring in the forest, apart from the Bigfoot visits. The one thing that is clear is that that land seems to have some big problems associated with it – exactly what they are, I’m not sure, but I have my suspicions.

Ms. Parker includes some photos of the areas, some with dimensions drawn on them, which is all very helpful. Another nice aspect is their website where she shares the photos she took as well as videos and audio files. I haven’t visited there yet, but I plan to one of these days.

Overall this is a wonderful read for Bigfoot lovers and for anyone who loves a good mystery. It’s a fast and easy read, only 120 pages.

I’d love to know what you think about her story – let me know if you read it!

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It Was A Dark and Creepy Night by Joshua P. Warren with Andrea Saarkoppel

This was a fun book to read. The author gathered the experiences of real people over the years and compiled them into short essays in this book. It’s one of those books that’s great to read when you have limited time because you can easily read it in short sections.

The stories cover a wide range of topics from flying creatures, black-eyed children, Bigfoot like creatures as well as more paranormal experiences with ghost and demons, to name a few. It makes us aware of how many weird things happen to normal people. How do we explain any of it? Not easily.

I found some of the stories so intriguing that I want to do more research into those topics for articles here in CryptoVille.  Some of the stories seem like they would be easy to debunk, but the majority are quite interesting.

I had never heard of Joshua Warren before but according to his biography he’s been publishing books on the paranormal for over 20 years. He also hosts a radio show called Speaking of Strange, and occasionally contributes to the radio show Coast to Coast AM. He has also created a museum in Ashville, NC called the Asheville Mystery Museum, which he also runs. In addition he runs a Bermuda Triangle Research Base in Puerto Rico. An interesting as well as busy man!

If you like creepy tales of the cryptozoological and paranormal variety, I think you’ll enjoy this book!

It Was a Dark and Creepy Night by Joshua P. Warren with Andrea Saarkoppel, New Page Books, Pompton Plains, NJ 2014.

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