The World of Lore: Monstrous Creatures by Aaron Mahnke has its roots in an online podcast, and up until Christmas, I knew nothing about it.
It was my sister, actually, who put this book in my hands. She noticed me reading a book of Victorian ghost stories – a favorite subject – and, so she said, remembered that when Christmas shopping this past December. Long story short, I had access to this book all because of her.
As far as paranormal books go, this one is a little different than the norm. Yes, it addresses folklore of all kinds, as the name suggests, but it does something different than others I’ve read: instead of immediately dismissing the tales discussed, or immediately accepting them, it treats everything as fiction, reminding the reader at the very end that this has the full potential to be real…if you think about it.
All in all, I loved this book. I couldn’t put it down – if I can be so cliche as to say so. The writing is easy to understand and the type is lovely to read (there is actually a page dedicated to the typeface, which you should look at because it’s cool). And although the stories themselves are spooky, this isn’t something you read just for the thrills. It looks at the cultural view of these tales, too, examining why and how such stories might come about, and what cultural precedents facilitate belief in them.
I also love it because it has a wide variety of stories from all over, which is nice. Instead of a book strictly about haunted houses, you get a book with haunted houses, demon possessions, weird creatures, strange disappearances and just about everything else. It’s a nice variety and just a pleasure to read.
Have you read this book yet? What should I read next? I can’t wait to hear from you!