Tag Archives: psychology

The Masque of the Red (Carpet) Death

With apologies to Poe, it would seem that a fascination with celebrity deaths does, indeed, hold sway over all, especially when three cultural icons pass in quick succession. Where does this morbid interest come from? Your guess is as good as mine, but I suspect it might be part of the larger pattern of the human condition.

If I were the only person who ponders questions like these, I’d worry about myself a little. Luckily (or not, depending on your point of view) I’m not alone in my curiosity. Here are a few works that touch on the tragic ends of the rich and famous:

The Hollywood Book of Death, James Robert Parish.

The Last Days of Dead Celebrities, Mitchell Fink.

Tombstones: Final Resting Places of the Famous, Gregg Felsen.

They Went That-A-Way, Malcolm Forbes and Jeff Bloch.

Death Certificates of the Rich and Famous, Gerard H. Reinert.

Incidentally, the notion that deaths come in threes was first formally documented in 1858. According to Oxford’s Dictionary of Superstitions, “The inhabitants of Keighley [Yorkshire, England] say, ‘If the coroner once enter the town, he is sure to be required other twice in a very short time.'” 

–Leigh Anne, who promises to write about something cheerful next time, like puppies, kittens, or rainbows.

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Bad Things, Good People, Helpful Books (and other things)

“Life is difficult.”  This simple truth is the first sentence of M. Scott Peck’s The Road Less Traveled, long considered a classic of both psychology and spiritual living. When the chips are down, and things aren’t going your way, it can be comforting to read the words of folks who have experience in these matters, whether you’re struggling with a specific situation or a general malaise. While no book is a substitute for the opinion of a qualified mental health professional, and you should definitely consider reaching out to the community, a quiet retreat with a relevant resource can help you get your thoughts together before you call on a doctor, family member, or friend.

Those seeking comfort from a higher power will find consolation from every spiritual tradition under the sun on our shelves. Those who prefer a more secular approach to problem-solving will find all sorts of hidden gems via a subject search for self-help techniques. And if you’re feeling just a tad skeptical, you might get a laugh out of Beth Lisick’s wacky misadventures with the genre.

Librarians really value your privacy, so if you’re looking for information on personal subjects, we will keep your concerns confidential when you come to the reference desk. If you really don’t feel like talking to us, though, that’s okay too – just be reassured that, no matter what you’re looking for, we try to have it in the building for you, just in case.

That will be five cents, please! Just kidding. Until next time, be safe and well.

–Leigh Anne

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