Often dog eared and living in toilet drawers around the world for easy access for daily reading, our favourite books shape our worldview in many ways.
Some books such as Cropper and Healey's "The Yowie" will go down in history as the benchmark for a researchers "bible" on a particular subject.
But in an age of so much information, it's hard, to steal a line from Jesus Himself, to seperate the sheep from the goats in terms of truth and quality.
At the moment I'm eagerly awaiting Amazon's delivery of Nick Redferns latest book "Final Events - and the secret Government Group on Demonic UFO's and the afterlife".
After reading many of Redfern's books I have come to the conclusion that you don't need to share the same theology to come to the same conclusions. All you need to do is look at the same facts. I admire the fact that Redfern and his crew throw themselves in the deep end to search for the truth rather than writing from a safe distance using other people's research as a foundation. Sure they get up to stuff that would turn your average Sunday School teachers hair white (again) but like the rest of us they have to work out their salvation with 'fear and trembling'. And my heartfelt prayer is that God will protect them in their work as they do.
Special mention to John Keel for his amazing work as well.
I am often astonished at how many agnostic researchers come to the similar conclusions to Christian researchers about the fact that there is a force in the world behind a lot of the manifestation of supernatural phenomenon. Plus, dare I say this, most Christian books on the paranormal simply exist as one in a series of attempts to refute cults and the occult. The person writing it has not had thousands of hours of field and other experience. Two of the only Christian books I have on this subject that I haven't thrown out eventually are by Pastor Robin Swope, the Paranormal Pastor, because in my opinion he has the credibililty from experience to back up his work. The other one that I enjoy that is a 1979 copy of Stan Deyo's "The Cosmic Conspiracy'. It's interesting to read something that is now 31 years old and see what has transpired into current opinion in that time.
A lot of whacked out idea's have been taken out of the Bible over the years in terms of the paranormal, but I would encourage everyone, whether athiest, agnostic or other religion, to take the time to read some key books in the scriptures to help you get a different framework on what are some very interesting subjects. The whole of Genesis (for context), Deuteronomy chapter 18, 1 Samuel (specifically chapter 28 for the story of consulting a medium) the book of Daniel, the four gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John), the book of Acts, 1 John, Jude and Revelation are incredible reading if you want to understand the paranormal (particularly the origins of malevolent spirits) in a wholistic way. Please include in your reading "The Book of Enoch" that is referred to in the bible which fills in the gaps of the Genesis flood period and adds details to what some consider the reason we have the phenomenon in the world today that we consider paranormal. This can be purchased cheaply or free through Ibooks provided by Apple on an Iphone or the web.
I have also purchased a lot of dissapointments. A lot of Christian books about people coming out of satanism, witchcraft or the occult have been clearly debunked (See anything by Rebecca Brown MD), but not before they shaped the worldview of many thousands of people via speaking circuits and other publishers eager to squeeze the hype in return for numbers on seats or in sales. Shame on us (The Church) for not being diligent. It is this type of bunk that we need to be cautious of and unfortunately many conversations I have are still based on this faulty platform.
So I'll give you my top 5 books and if you are reading this you are welcome to add yours so we can share the wealth of knowledge that is out there. Hopefully we can seperate the sheep from the goats in literature as as unified Paranormal Community. I'll also add why.
1. Three Men seeking Monsters: Nick Refern.
It's hands on, covers a lot of ground in terms of phenomenon and comes to some very interesting conclusions, which I happen to agree with.
2. An Exorcists Field Guide: Rev Robin Swope.
This is a must have to protect yourself, clients, colleagues and family if you are involved in the industry.
3. The Yowie: Healey and Cropper.
Specific to one subject: Australia's bigfoot and an example of how to do research well.
4: Out of the shadows: Healey and Cropper.
The precursor to the Yowie, it covers a broad spectrum of Australian cryptozoology using the same methodology that makes the Yowie a great book.
5: Your Neighbourhood gives me the creeps: Adam Selzer
Welcome to the life of a ghost tour operator, insightful, funny but very interesting as story after story come out that will leave you with a lot of questions about the spiritual realm.
Looking forward to hearing about your favourites, maybe just write them up on the Unity in the Paranormal Community Face Book Page so everyone can see them quickly and add to them.