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It's time for the second TV Tropes Halloween Avatar Contest, theme: cute monsters! Details and voting here.
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Quaint and curious volumes of forgotten lore...:

I need a drink
We all have those books we always go back to. The ones you use when your after specific information or your looking for that spark of inspiration and creativity that you so desperately need. In order to show your appreciation for the writers and scholars and editors who helped publish these books, why not share your appreciation? List the books you find yourself going back to and tell us why they're so useful?

Personally...:

  • Mythology: Myths, Legends, & Fantasies, Global Book Publishing. The biggest collection of world mythologies I have ever seen. From the Classics, to Arthurian Legend to West African Mythology, this book is full of information and actively discusses the nature of myth and just what goes into making them.

  • William Shakespeare: The Complete Works, Arthur Henry Bullen. Like I really need to explain this one. In my honest opinion, Shakespeare is one of the greats and his work is a testament not only to his skill, but to the stories themselves.

  • Watchmen, Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons. I think anyone who attempts to write comics should have this one down. Everyone knows it as 'The Great Deconstruction' and the aftermath it brought to the genre, but the story aside, this is a wonderful constructed piece. The wordplay, the characterisation, the atmosphere, the artwork. It's impossible not to appreciate the effort that went into it no matter what your opinion of the story proper is.

  • 1000 Makers of the Millennium, Dorling Kindersley. It's all right there in the title. It basically lists down some of the most influential and important individuals from the 11th Century all the way to 1999. It was one of those books that was trying to capitalise on the new millennium, so it is kinda dated, but the stories and the people it lists down are so inspiring, and not in that Hallmark Movie way.

  • The Marvel Encyclopaedia: The Definitive Guide to the Characters of the Marvel Universe, Dorling Kindersley. A collection of the histories and adventures of some of the most recognisable characters in comics. The information can be a little bit sketchy if you know your comics and it's bound to age badly within the next two years, but it's a goldmine if your writing superhero stories.

  • The Encyclopaedia of Things That Never Were: Creatures, Places and People, Robert Ingpen & Michael Page. This is a strange book. Y'know what I said about the first book on the list? Well imagine a book like that on crack. Seriously, every tine little insignificant facet of mythology, fiction and pop culture is in this book and it stays completely in character, as if everything within is a real thing. I actually haven't seen this book in years (I used to read it in highschool all the time), but it left its mark on me. Currently trying to find a hardcopy edition on line.

Well those are some of mine. What about you?
Theres sex and death and human grime in monochrome for one thin dime and at least the trains all run on time but they dont go anywhere.
The system doesn't know you right now, so no post button for you.
You need to Get Known to get one of those.
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