Book Club

Many of our AGS members are avid readers and have shelves full of cemetery/gravestone related books.

If that is you, please join us for our AGS Virtual Book Club. Each month, we'll focus on a book about cemeteries, gravestones, mourning customs, funerary practices or death and dying. We hope to include books written by AGS members, classics in our field, newly published books, as well as novels that feature the subjects mentioned above. Grab a coffee or a tea, cozy up, and join our conversation!

We generally meet on the third Sunday of every month, at 7:00 eastern time.

Your hosts: Alma Sinan and Ashlynn Rickord Werner

Meeting information is included in our monthly e-newsletter. Sign up here:


Books we'll be reading in 2024:

Summer break: June, July, August 2024 (no book club)

September 2024: Over My Dead Body: Unearthing the Hidden History of America’s Cemeteries by Greg Melville

October 2024: Cemetery Stories: Haunted Graveyards, Embalming Secrets, and the Life of a Corpse After Death by Katherine Ramsland

November 2024: Forgotten Bones: Uncovering a Slave Cemetery by Lois Miner Huey

December 2024: Food to Die For: A Book of Funeral Food, Tips, and Tales from the Old City Cemetery, Lynchburg, Virginia by Jessica B. Ward


January 2025: The Empire of Death: A Cultural History of Ossuaries and Charnel Houses by Paul Koudounaris


Past AGS Book Club Selections (for your personal library)

May 2024: The American Way of Death Revisited by Jessica Mitford

April 2024: Unusual Gravestones: Martin and Claire Nicholson (32 pages) and Country Churchyards by Eudora Welty (20 pages of text, the rest is photographs)

March 2024: Death’s Garden Revisited by Loren Rhoads

February 2024: Love Cemetery, Unburying the Secret History of Slaves by China Galland

January 2024: Silent City on a Hill: Picturesque Landscapes of Memory and Boston’s Mount Auburn Cemetery by Blanche M G Linden

December 2023: Necropolis: London and Its Dead by Catharine Arnold

November 2023: The Archaeology of American Cemeteries and Gravemarkers by Sherene Baugher and Richard Veit

October 2023: Dark Archives: A Librarian’s Investigation into the Science and History of Books Bound in Human Skin by Megan Rosenbloom

September 2023: Stories in Stone: A Field Guide to Cemetery Symbolism and Iconography by Douglas Keister

August 2023: Grave Landscapes: The Nineteenth-Century Rural Cemetery Movement by James R. Cothran & Erica Danylchak

July 2023: Gone to the Grave: Burial Customs of the Arkansas Ozarks, 1850-1950 by Abby Burnett

June 2023: book club cancelled 

May 2023: Mapping & Documenting Cemeteries by Pamela Goffinet

April 2023: We'll be the Last Ones to Let You Down: Memoir of a Gravediggers Daughter by Rachael Hanel

March 2023: The Rural Cemetery Movement: Places of Paradox in Nineteenth-Century America by Jeffrey Smith

February 2023: Being Dead Is No Excuse: The Official Southern Ladies Guide to Hosting the Perfect Funeral by Gayden Metcalfe and Charlotte Hays

January 2023: The Victorian Celebration of Death by James Stevens Curl

December 2022: The Speaking Stone: Stories Cemeteries Tell by Michael Griffith

November 2022: The Aftermath of Battle: The Burial of the Civil War Dead by Meg Groeling

October 2022: Corpses, Coffins, and Crypts: A History of Burial by Penny Colman

September 2022: The American Resting Place: 400 Years of History Through Our Cemeteries and Burial Grounds by Marilyn Yalom and photos by Reid S. Yalom

August 2022: Rest in Pieces: The Curious Fates of Famous Corpses by Bess Lovejoy

July 2022: The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

June 2022: Going out in Style: The Architecture of Eternity by Douglas Keister

May 2022: Death: A Graveside Companion edited by Joanna Ebenstein

April 2022: Tales and Tombstones of Sunset Cemetery: Tracing Lives and Memorial Customs in a Southern Graveyard by by June Hadden Hobbs, Joe DePriest, and photos by Hal Bryant

March 2022: From Here to Eternity: Traveling the World to Find the Good Death by Caitlin Doughty 

February 2022: City of Immortals: Père-Lachaise Cemetery, Paris by Carolyn Campbell

January 2022: 199 Cemeteries to See Before You Die by Loren Rhoads