Further Study Reading List

Compiled by Jane Bauer

Death Warmed Over By Lisa Rogak

You’ll think you’ve died and gone to heaven when you sample the delicious fare laid out in DEATH WARMED OVER, a unique collection of 75 recipes typically served at funeral ceremonies, alongside descriptions of rituals and traditions from cultures around the world.

One part sociological study and one part cookbook, DEATH WARMED OVER explains the background and proper timing for such culinary rituals as passing a hen and a loaf of bread over a grave as dirt is shoveled onto the coffin, serving chocolate caskets and skull-shaped cakes at a funeral, and baking up a Funeral Pie to acknowledge the passing of a loved one.

Whether you’ve been asked to provide food for a funeral feast or wish to bring an appropriate culinary contribution for the extended mourning period, look no further than DEATH WARMED OVER.A unique cookbook that shows you how to incorporate long-standing ethnic and cultural traditions-from the Amish and Eskimo to Greek and Polish-into the planning of a well-rounded celebration of life. Features suggestions for ways to incorporate recipes and traditions into non-funeral parties or gatherings.

Undertakings of an Undertaker: True Stories of Being Laid to Rest By Stanley Swan

Could these remains, yet to be identified, be one of the victims of Rochester’s Genesee River killer? Did the mourner in the chapel with the casket and the deceased actually think there was an apparition present? Is it legal to bury a man with no pants? Would a man really drive his deceased wife to a mortuary instead of calling the authorities? Those ashes seeping from the fractured urn…imagined or real? The black cat visiting the deceased man’s wake… a family friend or fiend? These are just some of the intriguing, unusual and funny stories to be found in Undertakings of an Undertaker: True Stories of Being Laid to Rest. Author Stanley Swan spent 37 years in funeral service, making notes from day one, and he has now penned them to paper and put them into print for others to see. Here you will read about the challenges facing those in funeral service — the highs, the lows, the personal sacrifices and the rewards. You will also experience all of the emotions encountered during the day-to-day business of taking care of a community’s funeral and burial needs. Every story is true, as it really happened, with no embellishment, nothing left out…100-percent fact. Step into the world of funeral service, of which little has been written about over the last few decades. Funny, gut wrenching, chilling, unbelievable in many instances.

Funerals to Die For: The Craziest, Creepiest, and Most Bizarre Funeral Traditions and Practices Ever By Kathy Benjamin

True stories that put the, er, “fun” back into funerals!

The hereafter may still be part of the great unknown, but with Funerals to Die For you can unearth the rich–and often, dark–history of funeral rites. From getting a portrait painted with a loved one’s ashes to purchasing a safety coffin complete with bells and breathing tubes, this book takes you on a whirlwind tour of funeral customs and trivia from all over the globe. Inside, you’ll find more than 100 unbelievable traditions, practices, and facts, such as:

The remains of a loved one can be launched into deep space for only $1,000.

In Taiwan, strippers are hired to entertain funeral guests throughout the ceremony.

Undertakers for the Tongan royal family weren’t allowed to use their hands for 100 days after preparing a king’s body.

In the late 1800s, New Englanders would gulp down a cocktail of water and their family member’s ashes in order to keep them from returning as vampires.

Whether you fear being buried alive or just have a morbid curiosity of the other side, Funerals to Die For examines what may happen when another person dies.

Pardon my Hearse By Allan Abbott and Gregory Abbott

Even celebrities die—and he was the man who picked up the bodies! Allan Abbott ran the leading hearse, mortuary, and funeral services company in Hollywood and got an unprecedented glimpse of how celebrities really live and die. The Forrest Gump of the funeral industry, Abbott was everywhere celebrities died, from helping to prepare Marilyn Monroe’s body for burial to standing next to Christopher Walken at Natalie Wood’s funeral. Now in his memoir “Pardon My Hearse,” Abbott tells the rags-to-shroud story of how we went from a young man with a hearse to the funeral driver to the stars—a rollicking, unexpectedly hilarious story of glamorous funerals, mishaps with corpses, and true-life glimpses of celebrities at their most revealing moments. ”Pardon My Hearse” is an eye-opening look at secret Hollywood from the man who literally knows where the bodies are buried.