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Living Among Headstones: Life in a Country Cemetery

3.1  ·  Rating Details ·  41 Ratings  ·  8 Reviews
A few years ago, Shannon Applegate was bequeathed a small cemetery in western Oregon. The neglected five acres were not only the burial site for generations of her family and friends but the designated resting ground for many in the nearby, down-on-its-luck logging town. Living Among Headstones chronicles the author's experiences as she takes charge of this sacred land and ...more
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published June 1st 2005 by Da Capo Press (first published May 10th 2005)
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Robert Beveridge
Shannon Applegate, Living Among Headstones: Life in A Country Cemetery (Da Capo, 2005)

For some reason I had it in my head before reading this that Shannon Applegate was a twentysomething just-out-of-college type who decided to try and run a cemetery because she had no other real aims in life. I'm not entirely sure how someone would get into that situation, which should have tipped me off that I was wrong. No, Shannon Applegate was just carrying on the family business, which happened to be the ru
...more
Kris
Oct 05, 2008 Kris rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I love the peaceful, love filled enviroment of cemetaries. I've dragged my family to gettysburg, arlington, prague, paris, and little tiny family plots on the sides of roads. So I naturally thought this book written by a country sexton would fill me in on fascinating lore and daily routines necessary to keep up a cemetary.

While it more or less did that, the writing lurched and bumped between poetic prose and plain narrative to the point of distraction. After reading a few pages I thought, "This
...more
Loren
May 05, 2011 Loren rated it did not like it
Shelves: cemetery-books
Sometimes I daydream about retiring to run the little cemetery near my parents' farm, where my relatives are buried. That said, I expected to like this book. Unfortunately, the author (who teaches writing) is no Thomas Lynch or Mary Roach or even Katherine Ramsland.

The first essay, called "Burying My Friends," could have been devastating and personal, a point of connection for the reader to sympathize with the author. Instead, the essay wanders all over, never personifying the friend or making a
...more
Tracy
Apr 26, 2016 Tracy rated it it was ok
Shelves: owned
There was some interesting information sprinkled through the book. Thought provoking notions that I otherwise would not have ever put mind to. There has been a biodegradable urn pod floating around FaceBook lately where remains are contained along with a plantable seed. I bring it up because it parallels the environmental conscious patent of paper-mache coffins (caskets) that is mentioned in the early part of the book.

I am one of those community volunteers who participates in the annual cemetery
...more
Kathy
Oct 05, 2011 Kathy rated it it was amazing
Shannon Applegate is a member of a family who settled in the Williamette Valley in Oregon and she still lives near the original family homestead. She inherited the job of sexton of the pioneer cemetery in Yoncalla, Oregon from her father. In this book, Shannon describes her experiences in assisting bereaved families, plotting out gravesites, and arranging all burial details in addition to the constant upkeep of this five-acre cemetery set on a hillside in the country. She takes an often-shunned ...more
Bridgette Mongeon
Nov 27, 2011 Bridgette Mongeon rated it liked it
I loved this book. Of course I am a little macabre because I love to read about death and dying. As a sculptor of the deceased it intrigues me how others handle this subject that I handle on a daily basis. I thought she did a great job of weaving her story into some very interesting facts about death.
Helen
Oct 29, 2010 Helen rated it really liked it
I read this quite some time ago, but thought I'd add it since it is Halloween time. I am a huge fan of old cemeteries and I found this book fascinating.
Debbie Hardy
Debbie Hardy rated it really liked it
Apr 25, 2015
Andrea
Jul 10, 2009 Andrea rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For all of us who like cemeteries
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