A list of all the posts and pages found on the site. For you robots out there is an XML version available for digesting as well.




October 30, 2022

I’ve been inspired to start using for some microblogging, and not just about data science. In fact, probably mostly not about data science. Why not? I have the site, after all. Read more

A Trip to the Virtual Attic

June 06, 2020

When the world feels like it’s falling apart around you, it feels good to solve little problems that are completely under your control. And that’s what I’ve been doing this past week. This was originally posted at Multo. Read more

Back to Where I was Before (Almost)

May 30, 2020

Back in the good old days, was a static site that I maintained myself, in pure HTML. But that (to me) was so much of a hassle that I never did even the little bit of site maintenance that the website required. So I moved it to Read more

The vtreat package two ways

May 19, 2020

We recently did a couple of talks about our vtreat data treatment package: one for the Python version, and one for the R version. If you are fitting machine learning models on messy real-world data, then you might find vtreat useful. Do check out one of the introductory talks below. Read more

Balancing Classes Before Training Classifiers - Addressing a Folk Theorem

February 27, 2015

We’ve been wanting to get more into training over at Win-Vector, but I don’t want to completely give up client work, because clients and their problems are often the inspiration for cool solutions – and good blog articles. Working on the video course for the last couple of months has given me some good ideas, too. Read more

Recent post on Win-Vector blog, plus some musings on Audience

December 21, 2014

I put a new post up on Win-Vector a couple of days ago called "The Geometry of Classifiers", a follow-up post to a recent paper by Fernandez-Delgado, et al. that investigates several classifiers against a body of data sets, mostly from the UCI Machine Learning Repository. Our article follows up the study with seven additional additional classifier implementations from scikit-learn and an interactive Shiny app to explore the results. Read more

Design, Problem Solving, and Good Taste

November 25, 2014

I ran across this essay recently on the role of design standards for scientific data visualization. The author, Jure Triglav, draws his inspiration from the creation and continued use of the NYCTA Graphics Standards, which were instituted in the late 1960s to unify the signage for the New York City subway system. Read more

A Moment’s Digression

October 21, 2014

I had a data nerd moment while reading a novel the other day. I got in an argument with the book. But I think the book started it. It's a frivolous discussion, probably, but sometimes those are the most fun. Read more

Big News! Practical Data Science with R is content complete!

December 19, 2013

It's been a while since I've posted here, but I have good news: the last appendix has gone to the editors. The book is now content complete. What a relief! We are hoping to release the book late in the first quarter of next year. In the meantime, you can still get early drafts of our chapters through Manning’s Early Access program, if you haven’t yet. The link is here. Read more

Goldbach’s Celestial Atlas

July 29, 2013

Christian Goldbach, Prussian mathematician. Probably most famous for the Goldbach conjecture, one of the oldest unsolved problems in mathematics:

Every even integer greater than 2 can be expressed as the sum of two primes.
Read more

Dragons of Probability

July 11, 2013

"No insults, please!" said Pugg. "For I am not your usual uncouth pirate, but refined and with a Ph.D. and therefore extremely high-strung."
-- from "The Sixth Sally, or how Trurl and Klapaucius Created a Demon of the Second Kind to Defeat the Pirate Pugg"
Read more

Mathematics versus Computer Science

June 26, 2013

…until the development of computers the possibility of dealing successfully with the complex itself was never really envisaged. Perhaps the most successful substitute for such a possibility, as well as the nearest approach to it, came in mathematics. … To find the simple in the complex, the finite in the infinite -- that is not a bad description of the aim and essence of mathematics.</p>
Read more

Bon Mots from Professor Rota

March 19, 2013

As I've posted previously, we are writing a data science book. The preview of the first chapter of our book should come out in about a month or so. We are almost finished with the revisions to the first four chapters, and we've started refining the outline of the next three. Exciting! It happens that I've been rereading mathematician Gian-Carlo Rota's collection of essays, Indiscrete Thoughts, and I've found a few passages that really speak to me, now that I'm in book-writing mode. Enjoy. Read more

What’s Wrong with a Low(er)-Stress Job?

January 05, 2013

So there's this article that's been making the rounds called "The 10 Least Stressful Jobs of 2013"; perhaps you've read it. I don't normally bother with articles like that, but it came to my attention because some of my old graduate-school friends (who are professors) threw a mini-rant on social media over the fact that University Professor is the Number One least stressful job of the year, according to the article. And just now, I tripped over a blog post where a librarian takes umbrage over the fact that they also on the list. Read more

On Balance

December 18, 2012

One of my favorite cheesy movies is a gem from 1984 called The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension. For those who haven't seen it, Buckaroo Banzai is a brilliant young neurosurgeon and particle physicist who spends his days conducting cutting-edge research. At night, he and his research colleagues -- all engineers and scientists and doctors -- rock New Jersey as a band called the Hong Kong Cavaliers. In between the brilliant science and the rock-star night life, the Cavaliers find time to save the world from an alien invasion led by none other than John Lithgow. Read more

Good News: We’re Writing a Book!

December 06, 2012

I’m happy to announce that John Mount and I have just signed a contract with Manning Publications to write a book on Data Science. We have both talked about doing this for quite a while, and we are excited that we finally have the opportunity. Read more

I Write, Therefore I Think

October 11, 2012

I came across an interesting article in The Atlantic a little while back that discussed the connection between writing and thinking. New Dorp, a Staten Island high school in a poor and working-class neighborhood, was able to improve student performance when they realized that their students couldn’t write. These underperforming students often could read and could do math. The majority of them were well-behaved, and seemed to want to learn. Yet they couldn't pass standard proficiency tests, and couldn't graduate. All because they couldn't form complex sentences. Read more

On Being a Data Scientist

September 19, 2012

When people ask me what it means to be a data scientist, I used to answer, "it means you don't have to hold my hand." By which I meant that as a data scientist (a consulting data scientist), I can handle the data collection, the data cleaning and wrangling, the analysis, and the final presentation of results (both technical and for the business audience) with a minimal amount of assistance from my clients or their people. Not no assistance, of course, but little enough that I'm not interfering too much with their day-to-day job. Read more

On Writing Technical Articles for the Nonspecialist

September 04, 2012

I came across a post from Emily Willingham the other day: "Is a PhD required for Good Science Writing?". As a science writer with a science PhD, her answer is: is it not required, and it can often be an impediment. I saw a similar sentiment echoed once by Lee Gutkind, the founder and editor of the journal Creative Nonfiction. I don't remember exactly what he wrote, but it was something to the effect that scientists are exactly the wrong people to produce literary, accessible writing about matters scientific. Read more


Ghosts of Yesterday

November 24, 2011

Jack Cady is an author I was quite fond of, for a while. His stories are quiet and understated, at best eerie rather than scary. Thematically, he tends to treat ghosts and hauntings as metaphors for the effect of history and the past on the present. His collections are generally an interesting read, if your tastes run in that direction. Read more

Cebuano Sorcery

January 10, 2012

Fascinating 1965 report on Filipino faith healers in Cebu, their methods, and the folk beliefs surrounding them. Read more

American Gothic Tales

January 20, 2012

One of my blog readers took issue with Oates’s (non)-definition of the Gothic; nor did they consider this anthology, as excellent as it is, to be truly representative of gothic fiction. But it is an excellent anthology. Read more

The Etymologicon

January 25, 2012

Forsyth runs (ran?) a blog called The Inky Fool, which seems to have gone quiet. At the time I wrote the original post, the blog was a quirky look at word histories that led directly to this, his first book. He’s moved on a bit, I think. Read more

Supernatural Noir

February 03, 2012

The post isn’t a review; it’s the announcement that I’d discovered the book, Joe Landsale’s contribution to the book, and some general thoughts about noir. Read more

Letters on Demonology and Witchcraft

February 18, 2012

Written in the form of letters to Scott’s son-in-law, Letters on Demonology and Witchcraft is both a sceptical dismissal of supernatural phenomena, and an excuse to tell good spooky stories. It’s enjoyable and often informative on both levels. Read more

20th Century Ghosts

March 11, 2012

The first short story collection from Joe Hill, a writer I thoroughly enjoy. This volume is a big reason why. I admire how well Hill can inhabit the mindset of the young people who populate many of his tales. Read more


April 20, 2012

My post is really about the Masaki Kobayashi film Kwaidan, but many of the stories in the film are from Shadowings and other Hearn collections. Read more

Fun Home

June 10, 2012

Mentioned in an article listing several short story cycle style novels that I’m fond of (or was at the time). Read more


June 10, 2012

Stories from the lives of various characters lead one into the other, up to an inevitable (perhaps) conclusion. Read more


June 10, 2012

Offbeat, fantastical stories about life in the Spanish expat community of New York City. Read more


June 10, 2012

The adventures of an Russian expat professor at a small American college. No doubt influenced by Nabakov’s own American teaching experiences. Light and humorous. Read more


June 10, 2012

The novel that became the film Slumdog Millionaire. A poor tiffin seller must defend himself against charges that he cheated to win a TV quiz show. A bit different from the movie; both are good. Read more

The Bridge of San Luis Rey

June 10, 2012

A monk tries to trace the inscrutable workings of God in the aftermath of a bridge collapse. The novel has just gone into US public domain, so now is a good time to check it out. Read more

The Brief History of the Dead

June 10, 2012

A story of existence after death, and how memories keep past loved ones alive (perhaps more than metaphorically). What happens when there is no one left to remember you? Read more

The Monkey’s Wrench

June 10, 2012

An Italian construction worker tells stories of his adventures to his fellow countryman, a chemist, while both are stuck in a miserable Russian town on business. Read more

The Pillow Boy of Lady Onogoro

June 10, 2012

The concubine of an eleventh century Japanese general finds that her lover doesn’t quite do it for her. So she hires a blind stableboy to whisper erotic stories to her while she and her lover are bed. Read more

Shuck Unmasked

July 08, 2012

Where would the devil go, if he wanted to retire? This lovely, charming comic book takes a guess. In the post, I say “Walt Kelly meets Neil Gaiman” – that’s probably still the best description. Read more

Vampire Loves

July 08, 2012

The un-life and loves of the vampire Ferdinand. I only mentioned this in passing while discussing Shuck Unmasked, but genuinely a charming, terrific read. Read more

The Oxford Book of Gothic Tales

July 29, 2012

I bought this in response to a reader’s comments on my review of American Gothic Tales. I remember that, at the time, I vastly preferred the modern gothic tales to the traditional eighteenth and nineteenth century offerings. I have a more favorable view of gothic romance now, but I probably still prefer the modern offerings. Worth reading. Read more

The Dark

September 10, 2012

This was my first conscious introduction to the anthologies of Ellen Datlow – I’d previously read Supernatural Noir, without taking note that she was the editor. A collection of nontraditional ghost stories, often told in a “literary” style that only touches on the supernatural. Read more

Bring My Your Saddest Arizona

September 27, 2012

This was a great collection of slice-of-life short stories. My post specifically discusses the science-fiction flavored “Why the Sky Turns Red When the Sun Goes Down”—a sad, lovely tale. Read more

Not Exactly Ghosts

October 12, 2012

Enjoyable collection of M.R. James-inspired, though non-antiquarian, ghost stories. Several are set in the fictional Asian colony of Kongea, reflecting Caldecott’s career as the governor of the then-British colonies of Hong Kong, and later Ceylon (Sri Lanka). Read more

John The Balladeer

November 25, 2012

A traveling musician roams the Appalachians, encountering forest folk and mythical creatures along the way. Read more


December 26, 2012

Young Coraline discovers another world behind a magic door. Now she must save herself and all the other trapped children, or be stuck there forever. Read more

Five Children and It

December 26, 2012

Classic children’s adventure about five siblings and a Psammead, or sand fairy. This is apparently a staple of British childhood, but I didn’t read it until I was an adult. I’m glad I did. Read more

The Five Jars

December 26, 2012

M.R. James’ only children’s novel. It’s delightful; I wish he’d written more. The narrator (James, presumably) has adventures with talking animals and little elf-like people. It reminds me a bit of James’ story “After Dark in the Playing Fields.” Read more

The Rector of Veilbye

March 20, 2013

This is considered the first modern crime novel, predating Poe by about a decade, and Sherlock Holmes by fifty years. It’s a psychological crime story, rather than a whodunit. Mark Twain plagiarized Blicher’s novel for Tom Sawyer, Detective, but the original is better. Read more

Tom Sawyer, Detective

March 20, 2013

Mark Twain plagiarises (I’m sorry, but he does) the plot of Steen Steensen Blicher’s The Rector of Veilbye, adding some Sherlockian flavor that wasn’t in the original. I like the original better, but if you enjoyed Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn and wouldn’t mind more, check this out. Read more

Strange Tales from A Chinese Studio

March 25, 2013

This is a collection of Chinese supernatural tales, compiled by scholar Pu Songling in the late seventeenth to early eighteenth centuries. I have several translations of tales from the collection: the Herbert Giles translation from 1880 (probably the best known translation); Strange Stories from the Lodge of Leisure, the 1913 translation by George Soulie; and the 2006 translation by John Minford. Read more

Old Testament Legends

May 15, 2013

James’ collection of Old Testament apocrypha is not nearly as dry as you’d expect something like this to be. His voice is much like it is in his ghost stories. If you were raised Christian or Jewish, this is an interesting way to look at the mythology almost from “the outside” — and if you were not raised in either of those traditions, then it’s an interesting collection of legends from a different mythology. Read more

Five Modern Noh Plays

May 19, 2013

Mishima’s updating of traditional Noh plays. I haven’t read this for a while; I should re-revisit this. The post discusses two of the plays that I liked best. Read more

The Cyberiad

July 12, 2013

The Cyberiad is a delightful collection of short stories about the constructor robots Trurl and Klapaucius as they travel the galaxy, and I know you all want me to classify it as science fiction. But it’s not. I really want to classify it as fairy tales, but I’m going to compromise and call it fantasy, instead. Read more


August 10, 2013

This manga about the adventures of a little yokai boy feels very of its time (the late 1960s), but was fun to read nonetheless. Read more

The Beast with Five Fingers

August 10, 2013

I never wrote a full blog post about Harvey’s collection of ghost stories, even though Harvey is one of my favorite ghost story writers. He’s not as well known as he should be. But I do bring up individual stories several times. Read more

The Times Anthology of Ghost Stories

October 20, 2013

The winners of a 1975 ghost story competition by the Times of London, judged by Amis, Highsmith, and Lee. Some excellent stories, not all of them scary. Holds up pretty well, I think. Read more

The Book of Fantasy

November 01, 2013

This was one of my first collections of international fantastic fiction, and I love it. I never wrote a review of it, but I do play a little book-scrying game with it, here. Read more

Ghost Gleams

November 10, 2013

Stories originally told as campfire stories to the students of a boys’ school in Wales, in the early twentieth century. Many have a sort of M.R. Jamesish-feel. Light, but entertaining. Read more

The Scarlet Plague

November 27, 2013

Humankind is almost completely wiped out by a virulent, ebola-like disease in the summer of 2013. James Howard Smith, an English literature professor at the University of California, Berkeley, is the last man alive who still remembers that summer. The story is told in flashback, to Smith’s grandsons.
Read more

Couching at the Door

April 27, 2014

Historical novelist D.K. Broster’s only collection of ghost stories and macabre tales, published in 1942. Excellent, quietly creepy stories. It’s a shame she never wrote more. Read more

The Bishop of Hell

May 03, 2014

I called this a “guilty pleasure” when I first read it; I’ve read a fair bit more Gothic romance since then, so perhaps I wouldn’t feel so guilty if I read it now. Read more

The Bone Key

July 22, 2014

A collection of loosely linked short stories about a shy and slightly psychic rare book archivist and his encounters with the supernatural. Inspired by the author’s fondness for both M.R. James and H.P. Lovecraft. Read more


September 01, 2014

I remember that I picked this up because a reader from Mexico who visited my site mentioned that Aura was their favorite Fuentes novel. I was not disappointed. Read more

Blow Up and Other Stories

September 15, 2014

Love, love, love this collection. Cortázar (specifically “La noche boca arriba”) was my introduction to magical realism, and is still one of my favorite short stories. But nearly everything by Cortázar leaves me breathless. Read more


October 21, 2014

A charming, meandering book of philosophical musings disguised as a novel.
– Me, back in 2014 or so.
Read more

When I Was Mortal

October 26, 2014

One of two Marías short story collections that I read while on my Spanish literature kick. I’ve never read his novels, but I love his short stories. They have, variously, supernatural, ghosts, crime, and the macabre. Read more

While The Women are Sleeping

October 26, 2014

One of two Marías short story collections that I read while on my Spanish literature kick. I’ve never read his novels, but I love his short stories. They have, variously, supernatural, ghosts, crime, and the macabre. Read more

Help for the Haunted

April 06, 2015

A collection of linked short stories about journalist and occult detective Vera Van Slyke and her Watson, the ex-medium Lida Prasilova. Great fun. Read more

Selected Short Stories

June 18, 2015

I loved this so much. Every so often, I remember Tagore, and go find more of his short stories—there are easy to find public domain translations on Project Gutenberg, and other places. And I fall in love again. Read more

Yurei: The Japanese Ghost

September 14, 2015

Zack Davisson’s book about Japanese ghosts, or yurei is an interesting discussion of traditional Japanese belief systems and the history of the kaidan (ghost stories, or weird tales). Includes a great selection of representative kaidan as well, some previously untranslated, I think. Read more

All Souls Night

May 28, 2016

I know I said that I never write about a book I don’t like, and I don’t dislike All Souls’ Night. But I say in my post that I had put the book aside; nearly seven years later, I still haven’t picked it up again. Read more

Antique Dust

May 28, 2016

Fun collection of mid-twentieth century antiquarian (or at least, “antiquer”) ghost stories. Objects have histories, and auras, it seems. Read more

Ghosts and Family Legends

June 21, 2016

Catherine Crowe was a fairly well-known collector of “true” supernatural phenomena. Ghosts and Family Legends is partly anecdotes told by friends around a fire during the Christmas season, and partly fully structured stories that I assume are fiction. Read more

American Fantastic Tales

October 29, 2016

This is a two-volume set collecting examples of American fantastic and supernatural literature from Poe until the first decade of the twenty-first century. My discussion was really about the second volume, which went from the 1940s to about 2010, but there wasn’t a good cover image of that volume in Open Library. Read more

The Valancourt Book of Horror Stories

October 29, 2016

Great collection of horror stories written by authors whose works have been published by Valancourt. The first of a series of such volumes, and a strong start to that series, too. Read more

Uncertainties 1 and 2

October 29, 2016

The first two volumes of Swan River Press’s ongoing anthology of uncanny tales, and still my favorites of the series. Read more

Two Bottles of Relish

December 10, 2016

Lord Dunsany’s tongue-in-cheek pastiche of classic detective fiction. All the stories were fun, and full of Dunsany’s lovely, lyrical prose and raconteur-like voice. Read more

A Chimaera in my Wardrobe

February 12, 2017

I picked this up online somewhere (I doubt it’s in physical print any more). Really cute and fun. I would have read more, if Tina Rath had ever written more. Read more

The Holmes-Dracula File

February 12, 2017

I like Saberhagen’s Berserker stories, but I’d never read any of his other work This was a bit of an impulse ebook purchase. Not bad. Read more

The Department of Dead Ends

August 07, 2017

This collection of inverted mysteries was quite enjoyable, and reminded me a bit of those long form articles you sometimes see in The New Yorker or The Atlantic. A good read. Read more

Honolulu Mysteries

August 28, 2017

Noir pastiche with hints of Hawaiian supernatural folklore. The stories were originally serialized in a newpaper (mystery on Sunday, solution on Monday), so the pacing can be a little strange. Still enjoyable, especially if you are interested in Hawaiian folklore. Read more

Mexican Bestiary

September 06, 2017

Mexican Bestiary is an entertaining discussion of various mythical creatures from Mexican folklore, but this entry in the bookshelf is really meant to cover all the reference books that I mention in the related post. Read more

The Mammoth Book of Terror

September 19, 2017

This is an anthology of true horror, which I actually don’t read as much as I read ghost stories and fantastic tales. Bookstores and blogs often tend to lump ghost stories, the weird, general supernatural, and horror all under the same umbrella of horror, but a few stories in this anthology reminded me that they are quite, quite, stomach-turningly different. Read more

The Picture of Dorian Gray

February 16, 2018

A few years back, I did a three part series on flower symbology in The Picture of Dorian Gray. It was fun. The series assumes you’ve read the novel already—specifically the more common twenty chapter version, not the original thirteen chapter version. Read more

Serendipity and the Three Princes

May 03, 2018

Peregrinaggio di tre giovani figliuoli del re di Serendippo (The Peregrinations of the three young sons of the King of Serendippo) is a sixteenth century collection of fantastical tales in a framing story, rather like 1001 Nights (but not so elaborate). Read more

Forty Two Stories

July 01, 2018

Yet another translation of Hans Christian Andersen!… Why am I adding to the pile? For the simple reason that I am very fond of the originals, and I do not think that justice has been done to them by any of the versions I have come across.
– M. R. James, Introduction to Forty Two Stories
Read more

Hungry Ghosts

September 15, 2018

A comic book adaptation of some well-known Japanese folk stories, told as a game of Hyakumonogatari Kaidankai (A Gathering of 100 Weird Tales). Except it’s only eight stories. Includes some Japanese recipes at the end, and some excellent artwork throughout. Fun! Read more

The Solar Pons Series

November 13, 2018

This bookshelf entry is in honor of the entire August Derleth-authored Solar Pons series (I’ve not read the Basil Copper-authored Pons stories). I think it’s the best Sherlock Holmes pastiche out there. Read more

The Croquet Player

November 25, 2018

It’s 1936. Something strange is happening in remote Cainsmarsh: too much fear, paranoia, suspicion. Too much drug use for such a rural region. What is the miasma that pervades the region? Read more

Glimpses of the Unknown

January 01, 2019

More “lost” ghost stories! I love anthologies like this, but I accept that they can be hit or miss. Glimpses of the Unknown was gratifyingly more hit than miss. Great anthology. Read more

The Ghosts of Birds

January 20, 2019

Interesting collection of unconventional essays (“creative nonfiction,” I guess): retellings of stories from folklore and mythology, prose collages, translations, and book reviews. In some cases, I’m not entirely sure if the subject of discussion (a book, or poem) really exists; shades of Jorge Luis Borges. Read more

Tales of Terror

May 31, 2019

The first of three “terror tale” anthologies ostensibly edited by Boris Karloff. This one is a ghost story collection. Most of the stories included are fairly well known today, and can be found in numerous anthologies, but it would make a nice introduction for newcomers to the genre. Read more

And the Darkness Falls

June 10, 2019

The second of three terror tale anthologies ostensibly edited by Boris Karloff. This one is a huge anthology of what might be best called “dark tales”, both supernatural and non-supernatural. The best of the three anthologies, in my opinion. Read more

The Boris Karloff Horror Anthology

June 18, 2019

The third of three “terror tale” anthologies ostensibly edited by Boris Karloff. The entries in this anthology were more “pulpy” feeling than in the previous two. Read more

Guilt is a Ghost

July 15, 2019

A follow-on novel (I called it a “sequel/prequel/inbetween-quel”) to Prasil’s Help for the Haunted, about occult detective Vera Van Slyke and her assistant Lucille Prasilova. Enjoyable, but best read after reading the first Vera Van Slyke book, in my opinion. Read more

The Last Seance

November 29, 2019

A collection of supernatural and supernatural-adjacent short stories by Agatha Christie. The detective stories pretending to be ghost stories were generally better than the actual ghost stories. So I’m classifying this entry as Crime. Read more

The Mysterious Mr. Quin

November 29, 2019

Crime stories with a supernatural flavor, in the form of the mysterious Harley Quin. But the solutions to the mysteries are strictly naturalistic. I really liked this collection. Read more


January 06, 2020

In many respects the American Library has become the most basic First Amendment institution. We are guards, yet we guard no less than the sum of human knowledge. We are the library police.
– Jason Shiga, Bookhunter
Read more

The Library Fuzz

January 06, 2020

A library cop (!) whose job is to collect overdue books and fines, runs into murder and other felonies while making his rounds. Written in the seventies, but feels like the fifties. But that’s ok, I like nineteen-fifties crime stories. Good fun. Read more

From Out of the Silence

March 13, 2020

A flawed, but still enjoyable collection of supernatural tales, by a mostly obscure author. I featured Bessie Kyffin-Taylor in my Women Writers of Folklore and the Fantastic series. Read more

Uncanny Stories

March 30, 2020

A collection of psychologically complex ghost stories and metaphysical theorizing; the ghost stories were more enjoyable. Includes Sinclair’s best known short story “Where the Fire is Not Quenched,” which (in my opinion) anticipates Sartre’s No Exit by twenty years. Read more

The Death Mask

April 27, 2020

Quiet but inventive ghost stories, set in the period around World War I. The volume was praised by both M.R. James and H.P. Lovecraft. I featured her in my Women Writers of Folklore and the Fantastic series. Read more

Of One Blood

June 17, 2020

Originally serialized in Colored American Magazine around 1902, and written by that magazine’s editor, Pauline Hopkins. Recounts the tale of a mixed-race doctor who sails to Africa and stumbles upon Telassar, the lost capital of ancient Ethiopia. Read more

The Conjure-Man Dies

June 27, 2020

The first and possibly only Golden Age detective novel by an African-American author. It’s kind of a mixture of the ratiocination and hard-boiled genres, set in Harlem. I wish that Rudolph Fisher had lived to write more about John Archer and Perry Dart. Read more

Spirits Abroad

August 08, 2020

What a great collection this is! Written by a Malaysian author living in England, mostly about Malaysian characters (sometime in England). Full of elements of Malaysian folklore. The folklore creatures remind me a little of Filipino folklore, and the Malaysian characters and their family dynamics remind me a little of my own family. Read more

Tales of the Dead

August 20, 2020

This is an 1813 English translation of Fantasmagoriana (or part of it, at least), a collection of German gothic supernatural tales that is famous for being the reading material of Mary Shelley and company, the summer that Shelley wrote Frankenstein. Read more

New Ghost Stories

September 28, 2020

I really like Lettice Galbraith. This 1893 collection of ghost stories is fun and surprisingly modern in feel. Several of the stories revolve around a crime, combining two of my favorite genres. Read more

Fantastic Tales (Racconti Fantastici)

October 23, 2020

An interesting collection of stories from the 19th century Italian writer Iginio Ugo Tarchetti, translated by Lawrence Venuti. Ghost stories, tales that borrow from folklore or have a fairy-tale sensibility, and some outright weird ones, told with a gothic sensibility. Read more

The Necromancer

March 22, 2021

The Necromancer was one of the “seven horrid novels” famously discussed by two young women in Jane Austin’s Northanger Abbey. The version the pair were referring to was a 1794 translation by Peter Will (as Peter Teuthold) of the 1792 German original. Read more

The Inn at the Spessart (from Tales)

June 15, 2021

The Inn at the Spessart was one of three collections of märchen written by nineteenth century poet and Romantic Wilhelm Hauff. The version I read was from Tales of Wilhelm Hauff, as translated by S. Mendel in 1886. This is one of the earliest complete collections of Hauff’s märchen in English, and it’s charming. Read more

Lord Halifax’s Ghost Book

September 06, 2022

A compendium of “true” ghost stories collected over the years by Charles Lindley Wood, 2nd Viscount Halifax. Published posthumously by his son, Charles Wood. Read more

Ghosts From the Library

January 20, 2023

This is a collection of “lost” supernatural and apparently supernatural tales from well-known Golden Age crime writers. I suspect it will be more interesting and enjoyable to crime fiction buffs who don’t mind some spookiness on the side, than it will be to ghost story fans who aren’t that into detective stories. Read more

The Honjin Murders

February 10, 2023

A classic locked-room mystery, set in 1937 Japan. This is an admiring tribute to Western Golden Age detective fiction, with an over-the-top, inventive solution. Read more

Medieval Studies and the Ghost Stories of M.R. James

March 27, 2023

An exploration of the links between James’s fiction and his scholarly life: his research, his interests, his likely anxieties. Since I think delving into the underpinnings of a James story is as enjoyable as the tale’s “pleasing terrors,” this book was a must-read. Read more


Prepping Data for Analysis Using R

November 18, 2015

This workshop (co-presented with John Mount) lays out the fundamentals of preparing data and provides interactive demonstrations in the open source R analysis environment. Read more

Validating Models in R

March 29, 2016

John Mount and I demonstrate a number of techniques, R packages, and code for validating predictive models. Part of Strata+Hadoop R Day. Read more

Practical Data Science with R

September 03, 2019

A preview of our then about-to-be released second edition of Practical Data Science with R. We discussed the direction that the R community had taken since our first edition, and how this affected the second edition. Read more