3 Great Books Featuring The Circus.

My 3 favourite books about the circus.  Plain and simple.

Geek Love created quite a frenzy when I featured it in post on how to stack books a couple of weeks ago.  Those who choose to read this book love it.  Those who have it pushed upon them, usually don’t.  Geek Love is an incredibly dark, disturbing book.  I’m not going to tell you anything about it other than the fact that if you do not like deeply disturbing and strange subject matter, this book is not for you.  If that sort of thing intrigues you, then by all means read it.  I read it and loved it.  When I described the book to one of my sisters, she was horrified and said something had to be wrong with you if you liked that kind of book.  Well said. And probably true.

Moving on ….  Not all books about circus people are as graphic or strange as Geek Love.  Case in point … Water for Elephants.   This book has dark moments, but there is a beauty to it. It’s a moving story that almost anyone can enjoy.

If you’re lucky you’ll still be able to get a copy that doesn’t feature Robert Pattinson and Reese Witherspoon on the cover.  The book was recently made into a movie starring these two.   It  comes out later this year.

For some reason I can’t stand it when publishers put movie stars on the cover of their books.  It cheapens the book.  I do not like it.  At all.  Blech.   Seriously.  Which cover draws you in more?

My final pick in the list of my favourite circus based books is The Final Confession of Mable Stark.

The book revolves around the 5′ tall tiger trainer Mable Stark who worked for the Ringling Brother’s circus in the early 1900’s.  The story takes you through at least a dozen tiger maulings, 5 husbands and countless mishaps.

The most exciting part of the whole book?  Mable Stark isn’t a fictional character.  She was a real person.  And an incredible one at that.  This is the unbelievable story of her life written in fiction form.

It’s entirely possible that none of these books will appeal to you.  Which is fine.  Because if you don’t wanna read em, you can always just stack em.



  1. Beth says:

    Thank you, thank you! I’ve been looking for an “off-the-beaten-path” sort of book, and Geek Love most definitely fits the bill. I would love any other weird book suggestions!!

  2. Jodi Trevino says:

    I just finished Water for Elephants, and declared, as soon as it was finished, that it was one of the BEST books I had ever read. No lie. Loved It. Made my Mother and Great Grandmother read it too. I plan to get it back and save it for a rainy day to re-read, for sure. As for Geek Love… I’m a little scared… I do enjoy Stephen King-ish stuff, but you made this sound like something that might give me nightmares. Haha — However, I’ll be putting both of these down on my “to read” list. Thanks for the suggestions!! P.S. I just found your site thanks to The Homies. You are so funny and a great writer. I’ve started reading from as far back as I can go and working my forward :) Keep up the good work!! Nothing better than a blog that teaches me “stuff” and gives me a chuckle.

    • Karen says:

      Thanks Jodi! If you go to the bottom of the page and hit “Archives” you can go month by month from the very beginning! ~ karen

  3. Martie says:

    Hello Karen,
    This is my first visit to your website. Totally groovy! I will probably be lost in it for the afternoon.
    I read Geek Love a REALLY long time ago. Thanks to you I will be yanking it off the bookshelf and re-reading it. I remember it so well. I loved it and I’m excited.
    Oh, I’m going to make a Goodwill run this weekend and will be making Orb I & Orb II. Who wants to wind up the stupid xmas lights anyway? Lucky for me, I have always used just white lights and that is the look I would want cor this project.
    All the best,
    Martie ~ your newest fan from S.W. Washington (the State)

  4. GiniGL says:

    Hi Karen – I’m late to the Geek Love party, but wanted you to know that you were already my go-to blog in the morning, but now you just might be the ONLY blog I read in the morning. GEEK LOVE? On a BLOG? Right in front of god and everyone? LOVE YOU! LOVE IT! One of my all time favorite books that I’m afraid to share with anyone. ‘cept now, you. P.S. I am breathlessly awaiting chicken coop pics cause we’ve decided to go for it and I’m dying to see what you did.

    Your Seattle fan,


  5. Jessie-Lee says:

    Hey Karen! So a bit off topic but, have you even seen the HBO series Carnivale? That show takes the words circus and weird to a new level. It’s not a book, but it is highly enjoyable!

    • Karen says:

      Jessie-Lee – I’ve seen tiny little bits and pieces, but never watched the whole series. I’ve had a few people mention it to me so I’ll probably give it a shot. It goes on my “to watch” list along with Deadwood, Mad Men (only watched the first season) and the remainder of Little Britain. Thx.! ~ karen

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