Understanding Cemetery Symbols Book Blog Tour, Review, and Giveaway #LoneStarLit

October 19, 2017 Blog Tours, Giveaways, Reviews 6 ★★★★

A Field Guide for Historic Graveyards
(Messages from the Dead)

  Genre: History / Landmarks & Monuments / Iconography
Publisher: Castle Azle Press
Date of Publication: August 19, 2017
Number of Pages: 250
Scroll down for giveaway!

Understanding Cemetery Symbols by Tui Snider helps history buffs, genealogists, ghost hunters, and other curiosity seekers decode the forgotten meanings of the symbols our ancestors placed on their headstones. By understanding the meaning behind the architecture, acronyms, & symbols found in America’s burial grounds, readers will gain a deeper appreciation for these “messages from the dead.”


Praise for Understanding Cemetery Symbols:

“When I ordered this book I thought it would be good for information concerning cemetery symbolism. I was wrong. It is GREAT!!!! This has already become my go to guide for all types of cemetery information. By far the best book I have come across!”  – Amazon verified purchase, wearylibrarian

“Wow! What a great book! I got bit by the bug doing genealogy research. I always wondered what the symbols meant and could not find a reliable resource for the info. With Ms. Snider’s book along with the symbiology and great pictures, also a creative process of Tui’s, are plenty of interesting tidbits! Useful and entertaining! The book is small enough to keep in the glove box or your handbag or backpack!!” – Amazon verified purchase, Rev. Joy Daley
“I always enjoyed walking through a cemetery and looking at the stones. Now it will give it a much deeper meaning. I really enjoyed reading this book!”  – Amazon verified purchase, Deborah D.

“Perfect book to get an idea for symbols and meaning. Only glanced through it and already picked up a few facts! Welcome addition to our growing library…” – Amazon verified purchase, Toripotterfan


Check out the book trailer! Music by Tui Snider!



I’m starting this review with a quote that succinctly describes Understanding Cemetery Symbols:
Simply put, symbols are the perfect example of the old cliche that ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’.
What I really enjoyed about Understanding Cemetery Symbols is the conversational writing style. Ms. Snider’s writing made me feel like we were sitting on a front porch with a lemonade, looking over a historical cemetery, discussing symbols and history.
The anthropologist in me quite appreciated this book. I’ve wandered through cemeteries for years, often wanting a helpful guide book just like this. I learned so many interesting facts while reading! These facts include:
  • Christians co-opted a lot pagan symbols.
  • What is the difference in the meaning between cemetery and graveyard?
  • Why do headstones face east?
  • When a married couple is buried together, why are men generally buried on the left while women on the right?
  • Hands of Cohen is an actual Jewish symbol, not just Spock’s Live Long and Prosper signature move.

I’m not going to spoil the book for you. Check it out yourself to learn the answers!

I do want to point out that there are some editing errors in the book. As much as I loved the photos, they didn’t always line up with the text. Maybe this is an issue with the printed version? There were also some typos throughout the text. Not enough to be an issue for me, but enough that I did notice them.


I’m sure you might be thinking that a discussion of cemetery symbols would be completely morbid. But for me, it was not in the least bit. This guidebook will be a helpful tool while roaming cemeteries or planning a future gravestone. Also, and most importantly, there are no weeping angels to completely freak me out!


I’d like to thank Lone Star Book Blog Tours and the author for providing a copy of Understanding Cemetery Symbols, Graveyard Journal Workbook, and Ghost Hunters Workbook to me in exchange for my honest review.


Tui Snider is an award-winning writer, speaker, photographer, and musician specializing in quirky travel, overlooked history, cemetery symbolism, and haunted lore. As she puts it, “I used to write fiction, but then I moved to Texas!”

Tui lectures frequently at universities, libraries, conferences and bookstores. Her best-selling books include Paranormal Texas, The Lynching of the Santa Claus Bank Robber, Unexpected Texas, and Understanding Cemetery Symbols. She recently taught classes based on her books at Texas Christian University.

When not writing books, you can find Tui exploring the historic graveyards and backroads of Texas with her husband, Larry. 
Grand Prize: Signed Copies of Understanding Cemetery Symbols + wGraveyard Journal Workbook + Ghost Hunters Journal 
2nd & 3rd Prizes: Signed Copies of Understanding Cemetery Symbols
October 18-October 27, 2017
(U.S. Only)
Excerpt 1
Guest Post 1
Author Interview
Excerpt 2
Top 5 List
Guest Post 2
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Rating Report
Overall: 4

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