Look hard enough and there are plenty of crop circle related books to be found for purchase online and on the shelves of New Age shops. The Croppie has done a fair job of sifting through numerous titles to find five essential reads. They are presented in no particular order. First, though, honourable mentions...
Books that didn't make the final five, but are still worth your time:
Circular Evidence by Colin Andrews and Pat Delgado (1989 - Bloomsbury) Best seller containing notable field reports as far back as 1978. Rounded off with attractive photos and a discussion of that question; y'know ... what could be responsible? Frustratingly, the authors shy away from giving a straight answer, even though you know what they're thinking.
The New Circle Makers by Andrew Collins (1992, 4th Dimension) Alien energies, circles history and the Cygnus constellation.
Crop Circles: Signs, Wonders and Mysteries by Steve and Karen Alexander (2009, Arcturus) Coffee table book brimming with excellent photography and musings on circles symbolism.
Crop Circles by Michael Glickman (2005, Wooden Books) Beautifully produced pocket book examining the evolution of the circles. Ideal for a newcomer to the subject.
Crop Circles: The Bones of God by Michael Glickman (2009, Frog Books) Personal experiences mingle with speculation and geometrical analyses in the unflinching Glickman style.
The Circles Effect and Its Mysteries by Terence Meaden (1980, Artetech) Relentlessly dry but insightful read into the thinking behind Meaden's plasma vortex theory.
The Crop Circle Enigma edited by Ralph Noyes (1990, Gateway) A collection of essays on the circles featuring contributions from name cerealogists including Lucy Pringle, Michael Green and Terence Meaden.
ROUND IN CIRCLES
Poltergeists, Pranksters, and the Secret History of the Cropwatchers
By Jim Schnabel (1993 - Hamish Hamilton/Penguin)
Schnabel is one of the 1990s true croppie tricksters having taken advantage of conspiracy loving minds to embed himself as the focus of various wind-ups. Later going on to become something of a serious journalist, Schnabel was a university student within the circles scene during 1991, acting as a volunteer for a Terence Meaden run field-watch whilst mingling with other croppies at the Waggon and Horses at Beckhampton. Round In Circles begins as a in-depth history of the circles, evolving to a part-autobiographical account of that crazy summer of 1991. The book caused plenty of ass-ache on publication due to Schnabel's wonderful ability to impishly seize on the character flaws of big-name cerealogists and milk them for gentle comic effect. Not that he had to try too hard; the likes of Colin Andrews and George Wingfield had set themselves up for a fall. Essential reading for cerealogical history up to 1993.
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A Personal Investigation Into the Cropcircle Controversy
By John Macnish (1993 - Circlevision)
Daytime Live was the BBC television programme that turned cerealogists Pat Delgado and Colin Andrews into household names. Behind the scenes, John Macnish worked as a senior crew member and found himself pulled into the mystery. He watched Andrews and Delgado as they were duped at Operation Blackbird and found struggling in the wake of Doug Bower and Dave Chorley's tell-all to TODAY newspaper. Looking to make his own mind up on the conflicting claims of cerealogists versus circle makers, Macnish teamed up with members of the latter camp to document their work as they laid it down in the fields. All of the evidence eventually leads Macnish to two huge conclusions; one on the circles' origins, the other on what certain researchers were deliberately hiding.
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A Complete Guide to the Crop Circle Mystery and Why It Is Not a Hoax
By Andy Thomas (1998 - Frog Books)
If there's a controversial entry to be found in this list it's here. Why? There are plenty of cerealogical books brimming with reasons as to why crop circles can't all be manmade. Freddy Silva and Michael Glickman have all produced very engaging texts along similar lines, but Vital Signs stands out. Andy Thomas, late of Swirled News and other circles publications, is the ideal author for this type of book. His words are uncomplicated, highly readable and laced with an amiable, brightly (some may say naively) optimistic tone. Together with a good look at cerealogical history, Thomas throws up plenty of those reasons why the skeptics are possibly wrong, and details some of the anomalous events said to have occurred inside circles. Whether you come to Vital Signs as a newcomer looking for a general overview of cerealogy, or as an older head trying to understand how arguments against human involvement have come about, this a book to keep returning to.
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A Crop Circle Revelation
By Allan Brown and John Michell (2017 - Squeeze Press)
Crooked Soley is a unique crop circle book, reissued in 2017. There is no overarching quest by its authors to establish who or what put down one specific crop circle near the Berkshire town of Hungerford in 2002. Instead, the late John Michell ponders the formation's numerical significance. Allan Brown outlines the relationship between the circle and its landscape. There are no arguments. No debates. Just careful consideration. Croppiedom is a poorer place without Michell and Brown. You can read The Croppie's full review by clicking here.
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THE FIELD GUIDE
The Art, History & Philosophy of Crop Circle Making
By Robert Irving and John Lundberg (2006 - Strange Attractor)
Irving and Lundberg are both members of Circlemakers.org, a circle making group who never made any secret of their illegal activities but, rightly, never admitted to what they had put down. With both men capable writers and having been out in the fields since the 1990s, there are few other individuals better placed to write about the practical points of circle making. The infamous 'Roll Your Own' chapter is what has led many an aspiring maker to pick up a stomper, but The Field Guide's backbone consists of vertebrae on the prehistory, history, philosophy and pseudoscience attached to the phenomenon. Rounded off by an interview with the late Doug Bower, The Field Guide is a title you will endlessly revisit.
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