Under the Covers and between the Sheets: Facts and Trivia about the World's Greatest Books

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Overview

Bibliophiles, grab your glasses! Here is a compendium of interesting—and often scandalous—facts and quips about the literary world. Featuring authors and tomes of yesteryear and yesterday, from Tolkien's Middle- earth to Jeffrey Eugenides's Middlesex, you'll sections such as:

  • You Don't Say?: Commonly-used words and phrases that were coined or popularized in classic words of fiction—sometimes with very different meanings.
  • Gruesomely Ever After:...
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Under the Covers and between the Sheets: Facts and Trivia about the World's Greatest Books

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Overview

Bibliophiles, grab your glasses! Here is a compendium of interesting—and often scandalous—facts and quips about the literary world. Featuring authors and tomes of yesteryear and yesterday, from Tolkien's Middle- earth to Jeffrey Eugenides's Middlesex, you'll sections such as:

  • You Don't Say?: Commonly-used words and phrases that were coined or popularized in classic words of fiction—sometimes with very different meanings.
  • Gruesomely Ever After: The original endings of some of the world's most cherished fairy tales—"Snow White," "The Little Mermaid," "Cinderella," and more.
  • Parental Guidance Suggested: Banned works of fiction and the controversy surrounding them.
  • Lions and Tigers and Bears (Oh My!): The real-life stories and inspirations behind beloved "leading creatures."
  • Time to Make the Doughnuts: Odd jobs of famous authors.
  • Tell Me a Story: Dahl's short stories, Seuss's political cartoons; the lesser-known, and sometimes shocking, adult writings of beloved children's authors.
  • The Long Con: Shocking (and sometimes shockingly long-lived) literary hoaxes: Frey, JT Leroy, The Education of Little Tree, The Day After Roswell, etc.
  • Science Fiction, Science Fact: If alien monoliths are ever found on the moon, the safer bet is that they would be translucent crystal; Sir Arthur C. Clarke is celebrated for making accurate predictions of various technologies, years ahead of their time. A look at which of his predictions held true and the same feats of other authors.
  • Yes, But is it Art?: The weirdest books ever written: books without verbs, without punctuation...or without the letter "e".

  • Make this and all of the Blackboard Books(tm) a permanent fixture on your shelf, and you'll have instant access to a breadth of knowledge. Whether you need homework help or want to win that trivia game, this series is the trusted source for fun facts.
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What People Are Saying

From the Publisher

"A lot of fun and could be useful conversation fodder for holiday parties. You can scandalize (Danielle Steel has been married five times, twice to felons), amuse (Kerouac wrote "On the Road" on one 119-foot scroll of paper, and a friend's cocker spaniel ate the last few lines) and impress (Dostoyevsky's second wife, Anna, kept a private, encrypted diary, the code to which wasn't cracked until long after her death)." -Minneapolis Star Tribune
"A fun read." -Not Born Yesterday (Blog)
From the Publisher
"A lot of fun and could be useful conversation fodder for holiday parties. You can scandalize (Danielle Steel has been married five times, twice to felons), amuse (Kerouac wrote "On the Road" on one 119-foot scroll of paper, and a friend's cocker spaniel ate the last few lines) and impress (Dostoyevsky's second wife, Anna, kept a private, encrypted diary, the code to which wasn't cracked until long after her death)." -Minneapolis Star Tribune
"A fun read." -Not Born Yesterday (Blog)
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781606520345
  • Publisher: Reader's Digest Association, Incorporated, The
  • Publication date: 10/15/2009
  • Pages: 176
  • Sales rank: 1,389,847
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 6, 2014

    Jackie

    She began panicing but looked at him and somehow felt safe.

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    Posted July 6, 2014

    Ava

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 19, 2014

    Danielle

    She wrapped her legs around his hips, kissing him deeply. Her dark brown hair fell down around them.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 6, 2014

    Weston

    His eyes quickly took to Jackie. As he walked past her, he grabbed er by her lower arm and guided er into an alley

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  • Posted November 23, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Fun for book lovers

    Books, books, books. If you aren't a bibliophile, you may as well stop reading right this minute. Years ago in the New Yorker there was a cartoon, I believe, by George Booth. There was an eccentric looking old woman selling a few books outside her doorway on a porch. There was a smattering of books at a reasonable price on a table. She beckoned to a passerby, who just happened to take note of the pile, and said, "There's plenty more books inside." An upward glance at her ramshackle house gave a glimpse into her house .there were thousands of books hanging out the windows and looked as if they were coming out of the woodwork. If you are a bibliophile or just happened to love little literary anecdotes and would like to know the inside scoops about your favorite authors or books, you've come to the right place when you look Under the Covers and Between the Sheets.

    This is one of those books that can be read from cover to cover or browsed at will if you please. Flipping this way and that way finding out little vignettes such as the fact that "mainlining caffeine" helped Honoré de Balzac "maintain an incredibly prolific output," but also shortened his life considerably, will make your eyebrows curl. Apparently getting a buzz from raw beans may be one of the reasons the man wrote more than ninety books. Shame on the authors for not using the accent aigu on his name, but that is being a tad petty. Speaking of the letter "e," Ernest Vincent Wright "challenged himself to write a complete novel without using the letter 'e.'" Just imagine a 50,110 word lipogram! There were other ones that made my eyes widen or roll, but I'll refrain from discussing them or I'll become a spoiler.

    I loved the writers as reviewers section, especially when Truman Capote, commenting on Jack Kerouac's On the Road, quipped, "That's not writing, that's typing." It goes to show that even writers, who in reviewing a colleague's book, not only use critical analysis, but are sometimes just plain old critical, cruel and curmudgeonly. This book takes many leaps and bounds through literary history and takes a look at unfinished works of genius, works that almost hit the circular file (or did), literary greats who battled with addiction, obsessive and odd ways writers write, weird books, literary hoaxes, great rejection slips, who sued who for plagiarism, and much more! Did you know that Shel Silverstein won a songwriting Grammy for a Johnny Cash Song? That he did. If you enjoy tidbits like this you might just want to pick up a copy of this book!

    When I read this book I didn't read it from cover to cover in a day, which is something that can be done, but rather read a bit at a time to savor it. Many of the facts and stories I was familiar with as they are "common knowledge" in the literary world, but many of them were WOW moments. For example there was one childhood memoir discussed, which will remain unnamed in this review (no spoilers please!), that had been debunked as a total fraud and was written by a former Ku Klux Klan member. I've obviously been living under a rock. There will be some difference of opinion with some readers who claim they heard a different version of some of the vignettes in this book, but no matter .this is simply a fun compilation of literary tidbits few bibliophiles will want to pass up!

    Quill says: This is a laudable literary compendium the discerning bibliophile will savor. In other words, this book is FUN!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 31, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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