1Elephants Can Remember
Agatha Christie’s novel “Elephants Can Remember” reveals distinct signs of Alzheimer’s onset, e.g., 20% fewer words or one-fifth of her vocabulary lost; 6 times more use of nonspecific words such as “thing”, and a sharp drop in “idea density”. That novel's last line is “Maybe it’s OK not to remember.”
2. There is a surviving fantasy novel named ‘True History’ written in the 2nd century A.D. in Roman Syria that features explorers flying to the moon, a first encounter with aliens, interplanetary war between imperialistic celestial kingdoms, and the discovery of a continent across the ocean.
3. American journalist Bill O'Reilly who was recently fired from Fox News amid sexual harassment lawsuits wrote a novel named ‘Those Who Trespass’ in 1998. It is about a tall, bitter, sexually predatory newsman who gets forced out of his job and starts murdering former colleagues who helped ruin his career.
4. There exists an Icelandic tradition called Jólabókaflóð in which books are exchanged as Christmas Eve presents and the rest of the night is spent reading them and eating chocolate.
5. In 1952, Wernher von Braun wrote a book called "Project Mars" which imagined that human colonists on Mars would be led by a person called "Elon."
If you publish a book in Norway, the government will buy 1000 copies (1,500 if it is a children's book) and distribute them to libraries throughout the country.
7. Despite being a quarter of a million words long, American novelist Herman Melville managed to use a unique word (a word that's only used once in the novel) per every 12 words in 'Moby Dick.'
8. Edgar Allan Poe wrote a novel named “The Narrative Gordon Pym of Nantucket” in which a group of shipwrecked survivors draw lots in which the loser will be eaten, the boy who lost was named Richard Parker. 50 years later an English ship sank and the survivors drew lots. The loser’s name was Richard Parker.
9. Dr. Seuss's editor bet him $50 that he couldn't write a children's book in 50 words or less. Dr. Seuss won the bet with his book 'Green Eggs and Ham.'
10. The collective nouns we use for animals (gaggle of geese, herd of deer, etc.) mostly come from the ‘Book of St. Albans,’ which was published in 1486. It also included terms for professions such as a melody of harpists, a sentence of judges and a superfluity of nuns.
The book 'Walden' by Henry David Thoreau is often seen as a 'bible' for self-sufficiency enthusiasts. However, while many picture Thoreau as a hermit in the woods, his cabin on the lake was about a mile from town, where he would often go to visit his mother, who did his laundry for him.
12. There is a book called "Becoming Batman: The Possibility of a Superhero" written by a neuroscience professor named E. Paul Zehr, which covers in detail how much an ordinary person would need to train and adapt to become Batman.
13. While penniless and dying, president Ulysses S Grant wrote a book of memoirs so his wife could live off of the royalties. Mark Twain heard the best royalty offer was 10% and immediately offered Grant 75%. Grant's book was a critical and commercial success giving his wife about $450,000 in royalties.
14. When F. Scott Fitzgerald died, he thought that he was a failure, and his work forever forgotten. His novel, 'The Great Gatsby', was reviewed poorly and had only sold 20,000 copies. It's now considered the greatest novel in American history, and sells over 500,000 copies per year.
15. A Dutch author named Richard Klinkhamer wrote a pretty suspicious book named ‘Woensdag Gehaktdag’, which detailed seven ways to kill your spouse. He wrote it a year after his wife disappeared. He became a celebrity and spent the next decade hinting - in print and on TV - that he had murdered her. Finally, it turned out that he really had.
In the 13th century, a monk took an old book written by Archimedes (in 10th century), erased the contents, and wrote over it with prayers. Scientists have determined that that the monk erased a previously unknown book by Archimedes, that laid out the foundations of Calculus thousands of years before Newton and Leibniz.
17. French novelist Jules Verne wrote the novel "Paris in the Twentieth Century" back in 1863 and described a world of glass skyscrapers, high-speed trains, gas-powered automobiles, calculators, and a worldwide communications network.
18. In 2002, a fake book sequel of Harry Potter appeared in China with the title “Harry Potter and Bao Zuolong.” It consisted of the text from J.R.R. Tolkien’s ‘The Hobbit’ with names changed to those of Harry Potter characters.
19. In the original Little Mermaid novel, the mermaid's legs constantly feel as if she is walking on sharp knives. The prince likes to watch her dance, which she does for him, despite excruciating pain. Then he marries someone else and the mermaid kills herself.
20. J.R.R. Tolkien began a book named "The Lost Road," which concerned modern-day people experiencing "flashbacks" to their former selfs in the Middle Earth. He died before finishing it.
21How to Lose Weight
In 1963, some Barbie dolls came with a book entitled "How to Lose Weight" which advised "Don't eat!" and a bathroom scale permanently set at 110 lbs.
22. Between 2000 and 2002, over 1100 priceless books disappeared from the mountaintop abbey of Mont Saint-Odileto in France to the confusion of the monks and the local police, despite reinforcing the library's doors and changing its locks. It turned out that the culprit was using a long-forgotten secret passageway found in the public archives.
23. The author of the science fiction novel "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?" by Philip K. Dick was published in 1968. It said, “There will come a time when it isn't ‘They’re spying on me through my phone’ anymore. Eventually, it will be ‘My phone is spying on me’.”
24. The first Sherlock Holmes book "A Study in Scarlet" was the first work of fiction to mention a magnifying glass being used as an investigative tool and is the reason we still connect this item with detectives today.
25. Children's books have 50% more rare words in them than does an average showing of adult prime-time television.