Friday Fun Facts!

It has been a long time since I have done a Friday Fun Facts post, and it is long overdue. Today’s topic: Bizarre book facts.

  • Best selling book of all time: The Holy Bible
  • Book that is stolen the most: I have seen two different answers on this, with the Bible being one; but the book I saw referenced the most is The Guinness Book of World Records.
  • Guinness world record by tattered cover
    Photo from Guinness World Records
  • Longest book to date: A la recherche du temps perduby Marcel Proust contains an estimated 9,609,000 characters (each letter counts as one character. Spaces are also counted, as one character each). The title translates to “Remembrance of Things Past“.
  • Marcel Proust cover image
    Photo from Pinterest
  • Author with most published books: L. Ron Hubbard, with 1,084 published works.
  • L Ron Hubbard cover image from Goodreads
    photo from Goodreads
  • Most expensive book: Bay Psalm Book; auctioned for 14,165,000.00 at Sotheby’s.
  • Bay Psalm Book image from Reuters
    Image from Reuters; Carlo Allegri
  • Oldest story known: The Epic of Gilgamesh; written on clay tablets between 2700-2500 BC.
  • Epic of Gilgamesh image
    Photo from Ancient History Encyclopedia

 

Do you know of any strange or fun facts about books? I would love to hear them!

References:
1: https://www.statista.com/statistics/248141/most-read-books-in-the-world/
2: http://mb.ntdin.tv/en/article/english/stolen-book-guinness-book-world-records-10-fun-facts-never-imagine
3: Guinness World Records
4: https://malwarwickonbooks.com/who-has-written-the-most-books/5:
5: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/books/10475282/The-worlds-most-expensive-books.html
6: https://andyrossagency.wordpress.com/2010/08/02/the-first-book-ever-written/

 

 

 

 

Double Fudge Brownie Murder: A Hannah Swensen Mystery– Joanne Fluke

It has been quite a while since I have read one of the Hannah Swensen mysteries by Joanne Fluke. They are all titled with fun food references, such as Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder (book 1), Carrot Cake Murder (book 10), and Raspberry Danish Murder (book 22). I am currently reading book 19, The Wedding Cake Murder. The Double Fudge Brownie Murder that I am reviewing here is book 18.

Double Fudge Brownie Cover Image

Although I know I have not read all of the books up to book 19 that I am on now, I would say by looking at all of the covers and titles, I have read about 14 or 15 over the years. Hannah Swensen owns a bakery, and is the classic cozy-mystery heroine whom solves the murder case in each story. These books are significantly longer than most cozy mysteries, and they also contain several wonderful recipes throughout the story.

Hannah has her mother and two sisters in her life, a fluffy orange and white tomcat, as well as her assistant at her bakery; Lisa. She has two men in her life throughout this series, Norman and Mike. Both love her, she loves them, and they are obviously aware of the other being in Hannah’s life. Traditional to a cozy mystery, there is no swearing, graphic murder scenes, or sexual innuendos or unbearable scenes to read through.

I will not go into too many details on this story, in order to avoid spoilers, but Hannah and her sisters are helping their mother get married, and they all enjoy a trip to Las Vegas for the nuptials. What Hannah does not know, is that she is in for her own surprise in Las Vegas. This helps to keep her in positive spirits as she knows when she returns home she has to go to trial for an involuntary manslaughter charge from an accident she had (I am guessing in the book immediately before this, that I have not read). Finding the Judge who is going to try the case bludgeoned to death with his own gavel gives Hannah a lot more to worry about!

You can find all of the book titles here: Hannah Swensen Mysteries by Joanne Fluke

I highly recommend all of the Hannah Swensen mysteries! Have you read any of the Hannah Swensen mysteries?

Crafting and Reading!

Well, mainly crafting; I don’t count all the Nancy Drew books I have been going through as heavy reading, as I can read one in a couple hours.

New Christmas ornaments are going into my store; slowly but surely. Yes: I said the naughty “C” word, and believe-you-me, I could wait about 11 1/2 more months for it to get here if it were up to me.

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I will have some baby onesies (bookish-themed, of course), in the next couple of days, as well as personalized book boxes for anniversaries and other gift ideas.

If I had more patience with my Cricut machine, I would be a lot farther along than I am. Luckily, my 17 year old is awesome at weeding vinyl letters 😉  I am also working on some more book bags, with a variety of images available.

There is not much in it at the moment, but you can find my Etsy store here: Books and Opinions Etsy Store

What is keeping you from reading at the moment?

Personalized Book Boxes

Yes; this is what I am doing after working 10+ hours a day and not reading your books!

None of these are completed, and all need some alcohol ink and a whole lot of resin!

Another vacation is forthcoming, along with 4 book reviews for what I have read in the last 2 weeks.

What are you reading right now? I am missing reading my cozy mysteries as I am in the middle of writing two!

My Personal Library!

Always a work in process, I have a few more wooden crates in my garage being spray painted; yes, this was my best option when buying a new house and building a library before worrying about any other room.

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I have books stacked on crates, items that need to be hung on the walls, and still have to put in my tin ceiling that Menard’s denied me over a year ago.

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Still unpacking books, and trying to make room.

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I love too many stories to make a theme in this library, other than reading books!

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Lincoln in the Bardo – George Saunders

There has been a lot of discussion about this story, with people either loving it, or hating it. I myself seem to be stuck somewhere in the middle. I loved the story, and the whole idea of it, but the way it was written made it a difficult read for me. There are spoilers below, which I normally try to avoid, but they are necessary in this instance.

 

 

Lincoln in the Bardo Cover image
cover image property of https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com 

The premise of the story takes place on the night of young Willie Lincoln’s death, and the subsequent days that followed. Unable to bear the loss of his son, President Lincoln visits the crypt where Willie has been placed; several times.

The President is unaware that in this cemetery are many souls who have chosen to not move on, including his son. Only one of these souls is aware that they are all truly dead, while the others are all waiting for their loved ones to come back to get them, believing they are only sick. This place where the souls are lingering is what is known as the bardo.

The initial visit of the President has the others all hopeful that their loved ones will indeed come back for them.

The reason I had a hard time reading this story is the way the chapters are written. I literally was over two chapters in before I had any idea what was going on. The first chapter was of conversations between souls stuck in the bardo. I had no idea this is what I was reading. An example is below. Hans and Roger are lost souls, and I thought I was reading a normal conversation between two persons, such as you would read in any other story. I had no idea they were dead.

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The other chapters in between were all cited excerpts from many, many sources of stories that had been written concerning the Lincolns, the night Willie died, and the party that was taking place down stairs. The Lincoln’s had been assured Willie was indeed on the mend, so President Lincoln opted to not withdraw the hundreds of invitations to the dinner that had been sent out. Below is what these chapters look like. (I apologize for the blurriness of this page, I could not get a sharp photo for some reason, although I took it right after the photo above 😦 )

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As you can see (I hope!) after each excerpt is the source of what book, newspaper, conversation, or diary the information came from. I hate to admit, but I am the type of reader who cannot skip over reading something, so I found myself reading Every. Single. Citation. After a few chapters of this, I just let it go and ignored all the rest of the citations. If I hadn’t, I never would have gotten through it.

I loved the story, the true emotions expressed by not only what the President was going through as he continued to visit and hold his deceased son, but the emotions of those souls stuck in the bardo. The felt hope that their loved ones would also finally come for them, fear in moving on as happened to very few throughout the story, and the final realization that they were indeed dead.

I am curious as to what anyone else who has read this story thought! Did you realize right from the beginning what you were reading, or were you confused like I was?

What I’m Reading…

Lincoln in the Bardo, by George Saunders.

It took me two short chapters to get what was going on, and although I love the storyline; I am still trying to get my bearings.

Much of this book is written using excerpts from other books, and the rest is the various persons stuck in the “bardo”, including Willie Lincoln who died at 11 years old.

I will post a full review when I finish; and those of you who have followed me know I love everything Abraham Lincoln. I read a great review of this book: now I just need to get my feet under it.

And honestly; I am questioning why I haven’t written my own Lincoln book yet.

Have you read this, and what did you think?