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.
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“.
Author with most published books: L. Ron Hubbard, with 1,084 published works.
Most expensive book: Bay Psalm Book; auctioned for 14,165,000.00 at Sotheby’s.
Oldest story known: The Epic of Gilgamesh; written on clay tablets between 2700-2500 BC.
Do you know of any strange or fun facts about books? I would love to hear them!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
Still unpacking books, and trying to make room.
I love too many stories to make a theme in this library, other than reading books!
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.
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.
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 😦 )
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?
Having long been a fan of Lillian Jackson Braun’s Cat Who mysteries, I was pleased to finally find this book on the library shelf. I discovered these fantastic stories about 20 years ago (or more) and have read all of them; most more than once.
Jim Qwilleran is a journalist who moved to Moose County, 100 miles north of everywhere, after receiving a windfall of money from a benefactor. He and his two Siamese cats, KoKo and YumYum, solve mysteries all over Moose County and its adjoining counties. The characters through all 20+ books quickly become familiar friends you want to spend the day with.
This set of short stories is based on tales from local residents about some of the long-held beliefs and superstitions that have made Moose County what it is. I read this book in about an hour, and it is a great addition to any nightstand for some quick reading before sleep!
Are you familiar with the Cat Who Mysteries? How did you like them?
This is book #1 of the Charlie Parker Mysteries. I randomly came upon it while searching through books on Amazon.
Charlie Parker is an accountant who shares office space with her brother, who is a private investigator. While her brother is out of town, she decides to take on a case for her ex-best friend (the best friend who married her fiancé), and a missing watch turns into a murder investigation.
I loved the idea of this story, but I could not finish it. There were so many plot holes that I could not handle it any more. I literally spent as much time rereading to see if I missed something, as I spent actually reading it the first time around.
On page 12 she talks about using her inheritance to help open the business with her brother. What inheritance? Who left her money? Why was her brother not left money? Yes, I get it could have been a husband that died, friend, etc. But come to find out later, it was her parents. The same exact parents as her brother. But we don’t know what her brother did with his money.
Another plot hole? Her part time secretary asks who was just in the office. Charlie states “A friend from school but you wouldn’t know her and there is a good reason why.” End of conversation. A bit further ahead, Charlie and her secretary are deep in discussion about this ex-friend and all the horrible things she did, but she hasn’t yet told the secretary any of this.
Minor issues? Maybe. But when I am engrossed in a story, and all the sudden read something that has me saying…. “Well where in the hell did that come from?”… I go back rereading what I read only to see I did not miss any information; it was never there.
So there you have it. I see there are several books in this series, and I hope this issue was due to it being a first book.
If you’ve read this series and love it please let me know!