Epic Reads: 46 Unbelievable Facts About Books and Novels

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1Gump and Co.

Gump and Co.

The original author of the Forrest Gump novel wrote a sequel to the book entitled “Gump and Co.” In it Gump crashes the Exxon Valdez, helps destroy the Berlin Wall, and fights in Operation Desert Storm.

2. 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.

3. 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."

4. In 2012, a blind woman named Trish Vickers wrote a book named ‘Grannifer’s Legacy.’ She wrote it by hand on a notepad with rubberbands wrapped around it to indicate lines. Her son read chapters back to her for edits and then sent them to typesetters. One day she gave her son 26 blank pages because she didn’t know her pen had lost ink and continued writing. Police then helped her recover it with a 5-month effort.

5. 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.”

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6Fahrenheit 451

Fahrenheit 451

In 'Fahrenheit 451', the government didn't burn books because they were an oppressive dictatorship. The people voted to ban the books because they had short attention spans and didn't want to be offended.

7. 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.

8. 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.

9. 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.

10. When Einstein was told of the publication of a book entitled, '100 Authors Against Einstein', he replied: "Why one hundred? If I were wrong, one would have been enough."

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11The Little Mermaid

The Little Mermaid

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.

12. Up until the 1960's, black Americans with cars could purchase a "Green Book" that would tell them which towns across America had colored facilities, which towns didn't accept black people out after dark, and which places to avoid visiting if they wanted to survive their trip.

13. Stephen King originally tossed his manuscript for "Carrie" while living in a trailer home with his wife, claiming that it was a "loser". His wife, Tabitha, upon finding it in the garbage and reading it, convinced him to finish it and send it in. It's the novel that made him famous.

14. Ray Bradbury's "Fahrenheit 451", was actually about how television destroys interest in literature, not about censorship and while giving a lecture in UCLA university the class told him he was wrong about his own book, and he just walked away.

15. 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.

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16Children's books

Children's books

Children's books have 50% more rare words in them than does an average showing of adult prime-time television.

17. 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.'

18. The author would sing the simple four-lined poem in the children’s book ‘Love You Forever’ silently to himself after his wife gave birth to two stillborn babies.

19. 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.

20. Christine Maggiore was a AIDS skeptic who wrote the book "What if Everything You Thought You Knew About AIDS Was Wrong?" ultimately died from AIDS-related pneumonia.

21Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

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’.”

22. In the novel 'I Am Legend', the vampires fear crosses, garlic and mirrors, only because they think they should.

23. The writer behind the 'The Iron Giant', Ted Hughes, had written the book for his two children to help explain to them the 1963 suicide death of their mother.

24. 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.

25. 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.

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