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6. Under the Covers and Between the Sheets: The Inside Story Behind Classic Characters, Authors, Unforgettable Phrases, and Unexpected Endings - C. Alan Joyce & Sarah Janssen - 165 pages (5 stars)

My best friend sent me this book for Christmas, and it's definitely one of the funnest nonfiction books of all time if you're a book geek.

The authors share tidbits of authors and the stories behind many of the well-known books we know and love, some of which are more interesting that the book itself. As I was reading it, every page or two I'd go to my husband and go "Hey, did you know...?" After awhile, he told me to shut up because he planned to read the book when I've finished and there's not much point if I quoted the entire thing at him.

The trivia is broken up into several sections:

Shot Out of the Canon
Guilty Pleasures
Young at Heart
Stranger Than Fiction
Off the Page

And each is broken into subsections. I don't have the patience to list all of them, but here are the subsections of Shot out of the Canon:

The Greatest Books Never Written (books that could have been great had they been finished)
Waste Not, Want Not (authors who demanded all of their work be destroyed after their death, such as Emily Dickinson. Good thing their friends were moneygrubbing backstabbers?)
Writing Under the Influence (crack is not whack if you're an author)
The Methods of Their Madness (weird habits authors engaged in to keep writing, such as nudity)
The Blind Reading the Blind (more authors than you would think couldn't read their own books)
Yes, But Is It Art ?s (weird books, such as one without the letter 'e')
Everyone's a Critic (the dirty, snarky things authors said about each other's works. Mark Twain wanting to hit Jane Austen over the skull with her own shin bone is a favourite of mine)

If you love books, odd facts and hilarious tidbits about authors, then this book is a must-have for you. The authors do an excellent job of organizing the information, which isn't too surprising considering both of them are editors of The World Almanac and Book of Facts. It's a book I'll re-read every 5 years or so to give me a refresher on just how freaking weird most authors are, and how so much of the "biz" is pure, dumb luck.


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 6th, 2010 11:44 pm (UTC)
That sounds hilarious. Thanks for posting; I'm definitely going to look for this one!
Feb. 9th, 2010 02:15 am (UTC)
This book sounds like a lot of fun! How old are the authors mentioned? Is it mostly Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte, Mark Twain era -- or does it mention current authors as well?

(I don't read many "classics", I'll admit.)
Feb. 9th, 2010 11:24 am (UTC)
Quite a few classics are mentioned, but modern novels make an appearance as well.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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