World’s Strangest

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World War II Evacuee Costume

In October, internet users always look for the strangest, most inexplicable Halloween costumes to post. Here’s one that illustrates how little Americans and the British understand each other, despite the supposedly common language. This costume of a World War II Evacuee was posted at reddit. Some commenters thought it might be a costume from the [...]

10 Best-Selling Books That Were Originally Rejected

Aspiring writers know how it is -those rejection slips just keep piling up. It can be discouraging. But that doesn’t necessarily mean your book is bad. Some of the biggest selling books ever were published only after a string of rejections. Even Anne Frank’s diary was rejected -sixteen times! These days, Anne Frank has one of [...]

From the Dictionary to a Book Called “Horse”: The Surprising Complaints Against 6 Books

This week (September 24 through October 1, 2011) is the American Library Association’s Banned Books Week, an “annual event celebrating the freedom to read and the importance of the First Amendment.” We’ve all heard about books like Lolita and The Awakening being banned, especially from schools, for overly sexual content; other books are banned—or at [...]

Let’s See a Kindle Try This

This year’s Dutch Book Week is celebrating the autobiography. To promote the event, The Van Wanten Etcetera Firm has created a series of carefully crafted author portraits – made from their very own literature. As an example, here is one created for Anne Frank: Probably not enough to get me to book a ticket to Holland. But [...]

What Are the Most Popular Books in a Prison Library?

Avi Steinberg, a former prison librarian, has written a memoir about his experience. In it, he recounted the books that were the most popular among prisoners, and why: The prisoners’ book choices are suggestive: Anne Frank was effectively coping with incarceration in her Amsterdam attic, and Plath is an obvious choice for those less than contented [...]

The Only Known Video of Anne Frank

(YouTube Link) The only known video images of Holocaust victim and diarist Anne Frank have been circulating YouTube. Lisa Gutierrez writes in the Kansas City Star: The 21-second, black-and-white video, filmed on July 22, 1941 about a year before Anne and her family went into hiding, shows the front of an Amsterdam apartment building where Anne and [...]