World’s Strangest

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The Stories Behind 15 Albums Named After Numbers, Featuring a Lot of Van Halen

When you think about it, most album titles are a little cryptic (Fiona Apple, I love you, but that’s a lot of title). But there’s something especially intriguing about a record that goes by nothing but a few digits. Those digits are usually anything but random, so here are a few of those musical mysteries, [...]

Hotel Replaces Bible with Fifty Shades of Grey

Jonathan Denby bought the Damson Dene hotel in Crosthwaite, UK, from a Methodist group a decade ago, and had wanted to replace the Bible in each room with something else. At first, he thought about [...]

Famous Novelists on Symbolism in Their Work and Whether It Was Intentional

It was 1963, and 16-year-old Bruce McAllister was sick of symbol-hunting in English class. Rather than quarrel with his teacher, he went straight to the source: McAllister mailed a crude, four-question survey to 150 novelists, asking if they intentionally planted symbolism in their work. Seventy-five authors responded. Here’s what 12 of them had to [...]

At the Libraries: Helena Bonham Carter as a Librarian

Each week Miss Kathleen provides links to a variety of stories about libraries, authors, and books. If there’s something noteworthy going on in your local library, leave us a comment! If you like weird, our April Blog of the Month is for you: Forgotten Bookmarks is a collection of, well, bookmarks that have been forgotten, then [...]

At the Libraries: Insanely Creative Bookshelves

Every week, Miss Kathleen provides links to a variety of stories about libraries, authors, and books. If there’s something fun going on in your local library, leave us a comment! Bookshelves can be so blah. After all, they all look the same. But not these bookshelves! Check out these amazing works of art, that can house [...]

Gene Roddenberry’s Original Pitch for Star Trek

Lee Thomson has a copy of Gene Roddenberry’s March 1964 pitch for Star Trek. There were many changes made before the first and second pilot episodes were filmed. The ship’s doctor, for example, went by a different name, but was still known as “Bones”. Sex kitten Yeoman Rand was called “Colt”, and Roddenberry clearly had [...]

Try, Try Again: Rejection Letters Received by Bestselling Authors

For writers, getting rejected can seem like a pastime. But don’t take my word for it, even though I’ve gotten my share of no-thank-yous. These best-selling authors were rejected, too, and some not very kindly. Editors, publishers and agents have made big errors in judgment, as evidenced by the list of unkind (and sometimes needlessly [...]

What 10 Classic Books Were Almost Called

Remember when your high school summer reading list included Atticus, Fiesta, and The Last Man in Europe? You will once you see what these books were renamed before they hit bookshelves. 1. F. Scott Fitzgerald went through quite a few titles for his most well-known book before deciding on The Great Gatsby. If he hadn’t [...]

14 Quirky College Donations (and the Strings Attached)

For most of us, college donations entail little more than occasionally dropping a small check in the mail after receiving repeated pleas for cash from our alma maters. Some people, though, tend to be a bit more individualistic with their generosity. Let’s take a look at some of the quirkier donations schools have received: 1. Bequest [...]

13 Examples of Literature in Song

It’s no real surprise that Wikipedia has a thorough list of these, but it’s interesting to parse through the many, and find a neat collection of songs and albums that were based on, or influenced by books. Led Zeppelin has a scatological lyric library referencing JRR Tolkien, but let’s see what else is out there. 13. Alan Parson’s [...]