The Fussy Librarian

Today in Books

September 13, 2016

Happy Roald Dahl Day!

One hundred years ago today, Roald Dahl was born, and the literary world is celebrating with a plethora of listicles and reminiscences from family and fans alike. Here’s our collection of the best Internet offerings to streamline your reading: We’ll start right away with the not-so-cheerful — an account of...

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May 19, 2015

Literature's life events on this date

May 19 saw the passing of two key literary figures (James Boswell and Nathaniel Hawthorne) and the birth of a third (Malcolm X). Boswell, born to a prominent Scottish family on Oct. 29, 1740, gained fame in his lifetime for his biography of dictionary author Samuel Johnson. More than 150...

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January 20, 2015

The JFK Inauguration

Robert Frost read a poem on this day in 1961 at the inauguration of John F. Kennedy -- but not the one he wanted to read. Frost, 87, wanted to read the poem "Dedication," which he had written specifically for the day. But the sun was glaring and Frost found...

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January 18, 2015

A.A. Milne

British author Alan Alexander Milne was born on this day in 1882. Milne was a prolific playwright and writer for the first 20 years of his career before he created the Hundred Acre Wood and Winnie the Pooh. The little bear became one of the most beloved children's characters of...

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January 17, 2015

Thou Shall Commit Adultery

The Wicked Bible (or Sinners' Bible) was published in 1631 in London and was meant to be a reprint of the King James Bible. Unfortunately, the typesetters made a mistake in Exodus 20:14 -- the word not in the sentence "Thou shalt not commit adultery" was omitted, changing the sentence...

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January 16, 2015

That would have been ... different

Maurice Sendak was originally going to call his new children's book "Where the Wild Horses Are," and it would have featured horses. But Sendak realized that he didn't know how to draw horses. Then an editor suggested the more flexible "Wild Things" and Sendak had the title for his book....

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January 15, 2015

The Hunchback of Notre Dame

On this day in 1831, Victor Hugo finished writing The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Hugo had procrastinated writing the novel, distracted by other projects. But once he finally sat down to write the Gothic novel, it took him just six months to finish it.

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January 14, 2015

Back on dry land

Joseph Conrad returns to London on this day in 1894 following 16 years with the British merchant navy. His time at sea has given him many ideas for stories and Conrad begins writing his first novel, "Almayer's Folly." Later would come "Lord Jim," "Nostromo," and "Heart of Darkness," the last...

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January 13, 2015

Frankenstein's monster

What's the name of The Monster in "Frankenstein" by Mary Shelley? Creator Victor Frankenstein calls him many things -- creature, fiend, spectre, demon, wretch, devil, thing, being and ogre. The Monster himself tells Victor that he is the "Adam of your labors," alluding to the Biblical story of the first...

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January 12, 2015

Happy birthday, Jack London

American author and activist Jack London was born on this day in 1876. London became famous for "White Fang" and "The Call of the Wild" and also was one of the first writers to become wealthy by writing fiction for magazines. London died at the age of 40 and his...

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