If you publish a book in Norway, the government will buy 1000 copies (1,500 if it is a children's book) and distribute them to libraries throughout the country.
The book 'Walden' by Henry David Thoreau is often seen as a 'bible' for self-sufficiency enthusiasts. However, while many picture Thoreau as a hermit in the woods, his cabin on the lake was about a mile from town, where he would often go to visit his mother, who did his laundry for him.
There is a book called "Becoming Batman: The Possibility of a Superhero" written by a neuroscience professor named E. Paul Zehr, which covers in detail how much an ordinary person would need to train and adapt to become Batman.
There exists an Icelandic tradition called Jólabókaflóð in which books are exchanged as Christmas Eve presents and the rest of the night is spent reading them and eating chocolate.
Between 2000 and 2002, over 1100 priceless books disappeared from the mountaintop abbey of Mont Saint-Odileto in France to the confusion of the monks and the local police, despite reinforcing the library's doors and changing its locks. It turned out that the culprit was using a long-forgotten secret passageway found in the public archives.
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.
Despite being a quarter of a million words long, American novelist Herman Melville managed to use a unique word (a word that's only used once in the novel) per every 12 words in 'Moby Dick.'
In 'Hannibal' novel, Clarice Starling and Dr. Lecter escape together and become lovers in Argentina. (And Anthony Hopkins liked the ending better).
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.
French novelist Jules Verne wrote the novel "Paris in the Twentieth Century" back in 1863 and described a world of glass skyscrapers, high-speed trains, gas-powered automobiles, calculators, and a worldwide communications network.
American journalist Bill O'Reilly who was recently fired from Fox News amid sexual harassment lawsuits wrote a novel named ‘Those Who Trespass’ in 1998. It is about a tall, bitter, sexually predatory newsman who gets forced out of his job and starts murdering former colleagues who helped ruin his career.
A book entitled ‘Atlanta Nights’ was written by a group of science fiction authors to be intentionally terrible as a test for the publisher PublishAmerica. It included a chapter containing computer generated random sentences and two word for word identical chapters. The publisher accepted it.
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."
Horton Hears a Who!, by Dr. Seuss, is an allegory for post-World War 2 US occupation of Japan. Seuss, who was vehemently anti-Japanese during the conflict, had a drastic change of heart after visiting postwar Japan. He dedicated the book to a Japanese friend.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
In 2010, an Australian publisher had to reprint 7,000 copies of a recipe book named 'The Pasta Bible' because a typo asked for "freshly ground black people" instead of black pepper.
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.
A Dutch author named Richard Klinkhamer wrote a pretty suspicious book named ‘Woensdag Gehaktdag’, which detailed seven ways to kill your spouse. He wrote it a year after his wife disappeared. He became a celebrity and spent the next decade hinting - in print and on TV - that he had murdered her. Finally, it turned out that he really had.
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.
‘The Complete Manual of Suicide’ is a Japanese book which provides explicit descriptions on various methods of suicide. It was first published in 1993 and sold more than 1 million copies.
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.
In 1956, at the urging of radio host Jean Shepherd, listeners entered bookstores and asked for a book named ‘I, Libertine’ that did not exist. So many people took part in this hoax that the book was soon on The New York Times Best Seller list.
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."
Harry Houdini wrote a book in 1909 called “Handcuff Secrets” in which he revealed many of the tricks behind his famous escapes.
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.
The book 'A Clockwork Orange' by Anthony Burgess had two different versions, an American one and a European one, because the US publisher thought Americans would find the the idea of a criminal being redeemed unrealistic.
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.
There is such an expansive collection of books under the British library in their archive, that if a person could read 5 books per day it would take them 80,000 years to complete.
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.
In 2013, J.K. Rowling secretly released a book named ‘The Cuckoo's Calling’ under a different name (Robert Galbraith) in order to release a book “without hype and expectation.” When she was revealed to be the author, the book surged from 4,709th on Amazon to #1 best-selling novel.
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.
There has been a book written from the perspective of a successful sociopath/psychopath about the intricacies of the life of someone with this condition called "Confessions of a Sociopath: A Life Spent Hiding in Plain Sight". The book, for obvious reasons, was written under a pseudonym.
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.
Sinclair Lewis wrote a satirical novel entitled 'Main Street' which criticized the close mindedness of a fictional small town in Minnesota. It was banned by the town of Alexandria (a small town in Minnesota), because they disagreed with it.
Children's books have 50% more rare words in them than does an average showing of adult prime-time television.
In ‘Q & A’, the novel on which the movie ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ is based on, the hero's real goal is to get close enough to the game show host to assassinate him.
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.'
The cigar brand Montecristo got its name from the Alexandre Dumas book "The Count of Monte Cristo". Books were often read aloud in the cigar factory by a lector, and the Dumas novel was a popular choice among the cigar rollers.
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.
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.
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’.”
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.
In the novel 'I Am Legend', the vampires fear crosses, garlic and mirrors, only because they think they should.
J.R.R. Tolkien began a book named "The Lost Road," which concerned modern-day people experiencing "flashbacks" to their former selfs in the Middle Earth. He died before finishing it.
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.
When F. Scott Fitzgerald died, he thought that he was a failure, and his work forever forgotten. His novel, 'The Great Gatsby', was reviewed poorly and had only sold 20,000 copies. It's now considered the greatest novel in American history, and sells over 500,000 copies per year.