books

#books

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The Curious Effect Of Forrest Gump
In Forrest Gump the title character, played by Tom Hanks, carries his favorite book, Curious George, around in a suitcase. In a lovely scene later in the film, he gives a copy to his son. It wasn't only audiences who appreciated the scene. Publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt was also thrilled. In the three weeks following the film's release, sales of Curious George books jumped 25%, and stayed high for years thereafter.
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Leo Tolstoy: The Guilty Pleasures Of Enjoying Fiction
Literary acclaim seemed meaningless to puritanical writer Leo Tolstoy. As with the pleasures of the flesh, writing fiction induced in Tolstoy intense feelings of guilt. On one occasion, after re-reading War and Peace, he wrote that he felt "repentance and shame… not unlike what a man experiences when he sees the remains of an orgy in which he has taken part."
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Mario Puzo - Who Inspired The Godfather?
In 1965, a Putnam editor happened to stop by the magazine offices where Mario Puzo was working and overheard him telling Mafia stories. The editor offered him a $5,000 advance for a book on the subject and The Godfather was born. Puzo later revealed the model for the character of Don Vito Corleone. It was this person's voice, Puzo declared, that he heard whenever the Godfather spoke: "My mother was a wonderful, handsome woman," Puzo explained, "but a fairly ruthless person." [On Christmas Eve, 1971, Puzo had a severe gall bladder attack. "I had to take a cab to the hospital, got out, and fell into the gutter," Puzo told Time magazine. "There I was, lying there, thinking, 'Here ...
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In 2003, ImClone founder Sam Waksal began serving a seven-year-and-three-month term at the Schuylkill correctional facility in Pennsylvania for insider trading (after selling ImClone stock, with Martha Stewart, in advance of the F.D.A.'s rejection of Erbitux, the company's cancer drug). Eight days before his incarceration, Waksal posted a "Wish List" on Amazon.com inviting his family and friends to purchase any of fifty books for his perusal in prison. Among the books on the list? A History of the Modern World, by R. R. Palmer, Joel Colton, and Lloyd Kramer; Einstein: His Life and Times, by Phillip Frank; Darwin: The Life of a Tormented Evolutionist, by Adrian Desmond and James Moore; The Revolt of the Masses, by Jos? Ortega y Gasset; ...
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Johannes Brahms: Read carefully in my old Saul
Johannes Brahms was often perturbed by the financial instability of his parents. As his career blossomed, he contributed to the upkeep of their home but, well aware of his father's financial irresponsibility, wished also to provide against unforeseen economic crises. "If things go badly with you the best consolation is always in music," he once told his father. "Read carefully in my old Saul and you'll find what you want." Though he found the advice rather odd, his father remembered it. Indeed, one day when trouble arose, he opened the volume, and found, between the pages, a sizable stash of banknotes.
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World's Worst Book?
Stephen Pile once called Keith Odo Newman's 250 Times I Saw A Play (1944) the world's least informative book: "It is an account of his visits to every performance of the same stage show, including matinees. The charm of the book lies in the fact that, while he wishes to give us a complete undersianding of this experience, he nowhere tells us what the play was, who wrote it, where it was performed or who acted in it. "Describing his feat as 'sequential attendance,' he argued that this would give him 'heightened sensitivity' to this play and to the nature of alldrama What it actually did was drive him nuts. "The book is packed full of insights At one point ...
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New York Public
How The New York Public Library Shaped Cyprus' Modern History
Though ancient Cyprus ranked among the world's most important mining centers, for unknown reasons the Romans halted operations there and sealed the tunnels. "Many of the tunnels were found and reopened in the 20th century," according to Isaac Asimov's Book of Facts. "thanks to clever detective work by an American mining engineer, D. A. Gunther. In the New York Public Library (NYPL), he had happened to find an ancient account of the mines. Years of ingenious search in Cyprus led him to the tunnels, which he found complete with usable support timbers and oil lamps. Cyprus became an important mining center once again."  [Fun fact: In order to save space, the millions of books, pamphlets, magazines, and other items housed in ...
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Samuel Goldwyn & The Diaries Of Raoul De Roussy De Sales, 1938-1942
Samuel Goldwyn arrived in his office one morning and found on his desk a copy of The Making of Yesterday: The Diaries of Raoul de Roussy de Sales, 1938-1942, which someone had suggested for possible film adaptation. Goldwyn examined the volume with astonished glee. "How do you like that?" he exclaimed. "Four years old and the kid keeps a diary!"
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Publisher's Toast
One evening during the Napoleonic wars, the English poet Thomas Campbell caused a stir at a literary dinner by proposing a toast—to Napoleon Bonaparte. Waiting for the din to subside, Campbell raised his voice and continued: "Gentlemen, you must not mistake me. I admit that the French emperor is a tyrant. I admit that he is a monster. I admit that he is the sworn foe of our nation, and, if you will, of the whole human race... But, gentlemen, we must be just to our enemy. We must not forget that he once shot a bookseller, Johann Palm of Nuremberg!" The audience, consisting largely of fellow authors, broke into spontaneous applause. [Among J. M. Barrie's favorite anecdotes was the ...
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Principia Mathematica
"I recall a relevant anecdote about the famous Principia Mathematica produced by Alfred North Whitehead and Bertrand Russell: a fiercely heavy book with a very uniform style. "The story is told of a respectable London newspaper offering ten pounds to anyone who could claim to have read the whole work. No one claimed the money. Someone suggested to Whitehead that he could claim it. The reply: he only read his part."