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The Literary Life and Other Curiosities

3.78  ·  Rating Details ·  27 Ratings  ·  7 Reviews
In ten chapters that will endlessly entertain any aficionado of the printed word, "The Literary Life and Other Curiosities" presents an astonishing wealth of anecdotes, quotations, lists, poems, quizzes, and elerihews having to do with books and authors - and attendant phenomena like publishers and booksellers. The latest edition of this classic contains a new chapter, "Of ...more
Paperback, 498 pages
Published May 1st 1994 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt P (first published November 18th 1982)
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Michael Hawkes
Nov 14, 2007 Michael Hawkes rated it really liked it
This book is a good compliment to Bill Bryson's The Mother Tongue: English and How It Got That Way , except this book mainly deals with literature and authors. There is some overlap with Bryson's book, such as information about Shakespeare coining words, for example. However, the differences between the books make them both worthwhile reading.

Probably one thing to note is this book was written in the early 1980's so some of it is dated, especially with regard to technology. It mentioned word p
...more
Glen Engel-Cox
Dec 04, 2014 Glen Engel-Cox rated it liked it
Think of this as a primer for the brown questions in Trivial Pursuit, both in the nature of its short, pithy paragraphs and subject matter. I kept this book by my bedside as something I could read and put down at any time without having to worry about dropping the thread of the narrative. Hendrickson has brought together in one book all the myriad anecdotes, witticisms, and lists about books and authors, as well as a new chapter in this revised edition "Of Editors and Agents." This book won't ...more
Kathy
Aug 04, 2010 Kathy rated it it was ok
Clearly inspired by The Book of Lists, this 1978 volume notes the habits, work environments, and oddities of (mostly) pre-20th century writers. I'd give it a higher rating if it contained a most necessary index.
Victor
Jul 06, 2010 Victor rated it really liked it
it's the vade mecum of coffetable or nightstand readers. you just open it up to any page and learn something cool or be reminded of an obscure fact you had forgotten. a really cool book to give as a gift to book lovers and writers.
Sarah Houldcroft
May 04, 2015 Sarah Houldcroft rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a fascinating old book full of interesting and fun literary facts. Great to dip in to again and again
Susie
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Jill Edmondson
Jul 13, 2012 Jill Edmondson rated it it was amazing
An old fave! I pick it it & flip through it again and again.
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Caryn
Dec 23, 2008 Caryn rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: English majors and writers
Interesting tidbits about famous writers and their often strange lives.
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