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  Although only hinted at in Esther M. Friesner's novel Sphinx's Queen, what was one of the most significant things that the Amarna period of Eygpt's history is noteworthy for?

(HINT: Near the end of the novel Nefertiti and others question the validity of the traditional Eygptian gods due the rampant corruption in the priests. Nefertiti in particular begins to wonder about the Haibru's belief in the One.)
  In a recent interview, Goodreads user "Inkheart Goldbrain" attributes a meteoric, overnight ascent to the top of the leaderboard for the Never-ending Trivia Quiz (and a 99.7% correctly answered question rate) to "a dedication to getting to the top" and a copious amount of "research". Despite all evidence to the contrary, which of the following titles could not possibly be a component of his/her/its "research"?

(In other words, which book listed below is fake (but really shouldn't be)?)
  What short story begins with the following passage:

"NORTH RICHMOND STREET being blind, was a quiet street except at the hour when the Christian Brothers’ School set the boys free. An uninhabited house of two storeys stood at the blind end, detached from its neighbours in a square ground The other houses of the street, conscious of decent lives within them, gazed at one another with brown imperturbable faces."
That branch of the lake of Como which extends southwards between two unb... That branch of the lake of Como which extends southwards between two unbroken chains of mountains, and is all gulfs and bays as the mountains advance and recede, narrows down at one point, between a promontory on one side and a wide shore on the other, into the form of a river; and the bridge which links the two banks seems to emphasize this transformation even more, and to mark the point at which the lake ends and the Adda begins, only to become a lake once more where the banks draw farther apart again, letting the water broaden out and expand into new creeks and bays.

Opening line of:
  The differential equations used to solve the Black-Scholes formula (a formula for the "correct" price of a stock option) were adapted from physics equations that describe, among other phenomena in the physical world:

When Genius Failed: The Rise and Fall of Long-Term Capital Management
  "When I came into your life your life was over. It had a beginning, a middle, and an end. This is the end. You can say that things could have turned out differently. That they could have been some other way. But what does that mean? They are not some other way. They are this way. You're asking that I second say the world."

This is a quote from which novel by Cormac McCarthy?
  A brief excerpt, in English translation, of the Persian national epic poem (originally in Persian -if you read Persian then the title in Persian below does give you the answer as a bonus):

شاهنامه فردوسی

The excerpt:
"What does the first Persian poet say about the first man to seek the crown of world sovereignty? No one has any knowledge of those first days, unless he has heard tales passed down from father to son. This is what those tales tell: The first man to be king, and to establish the ceremonies associated with the crown and throne, was Kayumars. When he became lord of the world, he lived first in the mountains, where he established his throne, and he and his people dressed in leopard skins. It was he who first taught men about the preparation of food and clothing, which were new in the world at that time. Seated on his throne, as splendid as the sun, he reigned for thirty years. He was like a tall cypress tree topped by the full moon, and the royal farr shone from him. All animals of the world, wild and tame alike, reverently paid homage to him (...)".

This work collected and put into heroic verse the millennium old mythological and epic traditions of Iran. The story begins with the origins of the world, recounts myths and legends of ancient times, then traces centuries of royal lineage, ending with the Arab invasion of Persia. Very little is known about the real facts of its author's life (born c. 935, died c. 1020–26).

Name the book and its author...?
  You invisible one
resounding on your own
whatever the others
happen to be playing
source of a note
not there in the score
under whatever key
unphrased continuo
gut stretched between
the beginning and the end

...

Poet?
  The following quote from Down Under by Bill Bryson is about what sport?
"I don't wish to denigrate a sport that is enjoyed by millions, some of them awake and facing the right way, but it is an odd game. It is the only sport that incorporates meal breaks. ... It is the only sport in which spectators burn as many calories as players (more if they are moderately restless). It is the only competitive activity of any type, other than perhaps baking, in which you can dress in white from head to toe and be as clean at the end of the day as you were at the beginning."
  In Illusions by Richard Bach how does the beginning of the story relate to the very last part of the book?
  The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat and Other Clinical Tales: Goethe...

"In the beginning is the ___________." - ?
  In The Tales of Beedle the Bard, how does the illustration of the sword and shield at the beginning of "The Fountain of Fair Fortune" foretell the ending of that story?

(In the story, the fountain was revered for its power to give Fair Fortune to the person who bathed in it.)