Support us with Kachingle!
December 7, 2006 | 12:00 a.m. CST
It’s well known that the Bible is the best-selling book in the history of the world. But you might not know that Guinness World Records is the second best-selling book of all time. Read on to discover more surprising textual trivia.
Not a writer? Not a problem. There are plenty of bizarre ways to earn a place in history. Here is a quick glance at three amazing, ridiculous and somewhat scary records.
Kobayashi has only been defeated once. That was at an eating competition in 2003. His glory stealer? A 1,400-pound Kodiak bear that finished 50 bunless hot dogs in 2 minutes, 36 seconds. Kobayashi only finished 31. Still, it proves the man can only be beaten by another species.
To enter an eating competition, check out ifoce.com, the official Web site of the International Federation of Competitive Eating.
To learn snake-sitting from the master, check out texsnakeman.com.
L. Ron Hubbard is typically referred to as the creator of Scientology. Although that’s some sort of achievement in Tom Cruise’s mind, Hubbard should be recognized first and foremost as an extremely productive adventure and science fiction author. He has published 1,084 fiction and non-fiction works that have been translated into 71 languages (that even one-ups Harry Potter).
In an essay titled “The Manuscript Factory,” Hubbard insists that writers are mere machines. He writes: “It is fully as vital that we know ourselves and our products as it is for a manufacturer to know his workmen and his plant.” His assembly-line mentality explains how the late author produced so much in his 74 years.
Agatha Christie published 78 crime novels, including Murder on the Orient Express and Death on the Nile. Her books have sold more than two billion copies. Matthew Prichard, Christie’s only grandson, raves on uk.agathachristie.com: “It is important to find ways of showing new audiences the continuing relevance of my grandmother’s timeless stories of moral corruption, murder and deceit, and the ease with which she can speak to modern society is evident in recent and forthcoming adaptations of her works.” One example is a computer game titled And Then There Were None, where the user tries to figure out the identity of a murderer before he or she strikes again, and more than 10 British made-for-TV movies.
Forget that plodding Tom Hanks movie. The Da Vinci Code book is what really matters. No one knows that more than author/mastermind Dan Brown, who earned $76.5 million in 2005. The Da Vinci Code became a massive success due to its page-turning suspense, academic intrigue and the controversy surrounding its challenging of widely held Christian beliefs.
In The New York Times, reviewer Janet Maslin commented about the novel: “Blockbuster perfection … Not since the advent of Harry Potter has an author so flagrantly delighted in leading readers on a breathless chase and coaxing them through hoops.” On Brown’s Web site, danbrown.com, Brown writes of his book’s success: “I worked very hard on this novel, and I certainly expected people would enjoy it, but I never imagined so many people would be enjoying it this much.” You might say Brown has more money than God, but that, like the book, would be blasphemous.
Bill Clinton’s memoir, My Life, sold more than 400,000 copies on its first day, according to publisher Knopf Publishing Group. The book, released June 22, 2004, topped the previous record-holder, Hillary Rodham Clinton’s Living History. First, Bill cheats on his wife and then has the audacity to steal away her world record. What a guy, huh?
When you were 4 years old, what did you do with your time? Maybe paint with your hands, discover the strange power of boogers or dream up ways to fly to the moon using only rubber bands and tin foil.
Well, in 1962 Dorothy Straight was only 4 when she wrote How the World Began. Two years later the book was published and put on shelves by Pantheon Books. One can only imagine what the world would be like if all toddlers were so productive.
In 2005, at the ripe age of 100, Bertha Wood published her first novel, Fresh Air and Fun: The Story of a Blackpool Holiday Camp. The book details Wood’s life and the creation of a seaside holiday camp in Blackpool, England, in the 1930s. Good ol’ Bertha Wood clearly found shuffleboard and bingo to be beneath her.
When you hear the word “journalist,” the word “rich” is probably not the first thing that comes to mind. England native Paul Eddy, a (UK) Sunday Times investigative reporter, is an exception to that rule. Eddy was paid $2.6 million for his first fiction novel, Flint, which tells of the exploits of gritty undercover policewoman Grace Flint. For the record, “Vox reporters” and “rich” don’t go together, either.