Category: Novel Knowledge Archives

The Ages of 101 Famous Writers at First Publication [Infographic]

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Famous writers ages infographic featured image

If you’re anything like us, you constantly think about the lives of some of the world’s most famous writers. How did they get started with writing? And when? Looking back on a a now-famous author’s life work, I always catch myself thinking, “That author was a genius! I’m sure she had no problem getting work published.” Or, “Yeah, it must have been super easy for him; he’s obviously talented.” In reality, though, even the most popular authors often struggle for a long time before finally getting published. Many published authors have a family or a day job (or both) and don’t even really […]

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What is Magical Realism in Literature?

GenresNovel Knowledge
Magical Realism in Literature blog post graphic

Today we’re exploring magical realism, one of the most interesting literary movements in recent history. A brief history of magical realism The 20th century was a century of “-isms” in the West. Never before had there been so many dynamic philosophical, aesthetic, political, sociological, and psychological schools of thought: from Freudianism to Keynesianism to Cubism. One of the famous literary “-isms” to arise in this time, especially in Latin America, was called magical realism. In contrast to pure fantasy, magical realism in literature sought to re-invigorate the ordinary with the sublime. Magical realism novels do not contain the elves and wizards of a […]

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Samuel Beckett: Fail Better and “Worstward Ho!”

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Samuel Beckett quote: "Fail better"

Even if you aren’t involved in tech, entrepreneurship, lifehacking, or other such digital-age ubiquities, you’ve probably heard the most famous part of this Samuel Beckett quote: “Fail better.” The “Fail Better” Quote by Samuel Beckett The “fail better” quote was originally published in Samuel Beckett’s short piece of prose entitled Worstward Ho!, his second-to-last work ever published. The full Samuel Beckett quote reads like this (and by “full,” we really mean the part that gets repeated): “Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.” By itself, you can probably understand why this phrase has become a mantra of […]

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The Jungle Book Characters: Books and Movie Adaptations [Ultimate Guide]

AuthorsChildren's BooksClassic LiteratureNovel Knowledge
Meeting at Council Rock illustration from The Jungle Book

Thanks in large part to Disney’s many animated and live-action adaptations, few children in the entire world have grown up without some notion of the fantastical world of Mowgli, Baloo, and Shere Khan. But how much do children—and you—know about the original Jungle Book characters and stories by Rudyard Kipling? The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling Joseph Rudyard Kipling first published his collection of stories that would later come to be known collectively as The Jungle Book in magazines back in 1893 and 1894. First edition copy of The Jungle BookPhoto from Wikicommons At the time these stories were written, Kipling lived […]

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6 Places to Read Free Books Online

Novel Knowledge
6 Places to Read Free Books Online graphic

At Books on the Wall, it’s no secret that we love reading—and if you’re here, we assume you do too! But if you’re anything like us, you probably spend waaaaaaay too much of your monthly budget on books. We can walk into a bookstore with the best of intentions—”only one book…okay, maybe two books…but that’s all, no more!”—but of course we always walk out with at least twice what we planned for.  Not that this is such a bad thing. There are worse problems to be had, certainly. But some months, it’s just not a good idea to tempt ourselves […]

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The Serial Novel: A Brief History [Infographic]

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Serial Novels: A Brief History Banner

What is a serial novel? A serial novel is a work of fiction that is published in sequential pieces called installments. These installments can be published at nearly any interval for nearly any period of time, though weekly and monthly installments are most typical. Serialized novels have traditionally been published by literary magazines, newspapers, and other periodicals. In fact, the breakout hit podcast Serial got its name from this style of publishing a story in installments. Some serial novels—like The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins—were written specifically for that format, while others—like parts of Middlemarch by George Eliot—were originally intended to be a […]

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Surprising Stories of Famous Authors Who Almost Died (9 Authors)

AuthorsNovel Knowledge
Image taken from page 70 of '[Death's Doings; consisting of numerous original compositions, in prose and verse, the ... contributions of various writers; principally intended as illustrations of twenty-four plates designed and etched by R. Dagley.]'

Because I could not stop for Death He kindly stopped for me -Emily Dickenson, “Because I could not stop for Death” It will probably come as no surprise that we do a lot of reading, writing, and reading about reading and writing. And one of our favorite pastimes is learning about the lives of some of our favorite authors. What happened to them? How did they get started writing? What could have inspired their writing style, common themes, or favorite plot lines? Though every author has a different life story to tell, the following nine authors all shared at least one certainly deeply affecting […]

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Hemingway and Fitzgerald: A Comparison [Infographic]

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Hemingway and Fitgerald banner

Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald (who was actually known only as “Scott”) are two of the most acclaimed American authors of the last century. Friends, colleagues, readers, critics, travelers, expats, members of “The Lost Generation”…Fitzgerald and Hemingway shared more than just a knack for the written word. At once the closest of friends and the most jealous of competitors, Hemingway and Fitzgerald led public, tumultuous, and booze-soaked lives—both together and apart. So let’s take a deeper look at these literary frenemies! Hemingway and Fitzgerald infographic So how did the life of Ernest Hemingway compare to the life of F. Scott Fitzgerald? […]

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11 Awesome Book-Related Pinterest Boards

Novel Knowledge

We love using Pinterest to find the most interesting book-related things out there. Jewelry made from the pages of your favorite book? Check. Awesome infographics about books through history? Check. Pictures of cats cuddling with books to give you the literary warm and fuzzies? Check. In no particular order, here are some of our favorite book-related Pinterest boards that celebrate the written word. Be sure to follow these Pinners to see more of their awesome collections. Colgate Bookstore’s Bookish Things We Love Sandee Suitt’s Wonderful World of Books Book Riot’s Book Fetish Caitlin W-F’s Book Related Things eBook Friendly’s Book […]

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7 Curious Books That Start with Question Words (And Their Covers)

Contemporary LiteratureNovel Knowledge
Books that Start with Question Words

Here at Books on the Wall, it’s pretty clear that we love us some good alliteration. In case you missed it, we publish a Words Wednesday every few weeks—hey, there’s some more alliteration!—with a quote graphic featuring the poignant, pithy, or polished prose of our favorite authors. (Okay, okay, we’re done now.) We’ve got Words Wednesdays galore: William Shakespeare, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Leo Tolstoy…and more. Love of alliteration aside, we’re excited to bring our newest series of posts to the Books on the Wall blog: Novel Knowledge. (The fact that N + K  = alliteration demonstrates what we all already know […]

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