Tag Archives: Books

1868: Definition

From Wikipedia: Tsundoku (Japanese: 積ん読) is acquiring reading materials but letting them pile up in one’s home without reading them. The term originated in the Meiji era (1868–1912) as Japanese slang. It combines elements of tsunde-oku (積んでお, to pile things … Continue reading

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1939: That Mighty Obstruction

Ernest Vincent Wright’s 1939 novel, Gadsby, was written without words that contain the letter “e.” Here is the opening: If youth, throughout all history, had had a champion to stand up for it; to show a doubting world that a … Continue reading

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2006: WHEN I AM WITH PEOPLE I AM BOTHERED BY HEARING VERY QUEER THINGS

WHEN I AM WITH PEOPLE I AM BOTHERED BY HEARING VERY QUEER THINGS I went to the pillar-box I never saw a worse-looking house in town or in hunting zones “welcome to girly hell” turn her out because her necklace … Continue reading

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1974: Author Awarded Avocado

The opening of Walter Abish’s 1974 novel, Alphabetical Africa: Ages ago, Alex, Allen and Alva arrived at Antibes, and Alva allowing all, allowing anyone, against Alex’s admonition, against Allen’s angry assertion: another African amusement . . . anyhow, as all … Continue reading

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1795: Zozozozozozozozozozozozo, zirrhading!

From Johann Matthäus Bechstein’s Gemeinnützige Naturgeschichte Deutschlands nach allen drey Reichen: ein Handbuch zur deutlichern und vollständigern Selbstbelehrung besonders für Forstmänner, Jugendlehrer und Oekonomen, volume 4 (1795): Twenty-four different strains or couplets may be reckoned in the song of a … Continue reading

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12th Century: The Unknown Language

Saint Hildegard, a 12th century German Benedictine abbess, was a mystic, composer, and philosopher who wrote works on topics as diverse as theology, botany, and medicine. She began experiencing visions at the age of three, ultimately chronicling a lifetime of … Continue reading

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1799: Nine Family Heads

In the late 18th century, a physician from northern Africa named Saidi Saeed Abdoul Naim assembled this book of practices for dealing with physical, mental, and spiritual ailments. It also includes sections on secret alphabets, divination by sand, magic, and … Continue reading

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