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LookingBack April 11

Each week Albany Herald researcher Mary Braswell looks for interesting events, places and people from the past. You can contact her at (229) 888-9371 or

In keeping with April's emphasis on reading, here is a chance to see just how much you know (remember) about literature. Some questions are very easy, some not so much. Enjoy!


1. Dr. Seuss wrote "Green Eggs and Ham" after this editor dared him to write a book using only how many different words?

2. Ghosts appear in four Shakespearean plays including "Richard III" and "Julius Caesar." Name the other two.

3. Of the approximately 2,200 persons quoted in "Bartlett's Familiar Quotations," how many are by women?

a) less than 300

b) between 300 and 500

c) more than 500

4. Published March 20, 1852, what was the title of the first American novel to sell one million copies?

5. What Stephen King novel has a quote from the Bible at the beginning of each part?

6. Ralph Ellison published only one book. What was its title?

7. In which John Grisham novel was Darby Shaw the main character?

8. The first Encyclopedia Britannica, published in 1771, devoted its first volume to "A" and "B." How many additional volumes did it take to cover "C" through "Z"?

9. Who wrote "Paradise Lost"?

10. What was sought by Jason and the Argonauts?

11. Who cut off the tails of the Three Blind Mice?

12. What did Sherlock Holmes keep in the toe of a Persian slipper?

13. Where/how did Frank Baum come up with the name "Oz"?

14. What type of animals are portrayed in "Watership Down"?

15. In the novel "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea" what was the name of the captain of the submarine Nautilus?

16. Who wrote "The Ugly Duckling" and "The Emperor's New Clothes"?

17. What are the first names of the four children in "The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe"?

18. Which two cities are referred to in "The Tale of Two Cities" by Charles Dickens?

19. What does the "J" stand for in author J.K. Rowling's name?

20. Which Russian author wrote "Anna Karenina"?

21. In Ronald Dahl's "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" what was Charlie's surname?

22. In what book would you come across a Pan Gargle Blaster?

23. Author Dick Francis is famous for writing novels that feature what sport?

24. What book by Alice Walker was once banned by the American Library Association?

25. Becky Sharpe is the name of a character in what novel?

26. What book had a "working title" of "Ba! Ba! Black Sheep"?

27. In "Alice in Wonderland," Alice shrank when she drank from a bottle that said what on the label?

28. According to the nursery rhyme, what were the occupations of the three men in the tub?

29. Which poem begins, "One Upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered weak and weary..."?

30. What Chester Gould character made his first appearance in the Detroit Free Press on Oct. 4, 1931?

31. What 1948 novel was originally going to be called "The Last Man in Europe"?

32. A famous actress wrote "Nibbles & Me" for children. Who was she?

33. What did authors Aldous Huxley and C.S. Lewis have in common?

a) at one time, they were the husband of the same woman

b) the two once attended university classes together

c) they died on the same day

34. In most versions of the nursery rhyme, little boys are made of snakes and snails and puppy dog tails. What are little girls made of?

35. Who left an unfinished work called "Cantos"?

36. What playwright was born with the name Thomas Lanier Williams?

37. What famous author, known best for his westerns, said, "A wise man fights to win but he is twice a fool who has no plan for possible defeat."

38. What was the first title in the Goosebumps series and do you know the author?

39. This author, born in 1936, has worked as a landman for Sinclair Oil, a pipeliner, land surveyor, newspaper reporter, college English professor, social worker on Skid Row in Los Angeles, clerk for the Louisianna Employment Service and instructor in the U.S. Job Corps. Who is the writer?

40. In the "Iron Man" comic series, what does AIM stand for?


1. 50

2. "Hamlet" and "McBeth"

3. (a) -- the actual number is 264

4. "Uncle Tom's Cabin" by Harriet Beecher Stowe

5. "Pet Sematary" (1983)

6. "Invisible Man" (1952) -- not to confused with H.G. Wells' 1897 novel "The Invisible Man"

7. "Pelican Brief" -- Julia Roberts played the character in the film version

8. Only two

9. John Milton

10. The golden fleece

11. The farmer's wife

12. His tobacco

13. The idea came from a file cabinet in his office. One cabinet was labeled A to N and the second was labeled O to Z.

14. Rabbits

15. Capt. Nemo

16. Hans Christian Anderson

17. Susan, Peter, Lucy and Edmund

18. London and Paris

19. Joanne

20. Leo Tolstoy

21. Bucket

22. "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galazy" (1979)

23. Horseracing

24. "The Color Purple" -- the ALA considered the book to be racist

25. "Vanity Fair" by William Makespeace Thackeray (1906)

26. "Gone with the Wind"

27. "Drink me"

28. Butcher, baker and candlestick maker

29. "The Raven" by Edgar Allan Poe

30. Dick Tracy

31. "1984" by George Orwell

32. Elizabeth Taylor

33. The answer is c ... They both died on Nov. 22, 1963, but their deaths were overshadowed by the assassination of President John F. Kennedy on that day.

34. Sugar and spice and everything nice

35. Ezra Pound

36. Tennessee Williams

37. Louis L'Amour

38. "Welcome to the Dead House" by R.L. Stine

39. James Lee Burke

40. Advanced Idea Mechanics