Books teach the darndest things

Interspersed with his memories, Fiennes discusses the history of epilepsy.

Throughout The Music Room, he notes the ancient scholars and scientists who made assumptions ahead of their times and scientific testing capabilities. He references articles published by American and European scientists as they proved the existence of electricity in the human body.
His oldest brother Richard suffered from severe epilepsy and the aftershocks were felt by the entire family. It appears as though Fiennes needs to intellectualize his brother’s disease in order to make peace with it.
Part of the reason I like books so much – no matter the type: fiction, memoir, history – is their inherent ability to impart new information. Of course, with fiction specifically, this can be suspect. But even a single new idea or fact that sticks with me makes reading that book worthwhile.
I had never heard of Charles Dickens’ unfinished, final novel The Mystery of Edwin Drood, let alone that the killer was never revealed. (Mr Dick or The Tenth Novel by Jean-Pierre Ohl)
I need to get to Hay-on-Wye. (Sixpence House by Paul Collins)
The common geisha hairstyle worn in the final years of an apprenticeship resembled a split peach. Sometimes a red ribbon is woven throughout. (Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden)
A slammerkin is a loose dress; also, a loose woman. (Slammerkin by Emma Donoghue)
Papillon means butterfly in French. Not sure if anything else was true in this one. (Papillon by Henri Charriere)
I’m curious by nature and just as skeptical so I rarely take anything at face value. This actually incites hours of fun researching more and more fascinating tidbits that sprang from a single fact.
As a writer, I look for ideas everywhere. You never know what might be useful.
P.S. Read any of the books listed above and you will be a very, very happy camper.

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