As a shameless bibliophile, I love discovering the historical background behind my favorite literary works and their authors. So coming across C. Alan Joyce and Sarah Janssen’s Under the Covers and Between the Sheets, released through Reader’s Digest, was really promising. Reminiscent of the Uncle John’s The Bathroom Reader’s Guide series (which include quirky information on all sorts of subjects), Under the Covers and Between the Sheets emphasizes, “The inside story behind classic characters, authors, unforgettable phrases, and unexpected endings.” It was also clearly meant to be a present for friends or family members who love books (judging by the “A gift for” and “Presented by” section at the very front)—although I found my volume on the shelves of a thrift shop.
What kind of facts or books do Joyce and Janssen cover? Well, the categories are as follows:
- “Shot Out of the Canon”-Focuses on facts about literary classics, the impact they had on history, and their authors.
- “Guilty Pleasures”-Includes information regarding the sci-fi, horror, mystery, and romance genres.
- “Young at Heart”-As the title suggestion, this section is all about children’s literature like A.A. Milne’s Winnie-the-Pooh and Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland.
- “Stranger than Fiction”-Delves into a variety of topics such as literary hoaxes, famous authors who were pen pals with each other, and influential diaries.
- “Off the Page”—Gives facts specifically about literary characters, how certain authors came into the writing profession, and even how several authors passed away in peculiar ways.
Under the Covers and Between the Sheets is simple and straightforward in its delivery, which makes the work the perfect read for a lazy day (or even to calm down a bit after a hectic one). The book is exactly what it claims to be. At times, I would have liked to see even more information provided about each topic Joyce and Janssen discuss, but such an observation is more a compliment than a complaint.
So if you want to take a fun literary romp, you might just like to check it out.
Are there any similar gift books you know of that are perfect to give bibliophiles (besides novels, poetry, etc.)? Please share below!