Search Results for the secret library

When did the words ‘beshit himself’ first appear in English Literature, you ask? Find out in this interview with author of The Secret Library, Dr Oliver Tearle

Our founder, Dr Oliver Tearle, has been interviewed by Chloe Blades for Sunday Edits about his book, The Secret Library: A Book-Lovers’ Journey Through Curiosities of History.

Read the full interview here!


The Best Worst Book Titles: How to Avoid Huge Ships

In this week’s Dispatches from The Secret Library, Dr Oliver Tearle enjoys some of the best funny book titles courtesy of How to Avoid Huge Ships

Old Tractors and the Men Who Love Them. How to Avoid Huge Ships. How Green Were the Nazis? Highlights of the History of Concrete. The Stray Shopping Carts of Eastern North America. What to Say When You Talk to Yourself. Greek Rural Postmen and Their Cancellation Numbers. Italian Without Words. The Book of Marmalade: Its Antecedents, Its History and Its Role in the World Today. These are all genuine book titles, which are included in How to Avoid Huge Ships: And Other Implausibly Titled Books, a 2008 compendium of some of the best funny book titles over the years which I discovered in a charity shop for £1.50.

As you can imagine, books like How to Avoid Huge Ships and Other Implausibly Titled Books is exactly the kind of book that appeals here at IL Towers, although Read the rest of this entry

Starchild’s Play: John Wyndham’s Chocky

In this week’s Dispatches from The Secret Library, Dr Oliver Tearle reads a classic story of alien possession by the master of British science fiction

What if your son had an imaginary friend with whom he often conversed, answering questions that nobody had apparently asked, and behaving as though this invisible and seemingly immaterial Other were the most natural thing in the world? Many parents will probably have observed such a thing with their own children. But what, then, if the idea started to take root, a small but nevertheless nagging doubt, that this imaginary friend was not imaginary at all, but something objectively real, which had inhabited your child’s brain and was capable of speaking directly to him through some form of thought-transference?

John Wyndham’s late novel Chocky, published in 1968, just one year before his death (although it was based on a novelette published five years earlier), ponders this latter question. Read the rest of this entry