Literature

Our Literature Channel explores all kinds of writing, from the classics to the current bestsellers. Check out our literature lists and articles.

Learn More

Guilty of buying books you never have time to read? We get it. And there's a name for that.

By Kristen Hall-Geisler

If you've been told you use too many adjectives in your writing, you're probably a natural for the Bulwer Lytton Fiction Contest.

By Sydney Murphy

Dostoevsky created some of the greatest novels ever written, full of psychological and religious insight. Here are five quotes that will stay with you, even if you've never finished one of his books.

By Dave Roos

Advertisement

Some books come out hot right out of the gate with iconic openers. How many of these literary works can you correctly guess based only on the opening line?

By Alia Hoyt

Flyting, which was essentially a verbal contest of poetic abuse, was public entertainment in the 15th and 16th centuries. Think of it as the rap battle of medieval times.

By Kristen Hall-Geisler

And why couldn't all the king's horses and all the king's men put him back together again?

By Rebecca Treon

We have just a fraction of Sappho's works, but what we have reveal her personal voice in Greek lyric poetry. Just who was this woman that so inspired even Plato?

By Carrie Whitney, Ph.D.

Advertisement

Dr. Seuss didn't live atop Mount Crumpit. He didn't have a loyal pup named Max outfitted with reindeer antlers. But there were some similarities between Seuss and his famous green miser.

By Laurie L. Dove

'Uncle Tom's Cabin' was a wildly popular 19th-century novel about a heroic enslaved man in the American South. But along the way, 'Uncle Tom' became shorthand for a Black man who's subservient to whites. What caused the switch?

By Dave Roos

Popularized in the 1897 novel "Dracula" by Bram Stoker, and the film "Nosferatu" in 1922, the word "nosferatu" is largely considered to be an archaic Romanian word, synonymous with "vampire," though the true origin story is long and complicated.

By Mark Mancini

In 'A Series of Unfortunate Events,' noted for its dark humor and sarcastic storytelling, narrator Lemony Snicket recounts the calamitous lives of the Baudelaire children, who are orphaned after a mysterious house fire.

By Laurie L. Dove

Advertisement

Both William Shakespeare and Geoffrey Chaucer are known for using iambic pentameter in their famed works of literature. But what is iambic pentameter and how can you spot it?

By Carrie Whitney, Ph.D.

J.K. Rowling fans rejoice! The beloved author is releasing a brand-new book online. And it's totally free.

By Carrie Whitney, Ph.D.

The wildly successful author of numerous children's books, Shel Silverstein was also a poet, musician, illustrator and man of many talents. He even lived in the Playboy mansion for a time.

By Oisin Curran

This classic celebrated its 150th anniversary of publication in 2018. With a new film adaptation coming out this month, we look at how various movie versions of "Little Women" were tweaked to fit the times.

By Oisin Curran

Advertisement

Orson Welles was just 23 when he read a revised script of the book 'War of the Worlds' and had much of the United States believing that aliens were invading.

By Sam Abramson & Sarah Gleim

For such a simple nursery rhyme, the story behind who wrote it sure is complicated. Even Henry Ford got involved.

By Dave Roos

She's over 90, but doesn't look a day over 18. And her fans include Hillary Clinton, Laura Bush and Sonia Sotomayor. We're cluing you in on that famous girl detective Nancy Drew.

By Kathryn Whitbourne

You've probably seen the cute little houses on posts in people's yards. They're Little Free Library boxes and they're found in all 50 states and in 88 countries.

By Stell Simonton

Advertisement

This groundbreaking classic of young adult lit is finally headed for the big screen some 40 years after it was first published. Why can so many of us still recite lines from it?

By Alia Hoyt

Pooh and his band of friends in the Hundred Acre Wood remain beloved many decades after they were originally created. How much do you know about the books, animated shorts and the series in general?

By Alia Hoyt

Today, when we think of a "pox," we think of smallpox. But in Shakespeare's time, the word referred to a dreaded sexually transmitted disease.

By Alia Hoyt

HowStuffWorks talks to three modern-day "Megs" to find out how they were inspired by the character's bravery, ambition and intelligence to pursue real-life scientific success.

By Alia Hoyt

Advertisement

If hobbits were real, could they really maintain the energy needed to undertake the quests of 'The Hobbit' and 'Lord of the Rings'?

By Robert Lamb

'Domestic Medicine' was the most popular health guide for over 100 years. Which advice still holds up today and which is plain dangerous?

By Alia Hoyt