Book Lovers’ Quiz

I’ve really enjoyed writing quizzes based on my Miscellany books over the last few weeks (if you have missed them you can try my museum quiz here and my library quiz here) so for my final foray please find my book lovers’ quiz! The answers are here in a separate post. Do let me know how you get on either on Twitter @nonfictioness or in the comments below. Enjoy!


1. Match the writer with their nom de plume:

Real name                                                           nom de plume

Stephen King                                                     George Eliot

Anton Chekhov                                                O. Henry

Mary Ann Evans                                               Mary Westmacott

William Sydney Porter                                   Man Without a Spleen

Agatha Christie                                                 Richard Bachman


2. All three of the following series contain the same total number of books in them, but how many books are in the series (bonus point if you know the technical name)?

Olivia Manning’s Fortunes of War series

Frank Herbert’s Dune series

Anthony Trollope’s The Chronicles of Barsetshire.


3. Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak was published in 1958 but was immediately suppressed by the Stalinist regime who accused him of maligning the peasants’ struggle. What year was the book finally published in Russia?

a) 2010

b) 1966

c) 1999

d) 1987


4. Devil May Care by Sebastian Faulks, Solo by William Boyd and Colonel Sun by Robert Markham are all continuation novels (sequels written by another author) inspired by which hugely popular series of books?


5. What was the name of the film that was based on the 2005 book Q & A by Vikas Swarup?


6. What do Sanditon by Jane Austen, The Mystery of Edwin Drood by Charles Dickens and The Original of Laura by Vladimir Nabokov have in common?


7. Some writers have been especially young when their debuts were published, while others were notably old. Put the following writers in order (youngest to oldest) by their age at first publication:

Bret Easton Ellis (Less than Zero)

George Eliot (Adam Bede)

Percy Bysshe Shelley (Zastrozzi)

Richard Adams (Watership Down)

Anna Sewell (Black Beauty)

Frank McCourt (Angela’s Ashes)

S. E. Hinton (The Outsiders)

Mary Shelley (Frankenstein)


8. Dame Barbara Cartland was an extremely prolific writer, not only penning numerous romance novels but also writing cookbooks, plays and poetry. How many books did she write during her career?

a) 77

b) 177

c) 523

d) 723


9. The longest book ever written is the 17th century romantic novel Artamene ou le Grand Cyrus by Madeleine de Scudéry, but how many words did it have?

a) 570,000

b) 3.8 million

c) 1.3 million

d) 2.1 million


10. Which book is the all-time bestselling work of fiction?

a) Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J. K. Rowling

b) A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

c) The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown

d) The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien


11. To produce a Bible on vellum in the Middle Ages the skin of roughly how many calves would be required?

a) 23

b) 170

c) 89

d) 320


12. Name the writer and book title of these famous first lines:

a) ‘All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.’

b) ‘It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.’

c) ‘It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents…’

d) ‘The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there.’


13. Match the classic Penguin paperback cover colour to the type of book it denoted:

Jacket colour                                                      type of book

Orange                                                                 biography

Green                                                                   travel & adventure

Cerise                                                                   fiction

Dark blue                                                             crime fiction


14. How many rejections did Margaret Mitchell receive for Gone with the Wind before finally securing a publishers and going on to sell over 30 million copies?

a) none

b) 12

c) 73

d) 38


15. The following is the last line from which famous novel?

‘And the ashes blew towards us with the salt wind from the sea.’


See the answers here.

If you enjoyed the quiz and are left wanting more fabulous bookish facts why not buy a copy of The Book Lovers’ Miscellany here.

Book Lovers’ Quiz ANSWERS

Here are the answers to my book lovers’ quiz (if you have not had a go yet you can see the questions here). Let me know how you got on!

1. Real name                                                      nom de plume

Stephen King                                                     Richard Bachman

Anton Chekhov                                                Man Without a Spleen

Mary Ann Evans                                               George Eliot

William Sydney Porter                                   O. Henry

Agatha Christie                                                 Mary Westmacott


2. The series all contain six books which is known as a hexalogy or a sextet.


3. d) 1987. Pasternak won the Nobel Prize for Literature for Doctor Zhivago after it was smuggled out of Russia and published. Sadly the Russian government banned him from collecting his prize.


4. The James Bond series by Ian Fleming. Fleming himself wrote about Bond in 12 novels and 2 short stories.


5. Slumdog Millionaire. The film went on to win 8 Oscars.


6. They were all unfinished novels which were posthumously published (some in fragments).


7. S. E. Hinton (The Outsiders) was 18

Percy Bysshe Shelley (Zastrozzi) was 18

Mary Shelley (Frankenstein) was 21

Brett Easton Ellis (Less than Zero) was 21

George Eliot (Adam Bede) was 40

Richard Adams (Watership Down) was 52

Anna Sewell (Black Beauty) was 57

Frank McCourt (Angela’s Ashes) was 66


8. 723!


9. d) 2.1 million. The book came in ten volumes and has 13,095 pages.


10. b) A Tale of Two Cities. Although numerous celebrated books vie for the title of best-selling book of all time, poor record keeping in the past and unreliable sales figures has made gaining a definitive answer difficult, however it has widely been agreed that A Tale of Two Cities has sold over 200 million copies since publication.


11. The skins of roughly 170 calves would be required to make one bible from vellum.


12. a) ‘All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.’ Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

b) ‘It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.’ 1984 by George Orwell

c) ‘It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents…’ Paul Clifford by George Bulwer-Lytton

d) ‘The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there.’ The Go-Between by L. P. Hartley


13. Jacket colour                                                type of book

Orange                                                                 fiction

Green                                                                   crime fiction

Cerise                                                                   travel & adventure

Dark blue                                                             biography


14. d) 38. Mitchell is in good company. J K Rowling, James Joyce, Beatrix Potter and Yann Martel were all also rejected by numerous publishers before finally securing a deal.


15. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier


I hope you enjoyed the quiz! You can buy The Book Lovers’ Miscellany here.