||Oct 1, 2009
365 days of impossible occurrences, fantastic treasures, and incredible true tales will amaze, confound, and remind us just how mysterious this world really is. A magical daily read.
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Real life mysteries, on the day they occurred, can fill your year with a sense of wonder. A compendium of unexplained and unsolved mysteries covering a wide range of subjects, including; crop circles, frogs entombed in stone, who stole the crown jewels of Ireland, ball lightning, the Glenn Miller disappearance, alligators falling from the sky, x-ray vision, horses who can count and spell out words and much, much more.
Each daily entry also includes a quote. Mysteries exist outside of us as well as inside of us; the quote is a bridge between the two. A secret power of the day is deduced from each mystery and is a way for the reader to access the mystery. Original illustrations accompany each entry.
SEPTEMBER 3 - The Man They Couldn’t Hang
In September of 1803, in Sydney, Australia, Joseph Samuels was convicted of killing a police officer and sentenced to death. The officer had interrupted the theft of a small desk that contained a bag of gold and silver coins. Some of the missing coins were found on Samuels and he was arrested. Witnesses testified that Samuels had won the coins gambling and was miles away when the robbery occurred, but he was found guilty on circumstantial evidence. Finally he confessed to the robbery but continued to deny the murder.
The Provost Marshall ordered Isaac Simmonds, a man in custody as Samuels’ partner, to be present at the public hanging in hope of pressuring him into a confession. Samuels arrived at the gallows in a horse-drawn cart and the noose was placed around his neck. For his last words, the convicted man calmly stated that the real murderer was in the crowd, Isaac Simmonds. As soon as he heard his name, Simmonds began to shout, trying to obscure the words of his accuser, but the mob clamoured for a retrial. As they pushed forward, a guard slapped the horses and the beasts moved forward, leaving Samuels hanging from the rope. Then the rope broke. The semi-conscious Samuels was placed back in the cart and hung again, but this time the rope began to unravel until his feet touched the ground enough to spare his life. A third rope was then placed about his neck. It broke just above his head. The Governor was informed of the strange events and Samuels was issued a reprieve.
The rope showed no signs of tampering and proved able to hold a weight of 390 pounds, even when two of the three strands were cut. Issac Simmonds was tried and found guilty of murder.
“It don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing.” - Duke Ellington
Secret Power: Today’s power is Knot Magic. To Optimize: Study knots and Knot Magic.
American Profile - Neil Pond
Phantom hitchhikers, spontaneous combustions, showers of stones. These and 363 more of history's mysteries—one corresponding to every day of the year—are here for you to ponder in this entertaining, engrossing and altogether enchanting chronicle of oddities, enigmas and other assorted wrinkles of weirdness. Well-researched and creatively illustrated, it's a refreshing stretch for the imagination. Read and marvel!
—Neil Pond, American Profile
“Sometimes the world’s magic leaks out.”
That’s how author Juanita Rose Violini explains the extraordinary things included in the Almanac of the Infamous, the Incredible, and the Ignored. When the introduction to a book is this lyrical and profound, you can bet that the main content will be a delightful journey.
Violini provides 365 separate entries keyed to the dates in history corresponding to the bizarre and mysterious events she chronicles. Fifty-eight years ago today, for example, Yeti footprints were found on Mount Everest. Violini writes compact entries, full of facts that will satisfy trivia buffs whether or not they are familiar with the event. The Yeti footprint essay contains just enough details to relay the full story, leaving plenty of room for the additional touches that the author provides for each entry: a quote (in this case “It began in mystery, and it will end in mystery, but what a savage and beautiful country lives in between.” – Diane Ackerman), the day’s secret power, and a clue for optimizing the secret power.
The infamous, incredible, and ignored topics run the gamut from fish that fall from the sky to a woman with X-ray vision, from time-traveling French women to the mysterious death of Meriwether Lewis. Crop circles, UFOs, supernatural powers, and just about all other weird things you can think of grace the pages of this unique and entertaining almanac.
Violini has done a good bit of research, and she probably enjoyed every moment of it. Her MysteryFactory.com website makes her a familiar name to fans of crime fiction, but the majority of mysteries included in Almanac of the Infamous, the Incredible, and the Ignored lean toward the fantastic, making them all the more fun because we get to continue speculating about them.
Almanac of the Infamous, the Incredible, and the Ignored is a year’s worth of education and entertainment that trivia buffs and mystery lovers will cherish.
Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at www.curledup.com. © Deborah Adams, 2009
Wish List Worthy
If you are looking for a very fun and interesting read, then Almanac of the Infamous, the Incredible, and the Ignored is the book for you! Topics include the Crystal Skull, UFO encounters, and other enigmas of nature, uncanny experiments in science, coincidences, the unsolved, and the downright peculiar. It’s one of those books that you can’t help but scratch your head over.
Meant to be digested daily, each day gives you an unexplained mystery, a quote, and a Secret Power for you to practice. This is a perfect gift for trivia lovers, and especially for those who love to learn about unusual lore. We couldn’t put down the copy we got to review, each mystery was so intriguing. Not only is it fun to read though, it makes for some great conversations too.
This would be a great gift for the person who has everything too, because chances are they don’t have an almanac quiet like this one!
“From the Crystal Skull to Peking Man, this is the only believable history of the world I have ever encountered.”
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