Yesterday, after I picked up my son from fencing practice, we stopped at Krispy Kreme to get doughnuts, as per our tradition. The total was $3.19. I paid with a five dollar bill and when I got my change, I noticed that the penny had the name of a novel on it.

Which novel was it?

By the way, it is not an obscure novel. Anybody familiar with Western Literature would know this novel.

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    $\begingroup$ This seems a little vague. There appear to be a few valid answers. $\endgroup$ – gnovice Feb 27 '18 at 18:28
  • $\begingroup$ @gnovice, added a clarification for future readers. $\endgroup$ – Kevin Feb 27 '18 at 18:57

It could've been

1984 (or 1919, 1942, 1968, 1945, ...): https://www.goodreads.com/list/show/18187.Books_With_a_Year_For_a_Title

  • $\begingroup$ I was wondering if this would be too easy or too hard. Guess I got my answer $\endgroup$ – Kevin Feb 27 '18 at 18:26
  • $\begingroup$ Well done for getting the answer, but surely this is pretty broad as any coin could have any of those dates written... there seems to be a lot of extra unnecessary stuff in the question $\endgroup$ – Beastly Gerbil Feb 27 '18 at 18:43
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    $\begingroup$ @BeastlyGerbil there's a minimum number of characters required for the question. I figured since this actually happened, I might as well tell how it happened and tag it with the "real" tag. $\endgroup$ – Kevin Feb 27 '18 at 18:55
  • $\begingroup$ Don't they retire old pennies? $\endgroup$ – PatrickT Feb 27 '18 at 19:05
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    $\begingroup$ @PatrickT No. Old paper bills, yes. $\endgroup$ – Kevin Feb 27 '18 at 19:21

Liberty, by Garrison Keillor.

The Jean Shepherd book In God We Trust: All Others Pay Cash has been suggested, but : All Others Pay Cash is absolutely part of the title, and it does not appear on the penny. I thus exclude that from consideration.

You didn't actually specify that you were paying with US currency, and Canada uses the dollar, the dollar sign, and has a coin commonly called a 'penny', but I didn't have one of those handy to check.

There are also several novels whose titles start with E Pluribus Unum, but as that is not the whole title for any of them, I exclude them as well, as with IGWT.


I believe the name of the novel is

In god we Trust - All others pay cash by Jean Shepard in 1966


The US Penny has the following written on the obverse side:

enter image description here

'In god we trust'

And of course

You paid with a bill, not in cash.


The coin also has 'Liberty' written on it so could be that

  • $\begingroup$ Good guess, but that's not it. "all others pay cash" is not on any penny I've ever seen. $\endgroup$ – Kevin Feb 27 '18 at 18:20
  • $\begingroup$ @Kevin well there isn't much else written on the US Penny, except 'Liberty'. Unless the change you received is important... $\endgroup$ – Beastly Gerbil Feb 27 '18 at 18:21
  • $\begingroup$ @BeastlyGerbil - I can also find, instantly, "E Pluribus Unum", "One Cent", and "United States of America" on any penny I grab. $\endgroup$ – Jeff Zeitlin Feb 27 '18 at 18:26
  • $\begingroup$ @JeffZeitlin I should have said there isn't much else written on it that is the name of a novel $\endgroup$ – Beastly Gerbil Feb 27 '18 at 18:41
  • $\begingroup$ goodreads.com/book/show/1143808.E_Pluribus_Unum $\endgroup$ – theonetruepath Feb 28 '18 at 3:21


In God We trust by Michael Harrington


In God We trust by Winshluss, Frédéric Boniaud

I found this question a little too broad, with many valid answers, so I don't know if this is correct.


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