Talkin’ about Titles

Posted February 10, 2013 by Stormy in Uncategorized / 0 Comments

I find book titles really important. A good number of my bookish pet peeves have to do with a book’s title. I’m ready to retire “The X’s Wife/Daughter” for good, and I get slightly annoyed at overtly long modern book titles. All that to say, titles are really important. They set the tone and feel for the story, but shouldn’t give away too much. Some of my favorite book titles are:

  • Any of the books in the Chaos Walking trilogy by Patrick Ness, but especially Monsters of Men

I haven’t read past The Knife of Never Letting Go yet, but the reason I picked up the book was because of the title. The titles for this trilogy are just really spectacular and fit with the plot of the book. It starts with the knife in the first book, and continues through the idea that war makes monsters of men, hence the title for the last book. Some of my favorite titles for books ever.

  • A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving

This title establishes some of the spiritual questions that will be asked throughout the book, and also identifies Owen Meany as someone who will need prayer. It never lets you forget the importance of the title character.

  • The Fault in Our Stars, or any other book by John Green

I haven’t read a John Green book yet, but all of his books have the best titles. Looking for Alaska, The Fault in Our Stars, and Abundance of Katherines, etc. I love them all. They all seemed perfectly titled.

  • The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight

Despite my normal aversion to long book titles, this is one of the few long book titles I actually like. I adored this book , and I can’t think what else this book could possibly be titled that would do it justice.

I’m curious to know what your favorite(and least favorite, if you’re so inclined!) book titles are. Titles are so important, but I see so few blog post discussing them compared to aspects of books like covers. One of the most annoying things in reading life is a book with a misleading title, in my opinion!

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0 responses to “Talkin’ about Titles

  1. I might be on the opposite end of the spectrum in that I’m kind of over the “mysterious single word” titles. Long titles can go either way, as you’ve mentioned. If they’re good, they’re good. If they’re not, they’re just ridiculous.

  2. I think titles and book covers are both incredibly important. If I find a book where either of those aspects are misleading, it tends to frustrate me to the extreme. I tend to like titles where they’re actually phrases from the book or have some sort of significance for what the book is about, obviously. I also really like one word titles. If they’re well done, I think it’s amazing how one word can encapsulate what the book is about. Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard, Vessel by Sarah Beth Durst, Persuasion by Jane Austen are some good ones in my opinion. I think I prefer simplicity in my titles more than anything else.

  3. I agree: misleading titles are the worst. And I hate it when I finish a book and think…hmmm, that title didn’t do the subject of the book any justice! Example: I recently read The Thief of Auschwitz, and while there was a thief involved, that was hardly the central point of the story.

    Oh and I totally concur on the ______’s Wife/Daughter trend…I was drawn to it at first, but now it’s totally overdone.

  4. I’ve heard loads of good things about The Knife of Never Letting Go, and am dying to start it. Also agree about John Green – his titles are intriguing but not long-winded. It’s one of the reasons I’m always inclined to pick up his books.

    I really like Perfume: Story of a Murderer. Lord of the Flies, as well, is an awesome title. I would also say Ender’s Game, but since Orson Scott Card is a bigot and an awful human being, I’m not inclined to give him much credit. Ah well.

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