I'm not a massive cover whore, but I can be a bit of a title whore. The titles I tend to gravitate towards are usually on the longer side, there is something playful or poetic about them. I've had thoughts about such post for some time, so in order to bring myself from the blogging slump, here it is.
These titles are only out of the books I've read and completed - looking at this mixture, there are a few favourites, a few "very good" books and some "OK/meh" ones. An awful book can of course have a very awesome title, but this usually does not happen for me. I will add my own ratings after each title just so that everyone can see what I mean.
10. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, Junot Diaz (4/5) - there is something tragic about "brief" and "wondrous" being used in the same sentence. Having read the book last month, the title feels even more poignant. I loved this title before reading the book, and kept loving it afterwards.
9. Brave New World, Aldous Huxley (3/5) - this one falls to the "less is more" category. This is the title that always makes me smile inside. It contains all the hope in the world.
8. The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet, David Mitchell (5/5) - I love autumn(s). I love the name, and the character, of Jacob de Zoet. I love David Mitchell. Lots of love all around!
7. One Hundred Years of Solitude, Gabriel García Márquez (4/5) - I read this book in Estonian, but the title is better in English. I think it suits the novel so well, what with its huge extent of time combined with the abstract notion of solitude. If you have read the book you know how mind-fuckish it is most of the time :)
6. Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?, Jeanette Winterson (3/5) - indeed?
5. The Sisters Brothers, Patrick deWitt (4/5) - this title I didn't really get until I read the book. It's a very playful one, again, all the inner smiling in the world. Excellent match with the contents of the book.
4. In Watermelon Sugar, Richard Brautigan (2/5) - can you feel the sticky sweetness? CAN YOU?? SWEET OVERDOSE. Not recommended for children (and speaking of that, this one definitely requires a re-read).
3. For Whom the Bell Tolls, Ernest Hemingway (4/5) - I wasn't sure about Hem until I read this book. He's a poet in a very minimalist way. Very nice title, and one of my all time favourite quotes also comes from this book.
2. Smilla's Sense of Snow, Peter Høeg (5/5) - can we all take a moment and appreciate all the alliteration in this title. It's a book by Danish author, and I haven't seen people talking about it at all, which is a bit sad. Snow, Greenland, and general feeling of kaamos (= the polar night; period of darkness north of the Arctic Circle when the sun does not rise over the horizon - Wikipedia) that we Nordic folk have to deal with the most of the year.
1. The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Milan Kundera (5/5) - one of my favourite books ever with the best title in the world. The unbearable lightness of being is a state of mind, and I know what it feels like, very intimately.
If you also have strong feelings towards certain book titles, feel free to write/talk about them, I'm VERY curious! Are there other booktitle-weirdos out there?
I hadn't really thought of titles this way, but I definitely see what you mean! Sometimes a title is really catchy in one way or another and it probably does increase my interest in a particular book. I'm no poetry buff, but I think I like the more poetic ones best :)ReplyDelete
I just had to come back and comment again because I kept thinking of this post when I was at the used bookstore today and ended up getting All That Is Solid Melts Into Air & A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius -- I think I am more of a sucker for titles than I originally thought :)Delete
I've heard of A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius - it's a great title! As well as All That Is Solid. Some titles can stay in your head for days and days :)Delete
Nice list of titles!! I'll have to check out Hemingway's For Whom the Bell Tolls sometime... I read his novella The Old Man and the Sea and didn't like it.ReplyDelete
I had to read The Old Man and the Sea in school and I didn't like it at all! But in my experience his other works are very different, so definitely worth giving a shot.Delete
The Sisters Brothers got me. I was so confused and intrigued by what that could mean, so I read it - and I loved it! I also like The Perks of Being a Wallflower, that's a lovely title (and a lovely book, OBVIOUSLY). I haven't read In Watermelon Sugar, but I DO love the title. It's... crunchy? That sounds so weird, but that's the image that comes to mind, crunchy sugar melting onto fruit. Lolito by Ben Brooks - that title caught my attention, though again, I haven't actually found a copy yet. A good title can definitely entice me to pick up the book and look more closely, especially if it's paired with a gorgeous cover design!ReplyDelete
I haven't read The Perks - shame. Nice title, and it is probably a tiny book. You are right, Ellie - The Watermelon Sugar sounds absolultey crunchy! Like sugar and watermelon, and then when they both have melted a bit they get all sticky sweet :))Delete
I loooove a wonderful book title. The long ones are awesome, and I'm a sucker for titles with commas in them like Look Homeward, Angel. Tennessee Williams was unfairly gifted at titles -- "The Resemblance between a Violin Case and a Coffin" has to be on some top-ten list of best titles ever created.ReplyDelete
I am the same with comma-ed titles. The violin case and coffin one is BRILLIANT :)Delete
I was just browsing by and stumbled upon your lovely blog. It has interesting and informative posts that I enjoy xD Great review as well, def. checking out this read now! Hope you check out my blog? Keep in touch xReplyDelete
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