Sunday, September 07, 2008

Book Titles

Do you ever chose books based on their titles? Every time I begin a writing project, I try to think of a catchy title. It's more difficult than you might think. A Thousand Dollars for a Kiss, my own book, is not about being paid for sex or kisses, its referencing a Marilyn Monroe quote. But people have their own idea of what the book is about and sometimes I think I should have given the novel a different title, but what?

Amy Bloom's short story collection titled A Blind Man Could See How Much I Love You is such an attention grabber, dramatic and fierce. As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner evokes a sadness of maybe lost love, a life filled with regret? And Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro just sounds like its going to unfold like an intense love story. Broken for You came out years ago and I've been wanting to read it ever since I saw a woman in the airport with it, based soley on the title. She's Come Undone- another great title, intriguing. Who is she and why has she come undone? Wonder When You'll Miss Me, a must read novel and a fabulous title.

I am anxious to read this book, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society but keep forgetting the title because its so long and I don't know how exactly to pronounce Guernsey. My friend Gayle Brandeis wrote a book titled The Book of Dead Birds. It is not necessarily about dead birds. Its about a mother and a daughter but the title leads you to believe otherwise. Book titles can draw us in, they can lead us to imagine where the pages inside will bring us and they can trick the mind with a play on words. They can be poetic or short, descriptive or blunt. As you wouldn't judge a book by its cover, we shouldn't judge a book by its title either.


Anonymous Anna said...
I'll admit that I'm often lured by a title or a book cover. Usually my choices are good, but sometimes I am disappointed. @ 1:56 PM  
Blogger monster paperbag said...
I admit titles don't affect me that much. I picked up Never Let Me Go because of the author, not because of the title :). @ 1:18 AM  
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