Monday 22 March 2010

Favourite title?

Never let it be said that this blog is too *deep* - enough of my posts have talked about how nice the covers of books are, to do away with that idea. And we're sticking to surfaces here - because I want to know what your favourite book title is. Not your favourite book, nor necessarily one where the title accurately represents the book, but which is - purely and simply - your favourite title.

I ask because I'm going to be reviewing mine tomorrow... I have mentioned it recently, but I'm going to keep you guessing...

(Oh, and it's not one of the ones above, I just wanted to put up a picture of books... for more on those titles, look back here.)


  1. Hmmm...I will admit that hese are all tied to the fact that I did love the books. Favorites off the top of my head: Time Traveller's Wife, Love That Dog, and the Sunne & Splendour.

  2. I love The Sweetness At The Bottom of The Pie - just gorgeous!

  3. for long term memories: "East of the Sun, West of the Moon"
    and for something that flow from the ton like honey:
    "shadow of the wind"

    (seems i have some sort of organic fixation?)

  4. I Would Have Loved Him if I Had Not Killed Him, for no particular reason other than the title.

  5. The one-word titles always get to me: Kate by William J. Mann (although that one does have a subtitle, The Woman Who Was Hepburn); Belinda by Rhoda Broughton; Pendennis by Thackeray; Eucalyptus by Murray Bail; Reeling by film critic Pauline Kael. Time to stop this. It could go on and on.

  6. Plant Dreaming Deep by May Sarton

    (And for a book that I almost didn't read because I hated the title so much...Guernsey Potato Pie blah blah blah. Thank god I got over my aversion to it since I loved the book so much.)

  7. I love long vaguely convoluted titles such as 'The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society' and 'The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane'. I also loved the books!

  8. 'The World My Wilderness' Rose Macaulay.
    'Ill Met By Moonlight' W.Stanley Moss.
    'The Day After Tomorrow' Allan Folsam.
    'Empire of the Sun' JG Ballard.
    'As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning' Laurie Lee.
    'The Story of a Nobody' Anton Chekov.
    'Dance to the Music of Time' Anthony Powell.
    'So Long See You Tomorrow' William Maxwell'
    'The House of Lost Souls' FG Cottam.

    Just rummaged through my bookshelves for these. I have been known to buy a book just because of its title.

  9. I have a few:

    - Sputnik Sweetheart by Haruki Murakami
    - The Loudest Sound and Nothing by Clare Wigfall
    - Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
    - Other Stories and Other Stories by Ali Smith (which was the title that inspired my blog's name)

    As a corollary to this topic, this seems like an apt moment to share my favourite newspaper headline. A few years ago, the big news in my native Scotland was that Celtic, one of the two biggest football teams in the country, had been beaten by the tiny Inverness Caledonian Thistle. The Daily Record (Scottish equivalent of the Mirror) had this GENIUS headline:


    I have no interest in either football or tabloids, but my goodness, that headline is a belter.

  10. "Under the Greenwood Tree"
    "The Darling Buds of May"
    Off the top of my head & probably influenced by spring *finally* arriving :)
    Oh yes, "The Body in the Library" always makes me smile.

  11. A Dance to the Music of Time (Anthony Powell) - though I hated the three books I managed to get through.
    The Towers of Trebizond (Rose Macaulay).
    The Serendipity Shop (Dorita Fairlie Bruce).
    If This is Love, I'll Take Spaghetti (a teenage novel I have never read, but the title stuck).

  12. Liked your post. Someday I hope to write a book where the royalties will pay for the copies I give away.

  13. I slept on this one last night. It appears my favorites are long titles, and many of them from the humor category. That said, Howard's End is on the Landing has got to be my favorite (but then I love everything about it from cover to contents).

    For other titles that I love (not necessarily for their contents), I turn to some of our southern humorists like Fannie Flagg, who gave us The Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe, and Welcome to the World, Baby Girl! Then there's Lewis Grizzard who came up with these, "Don't Bend Over in the Garden, Granny, You Know Them Taters Got Eyes" and "I Took a Lickin' and Kept on Tickin' : And Now I Believe in Miracles." And to round them off with another great bibliophilic title there's Kathy L. Patrick's, "The Pulpwood Queen's Tiara-Wearing, Book-Sharing Guide to Life."

    I agree with Karen on The Sweetness, and loved Kirsty's news headline, and Ali Mal reminded me of "Who Killed Roger Ackroyd," and "Why Didn't They Ask Evans?"

    And I'll just stop here since I could go on and on. What a fun thing to think about - thanks again Simon, for putting the question out ther.

  14. Hmmmm a favourite title... I think I am going to have to go away and think about that one Simon as I have never really thought about it before! I will be back with answers pronto!

  15. The two that pop into mind are Loves Music, Loves to Dance and then also The Moon is a Harsh Mistress. I haven't read Heinlein's book yet, but I just love that title.

  16. The Kitchen God's Wife - Amy Tan

    The House of the Spirits - Isabel Allende

    White is for Witching - Helen Oyeyemi

    And lest we forget a true great ...

    Angus, Thongs and Full Frontal Snogging - Louise Rennison

    (actually the whole series)

  17. That's tough! Here's my favorite three (off the top of my head, so I might be forgetting something)...The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Ella Minnow Pea, Now We Are Six.

  18. Raising More Hell and Fewer Dahlias, The amazing Maurice and his educated rodents, Love's Labour's Lost, and I have *always* enjoyed Much Ado About Nothing, largely because most don't realise that is a fair summary of the plot.

    Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Sausages is one on my reading list. Although Holt's books are known for their brilliant titles and poor narrative (with a few exceptions).

  19. I'm attracted to beautiful titles as much as I am to covers! Some of my very favourites:

    One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
    Memories of My Melancholy Whores by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
    The Moor's Last Sigh by Salman Rushdie
    The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera
    To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf
    The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love by Oscar Hijuelos
    A Simple Habana Melody (from when the world was good) by Oscar Hijuelos
    Everything is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer
    Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
    The Book of Luminous Things, edited by Czeslaw Milosz

    So many more, but I'll stop taking over your comments page!

  20. My favourite title is: The Voluptuous Delights of Peanut Butter and Jam. Unfortunately I didn't enjoy the book much!

  21. Agatha Christie is hard to beat. My favourite is 'Sparkling Cyanide'. Also 'the Moving Finger' and 'Dead Man's Folly'. And for fun 'the Adventure of the Christmas Pudding' and 'Butter on a Lordly Dish' (a radio play)!

    The Guardian newspaper just had an article on what NOT to call your novel

  22. 'The Finest Type of English Womanhood' conjures up all sorts of images and just sounds lovely.

  23. West with the Night - Markham
    Screwtape Letters - Lewis
    Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell - Clarke
    The Deathly Hallows - Rowling
    Very fun post--thanks!

  24. The Brontes Went to Woolworths, although it took me ages to find a cheap second-hand copy and then when I read it, I didn't enjoy it all that much ... they were such an irritating family. Not the Brontes, the family in the book, whose name I'll probably remember as soon as I press send.

  25. Having thought briefly about it, I'm going to plump for 'Goodnight Mister Tom'.

  26. Two titles I came across recently that stopped me in my tracks are Hallucinating Foucault by Patricia Duncker and Flowers Stained With Moonlight by Catherine Shaw. Beautiful.

  27. I bought Hallucinating Foucault because of its title! It was quite good... I always meant to blog about it, but somehow never got around to it.

  28. It doesn't make you actually hallucinate Foucault does it? That would be my reason for leaving it on the shelf...

  29. Like Claire, One Hundred Years of Solitude (I liked all of yours!); Woman on the Edge of Time by Marge Piercy; The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula le Guin (all about people who combine both sexes, on another planet); The Night the Bed Fell on Father by James Thurber (short story, very funny); I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith; Bats in the Belfry (all about Siamese Cats); The House at Pooh Corner (this is shading into my favourite books so I will stop now!)
    Also am aiming to read Howard's End is on the Landing for the title.

  30. Sorry another one: Agatha Raisin and the Quiche of Death by MC Beaton.

  31. I used to work in the Rare Book Room at Bryn Mawr College, and I came across a set of books called "Salad for the Solitary" (1854) and "Salad for the Social" (1856). I love the idea of preparing your salads based on personality preferences for introversion or extroversion!

    (P.S.: This is my first post, but I've been enjoying your blog for a while now)


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