Tuesday, January 29, 2013

New Year, New 30 Day Book Challenge, Day 26

Day 26: Your Favorite Title


When you agree to questions like "What is your favorite book title?," you just know that you’re going to screw up and leave out your favorite title. I will wake up around 3:00 am and remember that I really loved such and such title more than anything else. Seriously, I am done with these lists!

Why Be Happy When You Can Be Normal by Jeanette Winterson is probably the best title--the most heartbreaking title--I have seen in a long time.  The title is an actual question Winterson’s mother asks her in regards to her daughter’s lesbianism. As if it’s a choice.

A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers is a big, bold, ego title that somehow just absolutely works.

The Autobiography of a Face by Lucy Grealy: I just wrote about this book the other day but it's another memoir that just has the perfect title. After you read this (and my God, just read this book) you know that no other title would have worked.

The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender; actually, Girl in the Flammable Skirt and Invisible Sign of My Own are all really good titles by Bender.

Wocket in My Pocket by Dr. Seuss – This is the heartbreaking and timeless story of a man who has a wocket in his pocket. It also sounds dirty as you get older.

A few others that I like; Twenty Fragments of a Ravenous Youth; The Lover; How to Breathe Underwater; Girl's Guide to Hunting and Fishing; Breath, Eyes, Memory; Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter; The People of Forever are Not Afraid; Night Geometry and the Garscadden Trains; and and and....


I think that Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil perfectly captures the crazy beauty and eccentricity of Savannah described in John Berendt's classic.

Tell me you wouldn't be intrigued by a book with the title The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. Mark Haddon's book lives up to the name.

Another Bullshit Night in Suck City is Nick Flynn's terrific memoir about meeting his father in a homeless shelter. It grabs you and lets you know that you'll be hitting rock bottom, but in a way that makes you want to keep reading. Recently the movie version of Nick's book came out; maybe more people would've noticed if they'd kept the book title instead of going with Being Flynn.

Hey Clarice, are the lambs still screaming? The Silence of the Lambs--chilling. A great mix of innocence and peril.

I also love titles pulled from Shakespeare. Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury, Pale Fire by Vladimir Nabokov, Band of Brothers by Stephen Ambrose, Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace, A Heart So White by Javier Marias, The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner, Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, and many, many other titles are pulled from the Bard's lines.

1 comment:

  1. Dang! We forgot DON'T LET'S GO TO THE DOGS TONIGHT by Alexandra Fuller and SPECIAL TOPICS IN CALAMITY PHYSICS by Marisha Pessl. Both great titles.