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  1. CatFace

    CatFace Member

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    Are there any book titles that you really love?

    Discussion in 'Book Discussion' started by CatFace, May 29, 2014.

    I was recently thinking about how much I love two of Haruki Murakami's titles: Kafka on the Shore and The Wind-up Bird Chronicle. Not the books themselves, but the actual titles. To me both of these sound so poetic and intriguing. I love just saying the words 'the wind-up bird chronicle' - (is that weird?!)

    Conversely, are there any titles that you think don't do justice to a book? I enjoyed Mr Norris Changes Trains by Christopher Isherwood, but the title makes me feel like dropping off to sleep.

    It's not something I've previously given a great deal of thought to, but once I started thinking about it, I really wondered if anyone else has book titles that they particularly like, and for what reasons?
     
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  2. sunsplash

    sunsplash Bona fide beach bum

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    Titles do play a role in drawing me in to check the synopsis. I haven't read it because it seems too sappy for my personal tastes but the title The Fault in Our Stars stands out to me as quite poetic and lovely. A quick glance at my bookshelf and the ones that stand out to me based on title alone are Gone with the Wind (Margaret Mitchell), Cry, the Beloved Country (Alan Paton), Memoirs of a Geisha (Arthur Golden), and The Sound and the Fury (William Faulkner).

    Titles that don't do their books justice...two of my faves, Night (Eli Wiesel) and Little Women (Louisa May Alcott). Stripping my knowledge and love of each, neither title is catchy to me nor would they peak my curiosity further had I not known about them prior to my first reading.
     
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  3. Lemex

    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    Paradise Lost is a title I can't help but say aloud to myself whenever no one is around. Helps the epic by that name is freaking amazing too!
     
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  4. thirdwind

    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    Amazing titles:

    Tender is the Night
    by F. Scott Fitzgerald
    I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
    In Search of Lost Time by Marcel Proust (the French title, À la recherche du temps perdu, sounds just as good)
    Gravity's Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon

    Titles that don't do work justice:

    Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
    All of Kafka's novels
    Demons by Dostoevsky
    War and Peace by Tolstoy
     
  5. Lemex

    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    ^Those are good choices.

    Midnight's Children
    is also wonderfully evocative.
     
  6. Poziga

    Poziga Contributing Member Contributor

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    Uf, I reaallyy like this one.:eek: I don't know why but the second I read this I started singing Presley's Love me tender in my mind...
    Diamond as big as the Ritz is also not so bad as a title. Not as good as your example though.

    Pride and prejudice is quite good IMO. Right now, I can't remember other than that...
     
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  7. Bjørnar Munkerud

    Bjørnar Munkerud Contributing Member

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    "The Pig that Wants to be Eaten and 99 Other Thought Experiments" comes to mind. I'm sure there are many others, but I can't think of too many off the top of my head. Also most of the Harry Potter ones, which I've always thought sound cool.
     
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  8. thirdwind

    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    I know, right? I still haven't read the book, but the title alone makes me want to buy it.
     
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  9. Poziga

    Poziga Contributing Member Contributor

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    I've been thinking about them too. Like The Lord of the Rings, it sounds cool and agressive.
     
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  10. Garball

    Garball Sometimes nothing can be a real cool hand. Supporter Contributor

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    Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes, Of Mice and Men, The Old Man and the Sea

    Dislike:
    The Persecution and Assassination of Jean-Paul Marat as Performed by the Inmates of the Asylum of Charenton Under the Direction of the Marquis de Sade
     
  11. grimmsistr

    grimmsistr Member

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    If a Winters night a traveller: Italo Calvino
     
  12. maidahla

    maidahla Active Member

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    "A Great and Terrible Beauty"... Those books are the SH!T. I'm kinda embarrassed about liking them. But kudos to the author that never stops writing.

    Also, Tracy Chevalier has good book titles like Girl W/ A Pearl Earring. It's just genius. I heard a nasty rumor about how it got developed into a film. Wtvr. It's a dull movie.
     
  13. xanadu

    xanadu Contributing Member Contributor

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    Woah...flashback. I totally forgot about that book, but now I remember reading it in elementary school. Some intense stuff for a fourth-grader. If I recall correctly, it had one of the most effective closing paragraphs/sentences I've ever read.

    Anyway, I've always been a sucker for a good title. Hemingway's titles were always good, I thought...The Sun Also Rises, Across the River & Into the Trees, For Whom the Bell Tolls, A Farewell to Arms, etc.

    Some others: Cloud Atlas, Midnight's Children (good pick, @Lemex), No Country For Old Men, Their Eyes Were Watching God, Atlas Shrugged, The House of Mirth...and a few I have on my shelf but haven't yet gotten to: All the Pretty Horses, A Land More Kind Than Home, The Garden of Evening Mists.

    Titles definitely get me to look at a book--much more so than a cover. I haven't yet pinpointed what I like most about certain titles. Maybe "literary-ness." I really don't know. But I try to make my titles fit that kind of a pattern as well. I think I've been successful so far.
     
  14. Garball

    Garball Sometimes nothing can be a real cool hand. Supporter Contributor

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    34-38 yrs old?
     
  15. xanadu

    xanadu Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hmm...is that the age range I give off by my posts? I often wonder how young/old I sound.
     
  16. minstrel

    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I love Jim Harrison's title, The Woman Lit By Fireflies. That is wonderfully evocative.
    Another favorite is Apocalypse Now. That one kind of hits like a sledgehammer.
    Other favorites:
    As I Lay Dying, by William Faulkner
    Look Homeward, Angel, by Thomas Wolfe
    To the Lighthouse, by Virginia Woolf

    And among the worst:
    There was a movie once with George Clooney and Michelle Pfeiffer called One Fine Day. That has to be the dullest title in history.
     
  17. Garball

    Garball Sometimes nothing can be a real cool hand. Supporter Contributor

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    I just haven't spoken to anybody outside of that age bracket who read Sadako in elementary school, except a few older people
     
  18. We Are Cartographers

    We Are Cartographers Active Member

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    .
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2014
  19. xanadu

    xanadu Contributing Member Contributor

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    Interesting...nah, I'm a bit younger than that. I don't know anyone else other than our class who read it, though. That's probably why it faded out of my memory.

    On topic, though, I totally forgot about another of my favorites--O Pioneers!
     
  20. thirdwind

    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers
     
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  21. Lemex

    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    Some of the names in Ancient Greek drama are pretty awesome. 'Choephoroi', or 'The Libation Bearers', and 'Eumenides', or 'The Kindly Ones' are the first that spring to mind. Yes, they are two of the three plays that make up The Oresteia, but do be fair The Oresteia is perhaps within the top 3 of my list of favourite works of all time.

    While it's not the title of a book, the last part of Wagner's epic ring cycle is a name I just love Gotterdammerung. Although, I think I prefer that word in the original Norse: Ragnarok.
     
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  22. Michael Collins

    Michael Collins Contributing Member

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    Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (P.K. Dick).

    The Perks of Being a Wallflower (S. Chbosky).

    The Old Man and the Sea (E. Hemingway).

    The Man in the High Castle
    (P. K. Dick) Has a beautiful title in it's Italian version, "La Svastica sul Sole", meaning "The Swastika on The Sun". Good job by the translator there.
     
  23. Lemex

    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    I actually really like that!
     
  24. minstrel

    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Who Has Seen the Wind, by W.O. Mitchell
    The Rebel Angels, by Robertson Davies
    A Thousand Splendid Suns, by Khaled Hosseini
    The Kingdom of the Wicked, by Anthony Burgess
     
  25. peachalulu

    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    I like straightforward names - Lolita, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Winnie-The-Pooh and I also like fanciful names like all of Tom Wolfe's 60s titles - The Kandy Kolored Tangerine Flake Streamline Baby & Mauve Gloves and Mad Men, clutter and Vine. I think the title I admire the most is 1984 - to pull that date out and signify it as the future - very cool.
     

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