Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Title Me

I love titles. As a book editor one thing I am sure of (and there may not be all that many) is that a great title can elevate a good book to an amazing book. A good title sings. It surprises and delights, makes you curious and makes you pay attention.

Above is by far my favorite title of recently published books: Clothes Clothes Clothes Music Music Music Boys Boys Boys by Viv Albertine. I know nothing about this author but I now want to buy this book based solely on its title. It's that good.

This all comes to mind because The Bookseller recently announced the shortlist for its Diagram Prize--something they apparently give out annually to "honor" the oddest book titles of the year. Here's what's on the list:

Nature's Nether Regions by Menno Schilthuizen
Advanced Pavement Research by Bo Tian
The Madwoman in the the Volvo by Sandra Tsing-Loh
Where do Camels Belong? by Ken Thompson
Divorcing a Real Witch by Diana Rajchel
The Ugly Wife is Treasured at Home by Melissa Margaret Schneider
Strangers Have the Best Candy by Margaret Meps Schulte

Some of these strike me as odder than others. And among the truly odd, a few are kind of brilliantly odd, while a few others are just sort of offensive. My personal favorite picks from this list would for sure be these two:

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