Friday, June 22, 2012

I Am Forbidden

Got your attention? It attracted mine, and I enjoyed an extremely solid historical novel by Anouk Markovits examining the esoteric world of Hasidic Jews because of this novel's title.

I've posted in the past about the impact that a book's cover has on your first impression of it and about what the author's photo might say about them, but there is a third component to sizing up a book while browsing: the title. A book's title is inherent to its very being. Think of one of your favorite books - now imagine it not being named what it is. You might as well try to rename your dog, it just doesn't work (although you could probably get away with renaming your cat, he wouldn't care as long as you kept feeding him).

Two books immediately come to mind when I think of ITA - Instant Title Attraction. The first is the jubilant/defiant-sounding You Shall Know Our Velocity! by Dave Eggers. At once a novel about loss and grieving, it is also dedicated to appreciating the good parts about life -all delivered with a crackling wit and a laconic style (another of his novel titles deserves honorable mention: What is the What). The other one is the redundant yet oddly informative title The City & the City by China Mieville: a terrific romp that reads like Kafka writing a noir detective mystery.

Novels I'd like to read in the future based on their titles? No One Is Here Except All of Us by Ramona Ausubel and Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said by Philip K. Dick top the list.

What novel titles have arrested your interest?


Linda K. said...

Most of Christopher Fowler's Peculiar Crimes Unit series have arresting titles - The Memory of Blood, Full Dark House, and Seventy-Seven Clocks are just a few.

arresting - police? Fun series.

Fiona Dinwiddie said...

The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera and For the Relief of Unbearable Urges by Nathan Englander.

Lynne said...

Grandad, There's a Head on the Beach by Colin Cotterill

Maggie K said...

Sun Tzu was a Sissy by Stanley Bing

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