Tuesday, October 22, 2019

TOP TEN TUESDAY: Books I'd Give Different Titles To

The topic of this week's Top Ten Tuesday is Books I'd Give Different Titles To. For links to other entrants, and for future topics for Top Ten Tuesday, check out That Artsy Reader Girl. I don't have ten books this week, but some categories fill out the list.

Small Island by Andrea Levy
I wrote in my review my problems with the title, but in retrospect, I made the point quite well for the title Small Island. My suggestion was Queenie.

This is a timely topic, as I've just finished several Shari Lapena books, and I was not pleased with two of the titles. I want a title that lets me know what the book is about. A Stranger in the House and An Unwanted Guest just don't give the full effect. I have to be able to remember what the book is about, and neither of these do that.

      A Stranger in the House
There is not an actual stranger in the house, it is more of a metaphor representing do we really know somebody? But with a suspense book, and the very cliche events that happen in this book, a metaphoric title is a little above its station. Or as Ricky Skaggs sings, Don't Get Above Your Raisin. Did anyone else watch the Ken Burns Country Music miniseries on PBS? I quite enjoyed it, and have been listening to a lot of old country music lately. 

An Unwanted Guest
I really liked this Shari Lapena suspense book, but again, the title doesn't quite give the effect. This was a locked room mystery, set in an isolated, storm stayed group of tourists at a cabin. Clearly one of the guests was unwanted, but a title that evoked Agatha Christie's  And Then There Were None was called for here.

Most mystery books, especially Louise Penny, Robert Galbraith, some Agatha Christie have titles that do not help me remember what the book is about at all.

Some of Louise Penny's Inspector Gamauche book titles like The Brutal Telling, A Great Reckoning, Still Life, Kingdom of the Blind, and the latest - A Better Man are so bland, and nondescript. 

I've loved the Cormoran Strike books by Robert Galbraith, but the titles don't help at all - Cuckoo's Calling, Career of Evil, The Silkworm, and Lethal White. I don't even remember the plots for the most part, but then these stories are more about the Cormoran and Robin relationship. 

Another set of books with misleading titles are the Ann Patchett's books Commonwealth, and State of Wonder. Part of the problem is that I mix up Patchett with Barbara Kingsolver, and some of her book titles that I haven't read yet - Small Wonders and The Lacuna.