Friday, April 7, 2017

What's In A Title?

I got a book in the mail the other day. It's title was "This Book Needs A Title." I read a poem in the poem with the same title. And I pondered, what's a title there for anyway.

The author has now produced TBNAT 2. Meanwhile I struggle to write, struggle to get my publishers to release anything, and struggle to catch up with book reviews. The writing's fun - it's just a pain being squished into an ever-shrinking corner of an ever-more-cluttered bedroom when I HATE CLUTTER! (Pause while I dream of dry redecorated basement, maybe by Christmas if I'm lucky, but hey, I'm pretty lucky to even have a basement. Why am I complaining?) Pushing publishers to publish is less fun - my publishers tend to have babies, get sick, get overwhelmed, and even close their doors - please don't close your doors, PRETTY PLEASE! But the book reviewing is always fun and doesn't tie me to that cluttered bedroom. If it's a real book (the sort that can come in the mail) I can even read and review it when the power's out. (Yeah, the power's enjoying one of its it-a-bit, out-a-bit days and the wind's driving me crazy.)

But what's in a title? I posted a picture of spooky trees and someone said I should use it as a book cover - for the Hemlock novels perhaps? But they don't have a title or a publisher, never have had, probably never will. And besides, I need to work on rewriting them. Hemlock's not a bad title on its own though, is it? At least, not when paired with spooky trees (some of which happen to be hemlocks, but hemlock trees aren't the same as hemlock's poisonous plants ...  it's still a cool picture).


Does a title have to be paired with a matching cover? This Book Needs A Title has a cool, plain, white cover with clear black text. It fits the title perfectly. Is The Bible Good For Women (the next book in the list of reviews below) has a serious brown-shaded cover with thick book-ends, and the Bible's a thick book.It conveys serious and organised (did I mention, I HATE CLUTTER), and the words are clear and bright, so maybe it works. Certainly the title is one that would catch a Christian woman's eye, and that's the idea.

Today Will Be Different by Maria Semple is another book for women (and I hope today will be different!). The title's certainly catchy. The gray cover with everywoman hiding her face. That's catchy. That's me. I had to read this book! Then there's Movie Trivia Madness, a title that catches my husband's eye since he loves movie trivia. He's not read the book yet, and he'll probably just get his trivia from the internet. The cover's black and bright, has a movie reel (from a distance it reminded me of a skull, perhaps not the intent), and it includes popcorn, soda and movie tickets. I think the title would attract me first, before I look at the cover.

Anyway, you can follow the links below for the covers and reviews, and find yourself a coffee to enjoy while reading:

This Book Needs A Title by Theodore Ficklestein is a freeverse, enticing and easily read poetry book. Frequently stream-of-consciousness, by turns humorous, thought-provoking, memorable or silly, it's a surprisingly enjoyable read and I'd happily pick up book 2. Find some bright, lively 2-star coffee to enjoy with it.

Is the Bible Good for Women by Wendy Alsup is a kind of whole-Bible study, looking at the fate and redemption of women from Old Testament times to New. Insights from contemporary culture turn OT tragedies into surprisingly empowering stories, and I just wished the NT applications had been viewed the same way. That said, it's a really good read, and has great reader-questions at the end for small groups to share. Enjoy this one with an elegant, complex, thought-provoking 4-star coffee.

Today Will Be Different by Maria Semple is another book for women, fitting a lifetime of memories into a very ordinary day that turns out very different. The protagonist (most frequent narrator) is a fairly everyday mom, struggling with life, kid and spouse. There are interlocking mysteries - strange kid, absent spouse, imaginary sisters perhaps - and interlocking "stories" told in pictures, poetry, even a book within the book. It's intriguingly different and it works. Enjoy with some seriously complex 4-star coffee!

Then, for the man in my life, there's Movie Trivia Madness by Bill O’Neill and Steve Murray. It's got lots of movie trivia.  And it's surprisingly entertaining simply as a mad, fun read. Enjoy with some bright easy-drinking 2-star coffee.

So what do you think. Do titles matter as much as covers, more than covers, or not much anyway?


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