Thursday, August 25, 2011

Book Titles You Can't Resist

They say you shouldn't judge a book by its cover. But what about book titles? There are some that are so irresistable that they make you want to pick up the book and read it just on the basis of the title alone.

One of my early favorites was Wallace Tripp's 1973 picture book A Great Big Ugly Man Came Up and Tied His Horse to Me. Really? Do you look like a hitching post?

Another inspired title is Get Out of My Life, but First Could You Drive Me & Cheryl to the Mall: A Parent's Guide to the New Teenager by Anthony E. Wolf (1992, rev. 2002). Isn't this just like the teens you know? They can't stand your "interference" in their life until they want something.

How about these gems of self-improvement? Walk a Hound, Lose a Pound: How You and Your Dog can Lose Weight, Stay Fit, and Have Fun Together, by Phil Zeltzman and Rebecca A. Johnson (2011) or Dave Barry's Babies and Other Hazards of Sex: How to Make a Tiny Person in Only Nine Months With Tools You Probably Have Around the House (1984).

Like Dave Barry, the late, great Lewis Grizzard (1946-1994) compiled his columns into collections, and his titles are among the best: If Love Were Oil, I'd Be A Quart Low (1983), Shoot Low, Boys, They're Riding Shetland Ponies (1985), Elvis is Dead and I Don't Feel So Good Myself (1984), and my favorite, Don't Bend Over in the Garden, Granny, You Know Those Taters Got Eyes (1988).

Jen Lancaster, a blogger turned book author, has some pretty funny--and lengthy--titles for her books, such as Pretty in Plaid: a Life, a Witch, and a Wardrobe, or, The Wonder Years Before the Condescending, Egomaniacal, Self-Centered Smart-Ass Phase (2009)

But former Congresswoman Patricia Schroeder really hit the nail on her head with the title of her 1998 memoir, more true today than it was then: 24 Years of Housework....and the Place is Still a Mess.

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