Tuesday, November 06, 2012


the fine art of the book title

My last post found me thinking about the strength of single words, and my mind of course followed up with a few more words in quick succession - a gentle pondering about how we build language and meaning from just a handful of words and what they could imply.  Put a few words next to each other and anything can happen.  A love poem, a song, a curse, a declaration, even a book title.

With that in mind, here are a few of my favorite book titles of all time (not books mind you, book titles, although some of these certainly could fall within both categories - for the sake of brevity and a nice tidy-looking list I will mention only the titles and let the authors' names and publishing dates languish for now):

Far Away and Long Ago

Shine On, Bright & Dangerous Object

Picnic, Lightning

Sailing Alone Around the Room

Love in a Cold Climate

A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again

By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept

Where Water Comes Together with Other Water

What We Talk About When We Talk About Love

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

A Thousand Mornings

In Sunlight and in Shadow

The Towers of Trebizond

Dancer from the Dance

Always the Young Strangers

Epitaph of a Small Winner


Of Flowers & a Village

Leaves of Grass

My Family and Other Animals

I added a few in there that are quotations themselves, from other sources, but I love them anyway for being admired so much that they were borrowed and placed on center stage (are you listening, Billy Collins...?).  These are just the few that come to mind as I look around my own bookshelves.  I love the use of repetition and alliteration, and respond to romantic words with an melancholy uplift to them, so these are what speak to me.  Of course I'd love to hear what I've forgotten (or better yet, what I need to know about in the first place), if anyone would like to join in.

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