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broodings from the burrow

October 13, 2020

top ten tuesday: long book titles
posted by soe 1:11 am

Today’s Top Ten Tuesday from That Artsy Reader Girl asks us to consider super long book titles. Did you know that according to this article, fiction titles should have no more than five words in it and non-fiction no more than ten, including any subtitle.

That sounds … silly. But it may not be wholly inaccurate if my own Goodreads list is any indication.

Anyway, here are ten books I’ve enjoyed that have many more words than a successful titles should:

  1. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows — This one has so many words I often wonder if I’ve gotten them all in or if a few extra have snuck in under the radar. I imagine it’s like a large family; it takes you a while to ascertain that everyone in a room belongs there.
  2. Crazy ’08: How a Cast of Cranks, Rogues, Boneheads, and Magnates Created the Greatest Year in Baseball History by Cait Murphy — I loved this book about baseball at the turn of the 20th century.
  3. The Woman Who Smashed Codes: A True Story of Love, Spies, and the Unlikely Heroine who Outwitted America’s Enemies by Jason Fagone — Elizebeth Smith Friedman’s story is brought to light.
  4. Look Both Ways: A Tale Told in Ten Blocks by Jason Reynolds — Reynolds tells the story of ten middle-schooler’s trips home from school.
  5. From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg — A classic!
  6. Vivian Apple at the End of the World by Katie Coyle — I was reading this book and its sequel just before the 2016 election and the fact that real life didn’t get the kick-ass feminist ending this pair of novels did just about ruined me.
  7. Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe by Fannie Flagg — I feel like so many of us came to this novel through the movie that we forget that’s an abbreviated title.
  8. Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky by Kwame Mbalia — A recent favorite based on African and Black folklore and mythology.
  9. The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy by Jeanne Birdsall — I found this book old-fashioned and charming.
  10. The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by M. Catherynne Valente — Kudos to Valente for getting all these words in without the need for a colon! I should really track down the second book in this middle-grade fantasy series.

How about you? Do you think the length of a book title matters? Are you inclined to forget a book’s title if it goes on for too long?

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