Books I Acquired Just for the Title

Sometimes you know just from the title of a book – without even opening it or reading anything about it – that it’s one you have to have. Here’s a photo gallery of books I acquired on the strength of the title, whether:


Bookish necessities—

Humor titles I knew would ring true—

Phrases that made me want to find out more—

Intriguing titles, but even better subtitles—


Or just plain random—

And here’s a selection of books I want to read that are on my “Awesome Title” shelf on Goodreads:

  • I’m No Longer Troubled by the Extravagance by Rick Bursky
  • The Dud Avocado by Elaine Dundy
  • If Birds Gather Your Hair for Nesting by Anna Journey
  • Clash of Civilizations over an Elevator in Piazza Vittorio by Amara Lakhous
  • How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America by Kiese Laymon
  • Like a Mule Bringing Ice Cream to the Sun by Sarah Ladipo Manyika
  • What I Was Doing While You Were Breeding by Kristin Newman
  • There Once Lived a Mother Who Loved Her Children, Until They Moved Back In by Ludmilla Petrushevskaya
  • The Sasquatch Hunter’s Almanac by Sharma Shields
  • Why the Child Is Cooking in the Polenta by Aglaja Veteranyi


What are some of the best book titles you’ve come across recently?


32 thoughts on “Books I Acquired Just for the Title

    1. Ali also mentioned that she’d liked The Mammoth Cheese when I posted a pic of my charity shop purchase some months back. I knew zero about it but the title was too good to pass up!

      What I didn’t mention was cases where the title is great but I couldn’t get through the book itself: An Arsonist’s Guide to Writers’ Homes in New England, The Voluptuous Delights of Peanut Butter and Jam, The Gigantic Beard That Was Evil…

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Another comment on Gould’s Book of Fish. It split one of my book groups as no other book has ever done. There were no half measures, people either loved it or loathed it. As for Book Lust, that sits in the smallest room in the house just for those moments when only a book list will do!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir who got Trapped in an Ikea Wardrobe is a brilliant title but I’ve not read it – it’s got to be a feelgood adventure, hasn’t it?


    1. There was a whole spate of books that came out soon after The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared with similar-ish titles, like The Little Old Lady Who Broke All the Rules. I’m afraid I’m skeptical of such books that just jump on a bandwagon. I had a blogging friend who reviewed Fakir for We Love This Book but thought it was rubbish.


  3. Well now I’m really curious about Gould’s Book of Fish just to see which camp I fall into…

    I’m frequently drawn to books because of their titles (and covers, I have to admit). I picked up Driving Mr. Albert because of the title, but haven’t read it – have you?

    Off the top of my head, I’d have to add “We’ll All Be Burnt in Our Beds Some Night”. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo is a great title – and even better when you realise it refers to the slum city behind the huge billboards advertising some kind of cream to keep you forever young and beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I love Murakami, completely bonkers, and he has some interesting book titles including Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World.
    I also love Rebecca Solnit’s title A Field Guide to Getting Lost and For Fukui’s Sake: Two Years In Rural Japan by Sam Baldwin.
    I work in a library and am constantly amazed at the amount of fiction with the word ‘daughter’ in the title – seems to be a craze for it.


    1. True, Murakami has some great titles! I’m thinking of starting Kafka on the Shore tomorrow 🙂

      I’ve noticed all those “The Someone’s daughter” or “The Someone’s Wife” titles. I guess it’s a way of rediscovering women’s stories that were often overshadowed by a husband or father. Pretty unimaginative, though, I agree.


  6. It’s not a new one, but it is currently in my stack and I do think it’s charming: Anne Tyler’s Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant. Are you a Tyler fan? Somehow, I don’t think so…


    1. Funnily enough, I have that very book on my potential birthday reading stack! I’ve read 5 Tyler novels now. I wouldn’t call myself a dedicated fan, though they’re cosy if you’re in the right mood. My favourite so far was The Accidental Tourist.


  7. Like a Mule Bringing Ice Cream to the Sun is excellent. I highly recommend it if you can track down a copy. The only book I can remember buying for the title alone is Your Fathers, Where Are They? And The Prophets, Do They Live Forever?, although I’m sure there are others.


  8. Some of these titles are amazing – no wonder you had to buy them! I don’t know very many of them, sadly. Clearly I browse in the wrong places! I have read the Sara Nelson – years ago. Your mention of it reminded me of another bookish book I bought, again years ago, because I couldn’t resist the title: The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop by Lewis Buzbee. It prompted me to look it out and add it to my A – Z list so I’ll hopefully get to read now. I’m also pleased to read the positive comments about Narrow Road to the Deep North. I have that too and have been slightly frightened of it. Great post, Rebecca 🙂


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