Top Ten Tuesday: Extraordinary Book Titles


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish and now hosted by Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl. For the rules see her blog.

This week’s topic: Extraordinary Book Titles. My list is of titles that I think are odd, or quirky or that tell you nothing about the books.

The first five are crime fiction:

Books by Fred Vargas are good examples – Dog Will Have His Day a mystery surrounding a tiny fragment of human bone found in a pile of dog poo.

Whereas Seeking Whom He May Devour a Commissaire Jean- Baptiste Adamsberg mystery in which sheep are found with their throats torn out. The vet says it is the work of a very large wolf, but people suspect it is a werewolf.

And Christopher Brookmyre’s titles are intriguing – Quite Ugly One MorningAttack of the Unsinkable Rubber Ducks, and Boiling a Frog, all dark, satirical thrillers involving investigative journalist, Jack Parlabane.

The next five are a mix of genres:

A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian by Marina Lewycka – two feuding sisters, Vera and Nadezhda, who join forces against their father’s new, gold-digging girlfriend.

Ink in the Blood by Hilary Mantel, a short memoir about her surgery in 2010 to remove an intestinal obstruction that ended up in a marathon operation, followed by intense pain, nightmares and hallucinations.

Fire in the Blood by Irene Nemirovsky, an intense story of life and death, love and burning passion – a gem of a book.

Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, a novel based on the Nigeria-Biafra War of 1967 – 70. I loved this book.

Fingers in the Sparkle Jar by Chris Packham, another book I loved, a deeply personal and honest memoir about his childhood and early teenage years..

21 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Extraordinary Book Titles

  1. I really like your choices, Margaret! Those titles really are so unusual attention-getting. I’m glad to see some Fred Vargas there, as I think she really does choose great titles. Of course, she’s a talented writer, too…

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    1. I read the Tractor years ago and can’t remember much about it now – but I don’t think the title has much – if anything – to do with the book.


  2. Funny, when I saw the title of your post my mind immediately went to the books of Fred Vargas and lo and behold you have featured two of her books. Great minds and all that.

    Liked by 1 person

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