Do you ever pick up a book to read purely based on the title? Not the book blurb, not the cover art, but the title alone?
I do, sometimes. Or, at minimum I’ll add a book with a title that strikes me to my “to read” list; perhaps that’s why my list is ridiculously long.
For example…I requested a review of copy Tom Holt’s upcoming Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Sausages because the title made me laugh. As it turns out, this has been a good thing. I’m reading the novel now and loving it. Holt’s a funny, clever writer. The impulse worked out for me.
My first introduction to the fantastic Rita Mae Brown was an impulse buy of her novel Southern Discomfort. The title tickled me, and has been a favorite for years.
I also want to read Lish McBride’s Hold Me Closer, Necromancer because every time I see the title I suddenly have Elton John on repeat in my head singing “Tiny Dancer.” Oh, the power of association. I have no idea what it’s about, but the name has me very curious.
I’ve seen Eric James Stone’s novellette, “That Leviathan, Whom Thou Hast Made” mentioned as various bloggers and people-in-the-know are discussing award-worthy works now that it’s closing in on nomination season for the Locus, Hugo, and Nebula awards…and I want to read it based on title alone. It has a certain gravitas; I hope I can track it down to read. (edited to add that the author provided a link to the story. Thank you, Mr. Stone!)
Regarding Ducks and Universes, a novel releasing next month and written by Neve Maslakovic is one that made my “to read” list because of the title. How could it not?
My Mother She Killed Me, My Father He Ate Me: Forty New Fairy Tales by Kate Bernheimer is another title I gravitated to when I saw it. At least the title tells me it is about fairy tales–though I’d probably have it on my list based on the pre-colon part of the title anyway.
Other works that have caught my interest because of title? A short list:
Time Machines Repaired While-U-Wait by K. A. Bedford
There Once Lived a Woman Who Tried to Kill Her Neighbor’s Baby: Scary Fairy Tales by Ludmilla Petrushevskaya, translated by Keith Gessen
How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe: A Novel by Charles Yu
From the Notebooks of Dr. Brain by Minister Faust
The Nymphos of Rocky Flats by Mario Acevedo
Adventures in Unhistory: Conjectures on the Factual Foundations of Several Ancient Legends by Avram Davidson
So what about you? Are you easily swayed into reading by a title that strikes you?