Tuesday 18 October 2011

Top Ten Tuesday

I feel like this week's top ten is the polar opposite of last week's, in that, rather than being a top ten of books that were so wonderful you want to recapture that magic feeling you had when you first read them, this is all about being shallow and thinking only of titles, or even worse, covers. That being said, choosing a book this way can often reveal some surprising results, and even though I tend to buy books because of authors/positive reviews, the following are books whose titles were their sole merit, even if that's not the case any more.

Top Ten Books whose covers/titles made me buy them

1. The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender- Isn't that just the best title ever? I did genuinely think it was going to be a discussion of lemon cake and its sad qualities (I don't know, something like 'it's sour and that means it's always a sad cake' or something) but actually it sounds even more interesting than that. I haven't actually read it yet, so I can't tell you if that's the case, but we'll see!

2. The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides- I don't know why the title of this book appealed to me so much, but it was a mistake to read it because I really didn't like it (see here). Middlesex, which had a far less appealing title, was actually so greatly superior that I could hardly believe it was by the same author.

3. The New York Trilogy by Paul Auster- It has the words New York in the title, I'm on it. I did also buy this because Auster is freaking amazing, but the New York thing definitely made me buy this one rather than, say The Music of Chance or, you know, anything else.

4. We Were the Mulvaneys by Joyce Carol Oates- I also bought this because there was a quotation on the cover that said something like 'Oates may be the great American author' or something, but I also just really liked the title (don't ask me why because I don't have a clue!) I'm really glad I did though- my very first Oates book that spawned a great love.

5. Female Chauvinist Pigs by Ariel Levy- Isn't that a great title though? Also an awesome feminist discussion of how women are sometimes their own worst enemy when it comes to gaining equality, by seeing themselves solely as sex objects. Highly recommended.

6. This Book Will Save Your Life by A M Homes- This one I bought because of the title and the cover- it's got doughnuts on the front which is just a good thing whichever way you look at it. It also cost, I think, £1, so, you know, another good reason to buy stuff...

7. The Invention of Solitude by Paul Auster- Another book by Auster! So again, it wasn't just the title, but I'm pretty sure I had heard of the book before I knew who it was by, and wanted to read it because of the title. Let's stick with that explanation, anyway.

8. The Man Who Mistook His Wife For a Hat by Oliver Sacks- Come on. Are you strong enough to resist a title like that?!

9. The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera- I think this was also recommended by a Philosophy lecturer, but the title alone is pretty magnificent, so I probably wouldn't have bought it if it wasn't for that.

10. What's Eating Johnny Depp by Nigel Goodall- Sadly, the title was the best thing about this biography. But there are still photos of Depp in it, so it wasn't a complete loss...

Aren't they all great titles though? Mixed results from the actual books, but at least the authors can rest easy knowing that they thought of good titles for their crappy crappy books (Goodall, I'm looking at you!)

Ooh, and if you're in a winning sort of mood, may I invite you to enter my Giveaway for the Literary Blog Hop? I'm giving away three books, so hopefully there should be something there that you will just desperately want to own! So don't say I never give you anything!


  1. Female Chauvinist Pigs is a title that stands out and I'm happy to see that you recommend it. I'll need to check it out!

  2. Lol - I am not strong enough to resist a title like The Man Who Mistook His Wife For a Hat :-)

  3. I'm glad to hear you liked Middlesex. I have that on my TBR shelf and I'm really looking forward to getting to it. I actually kind of like the cover, too.

  4. me book draw my attention to them by the cover
    if the cover stand out i get it and read it

  5. The Virgin Suicides caught my eye when it was released as a movie, due to the title, and I fell in love with it. I then read the book, which I liked as well!

  6. What great titles! I admit to often choosing a book from the library by the appearance of it's cover.

  7. The particular Sadness of Lemon Cake was on my list too :) I have heard so many people say they loved this one; but it just didn't do anything for me I hope you get to read it soon and love it! It's definitely an interesting story...

  8. Have you seen the film Virgin Suicides? I saw it before I read it, and it truly is a very beautiful film. I liked the book well enough, but not a favourite as such. I would read it again.

    This is the second time in as many days I've seen The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake referenced - I really need to read this book, I think! :)