The best titles are eye-catching and evocative, pique our interest and draw us in. The best titles frequently use language in fresh ways and in this way remain memorable.
Here are a few of my favorite book titles. I’m planning on updating this list periodically. There are so many great titles!
Driving Mr. Albert: A Trip Across America with Einstein’s Brain, by Michael Paterniti (2000). Road Trip. A most extraordinary (bizarre?) road trip; unforgettable.
Making a Literary Life: Advice for Writers and Other Dreamers, by Carolyn See (2002). The Writing Life. I love this title. Fine and funny book about writing, too.
Negotiating with the Dead: A Writer on Writing, by Margaret Atwood (2002). Great title! Confession: this is on my reading list!
This House of Sky: Landscapes of a Western Mind, by Ivan Doig (1978). Memoir. One of the finest memoirs I’ve ever read.
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values, by Robert M. Pirsig (1974). Road trip and memoir. A man’s search for himself; a fine book which only touches on Zen and motorcycle maintenance.
A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain, by Robert Olen Butler (1992). Short Stories.
I am not Jackson Pollack: Stories, by John Haskell (2003). Short stories. Memorable title story.
The Lake Dreams the Sky, by Swain Wolfe (1998). Novel. A fine novel and great storytelling.
Snow Falling on Cedars, by David Guterson (1994). Novel. A fine novel about love, doing the right thing, and redemption. For me, such an evocative title.
The Things They Carried, by Tim O’Brien (1990). Linked short stories. The title story is an exceptional piece of writing, and one of the best of the last century.
The Years of Rice and Salt, by Kim Stanley Robinson (2002). Alternative history. A novel by Robinson is like an intellectual feast: well written, full of ideas and compelling storylines.
I’ll add more as time goes on.
Now, please tell me about your favorite book titles!