11/17/09 - 1:57pm
by Chas Danner

Naming Books

Couldn’t help but chuckle a bit at the new HuffPo list of “writer’s writers” in (negative) response to Sarah Palin and her ghost writer’s new page roguer. Not because of the writers included or not included (a “writer’s writers” list that omits John McPhee??) – but because of the titles… Book titles, art titles, even song titles are always a fascinating glimpse into how an artist (or an artist’s agent) brands their work, or in a way, themselves. I just keep thinking of all the various people referring to the fictional masterpiece Arsonist’s Daughter in Wonderboys like it was some treasured member of their extended family. With that in mind, a bad poem made from book titles:

Our Story Begins
a distant episode
This Boys Life
Airships
Everything That Rises Must Converge
Dance of the Happy Shades
Will You Please Be Quiet, Please?
A Good Man is Hard to Find
Runaway
The Tunnel
Cathedral
My Sister’s Hand in Mine
a bad man
George Mills
In Persuasion Nation
Two Serious Ladies
Loving, Living, Party Going

A Sheltering Sky
Geronimo Rex
Civilwarland in Bad Decline
Omensetter’s Luck

My favorite titles:
Civilwarland in Bad Decline (that’s wholly original)
Everything That Rises Must Converge (could be a book about garden gnomes and it would still sound worth reading with a title like that)

Least favorite:
a distant episode

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