What’s In A Name? – Part One: Book Titles

Hello book lovers! Are you ready for another way too long blog post?

In my last blog post we talked a bit about book covers and what themes I tend to be most drawn to, today I’m thinking about book titles. Specifically, what kinds of titles really capture my attention and make me think, “I need to read that!” or the titles that seem to consistently make their way onto my shelf.

Now I will admit more often than not I choose a book because I think the cover is pretty, or because it is highly recommended by someone who’s taste is similar to mine, or because the synopsis sounds amazing. The title isn’t always a huge factor when it comes to catching my attention. That said, when I sat down to make this list I did start to notice specific reoccurring themes and formats and I wanted to look at some of them and discuss them a little.

(Please note, there will likely be a lot of links in this post as the list of examples got pretty lengthy. These are of course affiliate links which means I do get a small commission if you purchase using them, at no extra cost to you. As always, you are under no obligation to use them and I am eternally grateful for your support either way. Additionally, since this blog post is focused on book titles I’m not going to include pictures of the covers throughout the post but I’ll try to spruce it up with other pretty visuals in some way so it’s not just a wall of text.)

Single Word Titles

(Hands up if you started singing “All my single titles !” to the tune of Single Ladies…anyone? No? Just me? … *lowers hand slowly* Cool.)

Moving on, single word titles take up a lot of space on my bookshelf and a small part of me doesn’t understand why because generally speaking I don’t find them very interesting.

There is nothing wrong with them, and some genuinely do a pretty good job at getting the general theme of the book across with just that one word but a lot of them don’t really give you much and therefore don’t really capture attention in the same way a lot of other titles do, in my opinion. I struggled to find books with just one word for the title that I know I purchased or added to any of my lists based off just the title. Matched, Delirium & Ink were the only 3 I could come up with and Ink may be cheating because I probably truthfully bought it for the gorgeous cover.

The ____ and the ____ / The ____ of the ____ / The ____ of ____ and ____

I’m aware that heading might be a little confusing, but hopefully my list of examples will clear it up somewhat. Books that use this format capture my attention so fast. For one, I like titles that are on the longer side, at least 4 or more words. I’m not entirely sure why, but I feel like it just paints a slightly more vivid picture of the world you’re about to experience and it makes me eager to dive in. I had a really hard time narrowing down my list of fantastic examples so there are quite a few:

The Weight of The Stars. A Court of Thorns and Roses (The entire series actually although for the most part I’m keeping sequels and series’ off this list because let’s be honest, we buy those because of the first book, it doesn’t matter what they name the ones that come after.) House of Salt and Sorrows. The Library of The Unwritten. The Mirror and the Light. The Elements of the Crown. Kingdom of the Wicked.

Also, this category reminded me of this thing I saw online. Leave me a comment telling me yours, mine is King of Storms and Madness. Technically it should be Queen of Storms and Madness since I am a female but I feel like I should be allowed to be King if I want in this fantasy world.

Please note I may use your result in a future/in progress story I’m working on, if it’s a really cool one!

What Does That Mean?” Titles / Titles That Leave You Just Confused Enough To Want To Know More

I’m personally intrigued by titles like this that seem to be a random sentence or a fragment of a sentence that doesn’t quite make sense out of context, but leaves me curious to figure it out. Often they hint at a story that could end up being very emotional, or a world I’m about to get lost in. There’s a certain puzzle like quality to it, if that makes sense. Sometimes even, the title is a reference to something else I’m generally not cool enough to get. (And yes, some of these titles could also belong to the previous category as well, but I’m including them in this section because of the semi-mysterious imagery they evoke.)

Some of my favourite titles that fall into this category: The Never Tilting World. Every Heart A Doorway. Soon The Light Will Be Perfect. The Light Between Worlds. All The Stars and Teeth.

A Title That Contains A Word Related To A Personal Interest

This is kind of an oddball category and one that will be very different for every person but I did notice a large number of books on my personal lists and shelves that fit into this one. Some of my personal examples:

Photo by Lăzuran Călin from Pexels

I’m a huge sucker for all things circus or carnival related (especially magical/dark/creepy versions of these) so the Night Circus and Caraval (the word looks close enough to Carnival that it tricked me at first, let me have this) were both immediate must reads for me.

Photo by Francesco Ungaro from Pexels

I’m also absolutely obsessed with forests so The Hazel Wood, The Waking Forest and Desperate Forest were three titles I obviously couldn’t dismiss.

Scandinavian culture/Norse mythology/Viking related topics are also very dear to my heart and I love video games so when I see a title that seems to be tied to either of these things, it’s immediately getting scooped up. (Valkyrie Rising, Ready Player One and Neil Gaiman’s Norse Mythology as a few good examples…only one of which I’ve actually gotten around to reading. Too many books, too little time.)

And for some weird reason I’m very much drawn to anything with the word Winter in the title, which is weird because I hate Winter, but if I see the word in a book title, I’m buying it. (The Winter Duke, Wintersong or Winterwoodwhich actually fits this category, my forest obsession AND the single word title category all in one title so we should probably give it a gold star – all made it on to my shelves or lists this year) Maybe it’s something about experiencing the beauty of winter while being cozy inside? I don’t know, but I’m into it for some reason.

Ok I have rambled on long enough. Now it’s your turn! What kind of titles are you drawn to the most? Is there a specific style of book title you particularly love? What was your Villain Name result? If you’ve written anything, what did you name it? (Only if you’re comfortable sharing of course! But if it’s for sale, feel free to drop a link below where we can find it!)

4 comments

  1. I’m very boring and think I actually like all of these title formats equally as long as they fit the story 😁 What I don’t like are completely random titles that are apparently supposed to sound cool, but never show up anywhere in the book… But other than that – spice it up with a few different title formats and I’ll be happy!
    And how can you not like winter? 😱 It’s the best season! 😁

    • I don’t like being cold and winter driving scares me! Lol. It’s beautiful but slippery sidewalks and shoveling driveways is not my favourite either. Plus it seems to last about 8 months here in Edmonton! 😂😭
      I completely agree with you about the random titles that have nothing to do with the story being annoying. I always feel like I’m missing something that should have been obvious when I reach the end of the book and the title still doesn’t make sense.
      Thanks for your comment!

      • Oh, yes, driving in winter is the worst! 😅 But I just love the snow, the general holiday spirit, and everything else about winter enough to make up for it, I guess 😂 Though 8 months is definitely too long, even for me!!

      • Yeah, I do agree with all your points. The holiday spirit DEFINITELY is a plus. If I could just create a little paradise where I don’t have to drive anywhere all Winter it would be perfect!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s