18 May 2019

Titles and Entitling

Now All We Need is a Title
André Bernard
WW Norton, 1994
127 pp.

Subtitled "Famous Book Titles and How They Got That Way", this is an entertaining little book full of anecdotes about the process of titling a book. There is no narrative as such, just vignettes organized by the authors' names plus some lists of thematically-related titles, such as "numbers in titles" or "planets and moons in titles". Scattered throughout are black-and-white illustrations which appear to be from very old books and bookplates.

Some stories are told by the authors themselves or their editors, a few are quotations from a book wherein the character talks about creating a title. I found many interesting titbits, like the fact that E.E. Cummings published a book in 1930 with no title at all, and Fitzgerald's working title for "The Great Gatsby" was the amazingly clunky "Trimalchio in West Egg"!

In the only known instance of a book's title predicting its fate, the first printing of John Steinbeck's 'The Wayward Bus' was destroyed when the truck transporting the books from the bindery crashed in flames. The truck had been hit by a "wayward" bus that had been traveling down the wrong side of the road. p. 106

It was Lewis Carroll who came up with the idea of putting the title on the dust jacket, and his 'The Hunting of the Snark' was the first book to be published with a printed jacket in 1876.

If you love books and the stories behind them, this is the book for you. The format makes it perfect for dipping into at odd times, when your current read (or life) is getting a bit heavy.

Trimalchio is a character in the 1st century AD Roman work of fiction "Satyricon" by Petronius. He is an arrogant former slave who has become quite wealthy by tactics that most would find distasteful. -Wikipedia

13 May 2019

How to Introvert

Introvert Doodles: An Illustrated Look at Introvert Life in an Extrovert World
Maureen "Marzi" Wilson
Adams Media, 2016

This is a quirky little cartoon book that is a lot of fun and I even learned something from Marzi. In between introverts and extroverts there are ambiverts, who have attributes of both other types. Cool, 'cause that's me! I enjoy people in limited amounts.

Meet Marzi. She's an introvert who often finds herself in awkward situations. Marzi used to feel strange about her introverted tendencies. Not anymore! Now she knows that there are tons of introverts out there just like her--introverts who enjoy peace and quiet, need time alone to recharge their battery, and who prefer staying in with their pet and a good book to awkward social interactions. -Back Cover


The drawing style is simple. Some cartoons have lots of text; some only a little bit. Some are very funny; some quite sad. And scattered within the frames is plenty of social wisdom.


Marzi has a website IntrovertDoodles, a popular Instagram site @IntrovertDoodles and a Twitter account @IntrovertDoodle. She has also written three other books:
  • "Kind of Coping: An Illustrated Look at Life with Anxiety"
  • "The Introvert Activity Book: Draw It, Make It, Write It (Because You'd Never Say It Out Loud)"
  • "The Little Book of Big Feelings: An Illustrated Exploration of Life's Many Emotions" (Nov. 2019)

03 May 2019

Bout of Books Read-a-thon 25


I’m joining the 25th edition of #boutofbooks! It's my fourth Bout of Books and I'm looking forward to a week of reading, reading, reading! Why not join us?

Here's the scoop on Bout of Books:

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda Shofner and Kelly Rubidoux Apple. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01 am Monday, May 13th and runs through Sunday, May 19th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, Twitter chats, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 25 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team

I have 2 books to finish, and 3 others waiting in the wings when I do:

Books to finish:

    "The Bridge of San Luis Rey", Thorton Wilder
    "Shakespeare is Hard But So Is Life", Fintan O'Toole

Books to start:

    "The Prodigal Tongue", Lynne Murphy
    "Essential Encounter", Therese Kuoh-Moukoury
    "Mrs. 'Arris Goes to Parliament", Paul Gallico

Onwards and Upwards, Readers!