I'm not sure I've ever seen a title that explains the plot of a novel so clearly. Either you're interested in this one, or you're not, but you probably don't even have to read the back cover blurb to decide.
Performance artist Scott Wichmann's debut novel stars—who else?—two performance artists who pull off a desperate act to save their failing careers. Hank and Larry have been entertaining crowds in San Francisco for the last few years, but dwindling finances force them to trade their creative lifestyles for 9-to-5 gigs working for billionaire CEO Bill Hunstler. They're miserable, until they decide to kidnap Bill and make him part of their act.
Building a cage that doubles as a stage for a captive performer who's looking to escape is no trivial matter.
Want more? The book comes out on April 10. Until then, check out the author's website.
A great title doesn't necessarily ensure a great book, but there's something to be said for a solid hook. The editors of BookPage have selected the 25 best book titles of 2012 (scroll down for the full alphabetical list):
A Partial History of Lost Causes by Jennifer duBois
Amelia Anne Is Dead and Gone by Kat Rosenfield
And When She Was Good by Laura Lippman
Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk by Ben Fountain
Don't Ever Get Old by Daniel Friedman
Every Love Story Is a Ghost Story by D.T. Max
Happiness Is a Chemical in the Brain by Lucia Perillo
HHhH by Laurent Binet
Let's Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson
Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake by Anna Quindlen
New Ways to Kill Your Mother by Colm Tóibín
No One is Here Except All of Us by Ramona Ausubel
Red Ruby Heart in a Cold Blue Sea by Morgan Callan Rogers
Say Nice Things About Detroit by Scott Lasser
Tell the Wolves I'm Home by Carol Rifka Brunt
The End of Your Life Book Club by Will Schwalbe
The Liar, the Bitch and the Wardrobe by Allie Kingsley
The People of Forever Are Not Afraid by Shani Boianjiu
There Is No Dog by Meg Rosoff
This Book Is Full of Spiders: Seriously, Dude, Don't Touch It by David Wong
This Is How You Lose Her by Junot Díaz
What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank by Nathan Englander
Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple
Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? by Jeanette Winterson
Would You Eat Your Cat? by Jeremy Stangroom
For more of our Best of 2012, check out our Top 50 Books of 2012.
See the best book jackets of 2012.
See the best book titles of 2011.
See the best book titles of 2010.
Or simply browse all of The Book Case’s Best of 2012 coverage.
What were your favorite book titles of 2012?
Making your title a question is a tried-and-true method of grabbing a reader's attention. Add in a cover that features a sweet little Siamese being menaced by a phantom fork, and walking by Would You Eat Your Cat? without at least picking it up seems well nigh impossible.
And if you pick this one up, you'll be flipping through it for a while—classic and modern moral dilemmas (including the titular one) are outlined in an illustrated, magazine-like format. Answers and further discussion of each question are found in the book's second half, which also tells you what it is "likely" or "possible" about you, based on your personal answer. It's a fun and informative read for those who enjoy pondering these sorts of questions . . . and isn't that most everyone?
Did the title grab your attention? Will you look for this one in November?
From the Penguin catalog:
Lucy Butler, former wallflower, lands her dream job working for her idol, world famous fashion photographer Stefano Lepres. But in a world where getting doused in coffee for not getting the order right is the new normal, she isn’t getting any closer to her ideal of being behind the camera herself.
But then a superstar actress generously takes Lucy under her wing and teaches her the ways of the rich and famous—treating her to racks of designer clothes and introducing her to a life of private planes and penthouse suites. Soon Lucy is dating a rock star, attending the hottest Hollywood parties, and dressing the part.
Lost in the luxury, she loses sight of the things that once mattered most. It’s going to take a hard blow from the high life to send Lucy back to the real life she always wanted.
From an industry insider—and featuring wardrobes personally selected by celebrity stylist Robert Verdi—this is a novel that will keep you guessing, and introduce you to a world you know exists; you’ve just never seen it un-retouched.
Does this title need commentary?
From the back of the book: "In the stories of I Am a Magical Teenage Princess, Luke Geddes reexamines 1960s and contemporary popular culture with wit, insight, and pathos. A book for the magical teenage princess in all of us, this debut short story collection welcomes a unique and surprisingly wise voice to the world of letters."
This is Wisconsin writer Luke Geddes' first collection of short stories; Chômu Press is publishing it in July 2012. Find out more about Geddes and the book on his website, or read the story "Defunct Girl Gangs of North American Drive-Ins" online.
People are always talking about judging a book by its cover, but for those of us who are obsessed with words, I'd say a title is equally if not more important. This week brought an early contender for our "Best Titles of 2012" list to my attention: Scott Lasser's third novel, Say Nice Things About Detroit (Norton, July 2012). Now this is a title that immediately captures the imagination and makes me want to find out more. A story about second chances after tragedy, set in a city that desperately needs a second chance? Sounds like a compelling hook to me.
Have you come across any particularly interesting titles lately?
Related: Our Best Titles of 2011 list.