A game for book snobs

So awhile ago on Twitter, I linked to an article that satisfyingly applied charts and graphs to my pet peeve of book titling, “The ___’s Daughter.” (To be fair, my expressed peeve was with “The ___’s Wife,” but you can see the connection.) The article at The Millions also called out the title construction “The Secret Life of ___.” I would add “The Art of ___” and, perhaps, “How to [be] ___” to the list of overused, suspicious constructions as well.

Maybe the recent books released with these titles are good ones, but I now hesitate to pick them up. The marketing idea here–that you’re more likely to browse or spontaneously buy (or download a free sample) when a title sounds like other award-winners or best-sellers–seems to work, but I feel put off by the implication that I’m this impressionable.

What if your favorite books had been marketed under one of these slick, familiar names? I had a look at the last few novels I finished, and re-named them according to Bestseller Formula.

  1. The Art of Racing Zombies in the Apocalypse
  2. The Secret Life of Libertines
  3. How to Get Away With Murder
  4. The Vampire’s Daughter
  5. The Statesman’s Wife

Not really an improvement, in most cases. Yours?


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