Never misjudge a book by its title

Our latest column from William Thomas

So I’m lining up my summer reading list, starting with The Dutch Wife which so far, I cannot put down. Then there’s Stalin’s Daughter by Rosemary Sullivan and The Purchase by Linda Spalding. Anything I can get my hands on by Julian Barnes. Same with Richard Russo and Richard Ford. Man’s Search For Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl which I read every summer.

And then there’s Ask Me About My Uterus by … Whoops! Wrong list. That book is on my “Thousand Things I Must Not Do Before I Die!” list. Not sure how that book is selling, but Abby Norman: you have come up with one helluva show-stopper of a title.

Have you seen some of the bizarre book titles that are listed on Amazon? And selling as well? Like Natural Bust Enlargement With Total Mind Power. Sounds like Uri Geller has gone too far this time. Down Home Gynecology lists about forty tips you never want the children to try in their spare time.

In the category of books aimed at a very narrow audience we have How To Avoid Huge Ships and Reusing Old Graves. The question of Are Women Human? is made more specific in How To Succeed In Business Without A Penis.

Children do not fare well in a few recently published books. Monsters Eat Whiny Children might keep some of them in line, but How To Raise Your IQ By Eating Grilled Children is bound to cause nightmares. To each author of those books I say: YOU ARE A BAD ASS. (Also a title on Amazon.)

And if you’re waiting for the “feel good comedy of the year,” it certainly won’t be adapted from the book Another Bullshit Night In Suck City.

Some good advice in Stop Dressing Your Six-Year-Old Like A Skank. Some not-so-good advice in Ragnar’s Guide To Home And Recreational Use Of High Explosives. And when you find a copy of The Practical Pyromaniac under Jimmy’s bed – call the cops!

There are a bunch of oddly amusing titles out there like How To Land A Top-Paying Pierogi Makers Job. Also, You Suck! (A Love Story). And Anybody Can Be Cool … But Awesome Takes Some Practise.

Somehow The Jewish-Japanese Sex & Cookbook And How To Raise Wolves makes little sense, but O.J. Simpson – I Didn’t Not Not Kill Nobody sounds about right for “The Juice.”

???Are you talking about If I Did It???

Similarly Nostradamus Ate My Hamster is pretty far fetched, but I swear I will get my hands on The Lull Before The Dorking! I don’t get it, but I do like Tooth Imprints On A Corn Dog and We Got Zombies On Th Lawn Again, Ma.

However, there seems to be no explanation whatsoever for the book Eeeee Eee Eeee!

In the battle between the sexes, score one for Mary McHugh and her book: If I Get Hit By A Bus Tomorrow, Here’s How To Replace The Toilet Paper Roll: A Woman’s Instructional Guide For Men. Men are often portrayed as helpless and unfocused in books by women or as one title describes it: Half Asleep In Frog Pajamas.

Scatology is well explored in newly-released titles. Hard to deny Taro Gomi’s truism: Everyone Poops. Just asking not to be lied to, a book by TV’s Judge Judy (Sheindlin) pleads: Don’t Pee On My Leg And Tell Me It’s Raining. Then there’s Chicken Poop For The Soul. (Man, is that franchise running low on ideas!) The Nancy Drew Mystery Series also hit rock bottom with Who Sharted In My Bed? There’s also Cooking With Poo by … wait for it … Thai chef Khun Poo. And perhaps the title that covers the whole crappy category best is The Origin Of Feces. (Darwin’s body just floated to the surface off the Galapagos Islands.) Perhaps all of the above will be swept away by Reepah Gud Wan’s book: The Zen Of Farting.

In the category of “writers being honest with book titles” comes: The Cat With The Really Big Head And Another Story That Isn’t As Good. Not to be confused with Hello Kitty Must Die. And just for the record there is no dominatrix in a very old book that’s innocently titled: Scouts In Bondage.

And here to dispel that age-old theory – never to judge a book by its cover comes This Book And Title Have Nothing To Do With This Book. New theory: maybe you have to judge a book by the cover of the book next to it.

And the most honest book title of this summer goes to: This Is The Best Book I’ve Ever Written, And It Still Sucks! (This Isn’t Really My Best Book). Doubt about the quality and success of a book creeps into the mind of every writer as you press “SEND” to your publisher. But seldom of us ever put those black thoughts on the cover. Also, hard to make a living with Jarod Kintz’s This Book Is Not For Sale.

I need to go have a nap now. I have this terrible feeling There’s A Wocket In My Pocket and I have no idea what a ‘wocket’ is!

For comments, ideas and copies of The Legend of Zippy Chippy, go to www.williamthomas.ca.

 


 

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