Name Dropping: Ten Book Titles I Love

Most of my reading is a happy accident. While I read reviews and take book recommendations from wherever I can get them, I often end up reading something because of a pretty basic reason. The cover looked fun. It’s short enough—or long enough—to fill the time I need. More often lately, I pick up a book because it was the one closest to my hands.

And then there are the titles. Truly, a good or unique title can make the difference between me noticing a book or leaving it on the shelf. So for this Top Ten Tuesday, here are ten titles I love … and which probably contributed to me reading them in the first place.

“..and then we’ll get him!”
by Daniel Handler

Gahan Wilson was the master of the macabre cartoon, and the wonderfully creepy devilish title was my introduction to his work.


Auntie Uncle: Drag Queen Hero
by Ellie Royce
illustrated by Hannah Chambers

This one basically speaks for itself, but who can resist an Auntie Uncle?


The Black Flamingo
by Dean Atta

Whenever I see a title that includes my favorite animal I take notice. Fortunately, this is an amazing verse novel.


The Healer of the Water Monster
by Brian Young

Rarely has a title conjured up such powerful images like this one. It’s perfect.


Hope in the Holler
by Lisa Lewis Tyre

Having grown up near a locally infamous holler, I couldn’t resist this one.


The Joy Luck Club
by Amy Tan

Perhaps the only time a standardized test was useful: In middle school, this book was mentioned on a state exam. I couldn’t get the title out of my head and soon fell in love with Tan’s work.


The Snarkout Boys and the Avocado of Death
by Daniel Pinkwater

Pinkwater has written a lot of odd—and wonderful—things, but this title is up there.


The Phantom of Tollbooth
by Norton Juster
illustrated by Jules Feiffer

One of my favorite titles of all time. Evocative and a little peculiar, it made this charming book nearly impossible not to pick up.


Stitchin’ and Pullin’: A Gee’s Bend Quilt
by Patricia C. McKissack
illustrated by Cozbi A. Cabrera

After first learning about Gee’s Bend and the residents who make some of the most amazing quilts, I stumbled across this picture book. How could I resist?


Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge
by Mem Fox
illustrated by Julie Vivas

Well, with a name like that…


Note: Top Ten Tuesday is a feature hosted by Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl. Be sure to check out her weekly post to find other participants.


  1. Great list! I focused more on covers this week, but another fun title is “I Am Not A Serial Killer” by Dan Wells. I couldn’t GET my card swiped fast enough. Did not disappoint.


  2. Fun covers! While I’m sure there are books I’ve picked up solely because of their covers, I couldn’t think of any specific titles this morning. Sometimes my memory just doesn’t want to work. THE JOY-LUCK CLUB, though, is one I probably picked up because of its unique title. It’s a great book for lots of reasons.

    Happy TTT!



    1. Always happy to see someone else who enjoys that book! It’s one of my favorites. In middle school, it was mentioned in a state examination I had to take. There were a couple of questions that only featured the name, and I remember being curious because I hadn’t heard of it before. Then there was a section featuring an excerpt from it and I fell in love with the writing.


  3. I really never thought ‘The Joy Luck Club’ as particular unique or interesting book title but seeing it here now, I think there’s something intriguing those four words. In Chinese traditions, joy and luck are the two words that are often used for all the happy events like new year’s and weddings and birthdays.

    I guess I would read a book with a title like ‘The Snarkout Boys and the Avocado of Death’ because I wonder why avocados are deadly.

    Great list. Have a lovely day.


    1. I think you’re onto something with that. Four words that aren’t particularly remarkable on their own, but work together beautifully in this case … But then, I just really love that book.

      The Snarkout Boys, without a doubt, is one of the most unique books I’ve ever read. It’s as strong as its title.


  4. What a great list. I love your comment about standardized testing. I’m glad you got some use out of that test. I love the title The Snarkout Boys and the Avocado of Death. It sounds like a fun book!


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