Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Book Title Trends

Today I was reading a pamphlet on great books for book discussion groups and I thought for about the 100th time, "Why do so many books have (insert word here) in the title?"  Recently, the title trend that always catches my eye is books with "The Art of" in the title.  Here are just a few books with that title:

The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
Enzo knows he is different from other dogs: a philosopher with a nearly human soul (and an obsession with opposable thumbs), he has educated himself by watching television and by listening closely to the words of his master, Denny Swift, an up-and-coming race car driver. On the night before his death, Enzo takes stock of his life, recalling all that he and his family have been through, hoping, in his next life, to return as a human.

The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach
At Westish College, baseball star Henry Skrimshander seems destined for the big leagues until a routine throw goes disastrously off-course. In the aftermath of his error, the fates of five people are upended and Henry's self-doubt threatens to ruin his future. College president Guert Affenlight has fallen unexpectedly and helplessly in love. Owen Dunne becomes caught up in a dangerous affair. Mike Schwartz realizes he has guided Henry's career at the expense of his own. And Pella Affenlight returns to Westish after escaping an ill-fated marriage, determined to start a new life. As the season counts down to its climactic final game, these five are forced to confront their deepest hopes, anxieties, and secrets.

The Art of Hearing Heartbeats by Jan-Phillips Sendker
A poignant and inspirational love story set in Burma, The Art of Hearing Heartbeats spans the decades between the 1950s and the present.  When a successful New York lawyer suddenly disappears without a trace, neither his wife nor his daughter Julia has any idea where he might be - until they find a love letter he wrote many years ago to a Burmese woman they have never heard of. Intent on solving the mystery and coming to terms with her father’s past, Julia decides to travel to the village where the woman lived. There she uncovers a tale of unimaginable hardship, resilience, and passion that will reaffirm the reader’s belief in the power of love to move mountains.

Please do not get me started on all the titles similar to/or parodies of Fifty Shades of Grey. Since the success of E.L. James trilogy there have been a slew of parodies and books with the title of "Fifty Shades of __________".  Beloved classic literature and fairy tale characters have gotten the Fifty Shades treatment (Mr. Darcy and Alice in Wonderland, I'm looking at you).  If you don't believe me, go to Amazon and type in "Fifty Shades of" and see how many results you get.  Many of these are self-published or only available as an e-book.

Are there any book title trends that you have noticed? There are a lot of sound-alike titles out there, check out the library's Sounds the Same board on our Pinterest page.  Please feel free to leave a comment.

Amy, Adult Services


  1. Beautiful Ruins (2012), Beautiful Mystery (2012), Beautiful Sacrifice (2012), Beautiful Disaster (2012)...