When I moved to Edgewater in 2013, I didn’t feel quite at home until I got my books settled in. Before the move, people asked what I was going to do with all of my books. My answer: Move them.
I want books around me. There are some books I consult often, some I read at regular intervals, and some which are fun to have around just to see their titles and imagine shocking people by talking about them.
Two of the better titles are among my language books: “Better Than Great: A Plenitudinous Compendium of Wallopingly Fresh Superlatives,” by Arthur Plotnik (Viva Editions, 2011) and “I Always Look Up the Word Egregious: A Vocabulary Book for People Who Don’t Need One,” by Maxwell Nurnberg (Prentice Hall Press, 1981). The latter book was a gift from my father, who loves words in many of the same ways I do. We never go through discussing some egregious error without mentioning that title.
Two other titles are highlights of my fiction shelf, both by Alexander McCall Smith: "Friends, Lovers, Chocolate" and "The Right Attitude to Rain" (Pantheon Books, 2005 and 2006, respectively). Those could lead the category of Funny Titles to Talk About, which also includes "Variety of Men" and "The New Men," both by C.P. Snow (published by Charles Scribner's Sons, 1966 and 1954 respectively).
Also in the Fun Titles department is "Quiet," Susan Cain's book about introversion and its value, published in 2012 by Crown Publishers. When I need "Quiet," it's in my reading room.
That’s how it goes with enjoyable titles – try talking about them, or at least reading this without focusing on the quotation marks: I’ve had “The Right Attitude to Rain” for years. That store is where I found “The Lost Art of Gratitude” (another winner by McCall Smith. “Spritual Quests” isn’t far from “Friends, Lovers, Chocolate” at my place. (Titles with plurals can make the grammar a bit shaky… sorry!)
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Filed under: Browsing through Bartlett's