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Monday, September 11, 2006

Tragedies in Publishing

Posted by on September 11 at 16:46 PM

This is Andrew Bleeker, the Stranger’s books intern. It falls to me to sift through the dozens of review copies that publishers mail here every week. I also go through publishers’ catalogues of upcoming releases. I’ve always loved books, but the last couple of months have taught me that the vast majority of books are unworthy of love. Their titles alone betray the poor taste, desperation, and outright stupidity that seethes within the book-purchasing public.

For example:

Thong on Fire: An Urban Erotic Tale
Good Debt, Bad Debt
Lawn Geek

After the jump, you can check out a categorized list of the worst titles I’ve come across recently.

First, the books that will enhance your horrible sex life:

Lust in Translation
The Ultimate Sex Diet
The Science of Sexy
Real Vampires Have Curves
The Complete Idiot's Guide to Exotic and Pole Dancing (Illustrated)
The Punany Poets: Verbal Penetration

Then come the can't-miss compendiums of knowledge:

The Physics of the Buffyverse
Hell Hath No Curry
Your Money and Your Brain: How the New Science of Neuroeconomics Can Help Make You Rich
The Kosher Billionaire's Secret Recipe
The First National Bank of Dad
How to Write Like Chekhov
Growing Great Employees
Twinkie, Deconstructed

Give me that old-time religion:

What God Can Do
The G.O.D. Experiments
God's Spy
Jesus: The Unauthorized Version
Home with God in a Life that Never Ends
Zen Putting

And we can't forget the artsy and evocative titles:

Shadow of the Wind
They Called Me Bunny
Their Dogs Came with Them
We are the Cat
In the Last Blue
Scarlet Feather
The Devil's Feather
Friends, Lovers, Chocolate
The Guillotine Squad
Beyond the Blonde
Lawd, Mo' Drama

Thank you for sharing my pain. I swear that these are all actual book titles.

CommentsRSS icon

All of whose authors will google themselves, come here, and cry.

"Their Dogs Came with Them?" Wow. I didn't know they'd published a book about Cum Sail Away so quickly.

I feel your pain - I used to work in a literary agency. If you think those titles are bad, imagine the titles of the books that don't get published. Gag inducing. Still, I have to jump in to defend Shadow of the Wind. First of all, it's translated from Spanish, in which the title may not be so bad, and second of all, it's actually really really good. One of the better novels I've read this year. So, you know, don't judge a book by its cover and all that.

I would, however read any of the following:
Good Debt, Bad Debt: An Urban Erotic Tale,
Lawn on Fire, or
Thong Geek

Shadow of the Wind is excellent, though Zafon (sp?) could definitely have chosen a better title.

I want to read Hell Hath No Curry!

Thong Geek is a terrific title! The new Trainspotting ...

For once, I'm glad to NOT see my book in The Stranger!

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