Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. This week’s topic is “Book Titles That Are Complete Sentences” (Submitted by Jessica @ A Cocoon of Books).
Once I started trying to find titles for this prompt, I found it really interesting the way authors employed the titles. Sometimes they were denials that went against what the character was actually like feeling, like “We Are Okay” or “Elephant Oliphant is Completely Fine”. Other times, they were confessions like, “Darius the Great Is Not Okay”. There were also commands like “Never Let Me Go”. Refutals like “I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter”. Others gave away the ending like “They Both Die At the End” or “Then We Came to the End”. And then there were overarching titles like “Everything is Illuminated”. Overall, full sentences can be a really powerful way to title a book.
We Are Okay – Nina LaCour – Marin hasn’t spoken to anyone from her old life since the day she left everything behind. No one knows the truth about those final weeks. Not even her best friend, Mabel. But even thousands of miles away from the California coast, at college in New York, Marin still feels the pull of the life and tragedy she’s tried to outrun. Now, months later, alone in an emptied dorm for winter break, Marin waits. Mabel is coming to visit, and Marin will be forced to face everything that’s been left unsaid and finally confront the loneliness that has made a home in her heart. (Description via Goodreads).
Darius The Great Is Not Okay – Adib Khorram – Darius Kellner speaks better Klingon than Farsi, and he knows more about Hobbit social cues than Persian ones. He’s about to take his first-ever trip to Iran, and it’s pretty overwhelming—especially when he’s also dealing with clinical depression, a disapproving dad, and a chronically anemic social life. In Iran, he gets to know his ailing but still formidable grandfather, his loving grandmother, and the rest of his mom’s family for the first time. And he meets Sohrab, the boy next door who changes everything.
Sohrab makes sure people speak English so Darius can understand what’s going on. He gets Darius an Iranian National Football Team jersey that makes him feel like a True Persian for the first time. And he understands that sometimes, best friends don’t have to talk. Darius has never had a true friend before, but now he’s spending his days with Sohrab playing soccer, eating rosewater ice cream, and sitting together for hours in their special place, a rooftop overlooking the Yazdi skyline.
Sohrab calls him Darioush—the original Persian version of his name—and Darius has never felt more like himself than he does now that he’s Darioush to Sohrab. When it’s time to go home to America, he’ll have to find a way to be Darioush on his own. (Description via Goodreads).
Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine – Gail Honeyman – Meet Eleanor Oliphant: she struggles with appropriate social skills and tends to say exactly what she’s thinking. Nothing is missing in her carefully timetabled life of avoiding unnecessary human contact, where weekends are punctuated by frozen pizza, vodka, and phone chats with Mummy.
But everything changes when Eleanor meets Raymond, the bumbling and deeply unhygienic IT guy from her office. When she and Raymond together save Sammy, an elderly gentleman who has fallen, the three rescue one another from the lives of isolation that they had been living. Ultimately, it is Raymond’s big heart that will help Eleanor find the way to repair her own profoundly damaged one. If she does, she’ll learn that she, too, is capable of finding friendship—and even love—after all. (Description via Goodreads).
We Have Always Lived In The Castle – Shirley Jackson – My name is Mary Katherine Blackwood. I am eighteen years old, and I live with my sister Constance. I have often thought that with any luck at all I could have been born a werewolf, because the two middle fingers on both my hands are the same length, but I have had to be content with what I had. I dislike washing myself, and dogs, and noise, I like my sister Constance, and Richard Plantagenet, and Amanita phalloides, the death-cap mushroom. Everyone else in my family is dead… (Description via Goodreads).
We Were Liars – E. Lockheart – A beautiful and distinguished family. A private island. A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy. A group of four friends—the Liars—whose friendship turns destructive. A revolution. An accident. A secret. Lies upon lies. True love. The truth. (Description via Goodreads).
Everything Is Illuminated – Jonathan Safran Foer – With only a yellowing photograph in hand, a young man — also named Jonathan Safran Foer — sets out to find the woman who may or may not have saved his grandfather from the Nazis. Accompanied by an old man haunted by memories of the war; an amorous dog named Sammy Davis, Junior, Junior; and the unforgettable Alex, a young Ukrainian translator who speaks in a sublimely butchered English, Jonathan is led on a quixotic journey over a devastated landscape and into an unexpected past. (Description via Goodreads).
Never Let Me Go – Kazuo Ishiguro – Hailsham seems like a pleasant English boarding school, far from the influences of the city. Its students are well tended and supported, trained in art and literature, and become just the sort of people the world wants them to be. But, curiously, they are taught nothing of the outside world and are allowed little contact with it.
Within the grounds of Hailsham, Kathy grows from schoolgirl to young woman, but it’s only when she and her friends Ruth and Tommy leave the safe grounds of the school (as they always knew they would) that they realize the full truth of what Hailsham is. (Description via Goodreads).
I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter – Erika L. Sanchez –
Perfect Mexican daughters do not go away to college. And they do not move out of their parents’ house after high school graduation. Perfect Mexican daughters never abandon their family.
But Julia is not your perfect Mexican daughter. That was Olga’s role.
Then a tragic accident on the busiest street in Chicago leaves Olga dead and Julia left behind to reassemble the shattered pieces of her family. And no one seems to acknowledge that Julia is broken, too. Instead, her mother seems to channel her grief into pointing out every possible way Julia has failed.
But it’s not long before Julia discovers that Olga might not have been as perfect as everyone thought. With the help of her best friend Lorena, and her first kiss, first love, first everything boyfriend Connor, Julia is determined to find out. Was Olga really what she seemed? Or was there more to her sister’s story? And either way, how can Julia even attempt to live up to a seemingly impossible ideal? (Description via Goodreads).
Then We Came To The End – Joshua Ferris – The characters in Then We Came To The End cope with a business downturn in the time-honored way: through gossip, secret romance, elaborate pranks, and increasingly frequent coffee breaks. By day they compete for the best office furniture left behind and try to make sense of the mysterious pro-bono ad campaign that is their only remaining “work.” (Description via Goodreads).
They Both Die At The End – Adam Silvera – On September 5, a little after midnight, Death-Cast calls Mateo Torrez and Rufus Emeterio to give them some bad news: They’re going to die today.
Mateo and Rufus are total strangers, but, for different reasons, they’re both looking to make a new friend on their End Day. The good news: There’s an app for that. It’s called the Last Friend, and through it, Rufus and Mateo are about to meet up for one last great adventure—to live a lifetime in a single day. (Description via Goodreads).
Have you read any of these books? Are any on your TBR? Have you done this Top Ten Tuesday prompt? Leave me a comment and…
Until next time,
8 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Book Titles That Are Complete Sentences”
Have you actually read all of these?
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I’ve read them all except for “They Both Die at the End” and “I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter”. But that’s over the course of many years, not all recent reads. 🐰
Beautiful Work Leigh. Is there a subscription price? Now that we aren’t paying two rents, I could
We are going to Fordham on June 3 – college tour. Want to have Birthday Dinner with you..Are you open?
Best Regards, Bob Hecking
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Hi dad! Nope, free to read! Sounds good. Let’s meet up 🙂
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Thank you so much! x
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Having a title that’s a full sentence definitely can help a book stand out – especially when you’re used to fantasy titles that have a tendency of all sounding the same (every fantasy that falls into the A ___ of ___ and ___ format).
Thank you for articulating this for me. It does seem like some authors get their titles from a YA Fantasy Title Generator lol.
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