Book Title Snob

By February 3, 2009 culture No Comments

Do you judge a book by its title? I do. (And often by its cover too, I dare admit.)

Titles that carry dual meanings or veiled references always catch my eye. I love quirky, unexpected titles—as well as those that are pithy (likely because I tend to be anything but).

So when I stumbled across the Book Nut’s Well-Seasoned Reading Challenge through Word Lily’s blog, I was immediately hooked!

You see, it’s all about the titles. Participants must choose their challenge books by the title content or reference. Here are the Book Nut’s challenge parameters:

Rule #1: The challenge runs from January 1 to March 31. (No cheating and starting before!)

Rule #2: You must read three books. After that, it’s up to you how much you want to read.

Rule #3: The books must:

have a food name in the title
be about cooking/eating
have a place name in the title
be about one (or more) person’s travel experience
be about a specific culture
be by an author whose ethnicity is other than your own

I’ll leave it up to you to choose how the three books you read fit the criteria.

Rule #4: They must be middle-grade on up, but can be either fiction or nonfiction.

Great challenge, isn’t it?!

Now, if I had known about the challenge before January 1, I probably would have made myself crazy to read a book for each of the categories described. But I’m late to the game, so I’m going to commit to three, then reassess. My picks are:

a book about cooking/eating: The Apprentice: My Life in the Kitchen, Jacques Pepin

a book about one (or more) person’s travel experience: Gulliver’s Travels, Jonathon Swift

a book by an author whose ethnicity is other than your own: A Long Way Gone, Ishmael Beah

These three titles also keep me on-track for some personal goals . . .

Read the books I own: Pepin’s book is one I bought in October 2007 at the Food&Wine festival after I attended his cooking demonstration. To my regret, it has sat on my shelf since then.

Read one classic lit book each month: Somewhere along the way I missed reading the classics (except for those assigned in high school). I would like to work my way through a good many of them, as these great works have influenced society and thought.

Read books to broaden my worldview: Beah’s book is one I’ve wanted to read for some time. I heard him on an NPR interview years ago. His story was so intriguing and heart-wrenching, I immediately added his book to my future reads list. Then Starbucks featured the book in their stores, and I eventually picked up a copy . . . but never set about to read it. (So I guess this also meets the “Read the books I own” goal too.)

I’ll wrap up my challenge results the first week of April with a recap of each book. If you decide to join the challenge, be sure to add your name to the challenge list! At the time of this post, there are 66 participants.

So go ahead: Pick your books by their titles. Just be sure to also read them.

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