Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Odd Book Titles

The Bookseller/Diagram Prize for Oddest Title of the Year has been awarded (almost) every year since 1978. Some of my favorites from this list are People Who Don't Know They Are Dead, Reusing Old Graves, and Highlights in the History of Concrete. For a list of all the books with award-winning odd titles, take a look here.

Here are my favorite odd titles of children and YA books I have read:

The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt

Rotten Island by William Steig

Hank the Cowdog: The Case of the One-Eyed Killer Stud Horse by John R. Erickson

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L'Engle

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst

Fancy Nancy by Jane O'Connor

Bubble Homes and Fish Farts by Fiona Bayrock

Gertrude is Gertrude is Gertrude is Gertrude by Jonah Winter

The BFG by Roald Dahl

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian by Sherman Alexie

A Key to Treehouse Living by Elliot Reed

Turtles All the Way Down by John Green

And here are some recent grownup books reads with interesting titles:

The Woman Who Went to Bed for a Year by Sue Townsend

My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell

Forest Bathing by Qing Li

The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson

Wherever You Go, There You Are by Jon Kabat-Zinn

Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng

Three Men in a Boat (To Say Nothing of the Dog) by Jerome K. Jerome

Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Thurston

4 3 2 1 by Paul Auster

The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers

And, of course, my all-time favorite titles, the one that hooked me from the start:

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig

Have you read any of these? What are your favorite odd book titles?

I did another post on book titles a few years ago here: The Wackiest Titles of Books.

Thank you to Elise @ A Book and a Cup who submitted this prompt.

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 of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. Each Tuesday That Artsy Reader Girl assigns a topic and then post her top ten list that fits that topic. You’re more than welcome to join her and create your own top ten (or 2, 5, 20, etc.) list as well. Feel free to put a unique spin on the topic to make it work for you! Please link back to That Artsy Reader Girl in your own post so that others know where to find more information.


  1. OOh nice ones!! The Day the Crayons Quit makes me laugh! Lol

    Here's my Tuesday Post

    Have a GREAT day!

    Old Follower :)

  2. Nice list! My son loved Hank the Cowdog.

  3. Turtles All the Way Down is a good choice! It makes sense once you read the book, but the title alone is interesting. :)

    Lindsi @ Do You Dog-ear? 💬

  4. These are all great titles! Turtles All the Way Down is on my list too! Happy reading! 🙂
    My Top Ten Tuesday!

  5. it's usually covers that grab my attention, but odd titles catch my eye too. thanks for sharing some that made me smile
    sherry @ fundinmental

  6. Deb, what a very extensive list! I haven't read any of these books, but there are some great/odd titles. In particular Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst
    and Bubble Homes and Fish Farts by Fiona Bayrock made me smile. :-) Here's my TTT post: https://thebookwormchronicles.wordpress.com/2019/10/15/top-ten-tuesday-15th-october-2019/

  7. Wonderful titles. I do think a title makes a difference and will confess that I have read (or not read) books based purely on titles.

  8. I don't think Everything I Never Told You is YA but otherwise I love your list. Hank the Cowdog books are hilarious.

  9. So many books I loved are on here! But you are the only one I know besides me who's read The Hundred Year Old Man book. 💜💜💜

    Here's my list https://speedyreadercom.wordpress.com/2019/10/15/ttt-10-great-book-titles/

  10. I'm fond of Turtles All The Way Down. :)

  11. Great titles! Alexander and his horrible day was a big, big favorite around our house. I loved that book, but my daughter took it with her when grew up. Guess I could purchase another copy to read now and then. Ha!

  12. I'm not a big fan of John Green's writing so I didn't read Turtles All the Way Down, but I do admit I'm curious about the title.

  13. Turtles All the Way Down made my list this week too. I also really love the one about the crayons quitting. That made me chuckle and want to know more about the book.


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