Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Book Titles That Are Complete Sentences

Okay, today will share book titles that form complete sentences. I love this prompt which allows me to show off my extensive (and useless) knowledge of English grammar.

I carefully examined the titles of the 6,045 books I've read and reviewed at Goodreads. It quickly became apparent that it's rare to find a title that forms a complete sentence. 

On the other hand, there are lots of book titles that begin with present participles, like Dancing With the Witchdoctor or Writing Down the Bones or Shooting the Boh or Regarding the Fountain.

A good many titles are prepositional phrases like Across the Nightingale Floor and Beneath a Scarlet Sky and On the Plain of Snakes and Around the World in 80 Days.

None of these, though, are complete sentences. Let's take a close look at those that do form complete sentences, shall we?

A lot of titles are commands, with an understood subject. Is there something about a command that somehow orders you to read the book, too?

Call the Midwife

Comfort Me With Apples

See You on Down the Road

Leave Only Footprints

Let the Great World Spin

Look Both Ways

Undress Me in the Temple of Heaven

I saw lots of children's book titles that are exclamatory sentences. There's a certain amount of joy in a title with an exclamation mark in it.

Today I Will Fly!

Follow That Frog!

There is a Bird on Your Head!

Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!

Mind Your Manners, Alice Roosevelt!

This Beach is Loud!

Zombies Don’t Eat Veggies!

Give Me Back My Bones!

There are a number of interrogatory sentences, too.

Are We There Yet?

Where Is the Green Sheep?

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

Are You a Cat?

What Would Cleopatra Do?

Where’d You Go, Bernadette

One title has two sentences, an interrogatory and a declarative. Pretty clever.

Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret

Some titles are short sentences.

Go, Dog, Go

Rabbit, Run

I Am David

Bless Me, Ultima

Everyone’s Awake 

That Sounds Fun

God Save Texas

Some are wordy.

You Can Never Find a Rickshaw When It Monsoons

I Will Judge You By Your Bookshelf

All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten 

C Jumped Over Three Pots and a Pan and Landed Smack in the Garbage Pan

Don't be deceived. This is not a complete sentence. It's a run-on. Shame on you.

Sorry I’m Late, I Didn’t Want to Come

Some are bold philosophical statements.

There Are No Shortcuts

Love is a Wild Assault

It’s All Relative

The World is Not Enough

Things Fall Apart

You Can’t Go Home Again

The Sun Also Rises

The Heart is a Lonely Hunter

A Good Man is Hard to Find

The Rules Do Not Apply

You Can’t Get There from Here

Let me share the rest of my (quite lengthy) list of titles that form complete sentences. 

King Bidgood’s in the Bathtub

Only You Can Save Mankind

Let’s Pretend This Never Happened

The Lord God Made Them All

Let’s Take the Long Way Home

Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight 

It’s Not About the Bike

Maybe You Should Talk to Someone

Cancer Made Me a Shallower Person

It All Changed in an Instant

With Any Luck, I’ll Drive a Truck

This is Not a Book

There’s an Alien in Your Book

We Are All Fine Here

There’s a Bear on My Chair

There’s No One I Love Like You

There’s Only One You

There Goes Ted Williams

Mrs. ‘Arris Goes to Paris

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine

Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day

My Name is Asher Lev

Death Comes for the Archbishop

My Papi Has a Motorcycle

God Got a Dog

Llama Unleashes the Apocalypse

These is My Words

Tender is the Night

Their Eyes Were Watching God

Whew! Did you find any of the same titles I did? Some of these make me want to open the book and read it to find out what the title is all about. Which is your favorite? Did you find some that you love more than these? Please share them.

Thank you for sharing this fun idea for a list, Jessica @ A Cocoon of Books.

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. I loved this weeks prompt and have enjoyed seeing everyone's titles and, in your case, Deb, I loved the grammar refresher as well LOL I loved you selections and see many favorites in the mix - both childrens and adult books.

  2. Call the Midwife was such a good read! Did you read the rest of the books in that series, too?

    My post: https://lydiaschoch.com/top-ten-tuesday-book-titles-that-are-complete-sentences/

  3. Your extensive knowledge of English grammar and book titles is quite impressive.

    1. I'm one of those awful people who feels compelled to correct grammar mistakes.

  4. Wow! You've got a lot of titles and it comes with an English Grammar lesson! Bonus!!

    Great post Debbie. I just went with all the Mary Higgins Clark Titles that make full sentences. With a twist...

    TTT - The new Mary Higgins Clark in 10 sentences

    1. Just what everyone loves...an English grammar lesson!

  5. Wow! You did find a lot! I've read a few of these but didn't make it through my GoodReads books far enough to find them. I looked through maybe 300 and decided that was enough for me. I can't imagine looking through 6000+! Gold stars for you!

  6. I knoew you would find a lot of titles but I had no idea how many. Way to go, girl!

  7. Wow, Deb! You came up with quite a list. That was fun.

  8. Wow! Someone else knows about King Bidgood! I love how you separated our your list by type of sentence. :)

    My TTT this week

  9. This is a great post! I think I love grammar almost as I love looking at maps. Thanks for the refresher. :)

  10. Oooh, I love this lesson in English grammar! It's definitely needed because I've seen a lot of lists today that include titles which are not complete sentences at all. Oops. To be fair, I have an English degree and I can never remember all the many, many rules of English grammar. It's such a weird language in so many ways...

    Happy TTT!

  11. Very fun post and with a lesson! How interesting that so many children's book titles ended with an exclamation mark.

  12. What a fun idea! Yes, loads of good ones. And some make you want to read it more than others!

  13. I love your breakdown of what makes a sentence :) This was a fun one to try and it was harder that I thought it would be.

  14. You came up with so many! I struggled with this week's topic, I came up with a few, but not enough for a full list so I changed the topic.
    My TTT: https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2021/05/18/top-ten-tuesday-316/

  15. 👏👏👏 Thank you for explaining complete sentences.

    Here is my Top Ten Tuesday list for this week.

  16. I just came from a blog which had Mary Higgins Clark titles. Not quite sentences but titles telling the story. Interesting too.

  17. I love this! Thank you so much. I'm going to visit my family this month and it seems it would be a fun activity to do with the young grandchildren who read, to have them search all the books in their house for titles in the different types of sentences.

    I'm trying to decide if commands or declarative sentences have the most energetic active voice. They both appeal to me a lot.

    This post is worth saving to read in depth/meditatively, because what is more fun than grammar and book titles together?? I know that it's not always the author who comes up with final title for her book, but whoever does create book titles, especially whole sentences that are grabbers, has my great admiration.

  18. Great list and comments! As a linguistics graduate, I approve hahaha :D

    My TTT: https://memorymeetsimagination.wordpress.com/2021/05/18/top-ten-tuesday-book-titles-that-are-complete-sentences/

  19. Wow!! Love your list.. and its length too. And you went through your 6k+ titles too (another wow right there!)
    Totally agree that those titles which sound commanding lead you somehow to read the book, while children's books with exclamation points add to the joy of reading them..

  20. Oooh, very nice lesson in grammar this week. ;) I *think* my choices passed the test, but I definitely found myself second guessing all my titles. Haha.

    Happy TTT!

  21. You're an overachiever! :-) I love your lists and how you broke them down. I usually don't think longer book titles are effective, but am enjoying this TTT

  22. So many great titles. I have read Call the Midwife, the Androids and the one with the bookshelves. Great idea also to includ all the others in your post, should have thought of that. LOL

    My TTT.

  23. What a fun post! I love the way you arranged them, BTW.


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