It’s ages since I last did a Top 10 Tuesday post but today I’m in need of some light-hearted distraction. The topic this week is
Book Titles That Are Complete Sentences
Most of the books I’ve read and reviewed here over the last eight years, didn’t fit the bill. So many of them had just one or two word titles. The longer ones probably wouldn’t qualify as sentences in the eyes of grammar experts ( among whom I do not count myself).
So I decided to have some fun playing around with combinations of titles to see if I could make up something approaching a sentence. Obviously I had to use a little creative licence by adding a few prepositions and conjunctions. Whether the results make sense grammatically or are even faintly amusing I leave you to judge.
Do Not Say We Have Nothing for We Have Always Lived In The Castle
Madeleine Thein’s novel follows three musicians in China whose lives are turned upside down by idealogical changes in the country. We Have Always Lived In The Castle is a superbly atmospheric gothic tale by Shirley Jackson.
Howard’s End Is On The landing in The Small House at Allington
The novelist Susan Hill recounts the year she decided she would read only those books already occupying a space in her bookshelves, on the floor and on the landing. The Small House at Allington is book number five in the Barsetshire Chronicles by Anthony Trollope.
The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry began at The Narrow Road To The Deep North
Harold Fry sets off to walk to the post box with a letter to a former colleague who is dying from cancer. But somehow he keeps walking in Rachel Joyce’s sweet tale of a man whose life has never amounted to much – until now. The road in Richard Flanagan’s Booker Prize winning award, is actually a railroad – the infamous Thailand-Burma Death Railway of World War 2. The novel shows how the lives of the prisoners forced to work on the railroad and the Japanese soldiers who guard them, are impacted long after the end of the war.
We’re Off to Philadelphia In The Morning via The Ocean At The End Of The Lane. Such a Long Journey
We’re Off To Philadelphia In The Morning is a fictionalised account of the life of the renowned Welsh composer Joseph Parry. He did cross the ocean, emigrating with his family in the mid 1850s but returned to Wales to study music full time at Cambridge university. In The Ocean At The End Of The Lane, Neil Gaiman, enters the world of a solitary boy and his encounters with malevolent forces from another world. Such a Long Journey by Rohinton Mistry is set against a background of allegations of corruption surrounding India’s prime minister Indira Ghandi
A Man Lies Dreaming about How To Get Filthy Rich In Rising Asia
A Man Lies Dreaming is a strange novel in which Lavie Tidhar blends a pulp-noir tale of seamy city streets, gumshoes and lowlifes with Holocaust fiction and an alternative history of 1930’s Europe. Oddly it does work. How To Get Rich also has a strange narrative device. It’s written as if it’s a self-help book with each chapter giving a lesson to a poor, nameless, boy who wants to rise above his impoverished circumstances.
The Barefoot Woman was a Disgrace
In The Barefoot Woman, Scholastique Mukasonga pays homage to her mother, a fierce, loving woman who became a victim of genocide directed towards members of the Tutsi minority in Rwanda. Disgrace by J M Coetzee also deals with racial tension, this time in a South Africa learning to live in a post-apartheid society.
All Passion Spent in One Moonlit Night (with the Milkman)
England meets Wales meets Ireland in this ‘book title”. We start with Vita Sackville West’s beautifully written novel of a woman asserting her independence in her twilight years. Moving on we get to One Moonlit Night by Caradog Prichard, a sad tale of poverty, sickness and hard labour in a Welsh slate mining community. And we end with Milkman, the Booker Prize winning novel by Anna Burns set in Northern Ireland during a period of sectarian violence.
Taking a Holiday. Please Look After Mom
Holiday by Stanley Middleton was a surprise hit for me when I did my Booker Prize project. It’s a quiet tale of a man who escapes to the seaside of his childhood when his marriage collapses. Please Look After Mom by the Korean author Shin Kyung-sook became an international success with this story of how the disappearance of a woman from a crowded metro station forces her children to re-examine their relationship with their mother.
Wanted: A Room With A View of The Sea
Since A Room With a View Of The Sea by E M Forster s set in Florence you’d be very fortunate if you could get a sea view. Still we can be optimistic can’t we? The Sea is another Booker Prize winner, a lyrical novel on the nature of memory told through the well-used device of a character who returns to a place that played a significant part in his earlier years.
The Man Who Forgot His Wife got The Silent Treatment
John O’Farrell’s novel has an interesting premise: a middle aged man experiences acute amnesia while at a London Underground station. He has no idea where he is going, or who he is. Sadly the book turned out a disappointment. The Silent Treatment is a story of a marital relationship and a secret that the husband has kept from his wife. Now she lies critically ill in hospital; can he pluck up the courage to tell her the truth before it is too late.