This week's topic at That Artsy Reader Girl is brought to you largely by my classic Livejournal-hosted reading lists, because I cannot emphasize enough how much easier it is to pick long titles out of a pure text list than the formatting of Goodreads or other websites, or even a physical bookshelf. I also decided to go for a challenge and exclude nonfiction, where a subtitle might artificially extend its length.
Most of these are books I've read and loved, but a couple fall outside of these parameters -- I just like their titles so much that I couldn't resist. There are a few titles on my reading list longer than what I've included, but I decided my ultimate goal with this list was to bring attention to some books that are less mainstream. Which I then ruined with #4, but whatever, I did that for the aesthetic.
I also did this without Googling, which feels like cheating unless your goal is to truly find the ten BEST books that also happen to have long titles. I considered doing it that way, but then decided I'd rather root up some more obscure faves, as I do.
Which is why I expanded this list to 15. Because some of the earliest titles I thought up ended up being way shorter than my top 10, but I definitely wanted to include both them and my #1 pick, and it looked too herky-jerky to drop some of the other longer titles in between.
Instead of covers today, you get titles alone, to see how I visualized them as a sort of waterfall. Now featuring the best internet clipart I could clumsily paste in. It is harder than you think to find clipart of waterfalls at an angle and honestly it looks so much better in my head that I probably should have left it to your imagination as well, but I am not spending another second to redo it.
(shocking fact: graphic design has never even slightly been my passion)Annotations
I wasted all my time making (by which I mean copying, pasting, and resizing) that graphic, so these are going to be somewhat short (FOR ME) notes.
1. The Alfred G. Graebner Memorial High School Handbook of Rules and Regulations - Ellen Conford (1976)
Yes this is the title of a novel, and yes it will ALWAYS be the first book that comes to mind when I think "long titles." I defy anyone to beat it without special circumstances. I barely remember it, but I remember I liked it.
2. After the Wreck, I Picked Myself Up, Spread My Wings, and Flew Away - Joyce Carol Oates (2006)
I have not read this one, but this is the other one that always springs to mind. Even if I had to Google it out because I remembered the author and thinking "damn that title's long" when I first saw it at the library, but not its actual title.
3. The Summer of Jordi Perez (and the Best Burger in Los Angeles) - Amy Spalding (2018)
I feel like the parentheses make it long on a semi-technicality, because you can definitely leave it off when naming it, but it's more fun this way. Also I love this one.
4. Aristotle and Dante Discover The Secrets of the Universe - Benjamin Alire Saenz (2012)
I was actually surprised by how long this title turned out to be. I imagine I'll see it a lot this week, if I have time to go look.
5. How My Private, Personal Journal Became a Bestseller - Juila DeVillers (2005)
This book is terrible, but in a ridiculous way I now love because it let me make this popular, snarky as hell, and still-entertaining-to-me-after-all-these-y
6. Beauty Shop For Rent...fully equipped, inquire within - Laura Bowers (2007)
Again, unsure if the officially-not-capitalized part actually makes this get in on a technicality, but I searched 6 ways from Sunday and even the WorldCat record officially includes this in the title field, SO! Anyway. I love this book; after all this time I STILL think about and admire this 14-year-old's dream (and drive) to become a self-made millionaire by 35, even though I'm pretty sure she ends up losing her savings and/or reevaluating her priorities for some reason by the end. That is obviously not the part that stuck with me.
7. If I Have a Wicked Stepmother, Where's My Prince? - Melissa Kantor (2005)
An average title reading-wise, but so fun to say.
8. Wolves, Boys, & Other Things That Might Kill Me - Kristen Chandler (2010)
Always here to highlight my fave. Standard "this refers to actual wolves and not werewolves" disclaimer applies.
9. Sofi Mendoza's Guide to Getting Lost in Mexico - Malin Alegria (2007)
Actually had the effect of making me never want to set foot in Mexico, though I am sure that was not its author's intent.
10. Freshman Year and Other Unnatural Disasters - Meredith Zeitlin (2012)
Cute, quick read. Was surprised its title was long enough to get on this list, let alone higher on it than others I thought of first.
11. The Remarkable Life and Times of Eliza Rose - Mary Hooper (2006)
So much more fun than I was expecting 17th century England to be!
12. Don't You Dare Read This, Mrs. Dunphrey - Margaret Peterson Haddix (1997)
A favorite since high school for its vivid portrayal of a girl in a troubled home with a fantastic teacher.
13. The Asylum for Wayward Victorian Girls - Emilie Autumn (2009-2017, depending on which oft-revised edition you have -- I read the '17)
This book is a lot -- amazing, but also pretty graphic violence at times. I feel like it's more accessible/impactful if you are a devoted Emilie Autumn fan, but I enjoyed it all the same.
14. Jenny, Sam and the Invisible Hildegarde - Mary Kennedy (1954)
A cute Scholastic kids' book about a very poor child seeking help from a wealthy doctor to cure her dog, and being drawn in by his beautiful estate complete w/ greenhouse.
(also, I'm mad I couldn't eyeball this well enough to tell which title was longer before, but now realize it and the above should have switched places)
15. It's Crazy to Stay Chinese in Minnesota - Eleanor Wong Telemaque (1978)
One of the earliest titles I thought of, just because it's so fun and unusual. I was so bummed it ended up shorter than I thought that I orchestrated this whole post just to make sure I could highlight it, haha. I also appreciate its unique premise among teen lit, being based on the author's experiences.
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P.S. If you came to this post directly from TTT, feel free to also check out my previous R.L. Stine: A Retrospective post!