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Honest reviews, bookish discussions & enthusiastic nerding., a – z by book title.
A Abandon by Meg Cabot (The Abandon Trilogy – Book 1) A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens A Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin (A Song of Ice and Fire – Book 2) Across the Universe by Beth Revis (Across the Universe trilogy – Book 1) A Dance with Dragons by George R.R. Martin (A Song of Ice and Fire – Book 5) A Feast for Crows by George R.R. Martin (A Song of Ice and Fire – Book 4) A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin (A Song of Ice and Fire – Book 1) All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven Allegiant by Veronica Roth (Divergent – 3) Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen Am I Normal Yet? by Holly Bourne A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness Angel of Storms by Trudi Canavan (Millenium’s Rule – Book 2) A Storm of Swords: Steel and Snow by George R.R. Martin (A Song of Ice and Fire – Book 3) A Storm of Swords: Blood and Gold by George R.R. Martin (A Song of Ice and Fire – Book 3.2) A Street Cat Named Bob by James Bowen Atonement by Ian McEwan A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
B Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl (Caster Chronicles – Book 1) Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl (Caster Chronicles – Book 2) Bitten by Kelley Armstrong (The Women of the Otherworld series – Book 1) Book of Shadows by Cate Tiernan (Sweep/Wicca Series – Book 1) Brisingr by Christopher Paolini (Inheritance Cycle – Book 3)
C Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins (The Hunger Games Trilogy – Book 2) Crescendo by Becca Fitzpatrick (Hush Hush – Book 2)
D Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan David Copperfield by Charles Dickens Destined by P.C. and Kristin Cast (House of Night – Book 9) Devoted by Hilary Duff (Elixir series – Book 2) Die Trying by Lee Child (Jack Reacher – Book 2) Divergent by Veronica Roth (Divergent – Book 1) Dracula by Bram Stoker Dragon’s Oath by P.C. and Kristin Cast (A House of Night novella #1) Dreamland by Sarah Dessen Dry by Neal and Jarrod Schusterman
E Eight Mile Island by Tony Talbot Elantris by Brandon Sanderson Eldest by Christopher Paolini (Inheritance Cycle – Book 2) Emma by Jane Austen Empress of All Seasons by Emiko Jean Eragon by Christopher Paolini (Inheritance Cycle – Book 1) Evercrossed by Elizabeth Chandler (Kissed by an Angel – Book 4) Everlasting by Elizabeth Chandler (Kissed by an Angel – Book 5) Everafter by Elizabeth Chandler (Kissed by an Angel – Book 6)
F Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell Finale by Becca Fitzpatrick (Hush Hush – Book 4)
G Good Wives by Louisa May Alcott Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
H Hidden by P.C. and Kristin Cast (House of Night – Book 10) Hood by Stephen Lawhead (King Raven Trilogy – Book 1) House Rules by Jodi Picoult Hush Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick (Hush Hush – Book 1)
I I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore (Lorien Legacies – Book 1) I Heart Paris by Lindsey Kelk (I Heart Series – Book 3) I Heart Hollywood by Lindsey Kelk (I Heart Series – Book 2) I Heart London by Lindsey Kelk (I Heart Series – Book 5) I Heart New York by Lindsey Kelk (I Heart Series – Book 1) I Heart Vegas by Lindsey Kelk (I Heart Series – Book 4) Inheritance by Christopher Paolini (Inheritance Cycle – Book 4) Insurgent by Veronica Roth (Divergent – Book 2) It by Stephen King
J Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte Just Listen by Sarah Dessen
K Kalona’s Fall by P.C. and Kristin Cast (A House of Night Novella #4) Killing Floor by Lee Child (Jack Reacher – Book 1) Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J Maas (Throne of Glass – Book 7) Kissed by an Angel by Elizabeth Chandler (Kissed by an Angel – Book 1-3)
L Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray (Diviners – Book 2) Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli Little Women by Louisa May Alcott Lock And Key by Sarah Dessen Lenobia’s Vow by P.C. and Kristin Cast (A House of Night Novella #2)
M Martyn Pig by Kevin Brooks Matched by Ally Condie (Matched Trilogy – Book 1) Me Before You by Jojo Moyes Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins (The Hunger Games Trilogy – Book 3) Mind the Gap by Phil Earle My Heart Goes Bang by Keris Stainton My Trickster by Seraphima Bogomolova
N Neferet’s Curse by P.C. and Kristin Cast (A House of Night Novella #3)
O Only Love Can Break Your Heart by Katherine Webber On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King Origins by L.J Smith (Stefan’s Diaries – Book 1)
P Picture Me Gone by Meg Rosoff Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Q Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain.
R Redeemed by P.C. and Kristin Cast (House of Night – Book 12) Remix by Non Pratt Revealed by P.C. and Kristin Cast (House of Night – Book 11) Romanov by Nadine Brandes Rosie Loves Jack by Mel Darbon
S Scythe by Neal Schusterman Shades of Grey by Michael Cargill Shadow of the Fox by Julie Kagawa Silence by Becca Fitzpatrick (Hush Hush – Book 3) Stardust by Neil Gaiman Stuart Little by E.B. White
T The Ambassador’s Mission by Trudi Canavan (The Traitor Spy Trilogy – Book 1) The Art of Being Normal by Lisa Williamson The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon (The Bone Season – Book 1) The Butterfly Tattoo by Philip Pullman The Brutal Art by Jesse Kellerman The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger The Collector by John Fowles The Complete Fairytales by the Brothers Grimm The Darkness Rising Trilogy by Kelley Armstrong (Books 1 – 3) The Death Cure by James Dashner (Maze Runner – Book 3) The Diviners by Libba Bray (Diviners – Book 1) The Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White The Fault in Our Stars by John Green The Gemstone Chronicles: The Carnelian by William L. Stuart (The Gemstone Chronicles – Book 1) The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest by Stieg Larsson (Millennium series – Book 3) The Girl Who Played With Fire by Stieg Larsson (Millennium series – Book 2) The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald The Guy Next Door by Meg Cabot (Boy Trilogy – Book 1) The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas The Help by Kathryn Stockett The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (The Hunger Games Trilogy – Book 1) The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Other Stories by Washington Irving The Loneliest Girl in the Universe by Lauren James The Love & Lies of Rukhsana Ali by Sabina Khan The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold The Manifesto on How to be Interesting by Holly Bourne The Maze Runner by James Dashner (Maze Runner – Book 1) The Mime Order by Samantha Shannon (The Mime Order – Book 1) The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde The Poppy Wars by R.F. Kuang The Price Guide to the Occult by Leslye Walton The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon The Quiet at the End of the World by Lauren James The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness The Rogue by Trudi Canavan (The Traitor Spy Trilogy – Book 2) The Scorch Trials by James Dashner (Maze Runner – Book 2) The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick The South in Winter by Peter Benson The Stolen by Alex Shearer The Traitor Queen by Trudi Canavan (The Traitor Spy Trilogy – Book 3) Thief’s Magic by Trudi Canavan (Millennium’s Rule Trilogy – Book 1) Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas (Throne of Glass – Book 1) To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee Trouble by Non Pratt Truth or Dare by Non Pratt The Wonder of Us by Kim Culbertson
U Underneath by Michael Cargill
W Wing Jones by Katherine Webber
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10 thoughts on “ A – Z by Book Title ”
Ahaa, I wish I could spend all my time doing reviews because I enjoy it! But unfortunatly there’s this invention called homework? Prehaps you’ve heard of it? :L xx
Haha, Nahhhh. That’s not important! :L btw you spelt Dessen wrong… If there is a way for you to change it it might be a good idea…? not meaning to be criticizing but I thought you might want to know… xx
Damn. Thanks, I’ve changed it now. 🙂
Slow and steady wins the race.
Haha, very true! 🙂
Reading is not a race. There’s this thing called “savoring what we read” and about “pleasure more than efficiency.” I myself am a slow reader, by the way!
I completely agree! One of my favourite bookish quotes is “In the case of good books, the point is not to see how many of them you can get through, but how many can get through to you.” – Mortimer Adler. 🙂
I’m a slow reader too in comparison to the majority of book bloggers too!
Exactly! I like that quote! The point is not to put readers on the clock. I’m so glad we have the same viewpoint here. Sending some good vibes. 🙂 🙂
*Internet high five!* I think we both have the right attitude. If you’re a blogger, it can be easy to get caught up in the numbers – numbers of books read, reviewed etc., and it’s important to remember what reading is all about. 🙂
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The Bibliophile Girl
Book titles a-z.
A Bad Boy Stole My Bra – Lauren Price
A Canticle for Leibowitz – Walter M. Miller
A Curious Tale of the In-Between – Lauren DeStefano
A Danger to Herself and Others – Alyssa Scheinmel
A Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue – Mackenzi Lee
A Head Full of Ghosts – Paul Tremblay
A Jigsaw of Fire and Stars – Yaba Badoe
A Quiet Kind of Thunder – Sara Barnard
A Sky Painted Gold – Laura Wood
A Traitor in the Family – Nicholas Searle
Affinity – Sarah Waters
All the Bright Places – Jennifer Niven
All the Rage – Courtney Summers
All the Truth That’s In Me – Julie Berry
All the Ways the World Can End – Abby Sher
The Amber Spyglass (#3) – Philip Pullman
The Art of Not Breathing – Sarah Alexander
Asylum (#1) – Madeleine Roux
Bad Girls With Perfect Faces – Lynn Weingarten
Beautiful Broken Things – Sara Barnard
Beauty Queens – Libba Bray
Before I Let Go – Marieke Nijkamp
The Belles (#1) – Dhonielle Clayton
Beneath the Citadel – Destiny Soria
Betwixters: Once Upon a Time – Laura C. Cantu
Big Bones – Laura Dockrill
Bird Box (#1) – Josh Malerman
Bitterblue (#3) – Kristin Cashore
The Blazing Star – Imani Josey
Blood Forest – Geraint Jones
Blood Heir (#1) – Amélie Wen Zhao
Blue Lily, Lily Blue (#3) – Maggie Steifvater
The Bone Season – Samantha Shannon (The Bone Season #1)
The Bone Witch (#1) – Rin Chupeco
The Book of Bera – Suzie Wilde
Bookshop Girl – Chloe Coles
Broken Sky (#1) – L.A Weatherly
Caraval – Stephanie Garber
Carnivalesque – Neil Jordan
The Castle of Otranto – Horace Walpole
The Castles of Athlin and Dunbayne – Ann Radcliffe
The Caterpillar Girl – Adam Longden
Cinder (#1) – Marissa Meyer
City of Saints and Thieves – Natalie C. Anderson
The Color Purple – Alice Walker
Coraline – Neil Gaiman
Countless – Karen Gregory
Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows #2) – Leigh Bardugo
Crown of Midnight (#2) – Sarah J. Maas
The Cruel Prince (#1) – Holly Black
Dangerous Lies – Becca Fitzpatrick
The Dark Intercept (#1) – Julia Keller
The Darkest Part of the Forest – Holly Black
Darkness Follows (#2) – L.A Weatherly
Daughter of the Burning City – Amanda Foody
Daughter of the Pirate King (#1) – Tricia Levenseller
Daughter of the Siren Queen (#2) – Tricia Levenseller
Dawn (#1) – Octavia E. Butler
Dear Anyone – Sue Whitaker
Descendants (#1) – Rae Else
The Diabolic (#1) – S.J Kincaid
The Dream Thieves (#2) – Maggie Steifvater
Dreamfall (#1) – Amy Plum
Eleanor & Park – Rainbow Rowell
The Enigma – John Fowles
Escaping from Houdini – Kerri Maniscalco (Stalking Jack the Ripper #3)
European Travel for the Monstrous Gentlewoman (#2) – Theodora Goss
Evening’s Land – Pauline West
Everless (#1) – Sara Holland
Fangirl – Rainbow Rowell
Final Girls – Riley Sager
Fire (#2) – Kristin Cashore
Fireblood (#2) – Elly Blake
The Fishing-boat Picture – Alan Sillitoe
Flame in the Mist – Renée Ahdieh
Flawed (#1) – Cecilia Ahern
Flight of a Starling – Lisa Heathfield
Forests of the Fae: Devlin’s Door (#1) – K. Kibbee
Fractured (#2) – Teri Terry
From Twinkle, With Love – Sandhya Menon
Frostblood (#1) – Elly Blake
Geekerella – Ashley Poston
Genesis (#2) – Brendan Reichs
Girl, Woman, Other – Bernadine Evaristo
The Girl on the Train – Paula Hawkins
Girlhood – Cat Clarke
Girls of Paper and Fire – Natasha Ngan (Girls of Paper and Fire #1)
Go Set A Watchman – Harper Lee
Godblind – Anna Stephens
The Golem of Prague – Irene Cohen-Janca
Goodbye Days – Jeff Zentner
Goodbye, Perfect – Sara Barnard
Gone Girl – Gillian Flynn
Graceling (#1) – Kristin Cashore
The Graveyard Book – Neil Gaiman
Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
Halo (#1) – Alexandra Adornetto
Hades (#2) – Alexandra Adornetto
The Hate U Give – Angie Thomas
The Hazel Wood (#1) – Melissa Albert
The Haunting of Hill House – Shirley Jackson
Heaven (#3) – Alexandra Adornetto
The Help – Kathryn Stockett
Hero at the Fall – Alwyn Hamilton (Rebel of the Sands #3)
History is All You Left Me – Adam Silvera
Holding Up The Universe – Jennifer Niven
Hollow City (#2) – Ransom Riggs
Home Fire – Kamila Shamsie
Horrorstör – Grady Hendrix
The House – Simon Lelic
The House of Mountfathom – Nigel McDowell
How Hard Can Love Be? (#2) – Holly Bourne
How to Stop Time – Matt Haig
Hunters Vol. 1 – Paul Maybury
Hunting Prince Dracula (#2) – Kerri Maniscalco
I Was Justin’s Nanny – David Belisle
I’ll Give You The Sun – Jandy Nelson
If I Was Your Your Girl – Meredith Russo
In a Dark Dark Wood – Ruth Ware
Infinity 8, Vol. 1: Love and Mummies – Lewis Trondheim
Ink and Bone (#1) – Rachel Caine
Internment – Samira Ahmed
The Invisible Library (#1) – Genevieve Cogman
It Only Happens in the Movies – Holly Bourne
It Start With Goodbye – Christina June
Jane Eyre – Charlotte Brontë
Juniper Lemon’s Happiness Index – Julie Israel
Kids of Appetite – David Arnold
Kim Jiyoung, Born 1982 – Cho Nam-Joo (trans. Jamie Chang)
Kindred Spirits – Rainbow Rowell
King of Scars – Leigh Bardugo (King of Scars #1)
Kingdom of the Wicked (#1) – Kerri Maniscalco
The Kiss of Deception (#1) – Mary E. Pearson
The Lantern’s Ember – Colleen Houck
The Last Day of Captain Lincoln – EXO Books
Leah on the Offbeat (#2) – Becky Albertalli
Letter 44 Vol. 1 – Charles Soule
Letters to Eloise – Emily Williams
Letters to the Lost – Brigid Kemmerer
Library of Souls (#3) – Ransom Riggs
Lies We Tell Ourselves – Robin Talley
LIFEL1K3 (#1) – Jay Kristoff
The Loneliest Girl in the Universe (#1) – Lauren James
The Lost and the Found – Cat Clarke
Love Letters to the Dead – Ava Dellaira
The Lover’s Dictionary – David Levithan
Luckiest Girl Alive – Jessica Knoll
Luna: New Moon (#1) – Ian McDonald
Luna: Wolf Moon (#2) – Ian McDonald
Mae Vol. 1 – Gene Ha
The Mermaid’s Voice Returns in This One – Amanda Lovelace
Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore – Matthew J. Sullivan
Milk and Honey – Rupi Kaur
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (#1) – Ransom Riggs
The Mask Falling (The Bone Season #4) – Shannon, Samantha
The Missing – C.L Taylor
The Monk – Matthew Lewis
Monstress Vol. 1: Awakening – Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda
More Than This – Patrick Ness
Muse of Nightmares (#2) – Laini Taylor
My Fairy Godmother is a Drag Queen – David Clawson
Mysterious Kor – Elizabeth Bowen
The Names They Gave Us – Emery Lord
Nemesis (#1) – Brendan Reichs
Never Always Sometimes – Adi Alsaid
The Night Circus – Erin Morgenstern
Night Owls – Jenn Bennett
None of the Above – I.W Gregorio
Northern Lights (#1) – Philip Pullman
Nostalgic Rain: Galaxies Away – A.S Altabtabai
Oleanna – David Mamet
One of Us is Lying – Karen M. McManus
The Opposite of You – Lou Morgan
Optimists Die First – Susin Nielsen
Orbiting Jupiter – Gary D. Schmidt
Orphan Monster Spy – Matt Killeen
Our Dark Duet (#2) – V.E Schwab
Our Memories Like Dust – Gavin Chait
Our Own Private Universe – Robin Talley
Paintbrush – Hannah Bucchin
Paper Butterflies – Lisa Heathfield
Paper Girls Vol. 1 – Brian K. Vaughan and Cliff Chiang
Paper Girls Vol. 2 – Brian K. Vaughan and Cliff Chiang
Perfect (#2) – Cecilia Ahern
Perks of Being a Wallflower – Stephan Chbosky
Piecing Me Together – Renée Watson
The Princess and the Fangirl – Ashley Poston
The Princess Saves Herself in this One – Amanda Lovelace
Prisoner of Ice and Snow (#1) – Ruth Lauren
The Promise She Made – Nicholas Pearce
The Radius of Us – Marie Marquardt
Rafferty Lincoln Loves… by Emily Williams
The Raven Boys (#1) – Maggie Stiefvater
The Raven King (#4) – Maggie Stiefvater
Rebecca – Daphne du Maurier
Rebel of the Sands (#1) – Alwyn Hamilton
Reboot (#1) – Amy Tintera
Reign of Mist (#2) – Helen Scheuerer
Remember Remember – Sue Whitaker
Resistance is Futile – Jenny T. Colgan
The Roanoke Girls – Amy Engel
The Roper Twins: Bath Time Battle with Nan – Cauline Thomas-Brown
Sad Girls – Lang Leav
Saga Vol. 1 – Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples
Saga Vol. 2 – Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples
Saga Vol. 3 – Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples
Saga Vol. 4 – Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples
Saga Vol. 5 – Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples
Saga Vol. 6 – Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples
Saga Vol. 7 – Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples
Saga Vol. 8 – Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples
The Same Blood – M. Azmitia
Scythe (#1) – Neal Shusterman
See You in the Cosmos – Jack Cheng
Shadow House: The Gathering (#1) – Dan Poblocki
Shadow House: You Can’t Hide (#2) – Dan Poblocki
Shadow House: No Way Out (#3) – Dan Poblocki
Shadowman, Vol. 1: Fear of the Dark – Andy Diggle
The Shadows Between Us – Tricia Levenseller
Shatter Me (#1) – Tahereh Mafi
Shattered (#3) – Teri Terry
She Must Be Mad – Charly Cox
Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda – Becky Albertalli
Six of Crows (Six of Crows #1) – Leigh Bardugo
Slated (#1) – Teri Terry
Sleeping Giants (#1) – Sylvain Neuvel
Spectacle (#1) – Jodie Lynn Zdrok
Spectacle Vol. 1 – Megan Rose Gedris
Spindle Fire (#1) – Lexa Hillyer
Something in Between – Melissa De La Cruz
S.T.A.G.S – M.A. Bennett
Stalking Jack the Ripper (#1) – Kerri Maniscalco
The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender – Leslye Walton
The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde – Robert Louis Stevenson
The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter (#1) – Theodora Goss
Strange the Dreamer (#1) – Laini Taylor
The Subtle Knife (#2) – Philip Pullman
The Sun is Also a Star – Nicola Yoon
The Sunshine Time (S1 Ep 1) – Sonal Panse
The Sunshine Time (S1 Ep 2) – Sonal Panse
The Sunshine Time (S1 Ep 3) – Sonal Panse
The Sunshine Time (S1 Ep 4) – Sonal Panse
The Sunshine Time (S1 Ep 5) – Sonal Panse
The Sunshine Time (S1 Ep 6) – Sonal Panse
The Sunshine Time (S1 Ep 7) – Sonal Panse
There’s Someone Inside Your House – Stephanie Perkins
Thirteen Reasons Why – Jay Asher
This is Where it Ends – Marieke Nijkamp
This Mortal Coil – Emily Suvada
This Savage Song (#1) – V.E Schwab
Throne of Glass (#1) – Sarah J. Maas
Throw Me to the Wolves – Patrick McGuinness
Thunderhead (#2) – Neal Shusterman
To The Lighthouse – Virginia Woolf
To Room Nineteen – Doris Lessing
Traitor to the Throne (#2) – Alwyn Hamilton
Trapped in Room 217 – Thomas Kingsley Troupe
Unwind (#1) – Neil Shusterman
Uprooted – Naomi Novik
The Upside of Unrequited – Becky Albertalli
Valiant High Vol. 1 – Daniel Kibblesmith
Waking Gods (#2) – Sylvain Neuvel
Warrior of the Wild – Tricia Levenseller
Waste of Space – Gina Damico
The Watchmaker of Filigree Street – Natasha Pulley
The Way Back Home – Allan Stratton
We Are All Made of Molecules – Susin Nielsen
We Are Blood and Thunder – Kesia Lupo
We Have Always Lived in the Castle – Shirley Jackson
We See Everything – William Sutcliffe
What I Love About Dublin – Amanda Laneley
When Dimple Met Rishi – Sandhya Menon
The Wicked Deep – Shea Ernshaw
Wicked Like a Wildfire (#1) – Lana Popović
Windfall – Jennifer E. Smith
Wintergirls – Laurie Halse Anderson
Winterkeep (Graceling Realm #4) – Kristin Cashore
Witchcraft and Monsters – Kala Godin
Wonder Woman: Warbringer (DC Icons #1) – Leigh Bardugo
Words in Deep Blue – Cath Crowley
The Yellow Wallpaper – Charlotte Gilman Perkins
Zenn Diagram – Wendy Brant
Zojaqan: The Complete Series – Jackson Lanzing
50 Famous Book Titles Taken From Literature
Namera is currently an English student at the University of Cambridge who loves romance novels, Harry Potter, true crime stories, and cats. You can find her over at her blog, The Literary Invertebrate . She can be contacted by email at [email protected].
View All posts by Namera Tanjeem
What’s one thing that immediately marks out a literary novel as ‘literary’? Having a title which declares I’m taken from a famous work of literature, of course. Shakespeare and the Bible are, unsurprisingly, the greatest works of titular inspiration, but here are 50 famous book titles whose authors drew on a wide range of predecessors to name them.
I’ve split up the books into sections for titles taken from the Bible, Shakespeare, poetry, and other novels. Though I have included women and authors of colour wherever I found them, the limitations of this article has meant that there aren’t as many of either as I would have liked.
Famous Book Titles Taken from The Bible
#1. absalom, absalom by william faulkner.
This quotation for Faulkner’s 1936 novel comes from the Books of Samuel – more specifically, 19:4 in 2 Samuel, which is in the Old Testament and relates some of the history of Israel. Absalom, the third son of David, rebelled against his father and was killed in battle. The full Biblical sentence is But the king covered his face, and the king cried with a loud voice, O my son Absalom, O Absalom, my son, my son! Faulkner was a big fan of borrowed titles: his 1939 If I Forget Thee, Jerusalem is also from the Bible, Psalms 137:5. The line in question is If I forget thee, Jerusalem, let my right hand forget its skill.
#2. A Time to Kill by John Grisham
This one is from 3:3 in the Ecclesiastes, again part of the Old Testament. The anonymous author is a King of Jerusalem who relates and analyses events in his own life. This has resonated strongly with a lot of people: Abraham Lincoln quoted Ecclesiastes when addressing Congress in 1862, and the novelist Thomas Wolfe called it ‘the greatest single piece of writing I have ever known.’ Grisham’s 1989 title is taken from the line that [To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:] A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up…
#3. The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton
Another Ecclesiastes quotation, this time from line 7:4. A brilliant sentence: The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning; but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth. One of Wharton’s best-known novels, it came out in 1905.
#4. East of Eden by John Steinbeck
Steinbeck apparently considered this 1952 novel to be his magnum opus, the one which all other novels before it had merely been practice for. The title is suitably grand. Taken from Genesis, the first book of the Old Testament, it refers to line 4:16, after Cain has slain his brother Abel. And Cain went out from the presence of the Lord, and dwelt in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden.
#5. The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
More Ecclesiastes! This particular quotation is from 1:5, which states that The sun also ariseth, and the sun goeth down, and hasteth to his place where he arose. Hemingway’s modernist novel came out in 1926.
#6. Vile Bodies by Evelyn Waugh
Waugh took the title for his 1930 novel from Philippians, full name Epistle to the Philippians, which is part of the New Testament and generally attributed to Paul the Apostle. Most scholars consider it to be a collection of letter fragments sent from Paul to the church of Philippi, a city on the Greek island of Thasos. The line in question is 3:21 and refers to Jesus Christ, [w] ho shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.
#7. A Scanner Darkly by Philip K. Dick
One of Dick’s most famous novels (published in 1977), its title is taken from the First Epistle to the Corinthians. Like above, it’s written by Paul the Apostle, this time to the church in Corinth. The line, 13:12, goes For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. It’s a particularly well-known one, and its opening words have often been used as famous book titles to other works, such as Sheridan Le Fanu’s 1872 short story collection In a Glass Darkly and Karleen Koen’s 1986 historical fiction novel Through a Glass Darkly (its sequel continues the quotation, being called Now Face to Face ).
#8. Moab is my Washpot by Stephen Fry
Undoubtedly an odd quotation; it comes from line 60:8 of the Book of Psalms in the Old Testament, which reads in full Moab is my washpot; over Edom will I cast out my shoe: Philistia, triumph thou because of me. The context is that people would often use washpots to clean their feet of sand after roaming the desert, and Moab, a kingdom of Jordan which was often warring against the Israelites, needed to be overcome. The Israelites therefore likened these containers to the kingdom. Fry chose this as the title for his 1997 autobiography as he considered the book to be ‘scrubbing at the grime of years’.
#9. Number the Stars by Lois Lowry
Although she’s most famous for her dystopian novel The Giver , Lowry’s 1989 novel Number the Stars focuses on the life of a Jewish family living in Copenhagen during World War II. In line 147:4, the Psalms declares that He [God] telleth the number of the stars; he calleth them all by their names. The quotation is also used for its connotations of the Star of David associated with Judaism.
#10. Noli Me Tangere by José Rizal
Rizal, one of the national heroes of the Philippines, wrote this book in 1887 while the nation was under Spanish control in order to draw attention to the social ills which beset the country at the time. It’s now required reading in every secondary school in the Philippines and is considered the country’s national epic.
The title quotation is extraordinarily famous: it comes from 20:17 of the Gospel of John, part of the New Testament, and is Jesus’s response to Mary Magdalene when she encounters him outside his tomb after his resurrection. The translation from the Latin is Touch me not. It can also be found in Sir Thomas Wyatt’s famed Tudor-era poem Whoso list to hunt (a close copy of Petrarch), as well as a painting by Titian. The phrase was used to refer to cancer of the eyelids, and Rizal – a medical student – chose it because it symbolised the people’s blindness to the misdeeds of the ruling Spanish government.
Famous Book Titles Taken From William Shakespeare
#11. brave new world by aldous huxley.
This is possibly the most famous book to take its title from a Shakespeare play – in this case, The Tempest . In Act V Scene I, Miranda declares:
How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world That has such people in ’t!
She says this when encountering new arrivals to her island for the first time in her life, and the ‘savage’ John repeats it when gazing at the corrupt, hedonistic society portrayed in Huxley’s 1932 novel. Huxley was a big fan of Shakespeare and quoted him in two more famous book titles, namely Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow (1956) and Mortal Coils (1921), from Macbeth and Hamlet respectively. Both are part of famous soliloquies; Hamlet’s in particular is the ‘to be or not to be’ speech.
Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow, Creeps in this petty pace from day to day, To the last syllable of recorded time; And all our yesterdays have lighted fools The way to dusty death. — Macbeth, Act V Scene V
For in that sleep of death, what dreams may come, When we have shuffled off this mortal coil, Must give us pause. — Hamlet, Act III Scene I
#12. Rosemary and Rue (October Daye #1) by Seanan McGuire
The first installment of McGuire’s bestselling fantasy October Daye series, this title is taken from The Winter’s Tale . Rosemary signifies remembrance (very key to Toby’s character) whilst rue is for repentance. The lines are spoken in Act IV Scene IV by Perdita as she gives the flowers in question to Camillo and Polixenes.
Reverend sirs, For you there’s rosemary and rue; these keep Seeming and savour all the winter long: Grace and remembrance be to you both…
#13. Pale Fire by Vladimir Nabokov
Timon of Athens is one of Shakespeare’s less well-known and less-read plays, so it’s not often quoted. But Timon’s speech here in Act IV Scene III is an excellent one. Suitably for a 1962 postmodernist novel full of cross-quotations and complex footnotes, there’s also a possible secondary Shakespeare reference here. In Hamlet , the Ghost states that the glow-worm ‘gins to pale his uneffectual fire.’ Lolita (1955) is of course Nabokov’s best work and one of history’s most famous book titles, but Pale Fire also received acclaim.
The sun’s a thief, and with his great attraction Robs the vast sea: the moon’s an arrant thief And her pale fire she snatches from the sun The sea’s a thief, whose liquid surge resolves The moon into salt tears…
#14. Remembrance of Things Past by Marcel Proust
You could say this one is cheating, a little bit. Proust wrote his 1913 seven-volume masterpiece in French, with the title À la recherche du temps perdu, which more directly translates into In Search of Lost Time . But C.K. Scott Moncrieff was its first English translator, and he released his version in 1922 under a title taken from Shakespeare’s Sonnet 30.
When to the sessions of sweet silent thought I summon up remembrance of things past, I sigh the lack of many a thing I sought, And with old woes new wail my dear time’s waste…
#15. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
Maybe I was wrong about Brave New World being the most famous Shakespeare-inspired title. With the novel that secured Green undying fame in 2012, we have a quotation from Act I Scene II of Julius Caesar, specifically by the character Cassius. He’s trying to persuade Brutus of the very real danger that Caesar wants to be king, and how dangerous that would be for Rome.
The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars But in ourselves, that we are underlings.
#16. Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons
Gibbons’s 1932 classic about a deeply unpleasant farm, a satire of typical Victorian rural fiction, has a title taken from Act V Scene VII of King John, spoken by the titular character.
…I do not ask you much, I beg cold comfort; and you are so strait And so ingrateful, you deny me that.
#17. In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
Here we have another Timon of Athens quotation. For his 1966 nonfiction account of a notorious family murder, Capote selected a line from Alcibiades’ speech in Act III Scene V – Who cannot condemn rashness in cold blood? Committing crimes ‘cold-bloodedly’ has long been a staple of speech, however.
#18. Behold, Here’s Poison by Georgette Heyer
This isn’t really one of the world’s most famous book titles; Heyer’s contemporary detective novels were far less popular than her historical romances. But Behold, Here’s Poison (1936) has always been one of my favourite Heyers. Not because of its mystery plot, which is pretty standard, but because it has what I consider to be some of her best characters of all time, particularly ‘amiable snake’ Randal. If you’re a Heyer fan (or even if you’re not) I really recommend it! The title comes from a speech by Antiochus in Act I Scene I of Pericles, Prince of Tyre .
Thaliard, behold, here’s poison, and here’s gold; We hate the Prince of Tyre, and thou must kill him: It fits thee not to ask the reason why…
#19. Band of Brothers by Stephen E. Ambrose
This 1992 historical nonfiction book about World War II was later popularised by a dramatic TV miniseries in 2001, produced by Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks. The quotation is taken from Henry V, Act IV Scene III, in a speech delivered by Henry himself to rouse his troops on St Crispin’s Day before the famed 1415 Battle of Agincourt.
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers; For he to-day that sheds his blood with me Shall be my brother…
#20. Mortal Engines by Philip Reeve
Reeve’s 2001 steampunk series has a name borrowed from Othello’s speech in Act III Scene III of Othello . It’s particularly apt since it references cities which are constantly on the move and eating other cities.
And O you mortal engines whose rude throats Th’immortal Jove’s dread clamours counterfeit…
The 2006 fourth novel in the Mortal Engines quartet also has a literary title: it’s called A Darkling Plain , a quotation from Matthew Arnold’s 1867 poem Dover Beach.
Ah, love, let us be true To one another! for the world, which seems To lie before us like a land of dreams, So various, so beautiful, so new, Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light, Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain; And we are here as on a darkling plain Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight, Where ignorant armies clash by night.
#21. The Dark Tower by Stephen King
This 1982 eight-book series by King has a title which is taken from Shakespeare, but comes by way of Robert Barrett Browning. In 1852, Browning wrote a poem entitled Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came ; this line is spoken in Act III Scene IV of King Lear by Gloucester’s son Edgar. In his guise as Tom o’ Bedlam, he speaks a lot of gibberish, and this particular piece of gibberish has even older roots as a Scottish ballad.
Child Rowland to the dark tower came, His word was still ‘Fie, foh, and fum I smell the blood of a British man.
#22. The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner
Another Faulkner! This 1929 title comes from Macbeth’s famed soliloquy in Act V Scene V, delivered as Scottish troops are approaching his castle. It’s the ending of the aforementioned ‘Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow’ quotation.
… it is a tale Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, Signifying nothing.
#23. No Wind of Blame by Georgette Heyer
Another of Heyer’s detective novels, the 1939 No Wind of Blame has a title from words spoken by Claudius in Act IV Scene VII of Hamlet.
…I will work him To an exploit, now ripe in my devise, Under the which he shall not choose but fall. And for his death no wind of blame shall breathe…
Famous Book Titles Taken From Poetry
#24. i know why the caged bird sings by maya angelou.
Angelou’s autobiography has, rightly, been hailed as a landmark piece of writing since it came out in 1969. The title comes from the poem Sympathy by African American poet Paul Laurence Dunbar, who was born in 1872 and died young from illness in 1906.
I know why the caged bird sings, ah me, When his wing is bruised and his bosom sore, — When he beats his bars and he would be free; It is not a carol of joy or glee, But a prayer that he sends from his heart’s deep core, But a plea, that upward to Heaven he flings — I know why the caged bird sings!
#25. Alone on a Wide, Wide Sea by Michael Morpurgo
This 2006 children’s novel relates the story of a British orphan sent to Australia after World War II. The title comes from Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s famous 1798 poem The Rime of the Ancient Mariner . Though the poem is fairly long, it’s narrated in short stanzas of four lines each.
Alone, alone, all, all alone, Alone on a wide wide sea! And never a saint took pity on My soul in agony.
#26. Dance Dance Dance by Haruki Murakami
This is the sixth novel by the bestselling Japanese author, who has declared it to be the one he most enjoyed writing. It was first published in 1988 but translated into English in 1994. The title comes from the final stanza of W.H. Auden’s 1937 poem Death’s Echo.
Dance, dance for the figure is easy, The tune is catching and will not stop; Dance till the stars come down from the rafters; Dance, dance, dance till you drop.
#27. Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
Mitchell’s great 1936 American Civil War classic is one of my joint favourite novels (alongside Wuthering Heights ) and, delightfully for me, its title comes from my all-time favourite poem! If you read my article on 22 gorgeous Victorian poems , you’ll know this already, but Ernest Dowson’s 1894 poem Non Sum Qualis Eram Bonae Sub Regno Cynarae is one I absolutely love. To be doubly literary, Dowson’s title is itself taken from a poem – specifically, Book IV of the ancient Roman poet Horace’s Odes . It translates to ‘I am not as I was under the reign of the good Cynara’ and is evocative of lost, haunting love, perfect for Gone with the Wind.
I have forgot much, Cynara! gone with the wind, Flung roses, roses riotously with the throng, Dancing, to put thy pale, lost lilies out of mind; But I was desolate and sick of an old passion, Yea, all the time, because the dance was long; I have been faithful to thee, Cynara! in my fashion.
#28. A Many-Splendoured Thing by Han Suyin
Rosalie Matilda Kuanghu Chou, who wrote under the pen name Han Suyin, produced a number of China-set novels which became very popular in the West. Chief among these is A Many-Splendoured Thing in 1952, which narrates the tale of a Eurasian doctor and her affair with a married British foreign correspondent. The novel is strongly autobiographical; Suyin herself, a Eurasian doctor, had an affair with the married British-Australian war correspondent Ian Morrison who was killed in the Korean War in 1950. Its title comes from the 1903 poem The Kingdom of God by Francis Thompson.
The angels keep their ancient places; — Turn but a stone, and start a wing! ‘Tis ye, ‘tis your estrangèd faces, That miss the many-splendoured thing.
#29. As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
Yet more Faulkner! This 1930 title comes from a translation of Homer’s ancient Greek poem The Odyssey , published in 1925 by William Marris. In its Book XI, the dead Agamemnon tells Odysseus that As I lay dying, the woman with the dog’s eyes would not close my eyes as I descended into Hades. He is here referring to his murderous, adulterous wife Clytemnestra. Considering he SACRIFICED THEIR DAUGHTER IPHIGENIA just so he could go off and fight, one really cannot blame her.
#30. Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
Achebe’s 1958 novel narrates the story of life in southeastern Nigeria prior to its colonisation by Europeans during the late Victorian Scramble for Africa. This title comes from W. B. Yeats’s 1919 poem The Second Coming. It also serves as the source material for the title of The Widening Gyre , a detective novel by Robert B. Parker.
Turning and turning in the widening gyre The falcon cannot hear the falconer; Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere The ceremony of innocence is drowned; The best lack all conviction, while the worst Are full of passionate intensity.
Since I love Ernest Dowson so much, I feel impelled to point out that the particular phrase ‘things fall apart’ was not invented by Yeats himself. He took it from a Dowson poem of the 1890s entitled Quid non speremus, amantes? This quotation from Virgil can be translated as What may we lovers not hope for?
Nay! She is gone, and all things fall apart; Or she is cold, and vainly have we prayed; And broken is the summer’s splendid heart, And hope within a deep, dark grave is laid.
The 1960 sequel to Achebe’s novel also has a literary title; No Longer at Ease is taken from T.S. Eliot’s 1927 The Journey of the Magi.
We returned to our places, these Kingdoms, But no longer at ease here, in the old dispensation, With an alien people clutching their gods. I should be glad of another death.
#31. Far from the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy
Hardy was himself the subject of a thinly veiled biography with a literary title. Cakes and Ale , written in 1930 by W. Somerset Maugham, is ostensibly about a man named Edward Driffield but this is widely recognised to be Hardy. The title is a quotation by Sir Toby Belch to Malvolio in Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night . As for Far from the Madding Crowd (1874), it’s taken from the 1750 poem Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard by Thomas Gray, where he muses on inhabitants in a graveyard.
Far from the madding crowd’s ignoble strife, Their sober wishes never learned to stray; Along the cool sequestered vale of life They kept the noiseless tenor of their way.
#32. Tender is the Night by F. Scott FitzGerald
Fitzgerald’s final novel, published in 1934, takes its title from one of John Keats’s most memorable poems. The Romantic poet was born in 1795 and died young from consumption in 1821, but during that time he produced a collection of gorgeous poetry from which many well-known authors have borrowed famous book titles from. This particular quotation comes from 1819’s Ode to a Nightingale.
Away! away! for I will fly to thee, Not charioted by Bacchus and his pards, But on the viewless wings of Poesy, Though the dull brain perplexes and retards: Already with thee! tender is the night, And haply the Queen-Moon is on her throne, Cluster’d around by all her starry Fays But here there is no light, Save what from heaven is with the breezes blown Through verdurous glooms and winding mossy ways.
#33. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
Like Faulkner, Steinbeck was a big believer in using quotations for his book titles. The one for 1939’s The Grapes of Wrath comes from a stanza in The Battle Hymn of the Republic , written in 1862 by the abolitionist and suffragist Julia Ward Howe.
Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored He hath loosed the fateful lightning of His terrible swift sword His truth is marching on.
#34. A Passage to India by E.M. Forster
Forster’s 1924 novel is often cited as one of his best works, alongside such classics as A Room with a View . The title is a quotation from Walt Whitman’s 1855 poetry collection Leaves of Grass . It isn’t actually one specific line from within the poems themselves, but the title for a section of verses which have this line as a refrain. One of the most famous lines from Leaves of Grass is possibly I sing the body electric , which gives its name to a 1969 short-story collection by Ray Bradbury (and a song by Lana del Rey!)
#35. Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee Brown
This history of Native Americans in the 1800s was first published in 1970 and is immensely popular, having never gone out of print. Brown took his title from the poem American Names by Stephen Vincent Benet, himself a winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. It is worth noting however that the poem isn’t about Native Americans.
I shall not rest quiet in Montparnasse. I shall not lie easy at Winchelsea. You may bury my body in Sussex grass, You may bury my tongue at Champmedy. I shall not be there. I shall rise and pass. Bury my heart at Wounded Knee.
#36. A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway
More Hemingway! It was published in 1929. This line is taken from the title of the poem A Farewell to Arms, written by Tudor poet George Peele to Elizabeth I. One of its themes is the swiftness of passing time; he died in 1596 aged 40, which was actually below the Elizabethan average of 42. Another of Hemingway’s titles, 1940’s For Whom the Bell Tolls , is taken from metaphysical poet John Donne’s famous Meditation 17.
No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main; if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend’s or of thine own were; any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.
#37. His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman
Naturally, John Milton’s incredible 1667 epic Paradise Lost has spawned a lot of famous book titles. One of these is Pullman’s beautiful and complex 1995 trilogy. From Book II:
Into this wilde Abyss, The Womb of nature and perhaps her Grave, Of neither Sea, nor Shore, nor Air, nor Fire, But all these in their pregnant causes mixt Confus’dly, and which thus must ever fight, Unless th’ Almighty Maker them ordain His dark materials to create more Worlds, Into this wild Abyss the warie fiend Stood on the brink of Hell…
#38. No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy
This 2005 novel is another one borrowed from a W.B. Yeats poem, specifically Sailing to Byzantium, first published in 1928. Here’s the first stanza:
That is no country for old men. The young In one another’s arms, birds in the trees – Those dying generations – at their song, The salmon‐falls, the mackerel‐crowded seas, Fish, flesh, or fowl, commend all summer long Whatever is begotten, born, and dies. Caught in that sensual music all neglect Monuments of unageing intellect.
#39. Nectar in a Sieve by Kamala Markandaya
An Indian novelist and journalist, Markandaya published Nectar in a Sieve to wide critical acclaim in 1954. It chronicles the life of a rural Indian rural woman named Rukmani as she and her family struggle to eke out a living. The title comes from the 1825 poem Work without Hope by Samuel Taylor Coleridge.
Yet well I ken the banks where amaranths blow, Have traced the fount whence streams of nectar flow. Bloom, O ye amaranths! bloom for whom ye may, For me ye bloom not! Glide, rich streams, away! With lips unbrightened, wreathless brow, I stroll: And would you learn the spells that drowse my soul? Work without Hope draws nectar in a sieve, And Hope without an object cannot live.
#40. A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
Hosseini’s 2007 novel, the second of his career, has been hugely influential and popular since its publication. It’s now one of the most famous book titles in the world. In a departure from the sources in the rest of this article, the poem A Thousand Splendid Suns is borrowed from was written not by a Western poet but by Saeb Tabrizi, a 17th-century Persian poet. It is named Kabul .
Every street of Kabul is enthralling to the eye Through the bazaars, caravans of Egypt pass One could not count the moons that shimmer on her roofs And the thousand splendid suns that hide behind her walls…
#41. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
From the 1785 poem To a Mouse by Scottish poet Robert Burn comes the title Of Mice and Men . This 1937 novella is one of Steinbeck’s most popular works, though not if you (like me) were obliged to study it for GCSE.
But Mousie, thou art no thy-lane, In proving foresight may be vain: The best laid schemes o’ Mice an’ Men Gang aft agley, An’ lea’e us nought but grief an’ pain, For promis’d joy!
#42. This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Fitzgerald employed a poem by World War I poet Rupert Brooke, Tiare Tahiti , to name his debut 1920 novel This Side of Paradise.
Dive and double and follow after, Snare in flowers, and kiss, and call, With lips that fade, and human laughter And faces individual, Well this side of Paradise! …. There’s little comfort in the wise.
#43. Dying of the Light by George R.R. Martin
This is Martin’s very first novel, published in 1977, long before he gained fame for A Song of Ice and Fire . The title is a line from Welsh poet Dylan Thomas’s gorgeous Do Not Go Gentle Into that Good Night , written in 1947 about his dying father. The phrase is repeated throughout the poem, but here’s the first stanza:
Do not go gentle into that good night, Old age should burn and rave at close of day; Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Famous Book Titles Taken From Other Books
#44. the line of beauty by alan hollinghurst.
This 2004 novel won the Man Booker prize, and it’s extraordinary – the hard-hitting narrative of a young gay man studying English at Oxford during the Thatcher years of the ’80s and the AIDS epidemic. The title refers to the ‘line of beauty’, a curved S-shaped line described by William Hogarth in his 1753 book The Analysis of Beauty .
#45. A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
This novel was published in 1980, eleven years after Toole died by suicide. He had been suffering from depression linked to the book’s constant rejections by publishers, but once released it became one of America’s most famous book titles, winning the Pulitzer Prize for fiction. The title is borrowed from Jonathan Swift’s satirical essay Thoughts on Various Subjects, Moral and Diverting. The quotation in question is When a true genius appears in the world you may know him by this sign; that the dunces are all in confederacy against him.
#46. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
This delightful 2003 novel about a boy investigating the death of a dog is named after Silver Blaze , an 1893 short mystery story by Arthur Conan Doyle featuring Sherlock Holmes. Here’s an exchange between him and Watson featuring the quotation:
“Is there any point to which you would wish to draw my attention?”
“To the curious incident of the dog in the night-time.”
“The dog did nothing in the night-time.”
“That was the curious incident,” remarked Sherlock Holmes.
#47. The Waste Land by T.S. Eliot
This 1922 poem is widely hailed as one of the most important poems of the twentieth century and a key part of the modernist movement. But the title – and, in Eliot’s words, ‘the plan and a good deal of the incidental symbolism’ – were inspired by From Ritual to Romance by Jessie L. Watson. The book, published in 1920, explores the origins of the King Arthur legends, particularly in terms of the Holy Grail and the Celtic trope of the Wasteland – a barren land whose curse must be lifted by the hero.
#48. Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray
This book was first released as a serial of 19 volumes between 1847 and 1848, and it sometimes considered to be the progenitor of later Victorian ‘domestic novels.’ Vanity Fair is a location described in John Bunyan’s 1678 allegory Pilgrim’s Progress , where it represents man’s attachment to temporal distractions. Along with being one of the most famous book titles, it’s been the name for a large number of British and American fashion magazines.
#49. Of Human Bondage by W. Somerset Maugham
Maugham’s 1915 novel is widely considered to be his best. Its title comes from Ethics, Demonstrated in Geometrical Order , a treatise published in 1677 by the Dutch philosopher Baruch Spinoza. Part IV of Ethics is named Of Human Bondage, or the Strength of the Emotions , and is a discussion of how inability to control one’s emotions constitutes a form of bondage.
#50. The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul by Douglas Adams
This 1988 second novel in the Dirk Gently science-fiction series is a parody of The Dark Night , a commentary written by 16th century Spanish Counter-Reformation figure St John of the Cross. The commentary itself is on a poem he wrote, which he did not name but is now referred to as The Dark Night of the Soul .
I hope you enjoyed these famous book titles! If you’re looking for similar posts, try this one about 100 must-read books with one-word titles .