Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Top Ten Tuesday: Extraordinary Book Titles

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly book blog meme now hosted by Jana over at The Artsy Reader Girl!

This week's topic is: Extraordinary Book Titles

This week's topic was actually a little tricky because I couldn't decide quite how I wanted to go about interpreting "extraordinary." Should it be something extraordinarily magical? Long titles? Confusing titles? Badass titles? I'm still not sure, so this list is basically just a mixture of titles that stood out to me for some reason or another when I came across them, whether it's because they're oddly long or they just roll off the tongue or sound particularly magical. I also went over just ten--what else is new? The 'ten' is really more like a guideline, right?

The Illumination of Ursula Flight
by Anna-Marie Crowshurst
I just love this title! There are so many titles that follow the "the x of [insert name]," but something about "illumination" is just so unique and really gives sets a great atmosphere.
About: "Born on the night of an ill-auguring comet just before Charles II's Restoration, Ursula Flight has a difficult future written in the stars. Against the custom of the age she begins an education with her father, who fosters in her a love of reading, writing and astrology. Following a surprise meeting with an actress, Ursula yearns for the theatre and thus begins her quest to become a playwright despite scoundrels, bounders, bad luck and heartbreak."

They Mostly Come out At Night 
by Benedict Patrick
Delightfully ominous and intriguing!
About: "He locked himself away from the dark, but in the Magpie King’s forest nowhere is safe… Lonan is an outcast, accused of letting the monsters that stalk the night into the homes of his fellow villagers. Now, he will not rest until he wins back the heart of his childhood love and reclaims the life that was stolen from him. However, locked safely in his cellar at night, in his dreams Lonan finds himself looking through the eyes of a young prince…"

The Heart's Invisible Furies
by John Boyne
It just sounds like a good title on first hearing, but the more you think about it the more it really stands out and questions about its meaning start to arise. 
About: "Born out of wedlock to a teenage girl cast out from her rural Irish community and adopted by a well-to-do if eccentric Dublin couple via the intervention of a hunchbacked Redemptorist nun, Cyril is adrift in the world, anchored only tenuously by his heartfelt friendship with the infinitely more glamourous and dangerous Julian Woodbead. At the mercy of fortune and coincidence, he will spend a lifetime coming to know himself and where he came from – and over his three score years and ten, will struggle to discover an identity, a home, a country and much more."

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making 
by Catherynne M. Valente
How could I make a list about incredible titles and not include one of these? I just love them all!
About: "Twelve-year-old September lives in Omaha, and used to have an ordinary life, until her father went to war and her mother went to work. One day, September is met at her kitchen window by a Green Wind (taking the form of a gentleman in a green jacket), who invites her on an adventure, implying that her help is needed in Fairyland. The new Marquess is unpredictable and fickle, and also not much older than September. Only September can retrieve a talisman the Marquess wants from the enchanted woods, and if she doesn’t . . . then the Marquess will make life impossible for the inhabitants of Fairyland. September is already making new friends, including a book-loving Wyvern and a mysterious boy named Saturday."

The Crimson Petal and the White
by Michel Faber
About: "Sugar, 19, prostitute in Victorian London, yearns for a better life. From brutal brothel-keeper Mrs Castaway, she ascends in society. Affections of self-involved perfume magnate William Rackham soon smells like love. Her social rise attracts preening socialites, drunken journalists, untrustworthy servants, vile guttersnipes, and whores of all kinds."

The Wolf in the Whale 
by Jordanna Max Brodsky
Not The Wolf and the Whale...The Wolf in the Whale.
About: "Born with the soul of a hunter and the spirit of the Wolf, Omat is destined to follow in her grandfather's footsteps-invoking the spirits of the land, sea, and sky to protect her people. But the gods have stopped listening and Omat's family is starving. Alone at the edge of the world, hope is all they have left. Desperate to save them, Omat journeys across the icy wastes, fighting for survival with every step. When she meets a Viking warrior and his strange new gods, they set in motion a conflict that could shatter her world...or save it."

The Book of Strange New Things
by Michel Faber
This one just brings to me mind so many possibilities!
About: "It begins with Peter, a devoted man of faith, as he is called to the mission of a lifetime, one that takes him galaxies away from his wife, Bea. Peter becomes immersed in the mysteries of an astonishing new environment, overseen by an enigmatic corporation known only as USIC. His work introduces him to a seemingly friendly native population struggling with a dangerous illness and hungry for Peter’s teachings—his Bible is their “book of strange new things.” But Peter is rattled when Bea’s letters from home become increasingly desperate: typhoons and earthquakes are devastating whole countries, and governments are crumbling. Bea’s faith, once the guiding light of their lives, begins to falter. Suddenly, a separation measured by an otherworldly distance, and defined both by one newly discovered world and another in a state of collapse, is threatened by an ever-widening gulf that is much less quantifiable. While Peter is reconciling the needs of his congregation with the desire"

A Boy and His Dog at the End of the World
by C.A. Fletcher
About: "When a beloved family dog is stolen, her owner sets out on a life-changing journey through the ruins of our world to bring her back in this fiercely compelling tale of survival, courage, and hope. Perfect for readers of Station Eleven and The Girl With All the Gifts."

The City in the Middle of the Night
by Charlie Jane Anders
I love how if you really break down this title, the plausibility starts to make no sense--does it mean the 'middle of the night' as a location? Or is it just referencing time? So it just leaves it to where you have to read it to find out. 
About: "Set on a planet that has fully definitive, never-changing zones of day and night, with ensuing extreme climates of endless, frigid darkness and blinding, relentless light, humankind has somehow continued apace -- though the perils outside the built cities are rife with danger as much as the streets below. But in a world where time means only what the ruling government proclaims, and the levels of light available are artificially imposed to great consequence, lost souls and disappeared bodies are shadow-bound and savage, and as common as grains of sand. And one such pariah, sacrificed to the night, but borne up by time and a mysterious bond with an enigmatic beast, will rise to take on the entire planet--before it can crumble beneath the weight of human existence."

The Book of Lost Things
by John Connolly
Of course one of my favorite books of all time has an 'extraordinary' title! I tend to really love titles that go along the lines of 'the book of x,' but this in particular just leaves so many possibilities open--I really love it!
About: "High in his attic bedroom, twelve-year-old David mourns the death of his mother, with only the books on his shelf for company. But those books have begun to whisper to him in the darkness. Angry and alone, he takes refuge in his imagination and soon finds that reality and fantasy have begun to meld. While his family falls apart around him, David is violently propelled into a world that is a strange reflection of his own -- populated by heroes and monsters and ruled by a faded king who keeps his secrets in a mysterious book, The Book of Lost Things."
Charlotte Markham and the House of Darkling
by Michael Boccacino
About: "When the nanny to the young Darrow boys is found mysteriously murdered on the outskirts of the village of Blackfield, Charlotte Markham, the recently hired governess, steps in to take over their care. During an outing in the forest, they find themselves crossing over into The Ending, "the place for the Things Above Death," where Lily Darrow, the late mother of the children, has been waiting. She invites them into the House of Darkling, a wondrous place filled with enchantment, mystery, and strange creatures that appear to be, but are not quite, human."

"Who Could That Be at This Hour?"
by Lemony Snickett
How many titles out there are written as if they are quotes? And really, who could it be?
About: "The adventure began in a fading town. Far from anyone he knew or trusted, a young Lemony Snicket started an apprenticeship for a secret organization shrouded in mystery and secrecy. He asked questions that shouldn't have been on his mind. Now he has written an account that should not be published that shouldn't be read. Not even by you. Seriously, we recommend that you do NOT ask your parents for this, the first book in his new ALL THE WRONG QUESTIONS series. Lemony Snicket, in case you don't already know, grew up to be the author of A Series of Unfortunate Events series."

The Gutter Prayer
by Gareth Hanrahan
Something about this one just stands out to me so much--it's so unique! 'Gutter' and 'prayer' just seem like such dichotomies and I love it. 
About: "The city has always been. The city must finally end. When three thieves - an orphan, a ghoul, and a cursed man - are betrayed by the master of the thieves guild, their quest for revenge uncovers dark truths about their city and exposes a dangerous conspiracy, the seeds of which were sown long before they were born. Cari is a drifter whose past and future are darker than she can know. Rat is a Ghoul, whose people haunt the city's underworld. Spar is a Stone Man, subject to a terrible disease that is slowly petrifying his flesh. Chance has brought them together, but their friendship could be all that stands in the way of total armageddon."

The Illumination of Ursula FlightThey Mostly Come Out at Night (Yarnsworld, #1)The Heart's Invisible FuriesThe Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making (Fairyland, #1)

The Crimson Petal and the WhiteThe Wolf in the WhaleThe Book of Strange New ThingsA Boy and His Dog at the End of the World

The City in the Middle of the NightThe Book of Lost ThingsCharlotte Markham and the House of DarklingWho Could That Be at This Hour? (All the Wrong Questions, #1)

What are some 'extraordinary book titles' you know of? Have you read any of these books?


  1. Some awesome titles!

    Lotte | www.lottelauv.blogspot.co.uk

  2. Great list! The Book of Lost Things has been on my TBR for years, I really need to read it. I love the titles of The Illumination of Ursula Flight and The Book Strange New Things!

  3. We both had The Girl who Circumnavigated Fairyland on our lists this week. Have you read that one yet?

    My TTT.

  4. I really like the title 'The Illumination of Ursula Flight' but sadly I'm not interested in the story.

    I have not read any of the books on your list so I cannot say whether they deserve their titles but they sound good though.

    Have a lovely day

  5. The City in the Middle of the Night is a great title, and a book I'm sorry I haven't read yet!

  6. They Mostly Come Out At Night- ooh I like that one! Kinda creepy haha! The Book of Lost Things is pretty awesome too. :)