T10T: Favorite Book Titles

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish and is now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s topic is Extraordinary Book Titles.

Before getting to the list: The Drowning Summer by Christine Lynn Herman gets a honorable mention because of how ominous it is. I have no idea whether it represents the book well, but I love it.

Muse of Nightmares


I love this one on so many levels. I have a thing for vaguely ominous titles, but also: the juxtaposition of the figure of the muse (who inspires, classically positive) with nightmares, the idea of the nightmare-bringing magical figure (so many “evil spirits” and similar things in various mythologies were said to bring nightmares, mainly), the idea of that nightmare-bringing figure being… well, if you’ve read the first book, you know who I’m talking about, what kind of person she is. The whole idea is dissonant in all the right ways.

Ancestral Night


Mysterious and elegant, as something ancient rising from the dark; it feels vast like everything in this book does, in a way things in other books set in space never do. After all, this is about space archaeology (with pirates and ancient alien civilizations), and I think this title is perfect.

This Is How You Lose the Time War


Is it, though. 😀

I mean, short fiction (novellas and shorter) gets all the best titles, but this is so… intriguing. And odd, honestly. Also, if you’re not a person who gets tired of lyrical writing and if you think my opinion is worth listening to, you should really really read this book. Find out how to lose a time war with us!

Conservation of Shadows


Oh I love this one so much. There’s no such thing as a conservation of shadows, the back cover tells you straight away, and I wanted to know what that meant the moment I saw it. I thought of beautiful destruction and a rising star as much as I thought of the law of conservation of energy, and since “science words, but make it poetry” seems to be my favorite kind of writing, of course I love this.

The Haunting of Tram Car 015


This is the best kind of weirdly specific and I love everything about it. Haunted houses? Boring. Haunted castles? Also boring. Cabins? Shacks? Manors? Mansions? Boring. Tram cars? I’m so here for it. What is that even supposed to be like.

And you know what makes it even better? It’s a haunted steampunk aerial tram car. Yes, it was just as amazing as it sounds.

The Gallery of Unfinished Girls


This sounds like the beginning of a gruesome murder mystery, but no, it’s a coming-of-age story about art and being a teenage girl and how perfection is unattainable in reality, even more so when you’re unfinished as a person because you’re 17 and there’s no way you know what to do with your life or your art right now, and there’s so much confusion on this cover as well. I love this book, I love its title, I wish more people read it.

Master of the House of Darts


This is the only book on this list I haven’t read (yet? I’m as terrible as backlist as I am at series and this is the final book of a series I haven’t even started that came out in 2016) but I love this title so much. It’s ominous and it has something about the way it sounds that makes me want to know what exactly is this House of Darts immediately.

Dusk or Dawn or Dark or Day


Again, short fiction gets the best titles. This might be the only book I’ve ever read just because of a title? I kept repeating it. Duskordawnordarkorday. After reading it, the title still is the most memorable thing about the novella, which was disappointing, but the way this sounds is everything. The whole dark-light-dark-light thing going on is also a nice touch. The title doesn’t tell you anything about the story, but for once, in a way that actually made sense to me, because it made me want to know more.

Under the Pendulum Sun


What is going on with that sun. Why is it a pendulum. And, most of all, what is going on with that cover was my whole thought process before I bought it. Instant cover buy, and the title did its part. It’s unusual and weird and intriguing and makes sense for the story, which can’t be said about many titles.

A Song for Quiet


We love oxymorons just as much as we love evil eldritch music taking over people and summoning Lovecraftian Old Ones in the middle of the night!

What are your favorite titles? Have you read any of these?

22 thoughts on “T10T: Favorite Book Titles

    1. I just saw it as well, and that explains a lot of things – it is clear that more thought goes into those, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a short story with a generic title the way – for example – YA books have title trends like “A [noun] of [noun] and [seemingly unrelated noun]”.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. So many good ones! I love ‘muse of nightmares’ and ‘Dusk or dark or dawn or day’. I really wan tto read the last one, but I’m afraid it is scary haah!


    Liked by 1 person

    1. I wouldn’t describe any of the books on this list as scary – Under the Pendulum Sun and A Song for Quiet are somewhat creepy but they didn’t scare me, and Dusk or Dark or Dawn or Day was a little spooky, but not enough to be considered horror or anything like that; it’s a quiet ghost story from the point of view of a ghost.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. The Conservation of Shadows- now that’s a neat title, and very evocative. Definitely makes you want to know more! I’ve seen This Is How You Lose The Time War on a few lists too, and I have to say it definitely piques my interest and makes me want to know more.

    Ancestral Night is awesome tool.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I knew I had to know more the moment I heard about TIHYLTTW, so I’m not surprised it has appeared on various lists – it’s one of the most intriguing titles I’ve ever seen.


  3. Ugh wordpress was being weird and unfollowed a bunch of blogs, and I missed so many of your posts. :((( Anywho, I love so many of these! And I love the ominous ones too. “Master of the House of Darts”? SUPER intriguing. And short fiction definitely has the best titles! Half of the adult fantasy titles are some variations of “Blood of ____,” “____ of Kings/Queens.” But the short ones are like “The Unfettered Desires of a Midnight Mongoose” and I’m HERE FOR IT.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. …Now I want to read the Midnight Mongoose book. My first thought was exactly “someone should write that”, so yes, those titles work? I certainly won’t forget a book with a title like that easily, which happens all the time with fantasy. It’s not like “generic” is the first impression one would like readers to have, and yet fantasy novels (both in adult and YA, I find, but in different ways?) keep trying to play safe and it’s just boring.

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s