Internet discovery/quiz!: Better Book Titles

Update: My good friend Ben asked me about my guest column in The Battalion, my university’s student newspaper, which reminded me to include this. While I never could track down the link to the individual article, it can be viewed on the full-print layout preview here (page 4).

I had some down-time at work today, so I did some Internet exploring and discovered the fun tumblr page Better Book Titles. Such a delight for any English major/book reader! I like to use the term “bibliophile,” but Sean informs me that this makes me sound creepy … um, obviously he doesn’t know what the word means.

It reminds me a lot of the Christmas Carol title “translation” games teachers would sometimes give us to do as a kid. Except it combines really tongue-in-cheek commentary about the books’ “messages.” Who needs Spark Notes, right? Just scroll through the tumblr page. Here’s one of my favorites:

A fun play on Girl with a Dragon Tattoo. Because do you know how many times people who NEVER read books recommend this book? I’m glad you’re finally reading, but please, I trust your opinion about as much as I trust those who went ballistic over The Da Vinci Code and The Hunger Games. Entertaining reads, but seriously…do not even begin to declare them “the greatest books ever!” This makes as much sense as myself having an informed opinion about any science-fiction movie.

Some of the faux book covers on the site kind of cross a line, but I’ve assembled some of my favorites — all of which are books I’ve read, and I think that a lot of other people have read, too — to make a fun literary quiz. See if you can correctly figure out what the original titles are! I’ll post the answers at the bottom. (I’ll also post these from easiest-to-hardest, so don’t get overconfident!)

Note: I claim credit for none of these. All are from BetterBookTitles.com, and their various talented contributors.

1.

2.

3.

4.

(If it’s hard to read, it says: “One of My Best Friends Is Black”)

5.

6.

7.

8.

9.

10.

11.

How much fun would it be for a high school English teacher to have these displayed in his/her classroom, and have the class discuss them? I saw several on the website for books I studied in AP English, like No Romance Without Finance for Pride & Prejudice, and Jesus Wouldn’t Have Made It in the Navy for Billy Budd.

I just love nerdy intelligent humor. Plus, I thought this would be a nice break from all that Election Day tension.

Scroll down for answers!

Answers:

1. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

2. To Kill A Mockingbird

3. The Great Gatsby

4. The Adventures of Huck Finn

5. Jane Eyre

6. Othello

7. Lolita

8. The Bell Jar

9. Oedipus Rex

10. A Separate Peace

11. Last Exit to Brooklyn

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Internet discovery/quiz!: Better Book Titles

  1. Janet Price-Haughey

    Thanks for posting the Battalion article…I enjoyed it thoroughly!

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