Goodreads Blog

15 Books That Hooked You with Just the Title

Posted by Hayley on June 07, 2017
A great book with a lousy title may never lure a reader as they roam the bookstore. Would The Grapes of Wrath be so beloved if it was called Tenant Farmer Tales? We don't think so.

Titles have power—and a good one can stop readers in their tracks. We asked on Facebook and Twitter: What books have you read just because the title caught your eye? Check out the top answers below.


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The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
by Mark Haddon


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The Problem with Forever
by Jennifer L. Armentrout


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When Breath Becomes Air
by Paul Kalanithi


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Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal
by Christopher Moore


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The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
by Mary Ann Schaffer and Annie Barrows




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It's Always the Husband
by Michele Campbell


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The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake
by Aimee Bender


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The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared
by Jonas Jonasson


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John Dies at the End
by David Wong


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A Visit from the Goon Squad
by Jennifer Egan


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The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight
by Jennifer E. Smith


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Grief Is the Thing with Feathers
by Max Porter


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In Search of Our Mother's Garden
by Alice Walker


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Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore
by Robin Sloan



Don't see the titles that hooked you? Share them with us in the comments!

Check out more recent blogs:
The Life-Changing Reading Habit Sarah Dessen Discovered As a Teen
June's Hottest New Mysteries & Thrillers
This Month's Poetry Contest Winner: The Hoarder

Comments (showing 1-50 of 74) (74 new)


message 1: by Joy (new)

Joy Ingram Extremely loud ......&......
Everything is illuminated


message 2: by Adriana (new)

Adriana Moura Brazilian writer Lygia Fagundes Telles has a short stories book called "The Structure of the Soap Bubble".


The other Sandy Bimbos of the Death Sun by Sharyn McCrumb.


message 4: by robyn (new)

robyn the hollow chocolate bunnies of the apocalypse by robert rankin and the skullduggery pleasant series by derek landy!


message 6: by Thomas (new)

Thomas The Nymphos of Rocky Flats and Go-Go Girls of the Apocalypse. And the second one is actually worth reading!


message 7: by Rouan (new)

Rouan The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams


message 8: by Denise (new)


message 9: by Beckey (new)

Beckey Night of the Living Trekkies

The title and the cover photo.


message 11: by Florencia (new)

Florencia The Guernsey literary and potato peel pie society


message 12: by Daan (new)

Daan Rook Let's Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson ! One of the funniest books I've ever read <3


message 14: by Ariel (new)

Ariel Bloodchild and Other Stories by Octavia E. Butler Particularly "Bloodchild"
The Diabolical Miss Hyde (Electric Empire, #1) by Viola Carr
Last Call at the Nightshade Lounge by Paul Krueger


message 15: by Maja (new)

Maja One of the titles that immediately hooked me was "Sparks: The Epic, Completely True Blue, (Almost) Holy Quest of Debbie" by S.J. Adams. If that isn't one genius book title.
(Also from the list I liked the one with the Fakir a lot, really got me laughing and interested in the book)


message 16: by Maja (new)

Maja Purple wrote: "Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe"


Yay, Aristotle and Dante, I didn't even think of that, but that title had me hooked too, and I just love that book so much <3


message 19: by Harley (new)

Harley The Sisters Brothers definitely. Also a great cover.


message 22: by Sally (new)

Sally I found Quite Ugly One Morning in a London bookstore many years ago. The title definitely attracted me and it turned out to be a very funny mystery.


message 23: by Michele (new)

Michele Carter Beats the Devil got my attention.


message 24: by Bruce (new)

Bruce Hatton Sally wrote: "I found Quite Ugly One Morning in a London bookstore many years ago. The title definitely attracted me and it turned out to be a very funny mystery."

The first book in Christopher Brookmyre's excellent Jack Parlabane series. What initially attracted me was that he'd taken the title from a Warren Zevon song.


message 25: by Kathy (new)

Kathy Sorry, I really don't take a book by it's cover or title! I am a person who likes to suss the contents and blurb, even reading the first chapter to get a feel before I read. *2017* BUT when I was a young child titles like "The Magic Faraway Tree" captured my attention and the colourful covers of the same were always a lure!


message 26: by Susan (new)

Susan Joy wrote: "Extremely loud ......&......
Everything is illuminated"


I agree!


message 27: by Rachael (new)

Rachael Mort
A Great and Terrible Beauty
Looking For Alaska
Chalice
Speak
The Gospel According To Larry
(do I judge books by their Titles?
So I judge books by their Titles.
Small words contain multitudes).
Apologies to Walt Whitman


message 28: by Rachael (new)

Rachael The Phantom Tollbooth
The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry
Twilight (and I don't regret it)


message 29: by Kristine (new)

Kristine The Bourbon Kings by J.R. Ward. I had never read this author before but the title caught my eye, and when I read the blurb it seemed interesting. I bought it and thankfully, was very much worth the impulse book buy.


message 30: by Rachel (new)

Rachel The Smell of Other People's Houses by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock


message 31: by Hari (new)

Hari Brandl "Tell Me how this Ends Well"


message 32: by Rosa (new)

Rosa Buddy Holly is Alive and Well on Ganymede, but it turned out to be a disappointment.
I once wanted to read Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, but never did. Maybe I will someday.


message 34: by Anurag (new)

Anurag Gupta Farenheit 451


message 35: by David (new)

David Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything didn't disappoint. Entertaining, informational, and I still use a handful of the memory techniques.
You'll Like It Here (Everybody Does) was a mixed bag. The dystopia implied in the title was decent, but in the end the book tried to do too much and didn't do it terribly well.
Jennifer, Hecate, Macbeth, William McKinley and Me, Elizabeth I didn't like, unfortunately. But the title remains one of my all-time favorites.


message 36: by Caroline (new)

Caroline House of Sand and Fog by Andre Dubas III


message 37: by Sarah (new)

Sarah The Elegance of the Hedgehog sounded interesting, but I was put off when I didn't enjoy The Gourmet.


message 38: by Lorraine (new)

Lorraine Wilkinson I Have a Bed Made of Buttermilk Pancakes by Jaclyn Moriarty
Special Topics in Calamity Physics by Marisha Pessl


message 39: by David (new)

David I feel pretty meh about most of these, tbh. Some of the titles I've found most immediately intriguing are:

A Universal History of Iniquity
I Am Not A Serial Killer
I Don't Want to Kill You
The Machine Stops
A Night in the Lonesome October
Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West
The Graveyard Book
American Gods


message 40: by Tanja (new)

Tanja Sarah wrote: "The Elegance of the Hedgehog sounded interesting, but I was put off when I didn't enjoy The Gourmet."

You should go for it - I was put of this book because too many (wrong) people were thrilled by this book, but then I read it anyway and it was really something. And different ...


message 42: by Fiona (new)

Fiona The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making went straight on my TBR when I heard about it, purely because of the title.


message 43: by Kristina (new)

Kristina Stefanova "Tequila Mockingbird: Cocktails with a Literary Twist"


message 45: by Scarlet (new)

Scarlet The coldest girl in coldtown by Holly Black :-)


message 47: by Hamda (last edited Jun 08, 2017 05:58AM) (new)

Hamda I actually think it's catchier when the title is just a word or two instead of something long and contrary, most of the later usually end up being badly written books.

Titles that grabbed me and ended up a pleasant surprise.

NPCs - by Drew Hayes
Neverwhere - Neil Gaiman
Ready Player One - Ernest Cline
The Graveyard Book - Neil Gaiman


message 48: by Raiann (new)

Raiann LOL "The Hundred Year Old Man who Climbed out of the Window and Disappeared." Added to want-to-read


message 49: by Dorthe (new)

Dorthe 'The Bone Clocks' by David Mitchell
'Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight' and 'Scribbling the Cat' by Alexandra Fuller
'The Night Circus' by Erin Morgenstern
'Midnight at the Well of Souls' by Jack L. Chalker
'The Corridors of Time' by Poul Anderson


message 50: by Duarte (new)

Duarte Martinho Naked Lunch by William S. Burroughs
The Atrocity Exhibition by J.G. Ballard
Coin Locker Babies by Ryu Murakami
No Longer Human by Osamu Dazai
O Banqueiro Anarachista by Fernando Pessoa


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