One-Word Titles: Novels (NO Proper Nouns)

RULES: Entries should be ONE-WORD titles,
• no "A" or "The" preceding the word
• no names of people, places, or things
• no ordinary nouns USED as names of people, places, or things (e.g. I'd love to include "It" by Stephen King, but it's ("It's") actually used as a proper name here; and N.B. by this criterion, Frank Herbert's "Dune" is also out)
• no "made-up" words (e.g. I'd love to include "Ubik" by Philip K. Dick, but it's a made-up word)
• no hyphenated words or words generally seen as hyphenated (so e.g. although I have seen "failsafe" used as a single unhyphenated word, its normal, greatly predominant rendering is "fail-safe")
• books should be NOVELS ... so, not PLAYS, not books of SHORT STORIES or POEMS, and no NON-FICTION

The idea is to highlight books that have conjured a whole world from a single simple, ordinary noun (or verb or etc.), adding new layers of meaning to this word and complexifying it through the story told under its name. (So, "Mislaid", "Aquarium", "Sacrament", "Broken", "Filth", "Insomnia", etc. etc.)

I created a "starter" list of 100 titles, in alphabetical order for ease of reference (this will degrade over time, of course, as more people vote).

Thanks for participating!
1

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flag this list (?)
676 books · 26 voters · list created August 30th, 2016 by Jerry (votes) .
1 like · 
Lists are re-scored approximately every 5 minutes.


Jerry 820 books
58 friends
Alec 605 books
12 friends
Drakeryn 563 books
2 friends
Shawn 1458 books
26 friends
Terrence 4238 books
1 friend
Anne Marie 6205 books
58 friends
Donna 3039 books
105 friends
Saturday's 1053 books
73 friends

More voters…


Comments Showing 1-20 of 20 (20 new)

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message 1: by Donna (last edited Aug 30, 2016 05:32PM) (new)

Donna Davis Jerry, this sounds like fun and has great potential. I see Night is already up there at #13 although it is nonfiction, not a novel, and so falls outside the list's instructions. Do you want me to pull it?

I also wonder whether you might reconsider your criteria. Dune is #1, and it's the name of a thing. Would you be willing to revise that to a prohibition of proper nouns, or no names of people and places?


message 2: by Jerry (new)

Jerry Donna wrote: "Jerry, this sounds like fun and has great potential. I see Night is already up there at #13 although it is nonfiction, not a novel, and so falls outside the list's instructions. Do you want me to p..."

Thanks, Donna ... So yes, you're right: Night a memoir and strictly speaking non-fiction; I think it's important, for that matter, that we don't "misconstrue" the book as "fiction". So it really should not be on the list. While we're on the general subject, Dune should also be removed from the list. In the context of the Dune novels, "Dune" is definitely a proper noun. (Like "It" is a proper noun in Stephen King's It.) Not only does the word "Dune" have multiple uses of this kind in the book, it's also a "nickname" for the planet Arrakis, i.e. "Arrakis, the planet known as Dune, is forever his place" (epigraph to Book One).

Does one need to be a GR Librarian to be able to perform these kinds of "quality control" operations on a list? Because really, I'd think the list's originator ought to have that ability. How can someone who makes a list of (for example) "Fatty-Boom-Boom Books (500pp or more)" remain invested in his/her creation if s/he's helpless to do anything about additions of random novellas by other GR users?


message 3: by Donna (last edited Aug 30, 2016 07:30PM) (new)

Donna Davis JerryB wrote: "Donna wrote: "Jerry, this sounds like fun and has great potential. I see Night is already up there at #13 although it is nonfiction, not a novel, and so falls outside the list's instructions. Do yo..."
I am a Goodreads librarian, and it's very simple to become one. They have (or did a few years ago when I signed on) a short form asking why you think you're qualified and why you want to do it. I said I wanted to be able to clean up listopias, and at that time, I was also able to add book jackets, which is not as easy as it once was. I am a retired language arts teacher, but I suspect just about anyone with a little college would be accepted.

That said, I have no idea how one becomes a superlibrarian. I always thought those folks were Goodreads employees, since they can mess with the database in ways the rest of us cannot, but I recently learned that only volunteer librarians like me are taking care of the listopias. Amazon would rather prefer to go with closed lists, like Amazon employees' top 25 books, and that sort of thing. I love the democratic aspect of lists that anybody can start and that anybody can add titles to, so I am more than happy to do this sort of thing.

I never knew whether list makers without librarian qualifications could or could not pull down titles, because I was a librarian before I created my first list.

So for now, if you are unable to edit the list (there's a small word "edit" that shows up just under the list's description on my page), I will be happy to yank titles that don't fit the list. But you are obviously equipped to do this, so consider throwing your name in. I was approved really fast; who doesn't like free help, as long as it's a person that knows a thing about books?

Meanwhile:

Removed for being the name of a thing:
Dune, by Frank Hebert https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2...

Removed for being nonfiction:
Night, by Elie Wiesel https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1...

Jerry, are all titles that are nouns that are things out of bounds here? If so, I may need to pull down "Mystery" and a few others. There are some one-word titles, such as that one and "Slapstick", where the word might be a noun or might be a descriptor. Slapstick might be an adjective, depending on context, etc.

If I have added any books I shouldn't have and you can't pull them, tell me and I will take them down again. Cheers!


message 4: by Jerry (new)

Jerry Donna wrote: "JerryB wrote: "Donna wrote: "Jerry, this sounds like fun and has great potential. I see Night is already up there at #13 although it is nonfiction, not a novel, and so falls outside the list's inst..."

Donna - Obviously, I don't want to mess up the fun here by being too fussy ... but I do want to be consistent. What makes a noun problematic is not if it's the "name of a thing" so much as if it's the "name of an individual" (as in a person, or a specific individual place etc). A "usage test" is "would we want to (in the English language) capitalize this word?" So, "Candyland" and "Metroland" would have to go, and BTW that's why we (regretfully) needed to remove "Dune"; they are all names of individual (types of) places, and we generally capitalize these words; most importantly, I suppose, would be, does the author capitalize it when s/he uses it in the novel?

So, what else needs to go? Interestingly enough, I would say "Dodgers" can stay, even though it's obviously the name of an (individual) baseball team, and furthermore, the novel (to the extent I know it) plays on this connection. But the book is not in any sense about the Dodgers, so I'd say it stays. "Catch-22" — also sadly — would need to go, though, on grounds of being not-quite-a word. We can potentially learn new words from scanning this list, and that happened to me with your "Clawback", which at first I thought was a made-up word ... but that turned out just to be my ignorance speaking. And ... hmmm ... I'm torn about "Trailerpark" ... it's really two words, isn't it? I've never seen it used as one ... at most it's hyphenated. What do you think?

Thanks so much for your help (and your interest) on this, Donna!

Jerry


message 5: by Donna (last edited Aug 31, 2016 09:29PM) (new)

Donna Davis JerryB wrote: "Donna wrote: "JerryB wrote: "Donna wrote: "Jerry, this sounds like fun and has great potential. I see Night is already up there at #13 although it is nonfiction, not a novel, and so falls outside t..."

Removed for being two words artificially constructed as one:

Trailerpark, by Russell Banks
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2...

Removed due to conflict with list criteria:
Candyland, by Ed McBain
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1...

and
Metroland
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1...

Jerry, in checking out whether a word is really one or two, I checked with Microsoft Word's spell checker, and also with the autocorrect on my Android phone. Neither is perfect, but it seemed like an easy way to double check, given that frequent use is constantly changing what is officially a single word and what isn't. Over the past ten years, I think more compound words have been formed from what used to be two words, perhaps because that extra space can be such a pain for publishers of digital books and magazines.

Both sources say trailer park is two words, not one.

Both sources say Catch-22 is a word. I think if hyphenated words are forbidden, the list's subscript should say so, and it doesn't. That's my two cents.

As the list grows, anyone that sees a title that shouldn't be here, please be sure to specify either its # or what page it's on. Right now, with a modest 3 pages, I don't mind flipping around to find them, but eventually this list will get bigger, and then I will want to know where things are.

Cheers.


message 6: by Iris (new)

Iris Hi!

Great idea. I want to add a book, but not necessarily vote for it. How can I do that?

Thanks,
Iris


message 7: by Jerry (new)

Jerry Donna wrote: "Jerry, in checking out whether a word is really one or two ...."

On the issue of hyphenated-words, you're right that I didn't remember to mention them as "nonwords" (for the purpose of this list of course, always "for the purpose of the list") as of "Day 1", but I did add that criterion a few days ago. I don't think I want constructions like "fair-haired", "short-tempered", "fail-safe", "beef-substitute", and (groan) yes, "catch-22", messing with the "purity", if you will, of the list members.

Just because something is "in the dictionary" is not really enough. There are other hyphenated-words in the dictionary, and of course one may also find other hybrid letter-number constructions in some dictionaries too, like "RU-486", "U238", "23-skidoo", "base-10", "G20", "ten-four", "8-ball", etc. etc. All of these, whether they are "in dictionaries" or not, are perfectly good, perfectly meaningful constructions, but "constructions" are what I would call them, not good old Simple Words, which is clearly the Spirit behind this list. No numbers, no hyphens (certainly no constructions with BOTH numbers and hyphens!), no capitals, just good old-fashioned, ordinary words consisting of lowercase letters and only lowercase letters, period.

Again, I love lots of these exotic constructions myself (I particularly love PK Dick's word "Ublk", but I forbid myself to use it), but they are not in what I intended as the "spirit" of this list. So, whether or not you're persuaded, could you please remove the contested item "Catch-22" from the list? thanks .... :)


message 8: by Jerry (new)

Jerry Iris wrote: "Hi!

Great idea. I want to add a book, but not necessarily vote for it. How can I do that?


Hi Iris ... I think it's in the nature of GR lists that the only way you can "add" an item to a list is to "vote" for it. The more items you vote for, and the lower down on your personal list of voted items, the smaller the weight given to that item, but that seems to be about the best one can do.

Any particular reason why you want to "add" something without "voting" for it?


message 9: by Andréa (new)

Andréa Jerry, how do you feel about graphic novels? I see that Blankets is already on the list, but wasn't sure if I should add any more.


message 10: by Terrence (last edited Sep 21, 2016 04:36PM) (new)

Terrence I added a few more. Don't know if I should avoid books with words that are combos, but not necessarily hyphenated (I just don't know about Fallout or hourglass). Alien may also be seen as referring to the alien in it (was there an implied double-meaning? Like that the world feels alien to humanity, or the horrors happening feel out of this world / foreign to the crew?).

I do have to ask about some of the rules though.

No names of people, places, or things - So shouldn't Ragtime and Amulet be out? Unless the readers left some support for it. Same goes for my Alien or Hourglass picks. Things is pretty broad (concepts count, but objects don't? Shouldn't neither count [sorry for the double negative]?)

Catch-22 is hyphenated, so that should be out?


message 11: by Andréa (new)

Andréa Terrence wrote: "Don't know if I should avoid books with words that are combos, but not necessarily hyphenated (I just don't know about Fallout or hourglass)."

I've been checking words I'm unsure about on m-w.com (Merriam-Webster's site); if they list it as one word, I'm including it, but if they list it as a hyphenated word, a phrase, or a proper noun, I'm leaving it out.


message 12: by Andréa (new)

Andréa As often happens for me, I ran out of votes before I ran out of books to include... so here are some more that fit the criteria!

Pearls by Tasha Harrison Pearls by Tasha Harrison

Endangered (Delecoeur Mystery, 1) by Jenna Harte Endangered by Jenna Harte

Shucked by Megg Jensen Shucked by Megg Jensen

Hidden (Dragonlands, #1) by Megg Jensen Hidden by Megg Jensen

Bloodthirsty (Lomax & Biggs, #2) by Marshall Karp Bloodthirsty by Marshall Karp

Iceberg by Paul Kavanagh Iceberg by Paul Kavanagh

Intrusion by Arlene Kay Intrusion by Arlene Kay

Feathered by Deborah Kerbel Feathered by Deborah Kerbel

Watermelon (Walsh Family, #1) by Marian Keyes Watermelon by Marian Keyes

Insatiable (A Sydney Rye Novel, #3) by Emily Kimelman Insatiable by Emily Kimelman

Hammered (Mrs. Fix It Mysteries #1) by Belle Knudson Hammered by Belle Knudson

Suckers by J.A. Konrath Suckers by J.A. Konrath and Jeff Strand

Stirred (Jack Daniels Mystery, #8) by J.A. Konrath Stirred by J.A. Konrath and Blake Crouch

Shaken (Jack Daniels Mystery, #7) by J.A. Konrath Shaken by J.A. Konrath

Enchanted (Woodcutter Sisters #1; Books of Arilland #1) by Alethea Kontis Enchanted by Alethea Kontis

Swindle (Swindle, #1) by Gordon Korman Swindle by Gordon Korman

Masterminds (Masterminds #1) by Gordon Korman Masterminds by Gordon Korman

Snatched by Pete Hautman Snatched by Pete Hautman and Mary Logue

Skullduggery (Bloodwater Mysteries, #2) by Pete Hautman Skullduggery by Pete Hautman and Mary Logue

Doppelganger (Bloodwater Mysteries, #3) by Pete Hautman Doppelganger and Mary Logue

Fate (New Hope Academy #1) by Scarlett Haven Fate by Scarlett Haven

Toxicity (Georgia Davis, #3) by Libby Fischer Hellmann Toxicity by Libby Fischer Hellmann

Foreclosed (The Mitzy Neuhaus Mysteries, #1) by Traci Tyne Hilton Foreclosed by Traci Tyne Hilton

Soapsuds by Finola Hughes Soapsuds by Finola Hughes

Firecracker by David Iserson Firecracker by David Iserson

Steamed (Maid in LA, #1) by Holly Jacobs Steamed by Holly Jacobs

Manhunt by Janet Evanovich Manhunt by Janet Evanovich

Scotched (A Liss MacCrimmon Mystery #5) by Kaitlyn Dunnett Scotched by Kaitlyn Dunnett

Nemesis (Harry Hole, #4) by Jo Nesbø Nemesis by Jo Nesbø

Nevermore by Linda Newbery Nevermore by Linda Newbery

Dusk by Ashanti Luke Dusk by Ashanti Luke

Hero by Mike Lupica Hero by Mike Lupica

Eggnog by Janet Elizabeth Lynn Eggnog by Janet Elizabeth Lynn

Baby by Patricia MacLachlan Baby by Patricia MacLachlan

More by Heidi Marshall More by Heidi Marshall

Virtuosity by Jessica Martinez Virtuosity by Jessica Martinez

True (True Believers, #1) by Erin McCarthy True by Erin McCarthy

Invisible (Ivy Malone Mysteries, #1) by Lorena McCourtney Invisible by Lorena McCourtney

Valiant by Sarah McGuire Valiant by Sarah McGuire

Mail by Mameve Medwed Mail by Mameve Medwed

Unfamous by Emma Morgan
Unfamous by Emma Morgan

Echo by Pam Muñoz Ryan Echo by Pam Muñoz Ryan

Infinite (Strange and Beautiful #1) by Brittney Musick Infinite by Brittney Musick

Kick by Walter Dean Myers Kick by Walter Dean Myers and Ross Workman

Sway by Zachary Lazar Sway by Zachary Lazar

Giraffe by J.M. Ledgard Giraffe by J.M. Ledgard

Illegal by Paul Levine Illegal by Paul Levine

Bloodlines by Lynn Lipinski Bloodlines by Lynn Lipinski

Steel by Carrie Vaughn Steel by Carrie Vaughn

Lost (Cinderella's Secret Diary, #1) by Ron Vitale Lost by Ron Vitale

Bloodletting by Peter J. Wacks Bloodletting by Peter J. Wacks

Dreadnought (H.I.V.E, #4) by Mark Walden Dreadnought by Mark Walden

Rogue (H.I.V.E, #5) by Mark Walden Rogue by Mark Walden

Aftershock (H.I.V.E., #7) by Mark Walden Aftershock by Mark Walden

Deadlock (H.I.V.E., #8) by Mark Walden Deadlock by Mark Walden

Flight by Anne L. Watson Flight by Anne L. Watson

Loot (Loot #1) by Jude Watson Loot by Jude Watson

Honey by Sarah Weeks Honey by Sarah Weeks

Pie by Sarah Weeks Pie by Sarah Weeks

Extraordinary by Nancy Werlin Extraordinary by Nancy Werlin

Summer by Edith Wharton Summer by Edith Wharton

Deathwatch by Robb White Deathwatch by Robb White

Recherche by Jim Williams Recherche by Jim Williams

Captives (Safe Lands, #1) by Jill Williamson Captives by Jill Williamson

Bemused by Catherine Winchester Bemused by Catherine Winchester

Bedbugs by Ben H. Winters Bedbugs by Ben H. Winters

Alchemy by Mike Wood Alchemy by Mike Wood

Soar by Tracy Edward Wymer Soar by Tracy Edward Wymer

Runaway (Dear Diary, #1) by Cheryl Zach Runaway by Cheryl Zach

Paradise by Cheryl Zach Paradise by Cheryl Zach

Busted (SparkNotes Smart Novels Vocabulary) by SparkNotes Busted by SparkNotes

Wringer by Jerry Spinelli Wringer by Jerry Spinelli

Misfortune by Wesley Stace Misfortune by Wesley Stace

Panic (A Leopold Blake Thriller #2) by Nick Stephenson Panic by Nick Stephenson

Forecast (Shakespeare Sisters, #1) by Jane Tara Forecast by Jane Tara

Blabbermouth by Joel Travis Blabbermouth by Joel Travis

Burnout (Betsy Livingston / Pecan Bayou #5) by Teresa Trent Burnout by Teresa Trent

Starstruck by Pat Tucker Starstruck by Pat Tucker

Sway by Amber McRee Turner Sway by Amber McRee Turner

Dust by Arthur Slade Dust by Arthur Slade

Delicious by Mark Haskell Smith Delicious by Mark Haskell Smith

Enthusiasm by Polly Shulman Enthusiasm by Polly Shulman

Spellbound (Spellbound, #1) by Cara Lynn Shultz Spellbound by Cara Lynn Shultz

Poisoned (Snow White, #1) by Katherine Pine Poisoned by Katherine Pine

Woof (Bowser and Birdie #1) by Spencer Quinn Woof by Spencer Quinn

Rise (Victoria Slade Trilogy) by Danielle Racey Rise by Danielle Racey

Abducted (Lizzy Gardner #1) by T.R. Ragan Abducted by T.R. Ragan

Regent (The Balance of Power, #1; World of Godsland, #4) by Brian Rathbone Regent by Brian Rathbone

Clean by Amy Reed Clean by Amy Reed

Remix by Lexi Revellian Remix by Lexi Revellian

Pawns by Willo Davis Roberts Pawns by Willo Davis Roberts

Foul A Football Murder Mystery by Will J Robson Foul: A Football Murder Mystery by Will J Robson

Ghosted (Essie Cobb Senior Sleuth, #4) by Patricia Rockwell Ghosted by Patricia Rockwell

Deadbeat by David Rolland Deadbeat by David Rolland

Elusive (On The Run, #1) by Sara Rosett Elusive by Sara Rosett

Exile (Forgotten Realms The Dark Elf Trilogy, #2; Legend of Drizzt, #2) by R.A. Salvatore Exile by R.A. Salvatore

Biohazard by Amy Saunders Biohazard by Amy Saunders

Cursed (Cursed Magic Series #1) by Casey Odell Cursed by Casey Odell

Knotted by Quenby Olson Knotted by Quenby Olson

Invisible by Cecily Paterson Invisible by Cecily Paterson

Promised (Birthmarked, #3) by Caragh M. O'Brien Promised by Caragh M. O'Brien


message 13: by Booklovinglady (last edited Mar 20, 2017 08:30AM) (new)

Booklovinglady Alice Walker's Meridian (#267) is a name...


message 14: by Jerry (new)

Jerry Andréa wrote: "As often happens for me, I ran out of votes before I ran out of books to include... so here are some more that fit the criteria!

Pearls by Tasha Harrison Pearls by [author:Tasha..."


Andréa - That's quite an incredible list you've compiled here ... I'm in awe! I'm surprised at how many of these books you've listed that I'm not familiar with. You clearly "get" the idea behind the list; I couldn't quarrel with any of your "virtual additions", although of course since I didn't know all of the books, I had to take on faith that words like, oh I don't know, "Paradise", isn't used as a proper name in the book with that title. So how did you choose which of all these books you would "invest" your votes on? Or was it just arbitrary?


message 15: by Jerry (new)

Jerry Andréa wrote: "Jerry, how do you feel about graphic novels? I see that Blankets is already on the list, but wasn't sure if I should add any more."

Andréa - Forgive me; I'd been missing mails from this list and I fear I've dropped the ball. Yes, graphic novels are fine, although I know there's a slippery slope waiting here as well as lots of other places where "borderlining" decisions come up.


message 16: by Jerry (new)

Jerry Booklovinglady wrote: "Alice Walker's Meridian (#267) is a name..."

Thank you for this; I've removed it. Not first-hand familiar with the book myself, so I appreciate your noticing.


message 17: by Jerry (new)

Jerry Changes made by list-creator today ....
Removed the following books:

Winterkill
Cloudsplitter
Bonecrack
Droomvogel
Skinwalker
Fellside
because none of these are words except perhaps in the context of the novel

Catch-22
for reasons debated above in messages 4, 5, and 7

Meridian
as recommended by Booklovinglady in message 16, and

Jungfrau
because, even though I don't know the book, "Jungfrau" is only a word in German

Tell your friends to vote their two cents' worth on this amazing list! :)


message 18: by Jerry (new)

Jerry Terrence wrote: "I added a few more. Don't know if I should avoid books with words that are combos, but not necessarily hyphenated (I just don't know about Fallout or hourglass). Alien may also be seen as referring..."

Terrence: Thanks for your comments and ideas. I think we keep "Alien" in because it does have that potential double meaning where it's not "just" a proper name for the creature. I don't know why you'd say "Amulet" should be removed - are we talking about the Robert Bolaño book? Ditto "Hourglass"; in one book with that name, "Hourglass" is the name of a society so THAT book wouldn't work, but I think the "Hourglass" book you chose is ok. I also don't understand why you'd think "Ragtime" (doctorow) should be out. Yes, the word can be capitalized, but its "normal" meaning is perfectly good as an uncapitalized word, and when I searched the book's text, I found only two explicit mentions of the word, one uncapitalized and the other capitalized. So I think it stays in.

Anyway, thanks again for your input, and sorry for the massively tardy reply on my part.

Jerry


message 19: by Andréa (new)

Andréa JerryB wrote: "Andréa - That's quite an incredible list you've compiled here ... I'm in awe! I'm surprised at how many of these books you've listed that I'm not familiar with. You clearly "get" the idea behind the list; I couldn't quarrel with any of your "virtual additions", although of course since I didn't know all of the books, I had to take on faith that words like, oh I don't know, "Paradise", isn't used as a proper name in the book with that title. So how did you choose which of all these books you would "invest" your votes on? Or was it just arbitrary?"

It's simply because I have so many book shelved that I was able to list so many. As for which ones got the actual votes, it just depended on which ones I came across first as I was scanning my shelves for compatible books.

I definitely have not read all these books, but they fit the criteria as far as I could tell without actually having read them yet.


message 20: by Andréa (new)

Andréa JerryB wrote: "Andréa - Forgive me; I'd been missing mails from this list and I fear I've dropped the ball. Yes, graphic novels are fine, although I know there's a slippery slope waiting here as well as lots of other places where "borderlining" decisions come up."

Sounds good!


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