Top Ten Tuesday: Books I’d Give Different Titles To

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

I struggled with this week’s prompt, so my list is going to be shorter than usual. Coming up with snappy titles is something I have to work hard on, but I did come up with a few interesting ideas.

I’d change Jean M. Auel’s The Land of Painted Caves to What Ayla Knew.

Why: The final book in the Earth’s Children series turned out to be heavily centred on the main character’s transition into a powerful member of her society once she arrived at the place she intended to spend the rest of her life. I wish the title had better reflected what actually happened to her.

I’d change F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby to Rich People’s Problems.

Why: Since that what this book was about, why not be honest about it so you attract the right readers? *shrugs*

I’d Change Richard Adams’ Watership Down to The Rabbit Chronicles

Why: This is something I put off reading for years. If I knew it was an adventure novel starring rabbits, I would have checked it out much sooner!

I’d Change Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book to Raised by the Dead. 

Why: The word play makes me smile. Normally, the dead are the ones being raised, and in a totally different context than a baby growing up in a cemetery.

I’d change J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Silmarillion to Tales from the First Age

Why: The original title didn’t capture my attention at all. I had no idea who or what a silmarillion was. It sounded like something math related, and I was totally uninterested in reading that sort of thing. At least my revised title gives hints about when these stories take place in the Lord of the Rings timeline.

98 Responses to Top Ten Tuesday: Books I’d Give Different Titles To

  1. Good ones! I never got the read the last Jean M. Auel book. I actually won a print copy but because I don’t live in the US, I had it sent to a friend who never forwared it to me!

  2. I like your suggestions of The Rabbit Chronicles and Tales from the first age. I didn’t even know The Simarillon took place in the LOTR world until just now! Maybe a little advertising would help it sell more.

  3. Bahaha, I love your change to The Great Gatsby. While I agree it’s probably a more accurate title, I can see why it might not sell as many companies. 😉 Oooh, I love Tales from the First Age, too! I really didn’t know what The Silmarillion was, either. I actually still sort of don’t, because I never actually read that book because I got bored … but that’s not the point. 😛

  4. I told my English teacher in high school that I didn’t appreciate being made to read The Great Gatsby (after I’d read it), because I felt she was condoning the lifestyle, or something like that. She wasn’t happy with me. But seriously…Rich People Problems is about right!

  5. I agree about The Silmarillion- it’s kind of off- putting? Same with Watership Down- if it weren’t for rabbits on the cover I’d never know what it was about from the title! And while I like the sorta descriptive titles of Auel’s books, I agree yours sounds more accurate. 🙂

  6. Wow I’m kind of surprised at people saying The Silmarillion being off-putting. But maybe that is because I grew up on Tolkien, I have just kind of always known about the book. To me it is eye-catching and I want to know what it is. Tales from the First Age is a good replacement, it just doesn’t make me want to know what is in it.

  7. Aw, I quite like The Great Gatsby — one of the few assigned classics where I was genuinely intrigued to go find out what the title meant.

    Love “Raised By the Dead,” though! I had no idea what The Graveyard Book was about before.

    • Heh, thank you very much. Watership Down is a catchy title, I just feel like it doesn’t necessarily make it that easy for brand new readers to understand what it’s about.

  8. Rich People’s Problems! Yep! FYI Watership Down was in a NY Times op-ed today or yesterday–about it’s relevance to today’s political climate or something similar (I haven’t read it or the book)

  9. The Silmarillion would benefit from a name change to Tales from the First Age, the LOTR franchise can be intimidating enough without cryptic and uninteresting titles.
    I must admit I love Watership Down as a title, however, it sounds especially British, which I love. And I like the association with place/rebuilding a home. Perhaps the Rabbits of Watership Down would have been more enlightening, like Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh?

    These topics aren’t my sort of thing, either.

    • Rabbits of Watership Down would be a good title. I think part of the problem was that I had no idea what a “watership down” was when I first picked up that book! Knowing it was the name of a hill sure would have helped.

  10. Don’t mind me! I’ll just be laughing for the next few centuries about Rich People’s Problems! XD

    I haven’t read The Great Gatsby, it never peaked my interest at all. But Rich People’s Problems is a much better title!

    I never knew Watership Down was about rabbits either, until I researched it!!! It kinda sounds like a war novel? It would definitely help its marketing if the title changed to something more relevant to the book!

    Great list!! Happy Reading! <3

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