Top Ten Tuesday: What Books Should Actually Be About Based on Their Titles


Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

An Asian woman sitting upright in a white bed. The walls are painted to look like a semi-cloudy blue sky, and there’s a big, dark cloud right in front of her. She’s holding a glowing white orb in her hands. All credit for this idea goes to Line at First Line Readers. I adored her take on it last summer and decided to do my own for today’s freebie post.

Sometimes my interpretation of what a book title means isn’t exactly how the author interpreted it. Here are some book titles, what I think they should be about, and what they’re actually about.

If any of you also decide to borrow this theme for a future freebie post, I’ll add a link to your post here if you let me know about it.

1. Animal Farm by George Orwell

What It Should Be About: A cozy children’s picture book about a farm for abandoned pets and livestock.

What It’s Actually About: A satirical fable about corruption, greed, and Stalinist Russia.


2. There Is No Darkness by Joe Haldeman

What It Should Be About: The 80+ days of uninterrupted daylight in Alaska (or other northern places) during the summer and how people enjoy (or don’t enjoy) them.

What It’s Actually About: A military science fiction novel about a poor kid who joins the military to explore other planets and earn some much-needed cash.


3. The House in the Cerulean Sea by T.J. Klune

What It Should Be About: A mermaid who grew up believing humans were a myth only to suddenly discover a few in a shipwreck after a massive storm. Maybe the cerulean sea could be a mermaid term for the Pacific Ocean, and the people they rescued were oceanographers?

What It’s Actually About: A group home for dangerous magical children and the man who was hired to determine whether they’d bring about the end of days for humanity.


4. Tell the Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt

What It Should Be About: The first group of people to tame wolves and how they slowly changed an apex predator into man’s best friend over many generations of selective breeding.

What It’s Actually About: A beautiful friendship that began soon after one of the main characters lost her uncle and plunged into terrible grief.


5. The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet by David Mitchell

What It Should Be About: After cheating a witch out of her rightfully-earned wages, Jacob de Zoet is cursed to live a thousand years. He finds the inability to die a blessing a first, but soon changes his tune when he realizes just how long a thousand years actually is and how unforgiving witches are when you cross them.

What It’s Actually About: A clerk who moves to Japan for five years in order to earn the money he needs to marry his sweetheart. While working there, however, he falls in love with the daughter of a powerful magistrate and must decide who to give his heart to.


6. The Taming of the Shrew by William Shakespeare

What It Should Be About: A mischevious pet shrew who is intelligent enough to learn tricks but refuses to cooperate even with copious amounts of treats.

What It’s Actually About: Two young men who meet two sisters. The older sister must be married off before the younger one can be, and one of the young men decides to marry her against her will in order to gain access to her large dowry.


7. To Say Nothing of the Dog (Oxford Time Travel, #2) by Connie Willis

What It Should Be About: A romance novel about a couple who meet at a speed dating event. One of them has a dog who appears once in an early scene and then never mentioned again. (The dog is not harmed, just conveniently missing from all other scenes).

What It’s Actually About: A time travel romance set in the 1800s. The main character doesn’t know as much about that era as they think they do, and hijinks commence.


8. The Dud Avocado by Elaine Dundy

What It Should Be About: Someone who has the uncanny knack of always picking overripe, sour, never ripened, mouldy, or otherwise inedible produce at the grocery store. They soon meet an opinionated chef who can always pick out perfect produce but often buys expired box and canned goods because they don’t check for expiration dates. Neither of them trusts the other one’s opinions or can admit when they’re wrong, yet they decide to date anyways.

What It’s Actually About: A young American woman who moves to Paris in the late 1950s and has all sorts of romantic and comedic adventures.

74 Responses to Top Ten Tuesday: What Books Should Actually Be About Based on Their Titles

  1. How fun is this! What a great idea for a blog post! I’ve enjoyed a few of these books and I like your take on what they should be about based on their titles. 🙂

  2. Oh wow, I had a copy of Jacob de Zoet gifted to me by a friend and I would not have guessed that’s what it was about even just by looking at the cover! Your version does sound more fun actually… Haha! This is such a fun and clever topic. Great pick! 😃

  3. This is amazing! 😂 I’m so glad someone else decided to do this because I just love what you came up with. I think your version of There is No Darkness would be a great book and I laughed so hard at the one for The Taming of the Shrew 😂

  4. So clever! I’d love to put something like this together but likely it’d fall flat because, creatively, I probably couldn’t be witty enough. 😉 Thanks so much for visiting my website today! Appreciate this.

Leave a reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.