There’s more to life than books you know, but not much more

February 3, 2009

As much as I love working in a book shop, sometimes I wonder if it’s for the best that I do as not only do I have a tendency to judge books by their covers but also, probably the wiser option, I form an opinion based on their titles. I don’t think too much about titles until I see a really bad one. I’d like to claim that seeing a particularly terrible one ruins my day, but really the smaller version of me controlling my brain rubs her hands with glee.

So, I’m going to start a list of book titles that anger me to sheer joy. I feel this may be constantly updated or various entries on the subject shall be made.
I am aware I’ve said the word ‘titles’ too many times already. Strap yourself in, it’ll come up a few more times.
Any suggestions gratefully received!

‘I Don’t Mean To Be Rude, But…’ by Simon Cowell

HA! Oh, I get it! Because he’s a notoriously rude bastard! Ohh, good one, Simon! Of COURSE you mean to be rude, that’s your job, if you weren’t, you’d just be another dull music big-wig. What a truly witty title.

‘Déjà Dead’ by Kathy Reichs

I can’t put my finger on what’s so awful about this one. Perhaps it feels a little too Garth Marenghi-esque (albeit, not nearly as good). You can imagine Kathy sitting in front of the fire reading an actual line from the actual book, “He turned to look at the body. She wasn’t just dead,” a smug look to make sure we acknowledge how clever she is, “she was déjà dead…”*
I don’t know, I just get irritated by words that don’t have anything to do with each other being thrown together. What does déjà dead mean? Perhaps I should have read it… No! Mustn’t think like that. If it had an intriguing title like ‘Predict-a-Death’ or something, I may have been vaguely interested, but ‘Déjà Dead’ makes me want to force Kathy Reichs to ingest it through her eyeballs so nobody can buy it, thus I’d be saving lives.
*May not be actual line from the actual book.

‘N or M?’ Agatha Christie

I can’t help but feel she’s given the big question away here. And if the book’s conclusion can be reached simply by finding out if the answer is “N” or “M”, it sounds like a shit dilemma to be honest… It’s 50/50, innit?
Unless it’s actually called “Norm?”, like what would happen if there was a powercut in Cheers, shutting off the lights and the revellers weren’t absolutely certain that Norm Peterson had just arrived at the bar or if it was some other guy making a witty beer/laziness/bad health remark, and so would question if it was him rather than exclaiming that it was.

‘Celebrities My Arse!’; ‘Cheers My Arse!’; ‘Football My Arse!’; ‘Reading My Arse!’ by Ricky Tomlinson


I’m not so much opposed to the titles of these, but more the fact that they exist. Oh, Ricky Ricky Ricky… I loved you once… and yes, everyone cashes in on popular television shows and films they’ve starred in now and then and we could have called it a momentary lapse or a blip, but there’s four of them, Ricky, four… and it’s 2009. The Royle Family was excellent, but it’s not really relevant to today…
I do also wonder how true the sub-titles that claim these are the funniest _____ anecdotes I’ll ever read are. It seems a bit coincidental that Ricky Tomlinson tells the best celebrity and drinking anecdotes I’ll ever read… Are they really? Or is it just a way to give a quick description of what’s in the books? Oh, who am I kidding, obviously the man just has a gift.
I’m not angry, Ricky, just disappointed. Go home, Ricky, you’ve had enough…

‘This Is My Life’ by Eamonn Holmes

“Eamonn, this is important, this is your chance to win the hearts of the vast majority of people who think you come across as a twat. If you can come up with a title that’s funny and original, you could turn this around and make everyone fall in love with you like the gigantic teddy bear you are!”
“Really? Oh, okay then, well this is going to require some thought… OH! I’ve got it! How about ‘My Life’?”
“That’s good, Eamonn, but it needs something more. A little more sass! An edge, you know, something clever. A play on words or something. Maybe even ‘My Life As A Slightly Below Average TV Personality’!”
“Okay then, how about ‘This Is My Life’?”
“Eamonn, that’s good, but like I say, it needs something else.”
“But I don’t think you get it. Do you remember that show ‘This Is Your Life’?”
“I recall such a programme, yes…”
“Well, if you remember correctly, you’ll know that the host was none other than Eamonn Andrews. Now, his name was Eamonn and my name is Eamonn, but this isn’t your life, This Is MY Life. Get it?”
“Good god… You’re right, Eamonn, that’s genius. Everyone’s going to adore you! I’ll go ring the publishers!”

More to follow. Exactly when, I do not know…