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Bookish Takeout [3]: What Book Titles Do You Like?

Bookish Takeout is an original blog feature on The Devil Orders Takeout, featuring book hauls, to-read books, upcoming releases, and all sorts of bookish love!
There's no denying that book titles are as tricky monsters as character names. It's so difficult to come up with something that's just right. A good title must entice and hint and shout out and everything at once.

Besides, you can't change it! You might be able to re-release a book with a different cover, but titles are forever. They're used in hashtags, attributions, and the occasional blog post.

For hitherto unknown reasons, book titles are slowly lapsing into a few trends. There are many, many titles out there which don't follow these trends, but there are also a shocking number that do.

Find out which book titles you like in this quiz:


Or check it out here, if the embed code isn't working.

So WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN? Let me now explain each trend and give some examples:

The Adjective Noun: down with big brother.


Okay, so technically it's Animal Farm which fits the bill here, but I couldn't resist the 1984 reference.

At a glance there are quite a few genres here, but they can more or less be summed up as: the main character and their small group of friends make a stand against authority. (It would've been against the government, but The Bad Beginning was an outlier.)

What sums this title up, I think, is the balance in all things: while our second trend is one of grandeur and our third of mystery, this one is dramatic without revealing all. One for the aesthetic bloggers out there, as they're called on Tumblr.

The Thing of Nouns: i bid you stand, men of the west!

This one's fairly obvious. It's ALL THE FANTASY, often with warring empires and medieval world and oh so much magic. They're not at all shy about hiding their melodrama, either, so if The Adjective Noun was the aesthetic blogger, the Thing of Nouns is our resident drama queen.

Mysterious-single-word: welcome to level seven.

These titles tell you so little. They could literally be about anything! (But they are still so enticing in their own questions.) Their true brilliance is only revealed when you flip it open and start reading, and really, that one word is such a succinct summary.

(This is also the route I'm trying to go with Matryoshka. Whether the title fits remains to be seen.)

Was the quiz right?!? Which book title trend do you prefer? also. person who guesses my last reference right has takeout on the house.


Twitter-sized takeout:
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36 comments:

  1. Oh, this was fun. Apparently I like "The Adjective Noun" best,and therefore, am an aesthetic blogger. I've honestly never thought much about titles, but I've always had a thing for longer titles like "The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender." Something beautiful and mysterious like that.

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    1. Oh yeah, I completely forgot to mention longer/combo titles. I guess Ava Lavender would be both Adjective Noun and The Thing of Nouns? I do like longer titles too, but they're such a mouthful.

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  2. I got The Thing of Nouns--since I love fantasy, it seems pretty accurate, even though I don't consider myself an especially dramatic person. But the titles of my stories to tend to follow this pattern. Super cool!

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    1. *high-fives* Eeeek, I'm so happy to hear it's accurate! This is my first time doing a quiz, so I'm really just blindly crashing into things here.

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  3. This is scarily accurate. I got The Adjective Noun, and since my bookshelf is not available to me I can't personally go through all my books to think about the rightness, but when it comes to your description of the plot, "the main character and their small group of friends make a stand against authority," THIS LITERALLY DESCRIBES 85% OF THE BOOKS I OWN. I love these books so much. Power struggles. Small teams that rely on each other. Victory. *squints* You had better not be stalking me.

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    1. The Adjective Noun was such a conundrum for me to figure out, but then I stared at my disassembled bookshelf and THE PLOTLINE CAME TO ME. So I swear I'm not stalking. Maybe. (I mean, my Twitter does say I'm "behind you" ...)

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  4. I got The Adjective Noun!! And I agree with it completely, I mean- The Hunger Games is there! But I agree with the type in general too- that is "my" kind of book! This is SO fun!

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    1. It appears that THG is a legitimate argument for everything, so I can't really refute that XD Glad you found the quiz fun!

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  5. This was pretty accurate--I got mysterious single word, which is usually what I go for. Like, Matryoshka is such an interesting title--I would read your book for the title alone. I think my second favorite would be the thing of nouns--I really like titles like A Game of Thones and Daughter of Smoke and Bone. Although, I think the real reason why I prefer single word titles is that they are so much easier to talk about in conversation. I can just say "Divergent" and not worry about having to stumble over something like "Me Being Me is Exactly as Insane as You Being You"--because who has time for that? Anyway, great quiz! Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Yay, so delighted it's accurate! And definitely, single word titles are so much easier to say, but then they're also harder to come up with because all the good words have already been taken. *weeps*

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  6. HA, this is amazing. Even the quiz questions in themselves—your snark game is strong as always. I got The Adjective Noun (resident aesthetic blogger = NO ONE IS SURPRISED). This is also great food for thought about book titles—I generally try to go for something that doesn't fall into a trend, but at the same time, that means my titles tend to run long. (On the Midnight Streets <--- -_-)

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    1. Thank you, Christina! I do so enjoy dishing up snark with takeout. Your aesthetic is on point as always, clearly. I actually don't feel it's a problem to fall into trends, because then your readers know what to expect? And I actually meant to write something about derivatives -- OtMS is close enough to The Adjective Noun, I suppose? -- but I completely forgot, argh.

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  7. Haha, this was so true. I got mysterious word, but you forgot an entire category: the (usually weird) NAMES in the title. Sabriel, Lirael, Clariel, (which you should totally read by the way) Four, (and sub category titles) Abhorsen, High Lord, Novice, Madame Tussaud, Percy Jackson etc. Thats a big one. But you totally nailed the other categories. This post= pure awesome! ( and I got most of my examples from my bookshelf, where a lot of other examples (A Wicked Thing, Days of Blood and Starlight etc. rest :)

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    1. OMG, yes, I absolutely did forget that. Perhaps it would fit under Mysterious Single Word? Sometimes? Gah, I really should've put one in for people. Thanks so much for pointing it out!

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  8. This was fun (and remarkably insightful too) Nice work! Yay! I got the Adjective Noun. I'm a fan of dystopia, but also fantasy and a lot of others. Like you said, there are plenty of anomalies (Eragon=fantasy, matched and delerium=dystopia) for example, but then now I stop to think about it, there are a lot of books that do follow these 'rules'

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    1. Thank you, Shar! Oh yes, there are clearly some outliers, but for the sake of prettiness we shall ignore them for this post. I basically just grabbed five books that fit the trend off my shelf and gasped at the not-so-coincidence XD

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  9. Oh. My. Word.

    I never noticed how the title trends run so closely to the plot trends. My mind has exploded all over my computer screen.

    The quiz said I like The Adjective Noun. Out of the choices given-- yes. It is right.

    And the last reference was Agents of Shield, wasn't it? But that's not a one word title...

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    1. I didn't think it would either! I just lined up the books and was about to make the quiz based on aesthetic, and then GASP. They aligned so well.

      YES YOU'RE RIGHT. And well no, it's not one word, but we can rename the show Coulson and that'd do.

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    2. YESSS. The show must be renamed Coulson.

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    3. *begins petition immediately*

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  10. Huh, this is actually right. I mean I never thought about it before, but I got 2 and out of the three it's the one I like most. Also fantasy. I was missing some take-out options there though! Where's pasta, Alyssa? Where's chinese rice with chicken and vegetables? WHERE'S CHICKEN CURRY I ASK YOU. Ahem. Cool idea is what I'm trying to say! :D

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    1. *cheers* I'm so happy I'm not wildly inaccurate for this quiz. And, well, yes, but there would've been too many options! I should probably have typed up a whole menu option and made it to correlate with "long glorious titles". XD Thanks for commenting, Vlora!

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  11. Ahhh, I don't know. XD I'M SORRY. I got The Adjective Noun, but, tbh, I prefer either really looong titles (they're just quirky and capture me for some reason, like Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe) or short punchy ones like Ruin and Rising or Demon Road. STILL. YAY FOR QUIZZES! Quizzes are fun. *nods*

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    1. *offers cake as restitution for possibly inaccurate quiz* I completely forgot loooooong titles and derivatives -- I should've called it "The Fall Out Boy Song Titles". I've heard so much about Demon Road! And thank you! I got the idea from you, really :P

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  12. WHAT AN EXCELLENT QUIZ. I'm not a fan of single-word titles, so you got me there ;) Although since my favourite genre is contemporary I guess it doesn't apply as much.

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    1. YAY THANK YOU. Oh my, I completely forgot about contemporary. I simply do not have enough on my shelves to see trends.

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  13. Oooh, this was interesting. Apparently I am The Thing of Nouns, which is cool. I personally would have said that I'm more of a one-word wonder, because mysterious and hard-hitting? That's totally me. In my head, I mean. In real life I' obvious and bumbling. Which is just as good, I think!
    Beth x
    www.thequietpeople.com

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    1. *bites lip* Gah, I'm so unsure of whether this is an accurate quiz. But hey, everyone's reality and expectations differ. *nods* You'd be horrified to see how absentminded I'm in real life.

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  14. I got The Thing of Noun which pleases me GREATLY because I bloody love those books and also all of the titles. Haha. I also think another category should be those five words long titles, they seem insanely popular recently. I might have to steal this very awesome blog post idea and make my own quiz some day though (probably very far off in the future as I am too lazy to make that many graphics at once) - don't worry it shan't be on book titles. I am not that much of a plagiarist hehe. But I love how fun this post was, Alyssa!

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    1. YAY. So happy the choice fit you! Hmm, I really should've included longer titles, but I just didn't think of it until the comments started rolling in XD Do steal the post idea! I love doing quizzes, and I stole the quiz idea from Cait @ Paper Fury anyhow. Thanks for dropping by, Aentee!

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  15. 'Parently I'm a single world kind of gal, although (whilst I answered the questions nice and accurately for myself), I do tend to favour book that have the longer titles! I think I end up having more favourites in those books, but hey! Maybe I need to widen my reading experiences. I'm all up for that.
    This was fantastic. Romi out. xx

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    1. Hmm, well, to be fair long titles can be as mysterious as single word titles, so PERHAPS. Perhaps indeed. And pfft, read all the books. There is no reason not to.

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  16. THE THING OF NOUNS. OH YES. I do love me a good fantasy - and I'm rather pleased to report that a few of my WIPs actually follow this pattern (The Startling Fragility of Eternity, specifically, though that one does have an adjective thrown in there!). I must admit that I dislike repetitive book titles, and so trends throw me off - but I certainly enjoyed taking the quiz, and it's quite interesting to see how the trends fare across genres!

    (PS: if you were ever interested in writing a more in-depth analysis on this, I would be so down for that. No pressure, but just an idea, if you are so inclined. :))

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    1. YAYYY. And gosh, I know so little about TSFOE (making up this acronym, so bear with me) but your old Tumblr name makes me so curious. *nods* I do try to subvert it now and then -- WTA doesn't fall into any of these, and my NaNo novel is a derivation off Adjective Noun, but now and then I lapse into the trends.

      PS: I actually might! Because I realise I left out a lot of stuff here I still wanna talk about, but I also don't want to lecture, so I'll see what interactive content I can frame it with.

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  17. I apparently love the single word titles, which is actually pretty true (since VICIOUS is one of my all time favourites, as is a book simply titles SKINNED). I just love that a whole book can be summarised into one little word. The word can tell us a lot, especially once we've finished the book, and I really like that :D

    Looking at the other categories, I definitely think that this one suits me the best, because I find that long, windy titles (even though they can be pretty) can be a little annoying and a tad flowery.

    I love the title of your book, by the way! I hope it fits because it's awesome ;D

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    1. VICIOUS is the best. SKINNED sounds like a deliciously creepy title, I shall be sure to check that one out! And yes, it's when you reach the end and you go "ohhhhh, yes, that works". Longish titles do trip up your tongue after a while.

      Thank you, Chiara! I'm especially nervous about the title since it's not super layered or anything, but we'll see. We'll see.

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