Now All We Need Is a Title: Famous Book Titles and How They Got That Way

by Andre Bernard | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 0393036944 Global Overview for this book
Registered by rumble-bee of Velbert, Nordrhein-Westfalen Germany on 3/1/2007
Buy from one of these Booksellers: | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon DE | Amazon FR | Amazon IT |
12 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by rumble-bee from Velbert, Nordrhein-Westfalen Germany on Thursday, March 01, 2007
Who can forget those immortal novels 'Panasonic'; 'Trimalchio in West Egg'; 'My Valley'; 'Not Moisten an Eye';'Pumphrey'; 'Pansy'...? Plenty of people might - if those books had been published under those working titles. Luckily for their authors and publishers, the Muse of Titles spoke before the press rolled; now their actual titles are indelible fixtures of our literary culture.
André Bernard has researched the stories behind more than a hundred of the most famous titles in the English language to produce a fascinating volume rich in literary anecdote and publishing lore.


I bought this book for a small fee via internet, and I really don't regret it one single second!
It is so much fun reading; and instructive, too! Small, but delightful. I would recommend this to anyone interested in authors, books and the many mishaps that may befall both...


This is going to be a ring!

list of participants so far (in no definite order yet):

1) SerendipityN, Wuppertal/Germany (intl.)
2) clawdiewauzi, Mülheim/Germany (Germany only)
3) akkolady, Duisburg/Germany
4) book-man-8, Bochum/Germany (intl.)
5) samulli, Weimar/Germany (intl.)
6) dschinny, Hamburg/Germany (intl.)
7) Washti, Glinde/Germany (intl.)
8) maju30, Clausthal-Zellerfeld/Germany (intl.)
9) Wasserfall, Ulm/Germany
10) Lesenmachtfroh, Nürnberg/Germany
11) Herbstwind, Albstadt/Germany
12) Qantaqa, Dossenheim/Germany
13) SaschaBWk, Hamburg/Germany (Europe)
14) Risa29, Clemency/Luxembourg
15) DEESSE, Erstein/Alsace, France (intl.)
16) Bookworm-lady, Madrid/Spain (Europe)
17) KanaPoutz, Nice/France (intl.)
18) pfiffigunde, Obfelden/Switzerland (intl.)
19) sudokugirl, Bosnia (intl.)
20) dotdot, Helsinki/Finland (Europe)
21) LeishaCamden, Oslo/Norway (intl.)
22) NMReader, Albuquerque/New Mexico (USA)
23) Maurean, Florida (U.S.)
24) booklady331, Florida (intl.)
25) lauraloo29, Canada
26) GrannyAnn, Rochester/NY (North America)
27) elizardbreath, Baker City/Oregon (intl.)
28) Pucky 2908, Hösbach/Germany
=> back to me!

March 5:
The list of participants is now complete, and I've tried to accomodate as many wishes as possible. Please tell me if you are unhappy about anything.
If I don't hear from you, the book is going to start its travels this week.


Good travels, little book! Your first stop will be in Wuppertal, at SerendipityN. Happy reading to her and to all further participants!

Journal Entry 3 by SerendipityN from Wuppertal, Nordrhein-Westfalen Germany on Wednesday, March 07, 2007
The book arrived today. :D I'm looking forward to reading it.

Journal Entry 4 by SerendipityN from Wuppertal, Nordrhein-Westfalen Germany on Friday, March 16, 2007
Thanks, rumble-bee, for starting this ring.

I must admit that I’ve never heard of some of the famous books mentioned by André Bernard but enjoyed this collection of anecdotes and information just the same. It’s interesting to read how difficult it is for many authors and editors to eventually find suitable titles for novels, plays, stories, or poems. I’ll pay even more attention to titles from now on.

There were some facts I’ve come across before, for example, those about the changes in D. H. Lawrence’s titles, or about Huxley’s Brave New World.

Some stories I particularly like are the ones about The Hobbit and Dr. Dan the Bandage Man.

I was nice to find my first ‘book found’, Valley of the Dolls, mentioned, too.

By now, the book’s on its way to clawdiewauzi. Have fun!

Journal Entry 5 by clawdiewauzi from Essen, Nordrhein-Westfalen Germany on Friday, March 23, 2007
Sorry but I could not find the time to read this one in an acceptable period of time. Maybe I could try it again at the end of the list?


It seems that I'm not alone ... akkolady doesn't want to read this one at the moment, too (or hasn't the time to read it), so this book will travel to book-man-8 now.

Journal Entry 7 by book-man-8 from Tübingen, Baden-Württemberg Germany on Wednesday, April 11, 2007
I got it today in the mail. Thanks for the ring and for sending!
Well I was intrigued and just had time to go through this book instead of putting it on Mount TBR. Well, it's a nice little book about quite a lot of books I've read, a long time ago... But it just didn't do it to me. A few stories are interesting, but not so many. I was probably expecting more, as I know of the difficulties to find a title - for a story, a book or even just an article...

Journal Entry 8 by book-man-8 at on Thursday, April 12, 2007

Released 12 yrs ago (4/12/2007 UTC) at



On the way to "Samulli" in Weimar. Enjoy!

Journal Entry 9 by samulli from Weimar, Thüringen Germany on Friday, April 13, 2007
Arrived today and I am already about halfway through. It isn't quite as interesting as I thought it would be, because most of the books mentioned I have either never read or didn't like.
Should travel on as soon as I get the next person's address.

Journal Entry 10 by samulli from Weimar, Thüringen Germany on Sunday, April 15, 2007
I've got the next address and since I've skimmed already through most of the book, I will send it off tomorrow. It wasn't really what I had expected, I had hoped for more books that I actually liked, or at least knew.

Journal Entry 11 by wingdschinnywing from Hamburg, Hamburg Germany on Thursday, April 19, 2007
Arrived today, thank you. Just one more book to go before I will start on this one.

29.4. Schon fertig. War ganz interessant zu lesen, auch wenn ich mir ein wenig mehr davon versprochen habe.

15.5. Geht heute auf die Reise an Washti.

Journal Entry 12 by Washti from Glinde, Schleswig-Holstein Germany on Saturday, May 19, 2007
Arrived today, thanks!

Journal Entry 13 by Washti from Glinde, Schleswig-Holstein Germany on Friday, May 25, 2007
I knew quite a lot of the books described there, so it was very interesting to get to know about how the title of books is really born/invented/made.
I didn't expect more information. I liked it very much, so I give 8 points. :-)

Das Buch ist am 24.5. per Post an maju30 weitergeschickt worden.

Thanks for the bookring, rumble-bee!

Journal Entry 14 by maju30 from Clausthal-Zellerfeld, Niedersachsen Germany on Wednesday, May 30, 2007
The book arrived today and I'm really looking forward to read it.

Journal Entry 15 by maju30 at via post in Via Post, A Bookcrossing member -- Controlled Releases on Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Released 12 yrs ago (6/13/2007 UTC) at via post in Via Post, A Bookcrossing member -- Controlled Releases



I really enjoyed reading this book, even if I didn't know every title. Thank you for the bookring!
The book is on its way to Wasserfall.

Journal Entry 16 by Wasserfall from Göppingen, Baden-Württemberg Germany on Wednesday, June 20, 2007
The book arrived today. I will try to read it quickely and handle it carefully (no rides on the bus! I promise!!)

23.07.: Exactly the same as I promised it: fast read and the book is very well. I found it really amusing. Especially history of "The Bells" by E.A. Poe and "Smilla's sense of snow" (by the way one of my favourite books!) particularly pleased me. However a dishonor that in the moon-and-planets-listing "Moonpalace" is missing. Tsss, inexcusably ;-)
Also wonderful: Dr. Dan and the Bandage man. So cool!

I already asked for Lesenmachtfroh's adress, and as soon as I have it the book will be on it's journey again.

25.06.: The book is on the way again.

Journal Entry 17 by wingLesenmachtfrohwing from Nürnberg, Bayern Germany on Friday, June 29, 2007
Got here today. At the first glimpse I must admit, that many of the author's names don't mean anything to me.I now try to pick out the ones I know to get into reading this really beautifully made booklet.

Here are two of my favourites

A Clockwork Orange (1962)
CLOCKWORK oranges don't exist, „Burgess once said, discussing his notorious ode to violence, "except in the speech of old Londoners." For such people, the saying “queer as a clockwork orange" meant that a person was bizarre and outrageous. "Europeans who translated the title as Arancia a Orologtria or Orange Méchanique could not understand its Cockney resonance and they assumed it meant a hand grenade, a cheaper kind of explosive pineapple. I mean it to stand for the application of a mechanistic morality to a living organisme oozing with juice and sweetness”

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (1865)
On July 4, 1862, the Reverend Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, then a mathematics professor at Oxford but later known by his pen name of Lewis Carroll, went rowing with the three young daughters of the dean of Oxford's Christ Church Lorina Charlotte, Alice, and Edith had brought a picnic lunch, and as they boated upriver Dodgson-Carroll-spun tales that found an especially enthusiastic audience in Alice, who was ten years old. Such was her enthusiasm that Carroll finally committed to paper her favorite episodes in the magical adventures of a little girl called Alice, and he called the collection Alice’s Adventures Under Ground. Expanded further, it was finally published under the title now known to the world.

Released 12 yrs ago (7/1/2007 UTC) at BookRing in -- Per Post geschickt/ Persönlich weitergegeben --, Bayern Germany



geht weiter wie der Wind an Herbstwind.

Journal Entry 19 by Herbstwind on Friday, April 25, 2008
I'm sorry I had to spend a very long time away from my house and the book arrived when I was gone already. My neighbour only opened official mail and collected everything else in a box, where I found the book now I have finally returned. I should have written this sooner, but completely forgot it due to the family problems that made me live somewhere else for over a year.

I'm very sorry.
I'm sending the book as soon as I receive the next address without reading it, as I "kept" it long enough hidden in my mail box :(

Journal Entry 20 by SaschaBWk from Hamburg - Barmbek, Hamburg Germany on Thursday, May 15, 2008
The book arrived safe and sound on tuesday. After I got over my flue I started reading and enjoyed it so far. More when I've finished it.

May 30, 2008: (Edit) A light and in parts informative read. Is now on its way to the next participant.

Journal Entry 21 by SaschaBWk from Hamburg - Barmbek, Hamburg Germany on Tuesday, August 05, 2008
Ich habe das Buch im Juni an Risa29 in Clemency/Luxembourg verschickt, da ist es leider bisher nicht angekommen und die Post nimmt leider keine Nachforschungsaufträge für Büchersendungen entgegen. Ich hätte damals gleich misstrauisch werden sollte, als ich der Frau hinterm Schalter erklären musste, dass Büchersendungen ins Ausland sehr wohl verschlossen verschickt werden dürfen...

Ich hoffe jetzt, dass das Buch einfach nur lange unterwegs ist und doch noch irgendwann ankommt.

EDIT: I should have made this JE in English. OK, this book is on its way to Risa29 in Clemency/Luxembourg since June. I'm afraid it is lost and the "Deutsche Post" does no searches for books. I still hope that the book just needs a bit longer but I have a bad feeling about it.

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