Better Book Titles turned 3 years old today.

Here are some favorites from the first few months of making fake titles. Thanks to everyone who shared these or submitted his or her own. Special thanks to the Tumblr staff for featuring it early on and making it easy for people to share the site.

There are over 500 fake covers for you to browse in the archive!



  

Anonymous Asked:

I don't understand how someone who knows so much about books and can read right through them, why would you want to promote a literature free life. This world is already full of people who rely on their technologies and are continuously dumbing themselves down and NOT reading. And here you are PROMOTING idiots to stay idiots. I get comedic purposes but I feel this is another way to make people lazy.

My long answer: I frankly disagree. I think posting any joke/funny image/reference/bad review/good review all help literacy in general. And I know for a fact that many people who follow this blog have felt inspired to read and enjoy specific books because of its funny retitle. There was a nice little debate about bad reviews helping or hurting writers in the NY Times book review this week. They both mention that talking about books, even while actively saying you hate certain titles, is good for the craft.

The main aim of a blog promoting inside jokes that only readers understand is to make reading feel even cooler than it already is. I actively try, however, to not ONLY post jokes that go over some people’s heads. No one wants to feel excluded, but that alone is sometimes an incentive to dive into a community. And for those people who suffered through certain loathsome texts during school, I find that this website helps them feel less alone in their literary grief. Furthermore, when I post an obscure summation of a book like Olesha’s Envy, I’m not doing it to make people feel like they now don’t have to read it or they’re dumb if they haven’t already. I’m doing it so I feel less alone when I see how many people comment on the post saying they’ve already read it or, now want to read that book. Every time I post (especially about newer fiction) I find that people feel encouraged to get their hands on books like The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P. or A Visit From The Goon Squad. I am, jokes aside, trying to get people to pick up those books.

For the most part I mock books I enjoy. If you ever see a fake title where the subtext is “Dan hates this book” I think it’s safe to assume I felt angry that an author wasted my time with drivel, and I’m seeking to help others not waste their time either. Although some titles might seem mean-spirited or really do come off as if I’m saying “Don’t read this!” it is because there are just too many books and too little time to have to sit through hours, days, months of tiresome garbage. I won’t name any specific titles, but… I bet you can guess which ones.

Are bad reviews and glib summations of books good for literacy? I’d say working in a bookstore taught me this: the perfect hand-sell for any book is what’s known in the business as “an elevator pitch.” If you can’t describe your favorite book in two sentences, you’re a shitty salesperson. You’re also probably a shitty writer. Do five-star ratings on Goodreads with no extra information help promote a book? Of course! But wouldn’t you rather hear that Adam Ross’s Mr. Peanut is a about a possible wife-murderer being investigated by other fictional or dead wife-murderers? Don’t you wish instead of naming it Skippy Dies (a book that has its own spoiler and Better Book Title already) the author had given you an inkling of how many drugs, sexual encounters, and Hogwarts references were in that magical novel? I would. I would have gotten to those books faster.

So, no. I don’t feel like people are idiots or that I’m promoting idiocy. I think people are busy. I think people are tired. I think if you go to a real job for nine hours a day, and you’re above the age of 20, reading is one of the harder habits to keep. So if a super-simple humor website dedicates itself to telling you what books are really about so you can follow your interests faster, I think it’s a good thing. I’m promoting literacy! Not idiocy!

My short answer: It’s a JOKE.



  

campgrrlgang Asked:

I know this is the opposite of "How Not to Read," but I took your recommendation for Skippy Dies by Paul Murray, and now I'm halfway through it and it's so fucking good. Do you have any other suggestions for books that are great?

I’m so glad you like it! Unfortunately, there’s nothing quite as ambitious nor as funny as Skippy Dies.

I wrote about my favorite books for the past few years here and here. A few I’ve been recommending recently are: Cheryl Strayed’s Tiny Beautiful Things, Maria Semple’s Where’d You Go, Bernadette? and Jim Holt’s Why Does the World Exist?

If we’re talking all-time favorites that I yell about in bars and wish more people would read??

Bulgakov’s The Master and Margarita

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Paul Auster’s New York Trilogy:

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the Odyssey:

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The new version of the Better Book Titles podcast is here!

Two-Book Minimum (the podcast):

Each week I’ll sit down with an author to have an intelligent conversation about books but ruin it by also inviting my semi-literate comedian-friends to share their thoughts. Produced by Cave Comedy Radio.

The first episode features Benjamin Hale, author of The Evolution of Bruno Littlemore. We discuss biology, incest, writing schools, and Nabokov while Adam Newman (Letterman, Comedy Central) asks us if we’ve seen Congo or the movie Powder. It’s great fun. I hope you enjoy the new version of the show!

http://cavecomedyradio.com/twobookminimum/benjamin-hale-adam-newman



  

Episode 5 of Two-Book Minimum is up!

J. Courtney Sullivan (author of Maine and The Engagements) sits down with me to talk about marriage, divorce, dating and big Catholic families. She attempts to convince Marcus, me, and our special comedian guest Jon Fisch (Letterman, Comedy Central) to get married. We also spend a lot of time on Tinder together. Enjoy!

iTunes (a featured New and Noteworthy comedy podcast!)

Listen on Cave Comedy Radio

Download the podcast directly

Or click the play button above to listen right here.



  

Rachel Fershleiser (one-time bookseller, editor of “Not Quite What I Was Planning: Six Word Memoirs”) talks with me about her work at Tumblr connecting authors and readers through the magic of the Internet. Comedian Adam Conover (College Humor, Best Week Ever) steps in to praise the Internet and admit he’s never eaten at Cinnabon. Enjoy!

iTunes (a featured New and Noteworthy comedy podcast!)

Listen on Cave Comedy Radio

Download the podcast directly

Or click the play button above to listen right here.



  

“The pro and the con: so the pro is total equal access to the means of distribution to everyone in the country where people, whoever they are, whenever they have an idea, they can spread it as far and wide and hopefully to some degree those ideas are picked up based on their merit…that sea-change invention of technology on par with the invention of the printing press, in terms of revolutionizing the way that we communicate as a species versus…sometimes people write you a mean e-mail? Yeah, I’d say let’s just burn the whole thing to the ground.”

Adam Conover, on the Internet and trolls on Episode #6 of Two-Book Minimum with Rachel Fershleiser and Dan Wilbur

Listen on iTunes

Download the podcast directly



  
Another Better Book Title for Guns, Germs, and Steel
Reader Submission: Title and Redesign by Raymond Drainville
If you’re still not planning to read this book, you can use this or this.

Another Better Book Title for Guns, Germs, and Steel

Reader Submission: Title and Redesign by Raymond Drainville

If you’re still not planning to read this book, you can use this or this.




  
johnmccrory:

Happy Mother’s Day! My suggestion of a better book title for What to Expect When You’re Expecting.

johnmccrory:

Happy Mother’s Day! My suggestion of a better book title for What to Expect When You’re Expecting.




  

someecards:

These #DadBookTitles Would Make The Perfect Father’s Day Gift If They Existed http://some.ly/1pIwgDU 

I helped make these #DadBookTitles at Someecards. You should write some of your own for Father’s Day!