Book title doesn't describe content

kathy_t

I occasionally read a book, sometimes a very good book, for which I am never able to make a good mental connection between the book's content and its title. I like for the mention of a book title to conjure up the story from the recesses of my brain.


Examples of books where the title doesn't connect for me:

-- Most Louise Penny books. (Which one is set in a monastery? Which one was in a big country house where Gamache and Reine-Marie were celebrating an anniversary? In which one did the Three Pines artist, Peter Murrow, disappear? etc.)

-- Susan Hill's The Various Haunts of Men is another I read recently and wondered where the title came from.


I'm not sure whether the problem lies with the book or the reader … ;^) … Does anyone else experience this?

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msmeow

I most recently read A Trick of the Light by Louise Penny, and the title was referring to descriptions of paintings. The victim was an artist and art critic. It makes sense now, but I don't know that I'd remember that later, because you mention the one set in the country house and I remember the story but not the title. :)

There have been many times that I thought, "I read a really good book about..." but couldn't dredge up the title.

Donna

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phyllis__mn

I have started reading a book to find I had read it already, but the name doesn't remind me at all. Just had that happen with two books, that I had enjoyed, but the names didn't ring a bell.

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vee_new

I find the same thing with the Susan Hill books. I have just picked up a copy of The Risk of Darkness which I think is number 3 in the series, but am sure I have read a couple of later ones! For me part of the 'trouble' is that the covers/dust jackets all look remarkably similar . . .very brooding and gloomy.

Kathy, I tried looking up The Various Haunts of Men but could find no reference other than the title of the book!

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kathy_t

Vee - That's odd. Somehow I learned that Various Haunts is the first book in the Simon Serrailler series, so that's where I started. Perhaps I learned it here.

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vee_new

Kathy, sorry I wasn't making myself clear I meant that I was looking up the title The Various Haunts . . . to see if it was a quote from somewhere, but couldn't find anything. Hill's other books in the series I have probably read in the wrong order!

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friedag

I found this at Wikipedia about Hill's first Simon Serrailler book:

The title is taken from George Crabbe's poem The Borough :
The various haunts of men
Require the pencil, they defy the pen


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kathy_t

Vee - Oohh, I see what you were saying. Duh!

Friedag - Thanks for finding the source, but even with the novel very fresh in my mind, that quote would do nothing at all to help me remember what the book was about. I guess I'm just not on Susan Hill's wavelength.

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vee_new

Thanks Frieda. I felt I should have recognised the quote but am not familiar with anything by Crabbe.

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yoyobon_gw

I Was Told There'd Be Cake by Sloane Crosley

The story of a brash peasant who crashed a party for Marie Antoinette.

( my fantasy synopsis of that book )

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carolyn_ky

Kathy, I'm not sure anyone is on Susan Hill's wavelength, but I do like her Serrailler books. Of her others that I have read, and I haven't read many, I only liked Mrs. deWinter and Howard's End Is on the Landing. She is too dark for me. My daughter and I saw the London stage production of Woman in Black, and she gave a little squeak and grabbed my arm at one point.

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kathy_t

Carolyn - You certainly are well read! Sounds like the stage production was well done.

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roxanna7

Being an Anglophile/bibliophile, I loved Susan Hill's non-fiction books about her life -- The Magic Apple Tree, Through the Kitchen Window, Through the Garden Gate, etc. I also really liked the Serrailler early books, but have found the later ones difficult to get into.

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yoyobon_gw

I thought Howard's End Is On The Landing described the contents of that book .....her obsessively stashing her books.

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woodnymph2_gw

I'm a true fan of all of Susan Hill's work. I agree, some are "dark" , but the plot and other details transcend that, in my opinion. She is one of my favorite contemporary authors.


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