Bookish Posts

Top Ten Tuesday: Misleading Book Titles


Top Ten Tuesday is an original weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish. This is my first Top Ten Tuesday post and this week’s topic is a Freebie. I’ve chosen Misleading Book Titles. In case you’re wondering, this is a tongue-in-cheek post 🙂 I like all of these books and their great titles! So without further ado…

Flowers in the Attic by V.C. Andrews


There’s an episode of Everybody Hates Chris where Chris’s mother, Rochelle, helps at a book fair. She criticises a young girl for reading Hollywood Wives, a Jackie Collins novel. Instead, she picks up a copy of Flowers in the Attic and says “Now that sounds nice” before handing the book to the girl. The irony is that Flowers in the Attic is about four children who are kept in the attic. It’s less flowery, more gothic horror.

Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote


Serving breakfast at a jewellers would be a logistical nightmare. In the novella, Holly goes to Tiffany’s when she has the “mean reds”. It has a calming effect on her.

 One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey

A book for birdwatchers? Nope. This is about life in an Oregon mental hospital, made unbearable by Nurse Ratched. That is, until new patient McMurphy arrives. The title is from a nursery rhyme and features in the epigraph: “One flew east, one flew west, one flew over the cuckoo’s nest”. You can check out my review here.

The Postman Always Rings Twice by James M. Cain


Sadly this novella is not about a diligent postman. Rather, this is classic crime noir. The postman is a metaphor for death which makes more sense.

 Animal Farm by George Orwell


At first glance, the title suggests a story about animals. It is in fact an allegory about communism.

 The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger


The Catcher in the Rye sounds like it’s about a cricket or baseball player. It’s really a coming of age novel. The title alludes to the protagonist, Holden Caulfield, who says he wants to catch children in the rye field, thereby preserving their innocence.

 Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck


Technically there is one mouse. It’s actually an apt title because the men are made to feel like mice. The title comes from a poem written by the Scottish poet Robert Burns in 1785. This line reads: “The best laid schemes of mice and men / Often go awry”.

 Frankenstein by Mary Shelley


Before reading this book, I, like many others, always thought Frankenstein was the monster. In Mary Shelley’s classic novel, Dr Victor Frankenstein is the young student who creates the nameless monster. Frankenstein and the monster are doppelgängers, so maybe that’s why their names are synonymous.

Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell


A tornado creates devastation. Actually, this is about the American civil war. The title is from a line of a poem which inspired Margaret Mitchell.

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee


Just to clarify, this book is not a hunting guide. Harper Lee’s powerful classic is told through the eyes of a young girl, Scout Finch, who learns about racism and injustice in the American south during the Great Depression. The title of the novel comes from this quote: “Shoot all the blue jays you want, if you can hit ’em, but remember, it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.” The mockingbird symbolises innocence.

Thanks for reading this list. Can you think of any other misleading book titles? If so, please let me know in the comments. Until next time, readers!

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