beautiful book titles

Coming up with a title for a book, especially when it is a compendium rather than one single narrative, can be the hardest part of the process for me - until it becomes the easiest. I will shuffle for weeks through words and words, knowing it should be a simple matter of attaching prepositions to adjectives to nouns, getting it almost right, getting it wrong, and then suddenly the title will be in my mind and I will wonder why on earth it took me so long.

I'm one of those people who investigates a book because it has an alluring title. That doesn't mean I'll read it, because sometimes the few words of that title tell me a story I follow with my own imagination, and the description of the book itself suggests a path that goes too far in the other direction. But I still think the author has given me something, and I am grateful. Consequently, for my own work, I'm always seeking a title which is beautiful - and yet meaningful - and that resonates both with the spirit of the book as it is and the spirit of what I dreamed it could be.

Here are some book titles which I consider beautiful, regardless of my opinion of the books themselves ...

Wuthering Heights ... by Emily Bronte
Behind the Beautiful Forevers ... by Katherine Boo
Under the Never Sky ... by Veronica Rossi
Through the Ever Night ... by Veronica Rossi
The Changeling Sea ... by Patricia McKillip
The Light Between Oceans ... by ML Stedman
On The Jellicoe Road ... by Melina Marchetta
The Outermost House ... by Henry Beston
The Book of Lost Things ... by John Connolly
Ghosts of Wind and Shadow ... by Charles de Lint
Seven Wild Sisters ... by Charles de Lint
Memory and Dream ... by Charles de Lint
The Shadow of the Wind ... by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
Dirt Music ... by Tim Winton
Cloudstreet ... by Tim Winton
The Solace of Open Spaces ... by Gretel Ehrlich
In The Forest of Forgetting ... by Theodora Goss
Cutting for Stone ... by Abraham Verghese
These Broken Stars ... by Amie Kaufman

What are some titles which you love for their beauty and evocative poetry?


  1. I'd have to add Hemingway, The Sun Also Rises, and True at First Light... he often culled his titles from previously written works, which I find curious and comforting all at once.

    I love your list, I've read many of those... House of Leaves is also a favorite title, and Landscape Painted with Tea.

  2. although, one must not judge a book by its cover or title but who can stop themselves? I like your list and indeed, I have try to read some of those books because of their alluring title but I never could finish them expect for Wuthering Heights. I think classic books are more likely to have pretty titles unlike books these days. I mean 'girl gone'? although I'll never read that book because of the unlikable characters, it's just seems more common to me.

    I can't think of any beautiful book titles as of now. & most of my favorite books don't quite sound all that beautiful.

    anyway, hope you have a great day.

  3. Leaning Towards Infinity - Sue Woolfe
    A Power of Roses - Ruth Park
    Brisingr - Christopher Paolini
    Benedictus - John O'Donahue
    The Voyage of the Dawn Treader - C.S. Lewis
    Snow Falling on Cedars - David Guterson
    The Constant Gardener - John le Carre
    The Unbearable Lightness of Being - Milan Kundera
    The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul - Douglas Adams
    Watership Down - Richard Adams
    Bridge to Terabithia - Katherine Paterson
    .... better stop there before I lose myself on my bookshelves... I love so many titles :-) into whole worlds of their own accord...

  4. Some of my favorite book titles are lines taken from poetry: Wild Bells to the Wild Sky, by Laurie McBain (from "In Memoriam" by Tennyson); Something Wicked this Way Comes, by Ray Bradbury (from "Macbeth" by Shakespeare), Under the Wide and Starry Sky, by Nancy Horan (from "Requiem" by Robert Louis Stevenson).

  5. The Idea of Perfection (Kate Grenville)
    Clinging to the Moon (Priscilla Cogan)
    The Unforeseen Wilderness (Wendell Berry)
    Well, these just came to mind. I don't know if they're beautiful, but they speak to me somehow.

    I just found your blog strolling around the web, and I like it a lot!

    Greetings from Denmark, Mona

  6. Thank you, those are such beautiful titles. I love the latter two especially, they are like word-chocolate for the soul.

  7. Sorry I haven't come back and responded to these comments, it slipped my mind although I did read and love all your suggestions :)

  8. Into The Free by Julie Cantrell
    Love the title but also the book :)

    1. when your comment came into my email box I almost deleted it automatically because it was anonymous and I've had lots of spam lately. I'm glad I didn't! Beautiful title, and I will go now to google the book. Thank you :)