Rejected Book Titles

The secret to having good ideas is having a lot of ideas and discarding the bad ones. Titles have always been difficult for me. Whether for songs (“Out-of-Town Tuna Fish”), albums (Songs from the Zen Baptist Tradition), poems (“Drowning in the Fountain of Eternal Life”), stories (“Let Me Begin Again”) or novels (What Trouble Looks Like), I’ve always agonized over titles. Believe it or not, the above are what was left after I’d thrown out the bad ones.

I’m currently writing a memoir, a thriller and a love story, so I need three good titles. Here are a hundred-and-one I’ve rejected so far:

1) Winnie the Pooh Goes to War

2) Exfoliating with Steel-Wool Panties

3) Things to Eat When You’re Out of Food

4) The Catcher in the Lye: Baseball Players Who Were Poisoned

5) Theoretical Knitting

6) The Naked and the Dead: Sensual Orgy Stories of the Black Death

7) French Fried French Kisses: A McDonald’s Love Story and First-Aid Guide

8) Your Rights in an Elevator

9) A Book of Common Players: NFL Linemen You’ve Never Heard of

10) Solitaire for Two

11) A Child’s Guide to the Merovingian Dynasty

12) Finding Your Whey: Miss Muffet’s Guide to Personal Transportation

13) Is Pro Wrestling Real? A Christian Response

14) Why Does Mommy Smell Like Cat Food?

15) The Wonders of Warts

16) How Many is Up?

17) When Bad Things Happen to Bad People

18) Uncle Wiggily and the Rabbit Stew

19) 125 Things to Do Each Morning Before You Get out of Bed

20) Illiterate? Read This and Solve Your Problems

21) How’d He Do That? A Magician’s Guide to the Gospels

22) Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of Off-Brand Scotch

23) The Little Golden Book of Necromancy

24) The Bobbsey Twins Ride the Information Superhighway!

25) Three Tips for Your Next Wake

26) How Can I Prove I Exist?

27) Fortune Cookies: Satan’s Baked Good

28) Henry Huggins: Terrorist Superstar!

29) Hanukah, Chanukah, Hanukkah—The Brady Bunch Goes Orthodox

30) Are My Memories Microwaveable?

31) Rocks: God’s Secret Weapon against Giants

32) You Can’t Be Resurrected If You Won’t Die

33) Read Your Way to Eyestrain!

34) How to Keep a Secret—A Care and Feeding Guide

35) My Little Pony—Pets for Midgets, Dwarfs and Other Little People

36) Social Security Disability: The Nondisabled Lazy Man’s Guide

37) Hearing Perfume and Tasting Corduroy: How to ‘Hack’ Your Senses

38) Alibis for Everything

39) The Gabor Sisters vs. the Kardashians: A Time Travel Throwdown

40) When Your Children are Imaginary

41) Toenail Clippings: Not Just for Breakfast Anymore!

42) Are Your Bones Made of Bone or Metal?

43) Playing the Piano in Traffic

44) A History of History

45) Dream Your Way to Sleep

46) If You’re So Rich, Why Ain’t You Smart?

47) The Complete Guide to Partial Paralysis

48) Depression and Pro Basketball

49) Negotiating Your Way into Heaven: Loopholes Edition

50) A Hole in One and a Garrote on the Other: Murdering Siamese Twins

51) Hypnosis and Property Values: Don’t Snap Your Fingers until the Sale is Final

52) Crimes You Didn’t know You Could Commit

53) When a Spouse Dies and Leaves a Crime Scene: Cleaning in a Flash

54) The Mensa Book of Pudding

55) I Wish You Wouldn’t Do That and Other Things to Say When a Gun is Pointed at You

56) The Christian’s Guide to Lawn Ornaments

57) Remembering the Future

58) Christmas Limericks

59) Learning to Walk without Moving Your Lips

60) Can You Trust ALL Your Toes?

61) How to Write a How-To Book

62) Cart Before the Whore: Transitioning from Sex Work to Hot-Dog Vending

63) Seven Secrets of Successful Beggars

64) The Hardy Boys: Transgendered!

65) The Constitution, a Guide for the Handcuffed

66) Space Travel on a Budget

67) Face Painting the Ugly

68) A Dog in a Tree Has Nowhere to Pee But Down and Other Business Advice

69) The Wit and Wisdom of Smokey Bear

70) The Idiot’s Guide to Eating Dirt

71) A Farewell to Arms: Living with Amputation

72) I’ll Meet You in the Pasture: Rural Time Travel

73) Making Money with Play-Doh

74) Clean Feet and Inner Peace: A Meditation

75) The Pampered Hostage

76) Don’t Take a Breath Until You Read this Book!

77) The Old Man and the C+: Telling Your Dad You’re Not Very Smart

78) The Big Book of Ankle Hair

79) Marketing Organic Arsenic

80) No Green Bananas: Will You Die Tomorrow?

81) Good Buy, Columbus! Goodwill Stores of Ohio

82) Existentialism and Freezer Burn: How to Tell the Difference

83) A Novelization of Flaubert’s Madame Bovary

84) Catch Phrases for Fun and Profit

85) Will Bats Eat the Bugs in Your Belfry?

86) Should Recovering Alcoholics Remove Their Red Wine Birthmarks?

87) Future Lives Therapy

88) Is Your Priest Eating Cheetos During Confession? How to Set a Trap

89) Flip Your Homelessness—The Next Real Estate Boom

90) When You Wish Upon a Car

91) Breeding Dogs vs. Bleeding Dogs: The Case for Enunciation

92) How You Take Your Coffee Predicts How You Will Take Your Life

93) Hard of Hearing? What?

94) Celebrities Without Kneecaps

95) Making Friends with Your Bedbugs

96) The Hardy Girls and the Cause of LGBT Equality

97) A Child’s Garden of Wurst

98) Count Your Freckles and Change Your Life

99) Why Can’t Grammy Talk?

100)How Many Steps to the Steppes?

101)The Dummy’s Guide to Developmental Disabilities

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