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10 Famous Book Titles Taken from Surprising Works of Literature

Classic book titles that allude to other literary works

Everyone knows that Aldous Huxley ‘borrowed’ the title of his best-known novel Brave New World from Shakespeare’s The Tempest. Similarly, it’s well-known that Ernest Hemingway’s For Whom the Bell Tolls takes its title from a sermon by John Donne. But sometimes a famous book title can hide a surprising allusion to another, perhaps less well-known, work of literature. Here are ten of our favourites. How many of these titles did you know owed their existence to another literary work?

Ernest Hemingway, A Farewell to Arms. Hemingway’s WWI novel takes its title from a poem of the same name by George Peele, an Elizabethan playwright and poet best remembered for (possibly) collaborating with Shakespeare on Titus Andronicus. The full title of Peele’s poem is A Farewell to Arms (To Queen Elizabeth). Read the rest of this entry

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20 Hilariously Odd Titles of Genuine Books

The funniest book titles from the world of publishing

Occasionally, when we lift our noses up from our dusty tomes here at Interesting Literature Towers, people ask us, ‘What’s the best book you’ve come across in your research?’ Okay, they don’t ask it all that often. Picking a best book would prove difficult (though we’ve compiled some of our favourite book recommendations here), but probably the one that’s made us laugh the most is Bizarre Books, a compendium of downright ridiculous but genuine books and their laughable titles. The sort of books that will make you wonder how they ever got published, and who thought the title might be a good idea (though to be fair, some of them have been the victim of language changes which the original publishers could not have foreseen – Grimm’s Tales Made Gay, for instance). Edited by Russell Ash and Brian Lake, Bizarre Books is a hilarious history of the weird world of publishing in all manner of fields – food, fiction, children’s books, celebrity memoir, entomology, sex, and much else besides – all told through that simplest and most revealing of things, book titles. Here are 20 of our favourite funny book titles mentioned in Bizarre Books. Read the rest of this entry