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Uploaded:2019-04-23
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In which John discusses the titles of his novels and asks for titling help.

Become a Life's Library member and read The House of the Spirits with us: https://store.dftba.com/collections/lifes-library-book-club

Kaveh Akbar's poem "The Palace" https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/poems/kaveh-akbar-the-palace

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Good Morning, Hank. It's Tuesday.
So you're currently trying to sort through titles for the sequel to you #1 New York Times best-selling novel An Absolutely Remarkable Thing and in trying to assist you I have re-realized something important, which is that I am terrible at titles.
Like in a college creative writing class, I once called a story "Things Remembered, Things Forgotten" and my professor said, "That's it, Green. We're putting a moratorium on your titles."
I'd like to think I have improved a little since then, but only a little. All of which is to say, Nerdfighteria, that I need your help.
My first book was called Looking for Alaska, which arguably isn't a great title for a book that isn't about the state of Alaska, although on the upside, I know that I'm in for a great TV interview when the host begins by asking, "When did you first visit Alaska?"
My friend Kier (?) actually came up with the title because all of mine were so bad. I wanted to call the story "White Flowers and Warm Malt Liquor" which is a nice title for a country song but not so much for a novel, or else "Famous Last Words" which is a little on the nose.
Alaska was also the first novel I attempted to tile "More Light Than Heat". I'm very found of this line from Hamlet about how some love blazes with more light than heat and every time I write a book at some point I think: "You know what this book should be called? 'More Light Than Heat'." And then my publisher, Julie Strauss-Gabel, says, "No. Just No."
Right so then there was An Abundance of Katherines, a title I actually quite like, not least because I wrote it before I wrote the rest of the story, although in the end, the Italian title, The Catherine Theorem, is much better. 
Paper Towns ended up with an okay title, but only after I tried to call it "The Life and Hard Times of Margo Roth Spiegelman", "The Copy Right Trap", and of course, "More Light Than Heat".
I also still like the name of Turtles All the Way Down, although it is slightly confusing in a book that is not about turtles, but is kind of about a different reptile. It has however allowed my kids to make a lot of jokes about how my next novel will be called "Lizards All the Way Up", which I don't know, maybe it will be. 
And then there is the fault in our stars which was very nearly titled "The Sequel" or else "The Sequels" plural because somehow that's gonna make it better?
Like I have all these emails that Julie and I exchanged in April of 2011 in which she's like, "'The Sequel' is not a good title," but more polite than that, and then I would reply with lots of information that I'm sure at the time seemed super relevant like, for instance, once I wrote, "I am increasingly convinced that it is not our place to assert either the temporariness or the permanence of the universe, but that the meaning of life is basically bearing witness to the creation and its inhabitants" which is like a nice sentiment but what the hell does that have to do with calling a novel that is not a sequel "the Sequel"?
At any rate I was eventually convinced that "The Fault in Our Stars" was a better title and because it's a play on a Shakespear line, it nearly quenched my thirst to call a book "More Light Than Heat".
I should mention that Rosiana called my attention to that line in "Julius Caesar" about the fault in our stars, which is relevant because Rosiana is great at titles. For instance, she came up with the top notch title for our book club "Life's Library" which by the way has some slots open for our new book Isabella Yenday's House of the Spirits, If you want to sign up you can find out more at Lifeslibrarybookclub.com. You get to read good books with nice people and all the proceeds go to Partners in Health's work in Sierra Leone.
Speaking of which, I mentioned all of this because we need a title for Nerdfighteria's project with Partners in Health - Sierra Leone. The idea is to provide ongoing funding to improve the healthcare system there because long term problems need long term solutions.
So if you have a title idea for that, or for that matter, a title idea for Hank's Sequel, please let us know in comments.
Wait, Hank, Wait, Have you considered calling it "The Sequel"? I mean it is a sequel. Another idea, just gonna throw this one out, "More Light Than Heat".
Hank, I'll see you on Friday.
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Oh Hi P.S. I've only wanted twitter in the last month a couple times, have I mentioned that I'm not on twitter? I'm not on twitter. It's the "I went to Harvard" of internet citizenship. Anyway I only wanted twitter a few times in the last month, mostly so that I could weep and gnash my teeth with worry over football but also because I really want everyone in the world to read Kaveh Akbar's new poem "The Palace", which is a great title. It's so good even if you don't like poetry, I think you'll like this poem, link in the doobly-doo.
Bye.