Sunday Salon: inappropriate titles

Interesting weather last night: raining steadily but mildly in Kingston, completely dry and sunny in Wimbledon 3 miles down the road, and torrential rain in north London, causing closure of the North Circular and other roads in many places due to severe flooding, and a several-hours-long power cut over Mill Hill. Today, all is calm and I turn to the topic of books.

Horace Bent of the Bookseller 26 June p. 42 (not online) notes the Sun-generated outrage that The Crimes of Josef Fritzl was selected for a prominent a father's day promotion in W H Smith and Tesco. The book was quickly removed from the shelves despite, writes Horace Bent, "Tesco's initial bold defence of their decision to stock it".

What, he asks, would rank among the most inappropriate book promotions? "The God Delusion on an Easter table? Living with Sexually Transmitted Diseases in a Valentine's promo?" He also suggests Wittgenstein as a 'Summer Read', but that doesn't seem so bad to me – especially on reading some of the holiday recommendations in yesterday's papers. Winter's Bane or Snow Falling on Cedars, now….

What would be your suggestions? Far From the Madding Crowd in a "Glastonbury special"? The Black Path to promote countryside walks? Skin and Bones in a health campaign?

[For more bookselling amusement, follow HoraceBent on Twitter]

5 thoughts on “Sunday Salon: inappropriate titles

  1. A Thomas Pynchon book promoted in Hello magazine. Any Virago book promoted in Nuts. I rather like this idea!

  2. Christopher T. Mountjoy’s The Honourable Member in the lobby of the House of Commons, perhaps. A nice going-away present for those members who have resigned or thought it wise to stand down, a few of whom may, if there is any justice, be going away for six months or so, plus a bit of probation. Maybe even some community service — that would come as a shock! I’m being doubly mischievous here, for I gather the book, unread by me, is actually one volume in a series of ribald memoirs of this fictional and aptly named Mountjoy — there is a pun also in the title — written by Keith Miles, aka Edward Marston, et al., though on his website and in interviews KM seems to have seen fit to forget this particular nom de plume. I wouldn’t have known if it had not been for a mention on Mike Ripley’s blog.

  3. Am pretty sure the most recent Jefferey Deaver “The Bodies Left Behind” was on a promotional table at Waterstones as a suitable gift (I think as a man’s gift for Valentine’s day, but not 100% sure).

  4. I don’t think that “The God delusion” would be inappropriate on Easter. It surely is nothing like “The Crimes of Josef Fritzl”. Ruffly said, “The God delusion” on Easter would be like wearing a t-shirt with text “Jesus Loves You” at school or college. Nothing shocking, just another point of view. With Fritzl is a way different. I think I don’t need to make my point.

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