Summer Has Arrived

Jun 01, 2020 Jan Burney

We have all learned a lot in these challenging times, I’m sure. Whether it is how to conduct daily life while isolated, or making homemade bread, or how to celebrate Mother’s Day, there have been lessons learned. One of the things I have noticed is how impactful single words have become: Pandemic. Virus. Reopen. Stay. Home. Spread. Curve. Wait.

Sometimes, a single word is enough to convey a world of meaning. This got me thinking about titles of books. It’s a brave choice for an author to reduce all his work within the covers to one simple word. Most of the titles in our library collection have several word titles, leaving in you in no doubt of the contents within: The Italian Billionaire’s Long-Lost Virgin Bride; 5 Very Good Reasons to Punch a Dolphin in the Mouth; After the wreck I picked myself up, spread my wings and flew away; Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. In these cases, the title tells you everything you need to know before cracking open the book. One-word titles are more of an invitation; they make you ask the question – what is this going to be about? Any student of literature will tell you that in figuring out the author’s purpose, the title of a work is a key piece of evidence. It tells us what was important to the writer- was it the plot, the characters, the theme? If you have seen the movie Julie and Julia, you may recall the scene where Julia Child must pick a title for her French cookbook with her editor. They have a wall covered with sticky notes each containing possible words that could be used. It took a lot of playing around with the post-its to finally get a title that captured the essence of what Julia Child wanted to convey. So, whether it is the author themselves or a combination of editors and publishers, opting to go with a single word is not the norm, but it is a practice that has spanned the centuries and genres. Whatever the reason, the convenience of one-word titles is that they are easy to remember. And you guessed it – I am providing you with a list of one-word titles for you to explore:

Booked Karen Swallow Prior

Quiet Susan Cain

Wild Cheryl Strayed

Dracula Bram Stoker

Becoming Michelle Obama

Atonement Ian McEwan

Beloved Toni Morrison

Confessions Augustine

Columbine Dave Cullen

Emma Jane Austen

Middlemarch George Eliot

Seveneves Neal Stephenson

Room Emma Donoghue

Wave Sonali Deraniyagala

Outlander Diana Gabaldon

 The question on many people’s minds of course, is when will the library re-open. Libraries are scheduled to reopen in Phase 2 of the provincial relaunch, but no date has at yet been set. We are working to get the facility ready with deep cleaning, installation of sneeze guards and the purchase of PPE. We are also working on some upgrades to the Reading Garden so that it will be a more useful space for our patrons when the weather is nice. When we do get the green light we will begin with curbside service only. The procedures for this will be posted on our website once we have them figured out. Till then, I leave you a with this final word: Read.