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15 Questionable Book Titles That Really Exist

December 7, 2016
Julie Jarema
Riveted Editorial Board

Hope you’re enjoying Riveted’s 12 Days of Reading! One of the most amusing titles in this lineup of free reads has got to be The True Meaning of Cleavage by Mariah Fredericks. Now, I’ve read this book and it’s actually a great read, but there’s no hiding my giggle every time I read the title. In honor of the fact that I like to make myself (and others) laugh, I’ve rounded up a list with this YA novel as well as 14 other books with equally intriguing yet weird titles that I’m sure you’ll judge by their covers. Let us know which ones you want to pick up in the new year!

Also, there’s apparently an award dedicated to the oddest book titles! You’re welcome.

The True Meaning of Cleavageby Mariah Fredericks

Cool is cool and geek is geek, and at Eldridge the two definitely do not mix.

Sari and Jess are best friends and total opposites. They've liked each other ever since they discovered that they are the only two normal people at Eldridge Alternative. As they prepare to face the trials of ninth grade, Sari is psyched. Jess is not. How can she face the Prada Mafia, the most evil clique in school? Or Mr. McGuiness's unnervingly long nose hair? What if something really interesting happens to Sari and nothing whatsoever happens to Jess?

But not even Jess can predict the mayhem that erupts when Sari falls madly in love with David Cole. David is a senior. He's been dating Thea Melendez for forever. So he couldn't possibly be interested in Sari. Or could he? And if he is, where does that leave Jess?

Children Are No Match For Fire: A Fire Safety Story For The Whole Familyby Carol Dean

Children's hardcover storybook about fire safety.

Pooh Gets Stuckby Isabel Gaines

In this classic story, Pooh gets stuck in Rabbit's front door after eating too much honey. Young readers will cheer for Pooh when he finally gets free.

How to Raise Your I.Q. by Eating Gifted Childrenby Lewis Burke Frumkes

Lewis Burke Frumkes, one of America's very best satirists, sharpens his pen on the fads, fears, and fashions of the urban landscape. Here are 49 hilarious ways to cope with them. Explore the benefits of aerobic typing. Wile a friend with "Exotic Gifts from Harry and Larry" including "Road Imperial Valium; America's Favorite Tranquilizer; Only Better." Take charge of your next meeting with Frumkes' "New Rules of Order," which include Blurting, Interrupting, and Bullwhipping. Jump in the saddle and rope a roach, apartment style. And, of course, raise your I.Q. with a delicious "Gifted Child Fricassee."

Strangers Have the Best Candyby Margaret Meps Schulte

If you've ever had a conversation with a curious, red-haired traveling stranger named Meps, watch out! She probably wrote down what you said...and it's in these pages, twisted into a hilarious and provocative tale. In these crazy illustrated stories from a lifetime of talking to strangers, you'll meet people like:

-Carrie, the topless runner who popped out of the woods at Crater Lake with a bag of flour

-Tim, the globe-trotting pig farmer with the fake nose in his duffel bag

-Harley and Annabelle, the not-so-mediocre music makers and stars of Route 66

-Captain Craig, the Scourge of Lake Union and Environs and Whatever Else Needs Scourging

-Chicken Pox Man (but you'll wish you hadn't)

You'll learn what really goes into Happy Stew, where to find the Mythical Butter Divide, and why you should always say yes and always take all your stuff. Most importantly, you'll learn how easy it is to get your own candy from strangers and why in the world you would want to.

The Do-It-Yourself Lobotomy: Open Your Mind to Greater Creative Thinkingby Tom Monahan

An Adweek Book
Master the techniques that top companies use to spark creativity
In today's business environment, gaining the competitive edge through creative and original thinking is a crucial component of brand strategy. Creative leader of advertising Tom Monahan offers a fresh look at the subject, providing hard and fast methods for freeing the mind and inspiring active creativity in oneself and others. His 180-degree Thinking(TM), 100 MPH Method, and other techniques he employs in his creative consulting practice are easy-to-use strategies for unleashing new ideas and facilitating creative product development, advertising, and marketing plans. This book has the added benefit of Monahan's experience of using these methods at A-list client companies.

Teach Your Wife to be a Widowby Donald I. Rogers

Knitting with Dog Hair: Better A Sweater from a Dog You Love Than from a Sheep You’ll Never Meetby Kendall Crolius

Learn to recycle Rover into beautiful garments and accessories as the authors teach you this wacky new spin on an old craft. Knitting with Dog Hair is the definitive guide to putting on the dog!

In this tip-filled, easy-to-use book, the authors tell:

-How to make Afghan or a beret from your Beagle: you pet can yield yarn
-How to collect, clean, and store your pooch's fur
-How to modify your patterns to accommodate pet-spun yarn
-How to find experienced pet hair spinners, a guide to resources and suppliers

From mittens from a Malamute to caps from a Collie, this illustrated guide is the creative answer to that vexing shedding problem. This fetching book is certain to be this year's best in show!

Sun-Beams May be Extracted from Cucumbers, but the Process is Tediousby David Daggett

The 18th century was a wealth of knowledge, exploration and rapidly growing technology and expanding record-keeping made possible by advances in the printing press. In its determination to preserve the century of revolution, Gale initiated a revolution of its own: digitization of epic proportions to preserve these invaluable works in the largest archive of its kind. Now for the first time these high-quality digital copies of original 18th century manuscripts are available in print, making them highly accessible to libraries, undergraduate students, and independent scholars.Delve into what it was like to live during the eighteenth century by reading the first-hand accounts of everyday people, including city dwellers and farmers, businessmen and bankers, artisans and merchants, artists and their patrons, politicians and their constituents. Original texts make the American, French, and Industrial revolutions vividly contemporary.++++The below data was compiled from various identification fields in the bibliographic record of this title. This data is provided as an additional tool in helping to insure edition identification: ++++British LibraryW029509Half-title: Mr. Daggett's oration on the 4th of July, 1799. Parentheses substituted for square brackets in imprint transcription.New-Haven: Printed by Thomas Green and Son, 1799. (Copy right secured) 28 p.; 8

How to Disappear Completely and Never Be Foundby Doug Richmond

Heavy-duty disappearing techniques for those with a need to know. This book tells you how to pull off a disappearance and how to stay free and never be found. It analyzes all the ways you could be found by whoever might be looking for you. How to plan & new I. D. for disappearance. Even Pseudocide to make your pursuers think you are dead.

Who Cares about Elderly People?by Pam Adams

The Who Cares series helps us to learn about ourselves, our world and our responsibilities, and fosters caring, sharing and loving instincts. The latest, Law and Order, teaches us that we have to respect the law and the rights of others, and shows what sometimes happens if we don't.

Bombproof Your Horseby Rick Pelicano & Lauren Tjaden

This volume helps to train horses to cope with disturbances such as out of control bolts, baulks, wheel arounds or bucking. The author, an experienced horse trainer also offers sections on teachings basic necessary skills like walking on unusual surfaces and self-loading into a trailer.

The Practical Pyromaniacby William Gurstelle

The Practical Pyromaniac combines science, history, and DIY pyrotechnics to explain humankind’s most useful and paradoxical tool: fire. William Gurstelle, author of the bestselling Backyard Ballistics and frequent contributor to Popular Mechanics and Make magazine, presents 25 projects with instructions, diagrams, photos, and links to video demonstrations that enable people of all ages (including young enthusiasts with proper supervision) to explore and safely play with fire.

From Franklin’s stove to Diesel’s engine, Gurstelle tells the explosive and fascinating tales of the great American and European pyromaniacs who scientifically revealed the mysteries of fire. Among them are hot-headed "Gunpowder" Joseph Priestley, who discovered oxygen, and Antoine Lavoisier, the father of chemistry who lost his head on the guillotine, as well as scientist and spy Count Rumford and dapper Humphrey Davy whose chemical discoveries and fiery inventions saved thousands of lives.


With The Practical Pyromaniac in hand readers can replicate these breakthrough scientists’ experiments and inventions, from the simply fascinating one-candle-power engine to the nearly magical fire piston and from a practical backpacker stove to an incredible tornado of fire.


Marin and her twin brother, Kana, help their anxious parents ready the house for departure. Locks must be taken off doors. Furniture must be arranged. Tables must be set. The rituals are puzzling—bizarre, even—but none of the adults in town will discuss why it has to be done this way.


Just as the ships are about to sail, a teenage boy goes missing—the twins’ friend Line. Marin and Kana are the only ones who know the truth about where Line’s gone, and the only way to rescue him is by doing it themselves. But Night is falling. Their island is changing.


And it may already be too late.

Reusing Old Gravesby Douglas Davies & Alastair Shaw

This book represents the results of an extensive survey, carried out by the University of Nottingham at the request of the Institute for Research in the Social Sciences at the University of York, into public opinions on the reuse of graves. The survey covered many related topics as well and, as a result, the book provides an insight into public attitudes to virtually all aspects of death and the disposal of the dead. It is consequently a landmark study and will be of interest to a broad spectrum of those whose profession deals in any way with death, as well as to sociologists, historians, theologians and others interested in the place of funeral memorialisation and death in contemporary Britain.


These research results are presented in both descriptive and tabular form, with the main tables interspersed in the text while more detailed tables appear in a series of Appendices.

Eating People is Wrongby Malcolm Bradbury

Insanely funny depiction of members of the English department at a provincial English university.