Don’t Make Us Spell It Out For You: Books with Single-Letter Titles

Likely StoriesIt’s hard to gauge the effect of a single-letter book title on potential readers. Excitement, perhaps, because of the author’s boldness? Curiosity, maybe, because of the title’s minimalism? The imminent publication of Howard Jacobson’s J (yesterday’s Review of the Day on Booklist Online) had me wondering whether I could assemble an abecedary of the world’s briefest titles—I came close, but fell short. Some letters are just more popular than others: C, H, K, O, and S are used twice, while B, D, F, I, L, R, T, and U remain available for as-yet-untitled works. If anything, the one-lettered approach suggests how little a title can truly capture of the immensity of the book in hand.

What do you think? Are single-letter book titles intriguing? Pretentious? Still too long? Let me know in the comments!

A, by Andy Warhol

C, by Maurice Baring

C, by Tom McCarthy

E, by Matt Beaumont

G, by John Berger

H, by Elizabeth Shepard

H, by Lin Haire-Sargeant

J, by Jacobson Howard

K, by Mary Roberts Rinehart

K, by Ronald Hayman

M, by John Sack

N, by Louis Edwards

O, by Omari Grandberry

O, by Anonymous

P, by Andrew Lewis Conn

Q, by Luther Blissett

S, by John Updike

S, by Harry Mathews et al.

V, by Thomas Pynchon

W, by Georges Perec

X, by Sue Coe

Y, by Brian Vaughn

Z, by Vassilis Vassilikos

 

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About the Author:

Sarah Grant is the Marketing Associate for Booklist. Follow her on Twitter at @Booklist_Grant.

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