Thursday, January 7, 2010

A Hornet by Any Other Name

Have I mentioned how many times I have thought of changing the name of my blog? I think the first time was the day after I started it. I woke up to the fact that it is a very sappy name. Why did I not see that from the very beginning? I guess I was blinded by the sheer excitement of starting a blog that I could not see the obvious, i.e. that the name sucks. Also, I started exploring the blogosphere more, and came across so many great names for blogs that I was put to shame. "Confessions of an Idiosyncratic Mind" comes to mind immediately, then "The Elegant Variation." Many more are out there; to name just a couple I like: "Mason Fiction," "The Second Pass," "Bookslut," "House of Mirth," and "With This I Think I'm Officially a Yuppie." (Actually, I must point out two things about that last example, which is a music blog: one, the real name is lacking the apostrophe in "I'm," and two, it uses the same template that my blog does! Check it out! I need to post longer posts, as that blogger does, to keep from having the problem on my blog where my lefthand sidebar extends below the, the, thingy, the inner frame, whatever you call it.) These are just the first ones off the top of my head; I could go on forever, almost literally, naming all the blogs with names better than mine; I'll stop with one more, a personal favorite: "Chiu on This."

(Should the titles of blogs appear in quotation marks, like a magazine article, or in italics like a book or periodical? Or just caps? Has this been decided out there in blogland?)

Of course, the best name in the world is wasted if the blog itself is no good. But I would like to have a better name; quite some time ago I started a list of alternate names: Literata (i.e. the feminine singular of literati), The Screen Door, The Cess Pool. OK, the latter might not be the greatest idea, but it harkens back to my college yearbook quote, when I was in what passes for a radical phase for me. I tried changing it to "Literata," but it did not work; apparently there was a Spanish-language blog on blogspot with that word in the name, as it is also the Spanish for a female author. So for now, I'm sticking with the old sappy name, which leads me to the reason I started writing about it in the first place: this list of Books for the Word Lover. Maybe the name will stick because, after all, I am a sappy, nerdy sort of person, the kind of person who gets excited to see the new edition of Latin for All Occasions, a book I remember from high school, when I took four years of Latin from my mother. Yes, that's right, my mom was the Latin teacher at my high school, and I was in her class all four years. We got along fine. So what super-cool, ultra-witty, iconoclastic name could a person like that have for a blog? I better face it, "Notes for Word Lovers" might be as cool as it gets for me. But maybe it should be "Notes of a Word Lover," so that the nerdiness is more about me than about the reader; still pondering that.

More random notes: Of course movies are on the way for the Millenium trilogy, aka The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, etc. The first Swedish installment was already released in Sweden, under the title "Men Who Hate Women," which is the real title of the first book. When I was reading The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets' Nest on the subway, a woman who works for Knopf struck up a conversation with me, and mentioned that she heard American movie versions were in the works.

After checking that "hornets" is plural in the title of said book, and correcting it everywhere in my blog, I then spotted today's Amazon Omnivoracious blog entry, with a shot of the American version's cover, and it says "hornet"! Singular! What's up? It really makes more sense to say hornets, as usually there is more than one hornet in a nest. I assume the head hornet is Lisbeth's father, but he was the leader of a criminal gang, so together they would be the hornets whose nest Lisbeth kicks. So why was it made singular? The British version is plural. Is it because most Americans are so clueless about the use of the apostrohpe to form a possessive that it just doesn't matter where it is placed? Just wondering. By the way, the Amazon reviewer liked the book as much as I did, for whatever that's worth.

Also, I think Jonathan Galassi's article about the importance of the role of the publisher in making a book a success would have had a little more oomph if he had gotten the publication history of Lie Down in Darkness correct.


2011 (1) 2012 (1) 2666 (1) A Gate at the Stairs (1) A Visit from the Goon Squad (1) Adam Gopnik (1) alcoholism (1) Ander Monson (1) Anne Frank (1) archives (1) Barnes and Noble (1) best (1) blog (2) blogosphere (1) book (1) book club books (1) book list (4) book lists (2) bookbook (1) books (2) Bryant Park (1) caregiving (1) coffee (1) Colm Toibin (2) Colum McCann (1) crime (2) David Shields (1) Denis Johnson (1) digital publishing (1) disclaimer (1) dragon tattoo (1) dream (1) e-book (1) e-reader (2) E.M. Forster (1) electronic writing (1) Elfreide Jelinek (1) event (1) fiction (3) Flannery O'Connor (1) Freedom (1) Freud (1) Fuckhead (1) genre fiction (1) gods (1) Hilary Mantel (1) Holocaust (1) Jayne Ann Phillips (1) Jonathan Littell (1) Judy Garland (1) Kindle (2) Krishna Das (1) Laurie Anderson (1) Let the Great World Spin (1) Lisbeth (2) literary journal (2) literary magazine (1) Lorrie Moore (1) Matthew Cheney (1) Mia Farrow (1) Michael Chabon (1) Mikael (2) mysterious (1) Mysterious Bookshop (1) mystery (1) narrative (1) Nathan Zuckerman (3) Neil Gaiman (2) Nicholson Baker (1) novel (2) novelist (1) Obama (1) Orange Prize (1) Otto Penzler (1) palate cleanser (1) Pasha Malla (1) Philip Roth (6) Philippe Petit (2) plot (1) poetry (1) poets house (1) posman books (1) preservation (1) publication (1) publishing (4) reading (1) reading room (1) Reality Hunger (2) Robert Bolano (1) self-publishing (1) Stieg Larsson (3) story (3) submission (1) summer reading (1) Susie Boyt (1) Sylvia Plath (1) Ted Hughes (1) The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets' Nest (3) The Kindly Ones (1) third mind (1) Tom Robbins (1) type (1) Vanishing Point (1) vook (1) war (1) website (1) William Faulkner (2) word lovers (1) writers (1) writing (3) Zoe Heller (1)

About Me

My photo
New York, NY, United States
Overeducated mom, addled by constant interruptions due to demands of family and dog, trying to read books and write coherent sentences about them. Luckily, yoga keeps me centered. Sharing my love of yoga through teaching helps make sense of it all. I have a yoga blog at Since 2015, it has been my pleasure to serve as a reader for Epiphany, a literary journal publishing fiction, poetry, nonfiction, and art; on Twitter as @epiphanymag.


Search This Blog

Susie's  book recommendations, reviews, favorite quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists
Read the Printed Word! Shop Indie Bookstores