Sunday, January 26, 2014


We at Why Not Books try to tell it like it is. So Francis and Eddie is, indeed, a picture book about the amazing true story of amateur golfer Francis Ouimet and his 10-year-old caddie Eddie Lowery. And Dragon Valley is, yes, a chapter book for kids—written by a precocious kid—about talking dragons and the valley they call home. And My Mantelpiece, the memoirs of civil rights icon Carolyn Goodman… well, sometimes titles are a bit more cryptic.

Then again, there’s always a more straightforward title. And while you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, that doesn’t stop people from passing judgment. So a fellow named Dan Wilbur, author of How Not To Read, created a brilliant blog in which he asked folks to re-title classic books, based on tongue-in-cheek truth in advertising.

From hundreds of submissions of tongue-in-cheek tomes, we’ve ranked the 100 best:

1. Where the Wild Things Are (Maurice Sendak) – Skipping Dinner is Like Dropping Acid

2. Brokeback Mountain (Annie Proulx) – The Hills Have Guys

3. The Very Hungry Caterpillar (Eric Carle) – Eat Until You Feel Pretty

4. The Catcher in the Rye (J.D. Salinger) – Diary of a Wimpy Kid

5. Oedipus the King (Sophocles) – How I Met Your Mother

6. To Kill a Mockingbird (Harper Lee) – My Dad is Cooler than Your Dad

7. The Devil Wears Prada (Lauren Weisberger) – The Satanic Purses

8. Frankenstein (Mary Shelley) – A Zombie Learns French

9. Animal Farm (George Orwell) – If You Give a Pig a Windmill, He’ll Pursue Absolute Power

10. Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day (Judith Viorst) – Cheer Up. This is How You’ll Feel Every Day as an Adult

11. The Help (Kathryn Stockett) – Everyone Poops

12. The Metamorphosis (Franz Kafka) – A Bug’s Life

13. Grimm’s Fairy Tales – Children Should Be Traumatized

14. The Scarlet Letter (Nathaniel Hawthorne) – I Know What You Did Last Summer

15. A Christmas Carol (Charles Dickens) – Rich People Deserve Second Chances

16. Romeo and Juliet (William Shakespeare) – Never Fake It With Your Husband

17. Charlotte’s Web (E.B. White) – Words with Friends

18. The Rainbow Fish (Marcus Pfister) – The Give-Away-Everything-That-Makes-You-Unique Fish

19. Paula Deen’s Southern Cooking Bible – Paula Deen’s Keeping Cardiologists in Business

20. On the Origin of Species (Charles Darwin) – After All This I Still Married My Cousin

21. Collected Poems (Allen Ginsburg) – TMI

22. The Iliad (Homer) – An Angry Guy Gets Angrier Then Chills

23. The Odyssey (Homer) – Never Flirt With a Veteran’s Wife

24. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (Lewis Carroll) – Inside a Cat Lady’s Opium Nap

25. How The Grinch Stole Christmas (Dr. Seuss) – People Commend a Shitty Guy for Becoming Less Shitty

26. The English Patient (Michael Ondaatje) – Erotica for Classics Majors

27. Lolita (Vladimir Nabokov) – Likable Rapists

28. The Joy of Cooking (Irma S. Rombauer) – 1001 Reasons it Sucks to be Vegan

29. 1984 (George Orwell) – The Social Network

30. The Great Gatsby (F. Scott Fitzgerald) – Drink Responsibly

31. Symposium (Plato) – Horny, Drunk Guys Invent Philosophy

32. Franny and Zooey (J.D. Salinger) – Wealthy and Mopey

33. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (Mark Twain) – One of My Best Friends is Black

34. The Jungle (Upton Sinclair) – Don’t Eat That, Really, Don’t Eat That

35. Carrie (Stephen King) – It Gets Better (With Telekinesis)

36. Paradise Lost (John Milton) – Blaming Women for Everything

37. Caps For Sale (Esphyr Slobodkina) – Monkey See, Monkey Steal a Poor Person’s Livelihood

38. The Lorax (Dr. Seuss) – An Inconvenient Truth

39. Decision Points (George W. Bush) – My Bad

40. Hamlet (William Shakespeare) – Ghost Dad

41. 127 Hours (Aron Ralston) – A Farewell to Arm

42. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (Sir Arthur Conan Doyle) – Drugs Make You Smarter

43. On The Road (Jack Kerouac) – I Adore This Book Because I Read it While Roaming Through Several States… Deciding Which Ivy League School to Attend

44. Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs (Judi Barrett) – The Last Story Grandpa Told Us Before We Sent Him to the Home

45. A Wrinkle in Time (Madeleine L’Engle) – I Don’t Understand Even the Dumbed-Down Explanation of Time Travel

46. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (Jonathan Safran Foer) – Too Soon?

47. A People’s History of the United States (Howard Zinn) – White People Ruin Everything

48. Oh, The Places You’ll Go! (Dr. Seuss) – Last Minute Graduation Gift

49. Equus (Peter Shaffer) – Fifty Shades of Neigh

50. Ender’s Game (Orson Scott Card) – Kids Accidentally Commit Genocide

51. Atlas Shrugged (Ayn Rand) – Cash of the Titans

52. 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (Jules Verne) – Finding Nemo

53. Of Mice and Men (John Steinbeck) – Never Flirt With Puppy Killers

54. The Communist Manifesto (Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels) – Mo Money Mo Problems

55. Beowulf – The Danes Outsource an Exterminator

56. The Sportswriter (Richard Ford) – Sadder Jerry Maguire

57. The Collected Poems (Sylvia Plath) – Bipolar Express

58. The Outsiders (S.E. Hinton) – It’s Like West Side Story Except Everyone’s White and Nobody Sings

59. Macbeth (William Shakespeare) – Never Listen to Your Wife

60. A Game of Thrones (George R.R. Martin) – Shakespeare Minus the Good Writing

61. The Night Before Christmas (Clement Clarke Moore) – Botched Home Invasion

62. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (J.K. Rowling) – A Broom of One’s Own

63. The Story of Babar (Jean de Brunhoff) – French Colonialism for Kids

64. Where the Red Fern Grows (Wilson Rawls) – Dogs are Better Than People

65. Moby Dick (Herman Melville) – A Whale Goes Old Testament on Some Whale Hunters

66. A Confederacy of Dunces (John Kennedy Toole) – An Autistic’s Guide to New Orleans

67. Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte) – My Teacher Ruined This

68. A Streetcar Named Desire (Tennessee Williams) – Sexual Assault Saved My Marriage

69. The Gift of the Magi (O. Henry) – The Reason There are Christmas Lists

70. Twilight (Stephenie Meyer) – Don’t Date Boys Who Sparkle

71. Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte) – The Good Ones are Always Taken (By Crazy Chicks)

72. Slaughterhouse-Five (Kurt Vonnegut) – Everything Seems OK on Morphine

73. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (Stephen R. Covey) – I’m Only Reading This So My “Friends” Will Stop Telling Me to Read This Book

74. As You Like It (William Shakespeare) – Crossdressing Helps Everyone Find Love

75. The Indian in the Cupboard (Lynne Reid Banks) – Worst Relocation Act Yet

76. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay (Michael Chabon) – Gay Jewish Magicians Kill Nazis

77. Freakonomics (Steven Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner) – Everyone is a Lying, Cheating Dirtbag

78. Blink (Malcolm Gladwell) – Everyone is Racist

79. The Road (Cormac McCarthy) – Are We There Yet?

80. Mrs. Dalloway (Virginia Woolf) – A Quaint Afternoon Panic Attack

81. Othello (William Shakespeare) -- Frienemies

82. Walden (Henry David Thoreau) – A Homeless Guy Teaches Prep School Kids How to Enjoy Nature

83. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (Stieg Larson)  – This is the First Book I’ve Read in Six Years

84. The Trial and Death of Socrates (Plato) – Athens Kills Its Best Unemployed Wise Ass

85. The End of the Affair (Graham Greene) – A Cheater Prospers

86. Catch-22 (Joseph Heller) – Horrible Bosses

87. Finnegan’s Wake (James Joyce) – I Read the First Page and Gave Up

88. The Snowman (Raymond Briggs) – Don’t Get Too Close to Your Friends or the Sun Will Kill Them

89. Rabbit Redux (John Updike) – Never Let Hippies Live in Your House

90. Eragon (Christopher Paolini) – Lord of the Rings (Minus the Ring)

91. The Awakening (Kate Chopin) – Desperate Housewives

92. Underworld (Don DeLillo) – America was a Better Place When the Dodgers Played in Brooklyn

93. The Picture of Dorian Gray (Oscar Wilde) – Never Stab a Magic Painting

94. The Alchemist (Paulo Coelho) – Just Do It!

95. I, Claudius (Robert Graves) – When in Rome, Don’t Say Anything

96. Howard’s End (E.M. Forster) – Moving Sucks

97. American Psycho (Bret Easton Ellis) – The Yuppie Chainsaw Massacre

98. The Red Badge of Courage (Stephen Crane) – I Ran Away But I’m Back Now

99. A Charlie Brown Christmas (Charles M. Schulz) – Acting Sad Will Make Your Friends Pay Attention to You

100. Witches of Eastwick (John Updike) – What Rush Limbaugh Thinks Birth Control Does to Women

1 comment:

  1. Love it.... Do you know how many "Oh, The Places You’ll Go!" (Dr. Seuss) books I received May 1991?????