A book title is a tricky thing. You want it to be short and sweet so it’s easy to remember, but it also must convey what the book is about.
After lots of back and forth, teeth-gnashing and hair pulling, a new subtitle emerged, one that pleased my publisher, St. Martins. I thought it was a bit wordy, among other things, but I will admit it makes people stand up and take notice. It also tells a lot about the book. So the new title is Towers of Gold: How One Jewish Immigrant Named Isaias Hellman Created California. You can find it in bookstores on November 11.
Last night, a group of friends gathered at the home of Neil MacFarquhar, a New York Times reporter who has a new book on the
I am not going to tell you what emerged, as that is something I will leave up to Neil. But lots of words floated around like fatwah, falafel, bazaar, oasis – in short – words that convey a positive or complex image of Arabic society. Words and titles were called out, followed by brief discussions about how they would fare in the marketplace. We steered clear of the words that just reflect the violence in the
I have done these informal title-naming parties before, but never in such a formal manner. It was a lot of fun and I was impressed by people’s creativity and thoughtfulness over what a word can suggest.