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What's behind the rise of the long and rambling book subtitle?

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Photo by nate bolt via Flickr Creative Commons

For authors, coming up with just the right book title can be tough. Throw a subtitle into the mix and the process becomes that much more difficult. Today, for nonfiction books, a subtitle is pretty much required.

But they're becoming increasingly long, and ridiculous  these days. Case in point is writer Donovan Hohn's 2012 book, "Moby-Duck: The True Story of 28,800 Bath Toys Lost at Sea and of the Beachcombers, Oceanographers, Environmentalists, and Fools, Including the Author, Who Went in Search of Them."

Hosts Alex Cohen and Tess Vigeland talk with author Ben Yagoda, who teaches English, journalism and writing at the University of Delaware. His most recent book is "How to Not Write Bad: The Most Common Writing Problems and the Best Ways to Avoid Them."

 


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