My Favorite Book Titles of 2024 (So Far)

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Erica Ezeifedi, Associate Editor, is a transplant from Nashville, TN that has settled in the North East. In addition to being a writer, she has worked as a victim advocate and in public libraries, where she has focused on creating safe spaces for queer teens, mentorship, and providing test prep instruction free to students. Outside of work, much of her free time is spent looking for her next great read and planning her next snack.

Find her on Twitter at @Erica_Eze_.

I’ll be honest — I am a big proponent of reading books based on their covers. Of course, I don’t think that only good books have good covers or anything, since some great books have some real stinky covers, but book covers are a vital part of a book’s presentation. We know this because of how much care and money go into them. They can either be the thing that makes a book stand out amongst a sea of competitors or the thing that draws a parallel between a book and books like it. Sometimes, it’s both.

The book cover can’t be overstated as a key piece of book marketing, in other words. With that said, I think we give it its due. Several times throughout the year, I see fun roundups dedicated to exploring the best (or worst, if you want to get funky) book covers of the year. But book covers don’t exist in a vacuum, and, as someone who looks at many, varied lists of books each year, they’re not always what I see when I first hear of a book. What I do always see, though, is the title.

Really, the book title and cover work together to market books, but titles can also grab you by themselves. This is what happened with me and all the books listed below. Whether they made me skeeved out, feel inspired, or gave me questions, each of the book titles below intrigued me and had me wanting to learn more about the contents of the book. And, I suspect they’ll have a similar effect on you.

The Eyes Are the Best Part by Monika Kim

When I first saw this title, before having seen the cover, I did a Jennifer Lawrence. It grabbed me because I thought “surely that’s not…”But yes, yes it is. Though I was a little in denial at first, with the cover, it’s impossible to ignore what the title means. All together, the title and cover make a great icky (and sticky? Ew) combination, which is perfect for a horror novel.

cover of We Alive, Beloved: Poems Frederick Joseph

We Alive, Beloved: Poems by Frederick Joseph

Reading this title felt like having an auntie or some other elder take my hands in reassurance. And, given, how it’s about showing the beauty of being Black, even through struggle, I think that is exactly what it is.

cover of The Color of a Lie by Kim Johnson

The Color of a Lie by Kim Johnson

This one grabs because lies aren’t really something I think of as having color. Then I read the blurb and see how it’s about a white-passing family in 1955 who move to an all-white neighborhood, and realize that yes, some lies do in fact have color.

cover of Craft: Stories I Wrote for the Devil Ananda Lima

Craft: Stories I Wrote for the Devil by Ananda Lima

What do you think when you first see this one? I waffled between thinking it was to be taken literally, and thinking it was a metaphor for maybe a bad time in the author’s life. Turns out literal was the way to go — the first line of the blurb reads “At a Halloween party in 1999, a writer slept with the devil.” Welp.

cover of Little Rot by Akwaeke Emezi

Little Rot by Akwaeke Emezi

“Little rot” sounds like something that, in the right writer’s hands (which, it’s Emezi, so obviously) could be a really gripping exploration of darkness that starts out small and spreads.

cover of Please Stop Trying to Leave Me by Alana Saab

Please Stop Trying to Leave Me by Alana Saab

cover of Domestirexia: Poems JoAnna Novak

Domestirexia: Poems by JoAnna Novak

I had never seen the word “domestirexia” before this book and thought it sounded like a condition. Which, according to the blurb — which establishes the word as a portmanteau of “domestic” and “anorexia” — it kind of is.

cover of Smothermoss by Alisa Alering

Smothermoss by Alisa Alering

“Smothermoss” immediately makes me feel itchy and overtaken by something green. Is smothermoss an actual thing in Appalachia, where this book takes place? It feels like it should be. Either way, I feel fuzzy and suffocated. There’s also something about the title that scratches at my brain and sends hints to me about complicated relationships with mothers.

cover of Bury Your Gays by Chuck Tingle

Bury Your Gays by Chuck Tingle

The phrase “bury your gays” can feel violently jarring if you’re unfamiliar with the trope. Even knowing of the trope — which typically sees writers killing off queer characters — still feels icky, which is why subverting it is so important. And who better to do it than Chuck Tingle.

cover of This Book Won't Burn by Samira Ahmed

This Book Won’t Burn by Samira Ahmed

I, like the rest of the book world, stay steeped in news of censorship, which is at an all-time high. Reading this title feels like one flagrant, glorious F-You to book banners.

Only time will tell on how I feel about these books once I’ve actually read them — in the meantime, I can’t deny how just a few words have succeeded in utterly pulling me in.

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