Is the book title misleading?

Use this forum to discuss the January 2018 Book of the Month, "And Then I Met Margaret" by Rob White
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RebeccasReading
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Re: Is the book title misleading?

Post by RebeccasReading » 24 Jan 2018, 15:15

Gunnar Ohberg wrote:
21 Jan 2018, 15:55
I will disagree with most of this forum by saying I thought the title was wonderful. It is an engaging title, far better than the blase standards: "How to Get Happy," "Tips for the Soul," "The New YOU," and other such mediocre garbage. "And Then I Met Margaret" does an excellent job conveying the core principle of White's learning methods: people around us help us to change. The book would belong in a motivational section in any bookstore or on any website, and the cover and jacket mention it contains a litany of self-help material, so it would take a willful act of ignorance not to recognize this book as motivational.

Don't get me wrong, I have some issues with this book, but the title is certainly not one of them.
Very true! I admit that anytime I see one of those typical Self -Help book titles, I immediately skip right over it. This title is a way to bring in new potential readers and show that this is a more people-based approach to happiness.

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Post by ellieonline03 » 25 Jan 2018, 04:35

At first glance, the title does insinuate romance. However, if you look closer, it doesn't. Authors have the freedom to pick the title of their books. It's our job as readers to do a quick evaluation if the book would suite our taste.
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Post by thelittlelibrary » 25 Jan 2018, 07:40

The title didn't represent the book. Margaret was mentioned very briefly in one of the shorter chapters and she didn't have as big of a life lesson to teach as some of the other 'life gurus' that he met during his life. A more appropriate title would have been something about the importance of life gurus. No one of the gurus seemed to be overly influential but it would have been more appropriate for the book to be named after the last character because the chapter was longer and the message was clearer.

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Post by RASchneider » 25 Jan 2018, 10:13

I anticipated Margaret would be a major character bringing lessons to the author across multiple chapters. Perhaps a wife? It is truly odd that the book's title attaches to a minimal incident involving a 10 year old.

Some may protest, "You say it's a minimal incident because you just don't understand how pivotal it was. It was MAXIMAL!"

Really? Such a key turning point should have been offset before it arrived by counter examples... If Margaret is a turning point, she ought be a turning point from something he talked about a LOT in previous chapters. As it is, the Margaret chapter is just another story in a litany of 21 stories.
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Post by SPasciuti » 26 Jan 2018, 00:36

Gunnar Ohberg wrote:
21 Jan 2018, 15:55
I will disagree with most of this forum by saying I thought the title was wonderful. It is an engaging title, far better than the blase standards: "How to Get Happy," "Tips for the Soul," "The New YOU," and other such mediocre garbage. "And Then I Met Margaret" does an excellent job conveying the core principle of White's learning methods: people around us help us to change. The book would belong in a motivational section in any bookstore or on any website, and the cover and jacket mention it contains a litany of self-help material, so it would take a willful act of ignorance not to recognize this book as motivational.

Don't get me wrong, I have some issues with this book, but the title is certainly not one of them.
I'm just curious, because you said you liked the title--and I definitely agree with your statement that it's better than the other ones you mentioned as examples--but do you think Margaret was the person he should have chosen for the title? I found her story to be so disappointing considering the expectations that choosing her for the title meant and there were a number of better chapters with much better teachers in my opinion. I feel like I would have picked someone more impactful than a little girl asking an inane question, even if it did jog something in the author.

And I guess I was just wondering if you agreed with that at all or if you genuinely think Margaret was the best choice?

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Post by shree_reads » 26 Jan 2018, 00:51

Before I'd read the book, the title gave me the impression that Margaret would be someone really significant. While I was reading, I kept waiting for her to turn up, and when she did I almost didn't notice that the child's name was Margaret. That particular story didn't feel too life-changing or inspiring to me, unlike the Masaai mother or the peanut vendor. Perhaps it was really important to the author, but it didn't come through that way.

Maybe the author could have expressed it in a better way or added some more insight to what he felt after interacting with Margaret, so that the reader's could understand what affected him so deeply. It is a charming book, nonetheless.
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Post by pinklover » 26 Jan 2018, 06:01

ellieonline03 wrote:
25 Jan 2018, 04:35
At first glance, the title does insinuate romance. However, if you look closer, it doesn't. Authors have the freedom to pick the title of their books. It's our job as readers to do a quick evaluation if the book would suite our taste.
I agree on your point. The author picked the right title to catch interest and attention. Our pre- conceived idea of the title marred our thinking of the book upon reading it.
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Post by cshaffer17 » 26 Jan 2018, 12:25

I agree. I was expecting that story to be the most profound, and maybe it was for him. However, it wasn't written in such a way that made it sound extremely profound and therefore felt like a bit of a letdown.
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Post by lexi72 » 27 Jan 2018, 21:39

I agree on your point. Maybe the author could have expressed it in a better way or added some more insight to what he felt after interacting with Margaret, so that the reader's could understand what affected him so deeply. It is a charming book, nonetheless. This book is a very good book. 😁

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Post by P0tt3ry » 28 Jan 2018, 01:18

The book was nothing like I expected based on the title. It's a rom-com sort of title and a self-exploration sort of book.

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Post by Tnadev » 28 Jan 2018, 02:28

I think writing book titles is a double-edged sword.
"And then I Met Margaret" is indeed a fairly suggestive title and the story probably doesn't charge at the title head on.
It is a fine balance between wanting your reader to pick your book up and in some way still not put misleading, or indeed "leading", ideas into their head.
How much is just enough?

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Post by ayoomisope » 28 Jan 2018, 04:43

kandscreeley wrote:
01 Jan 2018, 12:46
I don't think it's necessarily indicative of a romance novel. I didn't get that idea from the title at all. I don't think it's a bad title.
I didn't get that idea from the title either.

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Post by Spirit Wandering » 28 Jan 2018, 08:39

I'm not sure I would go so far as to say it was misleading but I also assumed it had at least some element of a romance. I had put off reading this book while I finished up my latest book review. Before I started to read this one, I looked at the discussion topics to get a feel for it. Thank you for posting this topic as it alerted me to the fact that the book is, indeed, not a romance novel!
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Post by pinklover » 28 Jan 2018, 08:43

P0tt3ry wrote:
28 Jan 2018, 01:18
The book was nothing like I expected based on the title. It's a rom-com sort of title and a self-exploration sort of book.
The title looks romance but it is not. Margaret is just a little girl that gives the best impact on Rob's life. The title is a memoir that makes Rob's life valuable. :tiphat: I just laugh when I found out Margaret is just a little girl.
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Post by Gunnar Ohberg » 28 Jan 2018, 12:23

SPasciuti wrote:
26 Jan 2018, 00:36
Gunnar Ohberg wrote:
21 Jan 2018, 15:55
I will disagree with most of this forum by saying I thought the title was wonderful. It is an engaging title, far better than the blase standards: "How to Get Happy," "Tips for the Soul," "The New YOU," and other such mediocre garbage. "And Then I Met Margaret" does an excellent job conveying the core principle of White's learning methods: people around us help us to change. The book would belong in a motivational section in any bookstore or on any website, and the cover and jacket mention it contains a litany of self-help material, so it would take a willful act of ignorance not to recognize this book as motivational.

Don't get me wrong, I have some issues with this book, but the title is certainly not one of them.
I'm just curious, because you said you liked the title--and I definitely agree with your statement that it's better than the other ones you mentioned as examples--but do you think Margaret was the person he should have chosen for the title? I found her story to be so disappointing considering the expectations that choosing her for the title meant and there were a number of better chapters with much better teachers in my opinion. I feel like I would have picked someone more impactful than a little girl asking an inane question, even if it did jog something in the author.

And I guess I was just wondering if you agreed with that at all or if you genuinely think Margaret was the best choice?
I can definitely see your point here. Yes, perhaps there were better teachers, and I can definitely agree that it never seems clear why White chose Margaret over all of the other teachers.

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