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Old 05-30-11, 11:44 AM   #1
nancy sv
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Book title for book about touring Pakistan/India/Nepal/Bangladesh??

We're bouncing around some ideas for the title of a book about our experiences cycling Asia back in 1990-91. We wrote the book in 1992, but it's been sitting on a shelf since then - we've now decided to dust it off and self-publish it. Trouble is, we can't figure out a title.

This is a quick description of our book - written by a friend who has now read it twice:
It's heavy on the negatives -- the difficulties, illnesses, struggles, hostile people, bad food, with almost parenthetic mentions of beauty, friendliness, special tasty foods. But I've been a motorcyclist in a prior life and I know that you don't sit around the campfire talking about the smooth straight roads ridden on sunny days -- what we remember are the driving thunderstorms we rode through, the winds that nearly blew us off the road, the flat tire 20 miles outside of Albuquerque, the tornado we chased into Washington DC . . . nobody really wants to READ about "what a sunny, beautiful day, what friendly helpful people, what a clean hotel, what a lovely chicken dinner, what great roads where everyone is polite -- this book is a book of struggle and success.

No matter how difficult things became (and at times I have no idea how Nancy found the strength to go on) they kept going, and got where they were trying to go, sometimes with a lot of delay and effort, but they DID IT. I'm not sure how to convey that in a title. "Celebrating the Bumps in the Road"?

This is not a book of beauty -- it's a book of triumph and perseverance, overcoming tremendous adversity at times. They sought out the roads less traveled, and had little idea of what they would find there, but they WENT because they had decided to go. Somehow that's what needs to be conveyed in the title -- the unexpectedness, the unpreparedness, the "totally not in Kansas , Toto" feeling of the whole thing.
Some title possibilities we're tossing around include:
  • What Were We Thinking?
  • Nothing but Bikes and Dreams
  • Palaces to Poverty

All of them would have a subtitle along the lines of "Bicycling the Backroads of Asia"

Thanks for your input! I really hope we can nail this thing with an awesome title!
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Old 05-30-11, 06:00 PM   #2
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Here's an initial batch:

Life is not a bowl of cherries

Hard days in tough country

The will to go on

Surviving the Bumps in the Road

Who said it would be easy?

Trials, Tribulations and Triumphs
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Old 05-30-11, 06:11 PM   #3
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Thanks! I kind of like the Who Said it Would Be Easy? one. Hmmm... gotta narrow this down!
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Old 05-30-11, 10:09 PM   #4
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My vote would go for Bumps in the Road.

I would keep off the 'Surviving the' because the description said the book is more about enjoying the bumps than getting through them
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Old 05-30-11, 10:26 PM   #5
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We hope to make a final choice tomorrow. There are pros and cons of each choice - maybe we'll just draw straws...
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Old 05-31-11, 12:28 AM   #6
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On the Road to Nirvana

Mmm.. there is already a book with that title.

Bicycling to Nirvana

Nirvana by Bike

Something along those lines?

Last edited by jwbnyc; 05-31-11 at 12:39 AM.
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Old 05-31-11, 01:19 AM   #7
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If it's not too late, I'd like to weigh in. All of the titles suggested so far are nice, but could be the title of almost ANY book about any bike trip.

Some of the best titles are drawn from the text itself. Find a particularly good line, a phrase in the book that evokes the spirit or the sense of the whole. Some small group of words that is evocative of the story itself. Use a part to represent the whole.

This gives the title an immediate and forceful connection to the tale it introduces, gives a sense of you guys as writers, and is something undeniably unique and true to this work.

Ultimately, I think no one here can give you a title, as we haven't read the text. You don't want a title for A book about touring Pakistan/India/Nepal/Bangladesh, you want a title for your book about touring Pakistan/India/Nepal/Bangladesh.
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Old 05-31-11, 06:01 AM   #8
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Carry On Up The Khyber
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Old 05-31-11, 02:58 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Impossipede View Post
Find a particularly good line, a phrase in the book that evokes the spirit or the sense of the whole. Some small group of words that is evocative of the story itself. Use a part to represent the whole.
If it was just Pakistan, the title could be "My body is mine, dammit!" That doesn't fit for the rest of the story though...
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