Have you ever wanted to skip past all the pesky words and syntax that constitute a novel? Are SparkNotes just too in-depth for you? Don’t you want to judge a book by its cover? Thanks to writer and stand-up comic Dan Wilbur, there is a library of improved book covers that tell you everything you need to know without putting stress on the binding. Here are some of my favorites:
1. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
Food safety ruins Christmas.
2. The Lion, The Witch, And The Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
Denial would be so much more fun if it were in Narnia and not stifling darkness.
3. The Martian by Andy Weir
Because the funniest jokes make you weep. Rest in peace, John Glenn.
4. Goosebumps by R.L. Stine
I missed out on the Goosebumps craze, which is still going strong, but somehow I don’t feel I really missed out.
5. Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark by Alvin Schwartz
My 3rd grade teacher read these to us. It took me about 20 years to stop doing that “crack the door open and grope for the lightswitch, ready to slam the door and run like hell if anything touches you” thing every time I went down to the basement.
6. The Catcher In The Rye by J.D. Salinger
Oh, Holden, don’t let the phonies get you down.
7. The Stranger by Albert Camus
There has never been a better application of #YOLO.
8. The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown
Oops, did I just make fun of renowned Dan Brown?
9. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
A Deeply Troubling Book.
10. Ulysses by James Joyce
See also: everything by James Joyce.
11. A Walk To Remember by Nicholas Sparks
Before there were undead guys, there were dying guys. I especially appreciate this one, because I swear my stepsister had shelves of books that were variations on this theme. A Variation On This Theme: Volumes 1-70 by Lurlene McDaniel, I believe they were called. Also, Ashley, I’m sorry I was in your room. I owe you some cheap eyeliner and probably some pens.
12. The Taming Of The Shrew by William Shakespeare
Such a nasty woman. Bullying should fix her wagon, show her not to be all headstrong and uppity.
13. The Awakening by Kate Chopin
Or, A Long Walk off a Short Pier.
14. The Symposium by Plato
Allegory of the man-cave.
15. Webster’s Thesaurus by Merriam-Webster
The bane of all paper-graders (that, and the papers).
Truthfully, maybe it’s not a great product for people who haven’t read the books. You kind of have to be there to get these jokes, and by “there” I mean face-deep between the pages, reading against a deadline, wondering what’s for dinner. Dan has curated the best selections into a book, Never Flirt with Puppy Killers. You can also kill time and the soul of literary greatness over at his blog, betterbooktitles. He accepts reader submissions, so if you’ve ever revised a book title, go to the blog and contact him.
YouTube Channel: Literary Death Match
Featured image via Dan Wilbur