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I just completed the first full draft of my book tentatively entitled Awkwardness. Looking over the other titles in the book series in which it will hopefully be appearing, I am starting to wonder if I need a subtitle. I discuss philosophy in connection with pop-cultural manifestations of awkwardness, and so it’s tempting to line up my main names on each front with some kind of connector: “What X has to tell us about Y,” or something like that. Yet I don’t want to imply that the dialogue is one-way. So right now, I’m thinking that maybe this would be a possibility: “What Ricky Gervais, Judd Apatow, Hegel, and Heidegger Can Tell Us About Larry David and St. Paul.”


July 29, 2009 - Posted by | Awkwardness (the book)


  1. Strike a blow for the colon-free, Adam.

    Comment by ben | July 29, 2009

  2. Subtitles suck.

    Comment by stras | July 30, 2009

  3. On further investigation, it appears that not all of the others have subtitles.

    Comment by Adam Kotsko | July 30, 2009

  4. I like your subtitle. It’s toothy.

    Comment by Adam R | July 30, 2009

  5. I want to read this book.

    Comment by Adam R | July 30, 2009

  6. don’t do it, man. that’s like the worst faux-hipster thing i’ve ever seen.

    or, at least, if you DO do it, translate it into Latin and leave it at that.

    Comment by burritoboy | July 30, 2009

  7. I love the shrill of AWKWARDNESS, standing alone.

    Comment by ebolden | July 30, 2009

  8. Is toothy related to cheeky?

    Comment by Adam Kotsko | July 30, 2009


    Comment by ben | July 30, 2009

  10. I think a subtitle like the one you’ve suggested increases the chances of your book being put out on the display table, next to How Proust Can Change Your Life and the like.

    Comment by transportinburma | July 30, 2009

  11. It should just be “AWKWARDNESS.”, with the period, and no other decoration on the cover at all. Author name reserved for the spine. Black text, white background.


    Comment by ben | July 30, 2009

  12. That was very close to my original idea, right down to the period — though I wanted it all lower case. But they say that they want it to be in the series format, the cowards.

    Burritoboy, You might want to take some lessons from Transport here — his comment expressed essentially the same message as yours, but it actually gave me pause, rather than just making me think he’s an asshole.

    Comment by Adam Kotsko | July 30, 2009

  13. Cowards!

    Comment by ben | July 30, 2009

  14. I like “Awkwardness,” alone with no period, with first letter capitalized and the rest of the word lowercase. It’s the simplest, and also appealingly pathetic. Optima typeface would be nice.

    Comment by jms | July 30, 2009

  15. you write fast, son.

    Comment by jack gibbs | July 31, 2009

  16. hey, I AM an asshole. Should I hide it? Is the tactful asshole better than the tactless asshole?

    Comment by burritoboy | July 31, 2009

  17. Is there such a thing as a tactful asshole?

    Comment by Adam Kotsko | July 31, 2009

  18. I like 14 except slightly too wide for the cover so that you lose half of the second s.

    Comment by Wrongshore | July 31, 2009

  19. That’s an awfully long subtitle. Congrats on finishing the book.

    Comment by bitchphd | July 31, 2009

  20. If you use a subtitle, you should really not use that subtitle.

    Comment by stras | August 1, 2009

  21. Isn’t the tactful asshole the cad?

    Comment by burritoboy | August 3, 2009

  22. You are correct, sir. Well done.

    Comment by Adam Kotsko | August 3, 2009

  23. No subtitle!

    Comment by Alex | August 6, 2009

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