The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, This Side of Paradise, Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres, In Praise of Folly, the Divine Comedy, Pride and Prejudice.
Then there are the uneven, unruly titles hiding great works like Aristtotle’s On Youth and Old Age, On Life and Death, On Breathing; Das Kaptial, On the Origin of Species, Paradise Lost, Brothers Karamazov, Tractatus Logico-Philosohicus.
And then sometimes a book title promises a lot and delivers it--but not the "a lot" that you expected. The Fine Art of Squeezing, god knows, is a title that demands attention. I thought, well, I'm not sure what I was expecting--possibly it would actually be on squeezing things. (I've seen many examples of this sort of bizarre title/content continuity, so I thought it a possibility.) But the story here is delivered by the Standard Oil Company of New Jersey and details their properties being nationalized--squeezed--by the government of Mexico in 1938. It is one of a series of pamphlets, and it evidently sucked up every bit of creativity at Standard Oil: The Question of Subsoil Rights in Mexico and The Accustomed Practices in Cases of Expropriation and Confiscation are two titles that deliver the contents' good accurately and dryly. This singluarly-titled work also has chapter headings that equally lovely and bizarre: "The Revolutionary Squeeze", "The Constitutional Squeeze:, "The Concession Squeeze", "Strangling the Goose "and other fortifies the reader with the possibility of a surreal experience. It is not, of course--it is a competent and direct summation of Standard's deal with Mexico.
Soap...in Everyday Life is another one of those lovely naive titles, though it only hides a very accurate and authoritative display of Soap Knowledge, published by the Colgate-Palmolive-Peet Co. The draw to this pamphlet for me stops as soon as you open it. (It is a happy little soap-making theme on the cover, though.)
Thirst is another disappointment--weird title and design, and was written in 1937 (and self-published) by Elzoe Prindle Stead. The joy of the title is quickly dissolved by the content, with chapter headings such as "Born Once", "Once to Die", "Going to Hell", "For Him of the Second Death", "Forgotten or rejected Savior", and "Jesus goes to the Cross. Its a major proselytizing vehicle which defines itself with the last chapter title, "Why Not".