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A Is for Atticus: Baby Names from Great Books Paperback – Bargain Price, August 28, 2008


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Center Street (August 28, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1599950200
  • ASIN: B0046LUXFG
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 5.2 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,744,104 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Lorilee Craker is the entertainment writer for The Grand Rapids Press and has interviewed Jessica Simpson, Donald Trump, Ray Romano, Randy Jackson and Jeff Probst. She lives in West Michigan with her husband and three children.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 27 people found the following review helpful By ehf on November 23, 2008
Format: Paperback
This book is a great idea--as an English teacher, I was very excited when I saw it. I agree with the other reviewer who said that the commentary blurbs are helpful and a nice break from the endless lists of names in other books.

That being said, I wish the author had paid more attention to "great books" and a lot less attention to TV. She mentions Grey's Anatomy regularly, which couldn't be further from a great book. At one point she mentions an exchange student she knew in high school--again, not at all the context I care about at all. Because she's spending time talking about her husband's great-aunt (who cares?) and contemporary TV, she basically just mentions the book that each name comes from. There's no explanation of the character's role or connotation.
She also misses a lot of great names (Ada from Bleak House, for instance).

I don't know if Lorilee Craker needs to read more or what, but I wish someone with a broader, deeper knowledge of literature had taken on this book. There might be more names with a more thorough and interesting discussion of the characters.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By E. Kerby TOP 1000 REVIEWER on April 2, 2012
Format: Paperback
I'm having a tough time deciding what to name our daughter, so now that she's due in a few months I've started really going through any name books I can find.

I thought this book looked good, for a couple different reasons: first, I would love for our daughter's name to be something meaningful instead of just "something we liked" (although that would actually be okay); and second, I thought this book may suggest names that I was less likely to have seen in other name books already. (For instance, "Atticus" would probably not be listed in a bunch of other name books, and I may not choose that name if we were having a boy, but I am very open to these sorts of less-common-but-meaningful names.)

So, I went through the girl section of this book, and I can't say that it was helpful. The author's descriptions are kind of fun to read (definitely fun compared to a bunch of other name books), but they're not really what I was expecting. For instance, a whole lot of the descriptions start by talking about how popular the name is, and some other alternative similar names, and then just the very last sentence of the description mentions one or two literary examples of the name.

A lot of the suggestions were not really names from "Great Books" at all--REALLY, is someone really going to name their daughter "Bedilia" after Amelia Bedilia? Or "Quimby" after the Ramona Quimby books? There are also a bunch of names from Greek and Roman mythology.

Then, there are some names that the author suggests with serious reservations: Olivia is "freakishly popular"; you can use "Pamela" but "don't call her the dated and yawn-worthy Pam", etc.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Lindsey Moore on May 9, 2013
Format: Paperback
First: this isn't a huge, 1001 names type book--it has select names with literary histories. If you're looking for a classic name with some book-smarts cred to it, this book is perfect! Also a great gift for an expecting friend who's a reader.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am hoping for a literature-inspired name for my babe-to-be since I am named for Ashley Wilkes (Gone with the Wind, Mom didn't mind that he was a man and I was a baby girl).

There are just not great books out there for literary-name inspiration. A is for Atticus is an interesting take, and perhaps the best book out there that tries to provide this type of guide. That said, the book is not as comprehensive as I had hoped (not much Dickens, for example). What I need is a memory jog for lesser characters from great books (Of course I can remember Hester Prynne, but who else was in The Scarlett Letter? Anyone with an interesting name?).

I have turned instead to more general encyclopedias of characters from literature for inspiration, and may have more luck there. Imaginary People is one I have purchased, but it is basically a dictionary. What I really want is a compilation of the "Character List" section from every book in the Cliff Notes library, but alas that does not seem to exist (yet).

Would be grateful for someone to write a book / compilation like this, in the meantime A is for Atticus is an interesting read with a few gems.
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By MCM on June 30, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Lots of nice names to get you thinking!
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By Erin on October 20, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was disappointed in this book. The literary names appear to be chosen at random from a strange smattering of literature that is by no means comprehensive or coherent. The descriptions focus largely on the author's opinion of the names and their trendiness. The paragraphs for each name feel like rambling. I wouldn't be surprised if the list of names was created and then a search was done to see where they might have been used in a book. On top of that, the list is not very long. If you like literary names, nameberry.com has great lists, and they are free.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I like this book because it provides paragraphs instead of just one or two words per name. Granted, the paragraphs are often descriptions of how the name shows up in film or literature, but it's at least an interesting change from the rest of the baby name books out there.
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More About the Author

Lorilee Craker is a native of Winnipeg, Manitoba, the Coldest City in the World (with the warmest heart). She now lives in balmy Grand Rapids, MI, where she rocks out in her minivan as she shuttles her three children to hockey, gymnastics, soccer, lacrosse, and everywhere in between. She is the author of 11 books, including "Money Secrets of the Amish" and the New York Times bestseller "Through the Storm" with Lynne Spears. She is also a longtime contributor to the entertainment pages of "The Grand Rapids Press" and has been published in magazines ranging from "Sports Spectrum" to "Parents."