All of the titles in The Belgariad are a reference to chess: Pawn of Prophecy, Queen of Sorcery and Castle of Wizardry all refer to chess pieces, while Magician's Gambit and Enchanter's End Game are strategic terms.
Eddings is on record as saying these weren't his idea and he didn't like them: they were his editor's titles. He wanted to publish a trilogy, but the books would have exceeded the publisher's size limit.
Save for Taltos itself, the novels of Steven Brust's Vlad Taltos series are all named after Houses of the Dragaeran Empire. Sometimes the chapters of a specific book also follow a pattern: Issola bases them on etiquette principles, while Dzur uses dishes of food.
Brust has stated that he intends to have one more book with an Odd Name Out: the final one, after all the "house" books have been done, will be The Final Contract.
The Khaavren novels, meanwhile, loosely base their titles on The Three Musketeers and its sequels, to which the series is an homage. The chapter titles also imitate the style, using a lengthy and flowery description of the chapter contents that always begin "In Which..."
"In which the plot, in the manner of soup to which cornstarch has been added, at last begins to thicken."
The names of the books and chapters in A Song of Ice and Fire series, excluding the Dunk and Egg prequels. The books follow the formula of "Article+Noun+Preposition+Noun" (as in, A Feast for Crows, or A Game of Thrones), and chapters are named after their viewpoint character, save for prologues and epilogues.
All 54 main seriesAnimorphs book titles were of the form "The X", where X was a single word. The four Chronicles books were "The___Chronicles", except for "Visser". Megamorphs titles were more varied, as were the Altermorphs.
The title of each book in A Series of Unfortunate Events alliterates (e.g. The Bad Beginning, The Reptile Room). The last book, simply titled The End, is the exception. Also, in every title except The Reptile Room, the middle word is an adjective, nearly always with negative connotations.
In the book series Janitors, each chapter title is an appropriate quote from the chapter.
Jim Butcher's The Dresden Files novels all have two-word titles, with the same number of letters in each word ("Storm Front," "White Night," "Fool Moon," etc.).
They also hint to the book's theme.
And they are all puns.
Most of them are [Descriptor] [Noun] titles as well.
It's been theorized that this form is deliberate because it looks really good on book covers.
The original title for the book that became Storm Front was Semiautomagic
By that token, it bears pointing out that the working title for Death Masks - in which the Shroud of Turin was the McGuffin - was "Holy Sheet". Rumor has it that the publishers demanded a change.
Unfortunately, the publishers of the British version of the tenth book didn't notice the same number of letters thing; it became Small Favour.
This naming convention was broken with the 12th book, with a one-word name, which is itself ironic: "Changes". This was, according to Word of God, a deliberate in order to set it apart. He was also going to have Ghost Story and Cold Days be one word titles thus forming a separate Idiosyncratic Episode Naming scheme for them since they are basically a pseudo-trilogy within the overall series. However, at the publisher's demand he had to change them to their current titles (Ghost Story was going to be Dead and Cold Days original title is unknown).
The author has already planned how he intends to conclude the series with a trilogy bearing the titles Hell's Bells, Stars and Stones, and Empty Night. By themselves they are interesting titles, but even a casual reader will recognize these are all curse phrases.
Jim Butcher's Alera series always has the word "Fury" in the title - "Princep's Fury", "Captain's Fury", "Furies of Calderon", etc. After the first book, the word preceding "Fury" is the rank/title of the main character (meaning the later titles can be majorly spoileriffic.)
The first book was going to be this way too (and change the naming convention to ___'s Fury). The title was originally Shepherd Boy's Fury, but Executive Meddling changed it.
The first book kind of fits the "main character's rank/title" pattern. "Calderon" is what Kitai calls Tavi throughout the book.
The French translation of the first Discworld novel, The Colour of Magic, was called La Huitième Couleur, ("The Eighth Colour"). This was followed by The Light Fantastic becoming Le Huitième Sortilège ("The Eighth Spell") and Equal Rites becoming La Huitième Fille ("The Eighth Child"). Then they gave up, and just called MortMortimer.
As for the English version, all books following Moist von Lipwig are in the format of Verbing Noun; Going Postal, Making Money, and Raising Steam (it remains to be seen if Sir Terry is going to return to the previously announced Raising Taxes).
Lindsey Davis's Marcus Didius Falco series started out this way, with The Silver Pigs being followed by Shadows in Bronze, Venus in Copper, The Iron Hand of Mars and Poseidon's Gold. At which point, she ran out of metals that were known to the Romans and sounded promising in a title. Titles from then on follow no particular pattern, though several play with a well-known phrase (Three Hands in the Fountain, for example.)
Nearly all the Stephanie Plum novels by Janet Evanovich include a number in the title, and the numbers are sequential. The only four exceptions to the "title includes the number of the book in a chronological listing of the series" pattern so far are four holiday-theme entries, all of which include the word Plum in the title.
John D. MacDonald's mysteries starring Travis McGee all included a color in the title.
Enid Blyton used this device to disambiguate her very similar series about different groups of children solving mysteries. All 21 of The Famous Five book titles begin with the word "Five", and likewise the words Secret Seven appear in the titles of all 15 books about them. More subtly, the six "Barney Mysteries" are all called The __________ Mystery with the missing word beginning with R, and the title formats The ________ of Adventure, Mystery of [the] _________ and The Secret [of] _________ each define a series too.
Don't forget the hilariously awesome parody novel Five Go Mad In Dorset.
Sue Grafton's "Kinsey Milhone" series of detective novels began with A is for Alibi, and continued in alphabetical order up to (so far) U is for Undertow.
Every title in Patricia C. Wrede's Enchanted Forest Chronicles is formatted [Gerund] [Preposition] Dragons. One book, which she absolutely could not think up a title for, was jokingly sent to her editor as Bowling For Dragons.
Almost all of Tony Hillerman's novels have either a two word title or a three word title starting with "the." ("The Fly on the Wall", "Dance Hall of the Dead," and "People of Darkness" are the only exceptions). Usually, they will be of the format [Verb]ing noun, The [noun] Way, or The [adjective] [noun].
The Legacy of the Force novels each had a one-word title.
The Corellian trilogy included planets/space stations in the Corellian system as its titles.
Martha Grimes' Richard Jury novels are named after pubs or bars featured in the stories.
Most of Laurell K. Hamilton's Anita Blake series works the same way, titled from night clubs.
By the same author, the Merry Genry series, the titles of which could be stated as " A [suggestive verb] of [noun]." A Kiss of Shadown, A Caress Of Twilight, A Stroke of Midnight, A Lick of Frost, and the ones that aren't are Seduced By Midnight, Mistral's kiss, and Swallowing Darkness. I like the books (in a very Guilty Pleasure sort of way,) but the titles kind of make me want to pat Laurell on the shoulder and say, in a loving yet exasperated manner, "Honey. I get it. The books have a lot of sex. Can you spend more time writing 'em and less time thinking up the most innuendo-laced, porn-sounding titles possible?"
Lilian Jackson Braun's series titles use the formula "The Cat Who <something>".
Honor Harrington has the eponymous character's first name somewhere in the title of every even-numbered book — The Honor of the Queen, Field of Dishonor, Honor Among Enemies, Echoes of Honor, War of Honor, and Mission of Honor — as well as the first two anthologies set in the Honorverse, More Than Honor and Worlds of Honor. In addition, both of the novels in the spin-off Saganami Island series have had the word Shadow in their titles and the two novels in the spin-off Wages of Sin series have parts of the Statue of Liberty (vis Crown of Slaves and Torch of Freedom) in their titles.
The even-numbered "honor" thing is starting to wear thin, as the last 3 even books have all been "something" of honor. They seem to be running out of good puns but can't drop the gimmick.
All the Twilight book titles are in the form of celestial metaphors. Additionally, most chapters titles are simple one- or two-word phrases.
Except in part 2 of Breaking Dawn, where the story is narrated by Jacob; and therefore, the chapter titles are all in same sarcastic tone as Jacob's narration. (eg: "Why Didn't I Just Walk Away? Oh Right, Because I'm an Idiot.", and "The Two Things at the Very Top of My Things-I-Never-Want-To-Do List")
The Dragonlance series gives related books related titles. For example, the trilogy about Mina is "Amber and X", there are several sets of "Dragons of Adjective Noun" books (starting with the original trilogy of "Dragons of Season Time-of-Day"), and many others.
The Magic Tree House books also have alliterative titles (Night Of The Ninjas, Dolphins Past Daybreak). If the title isn't alliterative then it rhymes (Ghost Town At Sundown) or manages to make a pun (The Knight At Dawn). In addition, at least one word is a time of day or a day of the week.
While he was aware that he had adopted this naming convention, he didn't treat it as having any significance. One time (probably in the 70s) he came up with a title that was not "The ______ ______". Both his agent and his publisher queried this, then called him in for a meeting to beg him (almost on the verge of tears, he recalls) to change the title to follow his previous convention.
This was mocked in a Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode, where Joel and the 'Bots come up with a Long List of bogus titles in "the Ludlum library": The Horshack Conspiracy, The Forbin Conundrum, The Slingshack Congealment, etc.
Lawrence Block's books about Bernie Rhodenbarr all start with "The Burglar Who..." or "The Burglar In...". Block unintentionally created a pattern with his books about Matt Scudder, which all had five word titles (Eight Million Ways to Die, A Dance at the Slaughterhouse, Time to Murder and Create, etc.) until somebody pointed it out to him. He called the next one A Long Line of Dead Men to break the pattern.
More deliberately, his novels about philatelist gun-for-hire John Keller all play in to his profession: Hit Man, Hit List, Hit Parade, Hit and Run, and Hit Me.
Glen Cook's Garrett, P.I. novels all have titles in the form [Adjective] [Metal] [Nouns]: Cold Copper Tears, Angry Lead Skies, Sweet Silver Blues, etc. Some people even refer to the books as "the Adjective Metal Noun series".
Every book of Suzumiya Haruhi is entitled "The ______ of Haruhi Suzumiya". Examples are "Melancholy", "Disappearance", "Rampage", "Intrigues" etc.
Fanfic titles often follow the convention. A Death Note crossover was called "The Boredom of Shinigami Ryuk".
It's always two kanji after the phrase (the original grammatical format is "Suzumiya Haruhi no ________"). Anything after the "no" is always a complicated enough word for two kanji, but not so complicated it requires three. Kyoto Animation and Kadokawa carried this over to the music and games, too; even some of the puns in Haruhi-chan use this format.
Chapter names in Raymond E. Feist's The Riftwar Cycle are all one words. Each book subtitle (the first book has two, one for each part) has an interesting naming gimmick. The first one is called "Pug and Tomas", the second "Milamber and the Valheru" and the third is "Arutha and Jimmy", to show that each part will focus on a particular pair of characters. The first 2 pairs are in fact only one pair, and the reason for the name change isn't obvious until some time into the second part.
The novels' titles usually follow the pattern "Dirty Pair no Dai______" ("The Dirty Pair's Great _______"). The only exceptions are the side story "Dokusaisha no Isan" ("Legacy of the Dictator") and possibly "Doruroi no Arashi" ("Storm of Doruroi"), although the latter is considered part of the Crusher Joe series.
The Dirty Pair Flash novels' title follow the pattern "Tenshi no ______" ("The Angels' ______").
Frank Herbert's original Dune novels all contain the word "Dune", and four out of six follow the formula "X of Dune".
The three Prelude to Dune novels by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson are each named after a noble house in the Dune Verse.
Isaac Asimov's Foundation novels all contain the word "Foundation" in their titles. The first three "books" in the Foundation series were not originally written as books, they were written piecewise and published that way. The original stories did not follow this convention; it was only when they were later collected in book form that the tradition started. For added confusion "Second Foundation" is the third book in the series.
In Harris' Harper Connelly Mysteries series, each title features the word "Grave".
In Harris' Lily Bard Mysteries series, titles follow the pattern "Shakespeare's ______".
The chapter headings and subheadings of Ian M. Banks's novella The 'State of the Art' are revealed, in that the end in the supposed translation notes, to be the names of various ships and the Minds that control them. Although since Culture ship names can be pretty much anything whether this qualifies as a pattern is debatable.
All of the books in The Hollows series, written by Kim Harrison, are titled after westerns, most often those starring Clint Eastwood (The Outlaw Demon Wails).
Shouji Gatou names all "mainline" Full Metal Panic! novels by [Japanese verb][Three-word English proverb] system (Yureru Into The Blue, Owaru Day By Day, Moeru One Man Force etc). His comedic short story anthologies (read Fumoffu!) are correspondingly named by Japanese proverbs, each having the number of respective book somewhere inside. Recently he complained that he starts to run out of suitable proverbs.
Almost all of Lynn Kurland's De Piaget and MacLeod romances are titled after songs (Till There Was You, With Every Breath, My Heart Stood Still, The Very Thought of You, When I Fall In Love, If I Had You, This Is All I Ask, From This Moment On, etc); those that aren't are song lyrics (Stardust of Yesterday from "Stardust," Another Chance to Dream from Greg Sczebel's "Everybody," Love Came Just In Time from "Just In Time," etc.) The sole exceptions to this seem to be Dreams Of Stardust and Much Ado in the Moonlight.
Similarly, every Nine Kingdoms book is ________: A Novel of the Nine Kingdoms.
Canadian children's author Linda Bailey with her Stevie Diamond mystery books. The first one was titled How Come the Best Clues Are Always In the Garbage?, so her publisher insisted subsequent titles all had to be questions about ten words in length. For example, the title of the third book was going to be Who's Got Gertie?, but this was deemed too short, so it was extended with And How Can We Get Her Back?
Each chapter of Walter Jon Williams' This Is Not a Game is titled "This Is Not a(n) _____" or "This is not the ______".
Most of the titles of the Jeeves and Wooster stories (usually the novels, but also a chunk of the short stories and the American publication re-titlings) use "Jeeves and the _____" or some quotation of Bertie's from the story directed at Jeeves, "_____________, Jeeves" (examples of the latter include "Right Ho, Jeeves", "Stiff Upper Lip, Jeeves", and "Thank You, Jeeves"). Among the exceptions: "The Code Of The Woosters" and the short story "Bertie Changes His Mind" - the latter is a double exception, as this is the only story narrated by Jeeves rather than Bertie.
All of the Psmith and Mr. Mulliner books have their respective main character's name in their title. (At least in book form; the first two Psmith books had different titles in their original magazine serial publication, because it had not yet become apparent that Psmith was the Breakout Character.)
Robin Hobb's first three trilogies were all on the same pattern. Book one and three would have (X's)(noun), while book two had (adjective)X. For the first trilogy, X=Assassin, in the second, X=Ship, and for the third X=Fool. The Soldier Son has the same general pattern but relaxes a bit on the exact words used. (Shaman's Crossing/Forest Mage/Renegade's Magic)
The Harry Potter books are all titled "Harry Potter and the <thing>"
Four of the books follow the formula "Harry Potter and the <X> of <Y>": Chamber of Secrets, Prisoner of Azkaban, Goblet of Fire, Order of the Phoenix.
More, if you want to get technical: "Stone of the Philosopher/Sorcerer", "Prince of Half-Bloods" and "Hallows of Death".
There's also the theory that the books follow a pattern of "object," "place," "person." However that would mean that the Order of the Phoenix referred to the meeting place. Aside from that it's an airtight pattern.
The Rabbi Small mysteries by Harry Kemelman all have titles of the form "<X>day the Rabbi <Y>." Many use days of the week ("Wednesday the Rabbi Got Wet," "Friday the Rabbi Slept Late"). He started with "Friday", because the day of the week was plot-relevant and worked through to "Thursday" in chronological order. The later books kept the "day" theme but in a rather more forced way: ("One Fine Day the Rabbi Bought a Cross").
Each of Gordon R. Dickson's Dragon Knight series has the title start with "The Dragon". Half of them are The Dragon and the _____.
His children's books are all titled Secret Under ______.
The Dexter series by Jeff Lindsay likes to stick with 'D' alliteration and always have 'Dexter' in the title. Examples include 'Darkly Dreaming Dexter', 'Dexter by Design', 'Dearly Devoted Dexter', Dexter is Delicious'.
There's a trend of the German versions of Stephen King novels to get titles that are one word. It is particularly striking in the first half of the Dark Tower series, which looks like they were trying to go for one syllable titles for the whole run. This might or might not have to do something with the success of It, but that seems particularly likely in the case of Misery, whose translation was published in the year after It was a bestseller, under the title Sie ("She"). As to the Dark Tower series: The Gunslinger -> Schwarz ("Black"), The Drawing of the Three -> Drei ("Three"), The Waste Lands -> Tot ("Dead"), Wizard and Glass -> Glas, Wolves of the Calla -> Wolfsmond ("Wolf Moon"), Song of Susannah -> Susannah - the last, Der Turm, gets an article. the other wiki has a full list for the completists.
Starting with the eighth book, the reference/humor series Uncle John's Bathroom Reader began naming its books Uncle John's [adjective] Bathroom Reader.
Donna Andrews' Meg Langslow Mysteries series are all named on a bird theme. After the first three, the names also reference popular sayings or quotes (Murder with Peacocks, No Nest For the Wicket, We'll Always Have Parrots, Cockatiels At Seven, etc.) and they all involve the named birds in some manner. They also progress seasonally, so that the reader expecting Six Geese A-Slaying to be set at Christmas is going to be absolutely correct. The Turing Hopper series are all have references to computer terms in the name (You Have Murder references AOL's well-known "You've Got Mail!", while Delete All Suspects is more similar to "Delete All Files"), which is thematically appropriate since the main character, Turing, is an AI.
After Donald Westlake restarted his series of Anti-Villain Parker novels (under the pseudonym Richard Stark), the titles of the first five novels were chained together thusly:
Chain the last part of the last title to the first part of the first: Outcome.
All of the Kate Daniels novels have the title format of "Magic (Verb)s", with the verb more or less related to the story arc. "Magic Mourns" is about a funeral being cancelled due to a missing body, and Magic Strikes is about an underground gladitorial arena.
The Otherworld novels have a different title format for each narrator. Elena's novels are all -en verbs: Bitten, Stolen, Broken and Frostbitten. Paige's novels are "(Type of) Magic": Dime Store Magic, Industrial Magic and Counterfeit Magic.
The Mas Arai series of Naomi Hirahara are all composed of one English and one Japanese word. The author sort of follows the same pattern herself, but "Naomi" is a name in English (derived from Hebrew) and Japanese, though it's pronounced differently.
Each city in Invisible Cities has a feminine name. The city chapters are titled either "<adjective> cities" or "cities and the <noun>".
Another Forgotten Realms example. The War Of The Spider Queen hexalogy has titles ending in "-tion". In order: Dissolution, Insurrection, Condemnation, Extinction, Annihilation, Resurrection. They also refer to the events of the book (Dissolution deals with the dissolution in Menzoberranzan for example).
Each of John Updike's "Rabbit" novels has a title with an alliteration involving the main character's name: Rabbit Run, Rabbit Redux, Rabbit Is Rich, Rabbit at Rest.
A decade or so after the last Rabbit book (at the end of which the character dies), Updike wrote a short novella following up on the activities of his descendants. The title was - what else? - Rabbit Remembered.
Every book in The Guardians series is titled "Demon (Word)", with the word being related to the main plot. Demon Bound is about a woman bound by a Deal with the Devil, and Demon Forged is about a blacksmith's trial by fire. The series itself is about the war between angels and demons.
Every chapter title in Scott Westerfeld's novel The Last Days is the name of a rock band. This is fitting because the title of the book is the name the protagonists finally chose for their own band.
The autobiography of Jewish-Italian chemist Primo Levi is named "The Periodic table". Every chapter is named for a chemical element more or less related to the content.
Every chapter in Isaac Asimov's The Caves of Steel follows the pattern [noun] [preposition] [article] [noun], for instance "Conversation with a Commissioner".
In the sequel, The Naked Sun chapter titles follow the pattern "A [noun] is [verb]ed". In the second sequel The Robots of Dawn, chapters are simply titled after the most important characters that appear in each chapter. Robots has a fairly small cast of important characters, and several chapters are titled "Again [Name]".
All the chapters in Garry Kilworth's novel House of Tribes are named after cheeses (including Wensleydale). Of course, given that most of the main characters are mice...
In the Firebird Trilogy, each of the five books' names are based off of the main character's name: Firebird, Fusion Fire, and Crown of Fire with Firebird Angelo Caldwell, Wind and Shadow with Wind Haworth, and Daystar with Tavkel Caldwell, one of whose epithets is the Daystar.
The Julesburg Mystery Series themes its titles off of deadly water phenomena: Riptide, Whirlpool, and Undertow.
Mindy Starns Clark titled her Million Dollar Mystery series using common sayings with incremental units of money in each title: A Penny for Your Thoughts, Don't Take Any Wooden Nickels, A Dime a Dozen, A Quarter for a Kiss, and The Buck Stops Here.
Kathey Reichs' early Temperence Brennan books don't have Idiosyncratic Episode Naming (although one of them is called Bare Bones), but since the TV adaptation Bones started in 2005, they've all had the word "bones" in the title.
The Roman Mysteries has all its novels using a The X of Y format, with the X always being a group of people and the Y always being a place in the Roman Empire.
In Howl's Moving Castle, all the chapter titles describe something that happens in that chapter, and all but one begin with "In Which..." (the Odd Name Out is Chapter 5, "Which is far too full of washing").
In This Is Not A Game by Walter Jon Williams, every chapter title begins with the words "This Is Not…"
All three books in Megan Crewe's Fallen Worlds trilogy have a title that consist of 'The X We X': The Way We Fall, The Lives We Lost, and "The Worlds We Made''.
All of the books in The Mortal Instruments series are called "City of X". The titular City of Bones is the Silent City, while the titular City of Glass is Alicante.
Each book in the Infernal Devices series is titled "The Clockwork X", and the chapters after poems.
Each book in the Dirigent Mercenary Corps series is named for the rank held by viewpoint character Lon Nolan, from Officer Cadet to Colonel.
Each book in Russell and Lilian Hoban's "Frances" series usually takes the form of "X for Frances" (e.g., "Bedtime for Frances", "Bread and Jam for Frances", etc.).
All of the books in the Relativity series have titles that follow the format "This & That": So far there's Lost & Found, Secrets & Revelations, and Heroes & Villains. The side-stories collection is actually named This & That.
According to Jack Campbell, every title of his main The Lost Fleet series is named after a ship playing a key role in that particular story. Since Alliance ships tend to be named after personal qualities (e.g. Dauntless, Courageous, Victorious, Invincible), the book titles are the same. The exception to this rule is the title of the second novel, Fearless. The author wanted to name the book Furious after a ship playing a key role in the novel only to be vetoed by the publisher. There is a ship called Fearless in the novel, but it plays a minor role. This trend is broken in the spin-off series The Lost Stars. This may be justified by the fact that the stories don't deal with Alliance ships. The names of the spin-off books are two-worded and Medieval in nature (e.g. Tarnished Knight).
Several chapter titles in A Wolf In The Soul are names of animals. The first three are Goosenote Not Goat, oddly enough, Cat, and Dog.
The full-length novels in the Sabina Kane series use the pattern Color-Adjective Noun (e.g. the first book is Red-Headed Stepchild).
The three books in the Star Trek: Terok Nor trilogy use the Time of Day of the Predatory Animal (e.g. the last book is Dawn of the Eagles).