Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Naming Names

As a writer, I am always on the lookout for new and interesting names for my characters. I often consult the small paperback baby name book on the shelf in my office, a hand-me-down from my aunt. Since the book is more than thirty years old, it's fair to say that I could use an updated edition but, when I can find lists of baby names online for free, why bother?

But sometimes, resources just fall into your lap. Last week, I was at the Catholic Writers' Guild Live! conference. With the Catholic Marketing Network as one of its sponsors, the CWG conference includes an impressive array of vendors -- so many, in fact, that though I walked the aisles numerous times, I didn't come close to taking advantage of all the opportunities such a show presents.

I did, however, stumble upon a particularly wonderful freebie at the Marian Press booth. Across the front table were several books, free for the taking. One of them was the beautiful Catholic Baby Names for Girls and Boys book, subtitled "Over 250 Ways to Honor Our Lady." The cover is done in pastels evocative of a freshly painted nursery and the contents are just as lovely. Instead of tightly packed lists of names, each name is given its own space, making the book just right for browsing, as well as picking up a few new tidbits of information on each of the names.

In the book's introduction, author Katherine Morna Towne shares that her mother has dubbed her a "namiac," which gave me a chuckle. But, as I paged through the book, I couldn't help but think that we're all the better for the fact that this namiac shared her love of names and her love of the Virgin Mary with all of us. She's done the hard work of researching all of these beautiful and, in some cases, unusual, names and we get the benefit of her efforts.

I fell in love with a number of the girls' names (I haven't looked at the boys' names yet since I'm not currently naming any male characters) and the stories, nicknames and descriptions included with each name add a depth and beauty to all of the entries. Whether you're looking to name a baby or a character, select a Confirmation name or read about the stories behind the names, this book is a wonderful resource -- one you don't have to be Catholic to appreciate.

And I have a funny feeling that one of my characters is about to undergo a name change.

Thank you,, for sharing this lovely book.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for your lovely review! I posted it on my blog: I'm so glad you like it and have found it helpful!