I don’t think I’d judge a baby names book poorly on account of its inclusion of unusual ” even bizarre ” name variants. Such names can be found in birth records every year, even if they don’t make the Social Security Administration’s annual list of the top 1,000.
Inclusion of such names in a book doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re recommended for use – it just acknowledges the fact that they exist and they’re out there.
On the other hand… If the baby name book is recommending such names… Then… Yikes.
What I do look for in names books is accuracy when it comes to giving the meanings of names, as well as origins. I think [name]Pam[/name] and [name]Linda[/name] do a good job all accounts ” especially in noting pop usage of names.
The really bad baby names books that I’ve seen are usually those little pocket books that you see sold at the check-out lines in supermarkets. Yikes.