Monday, February 23, 2009

Oddest Book Title of the Year

I am not sure what the oddest book title is in my own rapidly expanding collection, but The Bookseller reveals that the shortlist for the annual Diagram Prize for Oddest Book Title of the Year has today been announced. Six titles, with subjects ranging from fromage frais to strip knitting, make up the shortlist for this hotly contested award, now in its 31st year.

Horace Bent, The Bookseller magazine’s diarist and custodian of the prize commented (his finger on the pulse as ever), that that he was proud to report that the British publishing industry has remained as stubborn in the face of change as ever.

A huge number of nominations was received, and it was difficult to whittle it down to the remaining six. Titles such as Excrement in the Late Middle Ages and All Dogs Have ADHD were sadly rejected. Several titles were also rejected, due to the fact that they were published prior to 2008. These include Monumental Beginnings: Archaeology of the N4 Sligo Inner Relief Road and Sketches of Hull Authors. The latter I am reliably informed, was originally published in 1879, but is back in circulation due to that wonderful invention known as print on demand.

As Philip Stone, a sales analyst for The Bookseller commented: "The Diagram Prize this year has achieved a wonderful quadruple. It celebrates the diversity within book publishing today, the risks publishers are willing to take to support freedom of information, the beauty of print on
demand for fascinatingly niche titles [Amen to that], and perhaps most of all, complete and utter oddity."

The six nominations are as follows:

Baboon Metaphysics by Dorothy Dorothy L Cheney and Robert M Seyfarth (University of Chicago Press)

Curbside Consultation of the Colon by Brooks D Cash (SLACK Incorporated)

The Large Sieve and its Applications by Emmanuel Kowalski (Cambridge University Press)

Strip and Knit with Style by Mark Hordyszynski (C&T)

Techniques for Corrosion Monitoring by Lietai Yang (Woodhead)

The 2009-2014 World Outlook for 60-milligram Containers of Fromage Frais by Professor Philip M Parker (Icon Group International)

The winner of this 2008 award will be chosen by a public vote at, and will be announced on Friday 27th March, 2009. So what are you waiting for? Get voting!

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