I wonder what authors think when they name a book? Maybe they think up a name with friends at a dinner party. Maybe it’s the marketing department of publishers who have the final say. Is it better to go short and punchy? Or maybe weird and quirky?
Well, for the latter, the Bookseller/Diagram Prize for the Oddest Title of the Year is here to help award the best of the odd, whacky and just strange titles that have been published over the past year.
The shortlist for this year is as follows (and I’m not kidding, these are real):
- Was Hitler Ill? by Hans-Joachim Neumann and Henrik Eberle
- Lofts of North America: Pigeon Lofts by Jerry Gagne
- God’s Doodle: The Life and Times of the Penis by Tom Hickman
- Goblinproofing One’s Chicken Coop by Reginald Bakeley
- How Tea Cosies Changed the World by Loani Prior
- How to Sharpen Pencils by David Rees
Really, would God have a doodle? Must be about creating doodles! And tea cosies? Maybe if we all made tea cosies and sat together drinking a cuppa the world would be a different and better place. But How to Sharpen Your Pencil? Must be a short book. Maybe it’s not even about pencils!
Want more? Well try Greek Rural Postmen and Their Cancellation Numbers, How to Avoid Huge Ships and Living with Crazy Buttocks. Or one of my favourites, Managing a Dental Practice the Genghis Khan Way. Just makes you want to book in for a check-up, doesn’t it?
The 2008 shortlist was a cracker and included, Baboon Metaphysics, Curbside Consultation of the Colon (could be a bit longwinded?), The Large Sieve and its Applications and one that could be a party winner, Strip and Knit with Style.
If You Want Closure In Your Relationship, Start With Your Legs was a previous winner. Seems to be a theme with this award?
I can’t help myself. This is such a giggle …
The Stray Shopping Carts of Eastern North America: A Guide to Field Identification, Tattooed Mountain Women and Spoon Boxes of Daghestan and the riveting Proceedings of the Eighteenth International Seaweed Symposium.
Okay, I’ll stop now.
WAIT! There’s one more I just have to share …
The People Who Don’t Know They’re Dead: How they attach themselves to unsuspecting bystanders and what to do about it.
Now seriously, have you checked out our facebook page? Free February is almost over. Still loads of prizes being given away every day.