Ever wonder about book titles? Dream about strange ones in your sleep? If you do, then write up a book to go along with the weird title and enter this contest. Start planning for next year!
Bookseller magazine in the UK sponsors the annual Bookseller/Diagram Prize for Oddest Book Title of the Year, as detailed here in the New York Times.
The winner was “The 2009-2014 World Outlook for 60-Milligram Containers of Fromage Frais” with runner-ups “Curbside Consultation of the Colon,” “The Large Sieve and Its Applications,” “Strip and Knit With Style” and “Techniques for Corrosion Monitoring.”
I'm sure "Strip and Knit With Style" gave the British judges some giggles, even though this "strip" means cutting fabrics into strips and knitting with the strips.
The Diagram Prize began in 1978 as a way for Bruce Robertson, co-founder of the Diagram Group, an information and graphics company based in London, to combat his ennui at the Frankfurt Book Fair. That was a bumper year for odd titles — nominees included “100 Years of British Retail Catering” and “50 New Poodle Grooming Styles” — but the runaway winner was “Proceedings of the Second International Symposium on Nude Mice.”Are we seeing a pattern here, with "strip" and "nude"?
In 2005, the winner was “People Who Don’t Know They’re Dead: How They Attach Themselves to Unsuspecting Bystanders and What to Do About It.” Genealogists want to know how we can ask them questions - and get the answers - about our ancestors.
Other past winners:
“Versailles: The View From Sweden” (Is that like seeing Russia from Alaska?)
“Weeds in a Changing World”
“Reusing Old Graves” At last, something for genealogists.
Past titles that didn't make the cut:
“A Pictorial Book of Tongue Coatings”
“Sex After Death”
“Waterproofing Your Child”
“Cheese Problems Solved”
The rules are pretty simple:
Publishers are not allowed to nominate their own books, so as to prevent them from giving books willfully odd names. That is pretty much the only rule. Anyone can nominate a title, and the public is invited to vote online at thebookseller.com.The prize’s administrators try not to read the books, Mr. Stone said, because doing so might “cloud our judgment.”Bookseller also held last year's Diagram of Diagrams competition, a take-off on the Booker Prize's Booker of Bookers, for the best of all time. The Diagram went to “Greek Rural Postmen and Their Cancellation Numbers.” I can't even imagine what that's about. Are they cancelling the postmen? Is this like cancelling a stamp? How do the postmen fit in those machines?
In 1992, “How to Avoid Huge Ships,” by an old sea captain, garnered the award. It is listed on Amazon, and one tongue-in-cheek reader commented that he wished it had included more tips on differentiating between huge and less huge ships, so readers could be sure “what size of ship they were avoiding.”
Read the complete article at the link above.