21 March 2016

Book (title) of the year - updated

I posted the results of the Diagram Prize in 2008 and 2009, but had forgotten about it for several years.  Here are this year's results, courtesy of The Bookseller:
Goblinproofing One's Chicken Coop has been named as the winner of Diagram Prize for Oddest Book Title of the Year.

The title won 38% of the public vote, fighting off competition from fellow contenders How Tea Cosies Changed the World and God's Doodle: The Life and Times of the Penis.
Although the winner receives no prize attention, the nominator of the title, Deep Books' marketing manager Alan Ritchie, will receive a bottle of wine.

Previous winners of the title have included Greek Rural Postmen and Their Cancellation Numbers, Highlights in the History of Concrete, Bombproof Your Horse and Cooking with Poo.

Philip Stone, The Bookseller charts editor and Diagram Prize administrator, said: "People might think the Diagram Prize is just a bit of fun, but it spotlights an undervalued art that can make or break a work of literature. Books such as A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time all owe a sizeable part of their huge successes to their odd monikers."
Reposted from 2013 to add some information about the 2015 nominees:
The 2015 shortlisted titles are:

Nature's Nether Regions by Menno Schilthuizen (Viking), a history of the evolution of genitals

Advanced Pavement Research: Selected, Peer Reviewed Papers from the 3rd International Conference on Concrete Pavements Design, Construction, and Rehabilitation, December 2-3, 2013, Shanghai, China edited by Bo Tian (Trans Tech); academic papers from a two-day pavement symposium.

The Madwoman in the Volvo: My Year of Raging Hormones by Sandra Tsing-Loh (Norton), a memoir of the menopause

Where do Camels Belong? By Ken Thompson (Profile), an investigation into native and invasive species.

Divorcing a Real Witch: For Pagans and the People That Used to Love Them by Diana Rajchel (Moon Books), a practical guide for ending pagan relationships, an account of the author's experience of speaking to strangers.

The Ugly Wife is Treasured at Home by Melissa Margaret Schneider (Potomac), an expose of love and sex under Maoist rule in China.

Strangers Have the Best Candy by Margaret Meps Schulte (Choose Art)
Image via The Guardian, which has a gallery of covers.


  1. I'm a little surprised that "Bombproof Your Horse" won. 'Bombproofing' is such a common concept (and reasonably self-explanatory) that it doesn't look any more remarkable to me than, say, 'housebreak your dog'.

    I do think I need to find a copy of "Crocheting Adventures with Hyperbolic Planes", though. That could be really fun to try.

  2. The real title, Cooking with Pooh, as in cookbook for kids starring Winnie the Pooh, isn't so bad.

  3. "How Tea Cosies Changed the World" is Leonie Pryor's third book in her series of patterns for fanciful knitted tea cosies. This edition even has her take on the hats worn by two certain princesses to the wedding of Kate Middleton and Prince William of Wales.
    They are very successful books.


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