Oddest Book Title

atkins-bookshelf-booksEach year in the early spring, The Bookseller, a British trade magazine that focuses on the publishing industry, has awarded the ignominious but highly-coveted (at least in certain circles) Bookseller/Diagram Prize for Oddest Title of the Year. The idea for the award — judging a book by its cover, specifically its title — was originally conceived by Trevor Bounford of the Diagram Group, a graphic design firm based in London, to add a little spice to the rather humdrum Frankfort Book Fair back in 1978. The first winner of this dubious honor went to a scientific work entitled Proceedings of the Second International Workshop on Nude Mice by the researchers at the University of Tokyo, who study nude mice as opposed to studying fashionably-attired mice that presumably roam about in Japan. During the early years, only books that were featured at the Frankfort Book Fair were considered for nomination; subsequently, the readers of The Bookseller can nominate any book published that year (only publishers cannot nominate their own book titles). The individual who submits the winning nomination receives a magnum of champagne, while the winning author and book receive some level of publicity or notoriety, depending on your perspective. In contrast to winners of the Pulitzer Prize and the Nobel Prize for Literature, these odd-titled books do not see a dramatic increase in sales soon after the announcement of their award.

Below are the winners of the Bookseller/Diagram Prize for Oddest Title of the Year from 200o to 2013:

2000: Designing High Performance Stiffened Structures by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers

2001: Butterworths Corporate Manslaughter Service by Gerard Forlin

2002: Living with Crazy Buttocks by Kaz Cooke

2003: The Big Book of Lesbian Horse Stories by Alisa Surkis and Monica Nolan

2004: Bombproof Your Horse by Rick Pelicano and Lauren Tjaden

2005: People Who Don’t Know They’re Dead: How They Attach Themselves to Unsuspecting Bystanders and What to Do About It by Gary Leon Hill

2006: The Stray Shopping Carts of Eastern North America: A Guide to Field Identification by Julian Montague

2007: If You Want Closure in Your Relationship, Start with Your Legs by Big Boom

2008: The 2009–2014 World Outlook for 60-milligram Containers of Fromage Frais by Philip M. Parker

2009: Crocheting Adventures with Hyperbolic Planes by Daina Taimina

2010: Managing a Dental Practice: The Genghis Khan Way by Michael R. Young

2011: Cooking with Poo by Saiyuud Diwong

2012: Goblinproofing One’s Chicken Coop by Bakeley Reginal

2013: How to Poo on a Date by Mats & Enzo

Read related posts: Most Expensive Books Ever Sold
The Worst Sentence Ever Written
Most Prolific Author in the World

For further reading: thebookseller.com
nytimes.com/2009/03/28/books/28contest.html?bl&ex=1238299200&en=40ab6d677c5bac74&ei=5087%0A&_r=0
theguardian.com/books/2009/feb/19/oddest-book-title-diagram

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