Since 1978 The Bookseller magazine has run a prize for the oddest title for a book published in the previous year. Now known as the Bookseller/Diagram Prize for the Oddest Title of the Year (or Diagram Prize for short) this is now decided by a public vote online. The recently declared 2013 winner was Goblinproofing One’s Chicken Coop by Reginald Bakeley, succeeding last year’s Cooking with Poo by Saiyuud Diwong.
Sadly we have to admit to having neither of the above books in stock but, as evidenced by this post from 2010, the shelves of Westminster Libraries are not short of intriguing, obtuse or downright weird titles. A few of the more recent ones:
How to grow fresh air
by Dr BC Wolverton
“In research designed to create a breathable environment for a NASA lunar habitat, noted scientist Bill Wolverton discovered that houseplants are the best filters of common pollutants.”
Gulp: adventures on the alimentary canal
by Mary Roach
“Roach asks the questions that some readers may have always wondered: Do pets taste food differently than their owners do? Could Jonah have survived three days in a whale’s stomach? Could Americans lower the national debt by chewing their food more thoroughly?”
by Tracy Letts
“Tracy Letts, who won the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for his epic, caustic Oklahoma family drama August: Osage County , has shifted gears with this entertaining comedy set in a donut shop. Letts describes the work as ‘an exploration of the Chicago storefront experience.'”
Can you do better? Let us know your favourites… Have you read them, or just seen them on the shelves?