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Odd Book Titles

By Paperstone on February 20, 2010 in Books & Pads

The shortlist for the Bookseller/Diagram Prize for the Oddest Book Title of the Year, 2009 has been drawn up. The public are invited to vote for their favourite and the winner will be announced on 26 March.

Since last year, submissions for odd candidates have been accepted from the public. The book’s title, however, should not normally be deemed purposefully odd for the sake of humour. The Bookseller‘s Horace Bent produces a short list of finalists from which a winner is chosen by the public via Internet voting;. Those involved in selecting the title are discouraged from reading the actual books themselves in case their judgement is clouded by the content.

The full shortlist for the 2009 Oddest Title of the Year:

  • David Crompton’s Afterthoughts of a Worm Hunter
  • James A Yannes’ Collectible Spoons of the Third Reich
  • Daina Taimina’s Crocheting Adventures with Hyperbolic Planes
  • Ronald C Arkin’s Governing Lethal Behavior in Autonomous Robots
  • Ellen Scherl and Maria Dubinsky’s The Changing World of Inflammatory Bowel Disease
  • Tara Jansen-Meyer’s What Kind of Bean is This Chihuahua?

You can vote at

Previous winners include

  • Proceedings of the Second International Workshop on Nude Mice – the first winner of the prize in 1978 – a study of the uses of furless laboratory mice.
  • The Joy of Chickens (1980) – re: different breeds of chicken
  • Lesbian Sadomasochism Safety Manual (1990)
  • How to Avoid Huge Ships (1992) – Pleasure boating and the dangers of shipping lanes.
  • Highlights in the History of Concrete (1994)
  • Greek Rural Postmen and Their Cancellation Numbers (1996)
  • The Stray Shopping Carts of Eastern North America: A Guide to Field Identification (2006) – a guide to abandoned shopping trolleys.
  • The 2009-2014 World Outlook for 60-milligram Containers of Fromage Frais – last year’s winner.


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