Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Judging a Book by its Cover

This page is about recommending books our members might like to read – allow me to diverge from the norm and mention a few books you don't have to read!

Each year we eagerly await the winners of the prestige literary prizes: the Man Booker, the Pulitzer, the Miles Franklin. My favourite annual literary prize is one awarded by The Bookseller magazine: the Bookseller/Diagram Prize for Oddest Book Title of the Year. Unlike the Booker winners and their ilk, you don't have to rush out and buy the book, much less read it.

The author wins a magnum of champagne … and, of course, increased publicity for his book. This year's winner is "The 2009-2014 World Outlook for 60-milligram Containers of Fromage Frais" by Philip M. Parker. Shortlisted were "Cheese Problems Solved", "The Large Sieve and its Applications", "Curbside Consultation of the Colon" and "Strip and Knit with Style".

Among previous winners have been "The Theory of Lengthwise Rolling", "The Book of Marmalade: Its Antecedents, Its History, and Its Role in the World Today", "Oral Sadism and the Vegetarian Personality" and "The Stray Shopping Carts of Eastern North America: A Guide to Field Identification". I also liked last year's winner: "If You Want Closure in Your Relationship, Start with Your Legs". Sage advice, but how do you fill 250 pages on the subject?

You see what I mean about the advantages of not having to read the book!

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