Friday, 8 June 2012

Judging a Book by its Cover (2)

In 2009, Kaleidoscope published the shortlist for the Diagram Prize for Oddest Book Title of the Year, which was won by "The 2009-2014 World Outlook for 60-milligram Containers of Fromage Frais" by Philip M. Parker.

The 2012 shortlisted titles are worthy successors - among them we have Memoirs of a Japanese Chicken Sexer in 1935 Hebden Bridge by Takayoshi Andoh (the runner-up) and The Great Singapore Penis Panic and the Future of American Mass Hysteria by Scott Mendelson, which came in at third place.

The other shortlisted titles were Estonian Sock Patterns All Around the World, The Mushroom in Christian Art, Afterhoughts of a Worm Hunter and A Century of Sand Dredging in the Bristol Channel: Volume Two.

… and the winner, ta-raaa! Cooking With Poo, by Saiyuud Diwong, who lives in Bangkok. Despite the natural misgivings of those who may have had unfortunate gastric experiences in Bangkok, I hasten to assure my Gentle Readers that Ms Diwong does not include poo as an ingredient in her recipes. Her childhood nickname is Poo, so giving her book that title seemed like a good idea at the time.

I have been sadly remiss during the last two years in not reporting on the Diagram Prize, but it's never too late:

In  2010 the prize was taken out by Daina Taimina's (no doubt unputdownable) Crocheting Adventures with Hyperbolic Planes. Runner-up was Greek Rural Postmen and Their Cancellation Numbers.

The 2011 winner was Managing a Dental Practice the Genghis Khan Way, by Michael R Young, with Bombproof Your Horse coming in second by a nose.

The award has been running since 1978, when it was conceived at the Frankfurt book fair and given to Proceedings of the Second International Workshop on Nude Mice. Previous winners include Highlights in the History of Concrete and Living with Crazy Buttocks, which was penned by our very own Kaz Cooke. Australia is always in the forefront of world literature!

Vintage Dust Jackets

Original dust jackets in mint condition are pulling in the big bucks at international auction houses. Go check the attic for one of these; you can get up to a million dollars if Grandpa was a keen reader who looked after his books!

Or maybe Granny stockpiled the romances in a trunk under the house … you could be on to a good thing if you discover a cache of old Mills and Boons!

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