Tagged: Literary Prizes

Weird Reading: The Diagram Prize is back…

Yes, my annual excuse to giggle at silly book titles has returned. The Diagram Prize is my favourite literary award for that very reason – it’s not about the usual up-their-own-backsides critics pontificating over the actual writing; this is voted for by the public and it’s all about the book titles, the odder the better. 2016 marks the 38th year of the prize, which is run, as ever, by The Bookseller.

Here are this year’s decidedly odd nominees:

Behind the Binoculars: Interviews with Acclaimed Birdwatchers by Mark Avery and Keith Betton (Pelagic Publishing)

Paper Folding with Children by Alice Hornecke and translated by Anna Cardwell (Floris Books)

Reading from Behind: A Cultural History of the Anus by Jonathan Allan (Zed Books)

Reading the Liver: Papyrological Texts on Ancient Greek Extispicy by William Furley and Victor Gysembergh (Mohr Siebeck)

Soviet Bus Stops by Christopher Herwig (Fuel)

Too Naked for the Nazis by Alan Stafford (Fantom Films)

Transvestite Vampire Biker Nuns from Outer Space: A Consideration of Cult Film by Mark Kirwan-Hayhoe (MKH Imprint)

For more information on each title (I’m rather fascinated by the mere idea of a book on Soviet bus stops, although I bet the winner will be something about bottoms!) visit The Bookseller‘s website here – and you can vote for your favourite here.

You’ve got until 23.59 on 15th March 2016 to vote for your choice of the oddest book title of the year, and I’ll update this post as soon as the results are announced.

UPDATE 18/03/16: And the winner is…. Too Naked For The Nazis! More on the result here.

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The Diagram Prize 2013: UPDATE

Back in early March, I posted about The Diagram Prize, a literary award which exists to celebrate the oddest book title of the year.  After a public vote, the 2013 winner was announced a week ago, with the prize going to Reginald Bakely’s Goblinproofing One’s Chicken Coop.

Horace Bent of The Bookseller magazine (which runs the annual prize) obviously approved of this year’s winner, commenting:

In Goblinproofing One’s Chicken Coop the public have chosen a hugely important work regarding the best way to protect one’s fowl from the fairy realm’s most bothersome creatures.

The award was accepted on behalf of Mr Bakely by the book’s US editor Clint Marsh, who was clearly delighted at the prize:

Reginald and I take this as a clear sign that people have had enough of goblins in their chicken coops. Our campaign against the fairy kingdom continues.

Consider yourselves warned, fairy creatures all….

The Diagram Prize 2013: The oddest book award of the year

It’s that time of the year again. Forget the Oscars, bypass the BAFTAs, and just ignore the Grammys and the Brits, because the Diagram Prize has returned once more for its annual celebration of all that is literary and odd. Yes, the quirkiest literary prize of the awards season is back and celebrating its 35th birthday…

Awarded by The Bookseller magazine since 1978, the Diagram Prize exists to honour not the book of the year, nor even the oddest book of the year. Instead, the prize goes to the oddest book title of the year; a concept that greatly appeals to me (as you can probably see from my posts on previous Diagram Prize nominees here and here).

So, without further ado, here’s the nominations for this year’s oddest book title:

Was Hitler Ill? – Hans-Joachim Neumann and Henrik Eberle (Polity Press)

Lofts of North America: Pigeon Lofts – Jerry Gagne (Foy’s Pet Supplies)

God’s Doodle: The Life and Times of the Penis – Tom Hickman (Square Peg)

Goblinproofing One’s Chicken Coop – Reginald Bakeley (Conari)

How Tea Cosies Changed the World – Loani Prior (Murdoch)

How to Sharpen Pencils – David Rees (Melville House)

I’m still debating my choice of favourite title, although I’m wondering how you goblinproof anything – and I’m singularly curious to know how a whole book can be written about sharpening pencils…

If any of these bizarre titles have piqued your curiosity too, you can vote for your favourite here – the winner will be announced on 22nd March.