LONDON (AFP) - Industry magazine The Bookseller has opened voting for the oddest book title of the year, some of which suggest that nothing is stranger than non-fiction. Readers of the magazine's website www.thebookseller.com are being invited to vote on a shortlist of six non-fiction books in its annual Diagram Prize for the Oddest Title of the Year. The nominations are made by publishers, booksellers and librarians from around the world. The nominees are:
-- "Tattooed Mountain Women and Spoon Boxes of Daghestan" (Sounds like a forking good read!)
-- "How Green Were the Nazis?" (Sequel is 'How Fascist is My Valley?')
-- "D. Di Mascio's Delicious Ice Cream: D. Di Mascio of Coventry -- An Ice Cream Company of Repute, with an Interesting and Varied Fleet of Ice Cream Vans" (Now I love ice cream, but this book sounds like a heartbreaking work of staggering boredom)
-- "The Stray Shopping Carts of Eastern North America: A Guide to Field Identification" (I want to see this turned into a Monty Python sketch. This I'd pay to see.)
-- "Proceedings of the Eighteenth International Seaweed Symposium" (Why do I see this being presided over by Ben Stein in character from 'Ferris Beuller's Day Off?')
-- "Better Never To Have Been: The Harm of Coming Into Existence" (Subtitle: 'No Entrance?')
Joel Rickert, deputy editor of The Bookseller, told BBC radio Friday: "It's the only literary prize where the content of the book doesn't matter a jot. (Alright! I've got a shot at this!) "So, there's still hope for Salman Rushdie or Martin Amis if they're worried about the Booker (prize). All they've got to do is give their books an odd title and they're in with a shot."
Last year's winner was "People Who Don't Know They're Dead: How They Attach Themselves To Unsuspecting Bystanders and What to Do About it" by Gary Leon Hill. (Gees, and that mariner thought it was bad enough lugging a dead albatross around! Of course, I think we could all tell of dates we've endured that might make this book.)
The competition has been running since 1978, when the winner was "Proceedings of the Second International Workshop on Nude Mice". (I really do NOT want to imagine what sort of people would preside over and attend such a workshop.....)
Ok folks. Feel free to add your own submissions, real or imagined, in the comments.