Sunday, 28 February 2016

It's the Diagram Prize for the Oddest Book Title - The Shortlist...

Yes, it's time for the Diagram Prize again- the 38th.

A few weeks ago I mentioned that there was still time to nominate odd book titles from 2015, well the deliberations are over and the shortlist of titles has been announced.

The Bookseller administers the Diagram Prize - you can see the interesting range of book covers for the shortlisted titles here, as well as find out what each book is about (briefly).

Now it's up to the public to vote for their preferred oddest title. You can follow the Bookseller's link to the voting page, select your title and press submit, you don't even have to leave an email address...

I don't feel that this year's selection is as varied as in past years, but at least there are titles to choose from.

There have only been two years when the prize was not awarded, 1987 and 1991. Fortunately there's been a winner every year since 1992, and with the interest and publicity the prize brings each year I don't think a lack of strange book titles will be a problem.

So here's the 2015 shortlist:


  • Reading the Liver: The Papyrological Text on Ancient Greek Extispicy.

  • Too Naked for Nazis. (The author submitted it himself...)

  • Soviet Bus Stops.

  • Paper Folding with Children.

  • Behind the Binoculars.

  • Reading from Behind: A Cultural History of the Anus.

  • Transvestite Vampire Biker Nuns from Outer Space: A Consideration of Cult Film.

I have to admit that those last two appealed to me, but having given the titles a couple of days I can see the appeal of 'Paper Folding with Children'. :D

Do look out for any odd book titles that are published in 2016- including self-published- so you can nominate them early next year.

The voting closes 15th March at 23.59, and the winner will be announced later in the month.

Any opinions on this year's selection? 





8 comments:

  1. None with 'Girl' in? I find it odd the way authors use similar titles to popular books - and they way the public seem to buy into that.

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    1. Obviously a Pavlov's dog thing; if it has Girl in the title it must be as good as the other 'Girl' novels.

      Perhaps you could try it with your next title, Patsy. :-)

      Delete
  2. "Soviet Bus Stops" isn't a particularly odd book title. I imagine it does exactly what it says on the tin, so to speak. And the "Biker Nuns" one is kind of cheating because it's aping the titles of that kind of film. I think my vote will go to "Too Naked for Nazis".

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    1. I agree Dan, those may be a little strange, but not odd enough.

      Yes, I think that could be a contender from this year's list. :D

      Delete
  3. Hi Carol. Such strange book titles would prevent me from reading the blurb, let alone buying the book. Unusual titles are good. Weird ones are off-putting.

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    1. I wouldn't buy any of them, but I might read the blurb out of curiosity, Angela.

      Admittedly, by being in the shortlist they will get the sort of exposure they wouldn't have received otherwise. :-)

      Delete
  4. Some very strange titles there, although I imagine paper folding is about origami so not so strange!

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    1. I'm sure the paper folding is origami, Rosemary.

      At first sight it doesn't sound odd, but thinking about it, the 'with' puts an entirely different focus on paper folding. :D

      Delete

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