Thirty-five years ago, the University of Tokyo Press published a book called “Proceedings of the Second International Workshop on Nude Mice.” It might not have been a blockbuster, but it did win recognition for having the oddest title of the year.
Since then, the Bookseller/Diagram Prize for Oddest Title of the Year has become an annual event much anticipated by book lovers. And lovers of odd things.
This year’s top-place finisher? Bakeley Reginal’s “Goblinproofing One’s Chicken Coop.” It’s a guide to banishing gremlins from your home.
Last year, “Cooking with Poo” won. Bangkok chef Saiyuud Diwong — nicknamed Poo — wrote the cookbook.
“Living with Crazy Buttocks” by Kaz Cooke, humorous essays on contemporary culture (including female body image) won in 2002.
There was “Bombproof Your Horse” in 2004. Actually “Bombproof Your Horse: Teach Your Horse to be Confident, Obedient, and Safe, No Matter What You Encounter.”
And in 2006, a title about an ever-present challenge: “The Stray Shopping Carts of Eastern North America: A Guide to Field Identification.”
The prize is awarded in fun, but the fact is a catchy title can inspire book sales.
Consider the one you’d be certain not to buy for your dentist: “Managing a Dental Practice: The Genghis Khan Way,” the Diagram Prize winner in 2010.