Cheese Closure of the Pygmy Love Queen, and Other Favorites

Since a number* of readers of this blog are known to spend lots of time in Libraryland, I figured y’all might be interested in the following news item which I ran across today:

The Bookseller magazine has announced the shortlist for the Diagram Prize for Oddest Book Title of the Year. Here are the titles:

  • I Was Tortured By the Pygmy Love Queen
  • How to Write a How to Write Book

  • Are Women Human? And Other International Dialogues

  • Cheese Problems Solved
  • If You Want Closure in Your Relationship, Start With Your Legs
  • People who Mattered in Southend and Beyond: From King Canute to Dr Feelgood

Vote for your “favorite” in this poll; you may also wish to alert your acquisitions staff, as no doubt you’ll be getting lots of requests for these titles at your own local library.

I’m certain that it was difficult for the editors to come up with only these six finalists, as there are so many to choose from every year. Who could resist curling up at night with last year’s odd-title winner, the thrilling “Stray Shopping Carts of Eastern North America: A Guide to Field Identification”. Then there’s the classics, like “Fish Who Answer the Telephone” (1937), “Explosive Spiders and How to Make Them” (1881), “Manhole Covers of Los Angeles” (1974), or 1981′s “New Guinea Tapeworms and Jewish Grandmothers: Tales of Parasites and People” by Robert S. Desowitz, of which one reader says, “Parasites are not only interesting study objects, but you can write very funny stories about them as well.”

Turning to the ever-popular self-improvement category, we have such page-turners as “Leadership Secrets of Attila the Hun” (1995), “My Invisible Friend Explains the Bible” (1971), “Teach Yourself Alcoholism” (1973), and the intriguing “Sex After Death” (1983).

My personal favorite, however, has to be a lightweight treatise from 1954 entitled “The Coming Disaster Worse Than the H-bomb, Astronomically, Geologically and Scientifically Proven, The Coal Beds, Ice Ages, Tides, and Coming Soon, a Great Wave and Flood Caused by a Shift of the Axis of the Earth From the Gyroscopic Action of Our Solar System”. I can’t wait for this one to come out on DVD.

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* I believe that number is “two”

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